Barred Owl Portrait

 (Patrick Kriner)On the last day of our Photo tour of South Florida, we arrived early to the Corkscrew Bird Sanctuary.  The sanctuary has a boardwalk that “corkscrews” throughout the area.  Although we did not find many birds nesting or in flight, I came upon two Barred Owls while in the refuge.  This Barred Owl Portrait was captured as I walked along the boardwalk in search of photo opportunities.  I came upon a corner turn that had a few benches located nearby and when I turned the corner, there he was.  He was sitting on a branch a mere two feet from my nose.  I was a little shocked at first, but quickly switched gears and lenses and started tripping the shutter.  The Owl moved to another branch that was in much better lighting and I was able to capture this Barred Owl Portrait.  After a few clicks he flew off into the sanctuary and, although I could still see him, he was out of range for my camera.

Being alert and ever watchful for photographs is necessary to ensure a good capture such as this one.  The sanctuary was dark in most places as the sun was still low on the horizon.  Throw in the fact that the Owl was also dark, I am surprised I didn’t just walk right past him.  He seemed not to mind that I was invading his space a little and stayed around long enough for a few clicks of the shutter.  As a wildlife and nature photographer you sometimes show up for a morning shoot and leave with very little to show for your efforts.  Sometimes the photos are limited, but yield great results like this portrait of a Barred Owl at the Corkscrew Sanctuary in South Florida, Enjoy!

Barred Owl

 (Patrick Kriner)Barred Owl.  A parting shot from our workshop and photo tour of South Florida.  Leaving on a Jet Plane in a few hours so its time to pack up the gear and head for home.  Our last morning found us at the Corkscrew Bird Sanctuary.  Finding a few birds was a bit troublesome this morning, but I found two Barred Owls resting in the trees.  I was able to capture a few images of the first Owl until  it decided to leave me.  The second Owl stayed around for a while and eventually dove into the creek for a bit of breakfast.  You can barely see its meal clutched in his talons.  The lighting was a bit of a problem but we managed a few shots before this Owl decided to finish its meal up in a tall tree away from the invading Photographers.  Enjoy!


Wood Stork

 (Patrick Kriner)Wood Stork!  We had a great morning at Ding Darling here in South Florida.  The light was perfect, the birds were unique and plentiful, and except for the Sand Fleas it was a great morning.  There were only two Spoonbills and they were too far away to capture any images.  However, there were two Wood Storks standing close by and the light on them was outstanding by any photographer’s standards.  They posed for quite some time.  My only challenge this morning was concentrating one one group of birds at a time.  While the Storks were posing under great light,a Red Egret was fishing nearby.  I had trouble working both scenes at once and really needed to concentrate on one group of the one fishing.  In the end, I have great shots from both as well as many others.

We moved between two open water areas and found that there were photo opportunities all throughout the Refuge.  Competing with other photographers we moved freely from one spot to another and found many active birds as wells some quietly sunning themselves on a sand bar.  There were fishing birds, posing birds, and birds in flight.  A very profitable morning indeed.  Enjoy!

Snowy Egret

 (Patrick Kriner)Snowy Egret!  Its day two of our excursion to South Florida to photograph shore birds.  This morning we were out at O Dark Thirty (5am).  We travelled over two hours to find Shark Valley Wild Life refuge in the Everglades National Park.  What we found were Great Egrets, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Herons, Tri Colored Herons, Anhingas, Wood Storks, and plenty more.  Oh, did I say Alligators?  Gators everywhere.  It was a great morning.  We found a nest of baby Anhingas waiting for Mom to come by with some food.  Many fishing birds as well as a Red Shouldered Hawk.  I will have plenty more images coming your way in the next few days.

The above image is a Snowy Egret.  She sat comfortably by the side of the water until another bird came by and then she ran them off.  Only to return to her favorite spot.  The sun was rising and cast some great light on this bird.  we were photographing Tri Colored Herons fishing in the slough when I say the light play out on this beautiful bird.  Enjoy!

Great Egret

 (Patrick Kriner)Great Egret.  This morning was the first  of our photo shoots here in South Florida.  We travelled to the Venice Rookery where we found many species of shore birds resting and nesting in the trees surrounded by a small pond.  This image is of a Great Egret.  In addition, we found Great Blue Herons, Ibis, Cormorants, and several others.  We have a small group of ten and we spent most of our time capturing these beautiful birds in their mating plumage and flying in and out with twigs to build their nests.  We are here until next Friday and I hope to continue these posts while I have the time.  It looks like we will be busy from Zero dark Thirty until after sunset.  Enjoy!


Home At Last, but I miss the beach!

 (Patrick Kriner)I have just returned from a little rest and relaxation on the island of St. Maarten.  I will have a few sunset pictures to post here in a few days while I “dig out” from all the emails, voice mails, and regular mail that has piled up while we were gone.  Here is a link to a post about an interview I did with a fellow photographer, Daniel Hancock.  The link can be found here.  Enjoy!


Sea Stacks of the Oregon Coast

 (Patrick Kriner)Sea Stacks of the Oregon Coast.  Its -9 degrees here in Northwest Ohio.  We are at a level 3 snow emergency which means that you better have a real good reason for driving on County roads or you get fined big time.  So what  to do?  Hello Photoshop, my old friend.  I took the time to update my catalogs, recalibrate my monitors.  Open a beer and rework this image that I captured years ago while traveling the coast of Oregon.  If you haven’t travelled to Oregon, then get there.  From the Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls, to Lighthouses along the Coast, the photo opportunities are out of this world.  There is a section south of Portland where you will find 26 Covered Bridges in a cluster.  Great Photos and easy to get to.  Along the Coast there are many Lighthouses.  Near the California border in Bandon, these Sea Stacks are just waiting for you to wade into the surf and capture their grandeur.

A fair warning to the novice traveller, beware of sneaker waves.  I never heard of them at all until I arrived in Bandon.  I waded out into the surf with just a pair of waterproof hiking boots.  Being cautious not to get out too far, I placed my tripod down and began composing an image.  The waves moved out and then they moved in.  Never going any higher than my ankles.  The next thing I know, sneaker wave!  The water was up to my thighs over the tops of my boots and I was soaked.  My friends were laughing like fools surprised that I was unaware of this phenomenon.  You never see it coming.  I know there are photographs of me hip deep in the Pacific somewhere.  I learned a valuable lesson.

When home on rainy and snowy days when Government Officials rule that you must stay inside, break out the computer and peruse your files for images that never made the grade in the past, but with a little photoshop magic can finally achieve the level of a second look.  Enjoy!

All Along the Road

A Road less travelled in The Smokey Mountains (Patrick Kriner)All Along the Road.  One of the things that I like to explore on the internet is great photography.  I search for new places to go, new things to see, and view other photographer’s work to inspire me to a new level.  One of my favorite sites is simply called 500PX.  This stands for 500 pixels in digital photography land.  The other day I noticed a large group of images getting the attention of many others showing some real dynamic landscapes and a kind of surreal looking photographs.  It inspired me to get into my office and start looking at images that I currently have in my portfolio and see what might be lurking there that I could resurrect and breath new life into them.  This image was captured along the loop road through Cades’ Cove in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee.

I am always looking for things that draw the viewer into my images.  Roads, rivers, fences, or tree lines can be used as a guide to draw the Viewer along into the image and see the interesting aspects of the photograph.  Winding roads and “S” curves are a real treat when searching for one of those special compositional aides.  I was traveling with my friend Bill from Boston, Mass. and we were photographing a waterfall off the side of the road.  On the way back to the car we saw this curve into the trees and stopped to capture a few images. When I returned home and looked at what images I had, I was not impressed.  They were OK to a certain degree, but nothing that leapt off the screen.  Taking a look at this image I realized that I had captured 5 frames of the same image and had bracketed my exposure.  So I merged them into an HDR image and opened them up into Photoshop.  A little magic using OnOne softwares Perfect Photo suite and the magic began to happen.  A few tweaks in Nik Software’s Viveza plug in and Voila!  Enjoy!

Sunset over Ft. Myers Beach, Florida

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Patrick Kriner)Sunset over Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.  Even when I am on holiday I always carry a camera or two just in case.  In this case, it was a beautiful sunset over the Beach near where we were staying during our recent trip to Ft. Myers Beach Florida.  The Town Square was very active that evening even though we were not even near peak season.  Many people were walking along the beach and watching the sun set.  Simple click?  Not a chance.  The beach walkers were totally oblivious to the guy with the tripod and the camera kneeling down in the sand trying to capture the right angle.   My timing had to be perfect because several shots were ruined with people just walking in front of my lens.  I could not get much closer to the water than I was, and yet they still found a way to get in front of me.  Perseverance prevailed and this is one of several ,images that were captured with no people in sight.  Enjoy!