Bosque Del Apache. The Woods of the Apache is located south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Near the town of Socorro, Bosque is a National Wildlife Refuge that is home to many migrating birds during the winter months. Native Americans often camped at this river side forest. The Refuge is 57,331 acres located along the Rio Grande at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert. The reason I bring this up is that my next adventure is scheduled for December to photograph the thousands of birds that flock to Bosque. The above image was taken during my last trip which was about 10 years ago. My friends Bill and Mike will be joining me for this quick trip to the south west. We targeted the middle of the month because of a schedule which includes a Full Moon. This should provide some really interesting backdrops for birds in flight. Specifically, Sand Hill Cranes. These birds have a large wingspan and their population during December can be as large as 14,000. birds. Increasing the photo opportunities. All of this and almost 30,000 Snow Geese illustrated in the image here on my blog.
Bird photography can be quite challenging. Some of the birds are small while others can fill the frame. Long lenses and fast shutters are important to capture some of these birds in flight. The morning blast off from “the flight deck,” an area along the waters edge where many of the birds spend the night, is something to see. Tens of thousands of sleeping birds begin to wake as the sun begins to rise in the East. We get there early to find the right spot as many photographers gather at Bosque during this time. As the birds wake they prepare to leave the rest area in search of food and then in a flurry, they take to the skies. In my next posting I will give you a glimpse of the morning shoot at this magnificent place. Enjoy!
In the past I have made a few posts about hidden gems. These are images that I have captured over the years and, for one reason or another, never finished or posted them. Here is an image capture from a trip to Mammoth Lakes, California many years ago. I captured five images and then planned on merging them in the computer with a program designed for multiple images know as HDR or High Dynamic Range photographs. Using this method we can extend the limits of our cameras to capture more detail in the highlight or white end of the color spectrum and also see more detail in shadow areas. I have been working with a new program called Aurora HDR by Macphun Software. The web site for this product can be found right here. The previous program that I was using did not do justice to the image I was trying to capture, so it layed untouched in my files for years. So on quiet rainy days here in Northwest Ohio, I spend some time searching and experimenting with older files to see how many new images are hidden among my many thousands of images. While I continue the search, let me know what you think about this image or any other image on my website. I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I look forward to your comments, Enjoy!
Vertical or Horizontal. Back in my days of teaching photography at the University, many of my students asked questions about format. Should it be a vertical image or a horizontal image? Clearly, the answer rests with the image itself. Which format best suits the image and the story that you are trying to tell with your photography. Some images are quite clear while others can be a bit confusing. So when do you use a vertical format? Right after you shoot a horizontal one. In today’s world of digital photography, the cost of repeated shutter clicks is practically nothing if not zero. So shoot away and then take a look at the image on your computer screen. Compare the vertical image to the horizontal image and then select the one that makes more sense. Or, in some cases, post both to your portfolio. Here is an example. The above image was captured while on my recent trip to the Palouse region on the Eastern border between Washington state and Idaho. The blue skies with clouds in the background along with the rolling hills of the Palouse make this a very nice photograph.
Palouse! I have recently returned from a trip to Washington State where a small group of photographers travelled throughout the Palouse region along the Palouse Scenic Byway. Our focus was capturing images of landscapes and other features surrounding the farm country here in the North West. Although we had to deal with a few weather related issues, the overall trip was great and many images were captured. The above image shows a nice looking barn nestled among the rolling hills of the Palouse. As you can see, we were dealing with some rain this day and although it kept us from shooting in the morning, the overcast skies allowed for some early afternoon photography which enhanced the landscape. This image was captured with my Nikon D810 and Nikon’s 24-70 wide angle zoom lens. I always use a tripod for stability in these cases and my trusty Gitzo tripod and my Ball Head from Really Right Stuff provided me with the support I needed to capture this photograph. Many of the photographers I meet along the way are gear heads and try to one up everyone with the equipment they use. I like to think that the equipment we use are only the tools of our craft and it is our vision and expertise in the fields that creates a long lasting memory of a special moment in time. So I bristle a little when someone sees an image of mine and says to me, “Boy, you must have a really nice camera.” Watch for more of these images in the next few weeks and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Enjoy!
Palouse Finally! Early in the afternoon here in the Palouse region located on the East edge of Washington State, the skies opened up and the light began to dance across the rolling hills here in farm country. On our way up to Steptoe Butte, we stopped on a little pull out for our cars and found this piece of landscape just waiting for us to have a look. It was clear from the foot prints that we were not the only photographers to find this location. We spent a few minutes capturing a few images. This Photograph shows you some of the contours and shadows that have attracted photographers here to the Palouse. In the background you can see the many wind turbines that are scattered across the hillside. A distraction, or a part of the story that needs to be told about life here in this farming community in the great state of Washington. More to come. Remember, you can share this photo on Facebook, pin it on Pinterest, give it a +1 on Google and share it on Twitter. Enjoy!
Vintage Chevy! I am in the Palouse region of Washington State with the focus on landscapes. Rolling hills, farms, barns, and various other photographic pursuits. This morning we got up at 0 Dark 30 to capture the sunrise over Steptoe Butte. What we found was an overcast sky and an occasional peak at the morning sun. Such is the life of a nature and wildlife photographer. When Mother nature decides to give you lemons, you need to find a way to make lemonade. So we drove along the countryside hoping for a better opportunity to get out the gear. We came upon this vintage Chevy sitting alongside of the road and thought we would give it a quick look. The sun peeked out a few times and allow for a little shooting time.
Back in the hotel and hoping for better weather, I took the time to create a little High Dynamic Range magic and processed this image with a little help from MacPhun’s Aurora HDR software. If you are interested, the truck had a for sale sign stating $900 or best offer. We decided to pass. Watch for more hopeful posts here from the Palouse region where I will be until this Sunday. Enjoy!
I have just uploaded the majority of my images from my Coastal Brown Bear Book project here on my website. Click on the home button in the above menu and you will see a link to the images on the lower left hand side of the Home Page. Take a look at over 35 images of bears from Lake Clark National Park. It has been a real challenge in putting the right images together for this project. Selecting the right images, not just the best images, for this book has been a real effort in critiquing my own work. Often times I have been asked to submit a portfolio of my work for a show or contest and find that I am more critical of my work than other people might be. So I am on my way to building the finished product and hope to get it to the publisher soon. Until then, have a look and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
I am continuing with my layouts for the Brown Bear Book Project. This is another image that made its way into the book. I like the lighting best of all. This was an early morning shoot along the edge of the Johnson River located in the National Park where we photographed Coastal Brown Bears in Alaska. When photographing anything that is in the water, whether that is an animal or even people, always give them room to show their virtual feet. When you crop the image too tight and give the aspect that you have cut off their feet, even though you cannot see them in the water, you leave the viewer wondering what they are standing in. My goal as a photographer is to illustrate what the image was that I captured with a click of the shutter and lay it out so the viewer can see for themselves what I was looking at without me being there to tell the story. Each of my images has a story to tell, and my challenge is to tell it through the images themselves. Remember to check out more of these images in my Brown Bear Book Project gallery located on the home page of my website. Just click on the Home button on top of this post and locate the gallery images in the lower left side of the page. Check in with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. Enjoy!
Here is a recent Video I posted on Facebook talking about my Coastal Brown Bear project. If you have been following my Blog here at New Dawn Photography, then you know all about this new and exciting project I have started. I have selected over 45 of my Grizzly Bear images for use in the book and will be posting a few as I prepare the book for publication. This book will be about 11 inches by 8 inches and will have a leather cover and Dust Jacket. It is designed as a Coffee table book and will look great as part of your home collection. Whether you place it on the table in the living room or on the desk in the den, This book will serve to compliment any of your home or office decorations. Watch the blog and visit the Gallery as I push to complete the book in the next several weeks. Until then, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, or check back in here on occasion. Just click on the Video and hear about this exciting new project. Enjoy!
Sedgeing Bear! I am enjoying some quiet time here in Northwest Ohio as we had about 7 inches of snow deposited yesterday morning. As I have said in my previous post, I am trying out Macphun’s new software package for Photoshop called Creative CK. I have been revisiting my bear photos in preparation for publishing a book for images from my many trips to Alaska and the Lake Clark National Park. In this image, a Bear is sedgeing or eating sedge grass. Coastal Brown bears eat grass and berries as their mainstay of nutriton up to a point in mid to late August when they switch to consuming the many fish that they can find along the coastal waters of the Cook Inlet in Alaska. Inland Brown Bears do not weigh as much as their brethren along the coast because they do not have the protein available to them from the fish consumed by the coastal brown bears. The difference is quite considerable making the coastal bears a lot more formidable. Getting up close and personal with these animals is quite thrilling to say the least. More to com, Enjoy!