Turf Wars! During a recent trip to Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, I was photographing the activities of the many Sandhill Cranes located in and around the refuge. The later part of the year is the best time to go and we were even able to time our visit during the full moon. Bosque is located near Socorro, New Mexico just about an hour south of Albuquerque. We found many opportunities during the early morning hours as well as later on in the afternoon and evening hours to capture some great images of these large birds. Often times when birds are coming into the refuge to spend the night there is a large amount of them trying to share the same space. Every now and then a Crane is trying to land near another one and a bit of a scuffle occurs between the two birds. This image is a perfect example of the conflicts one can see as the sun is setting and the Cranes are settling in for the night. These Sandhill Cranes like to sleep in water features found throughout the refuge as they provide protection from some of the predators in the area. Coyotes are known to prey on these birds but will not walk through the water to get to them. My travels to this refuge have long been on my list of repeats. I was glad to have made the trip with two of my friends and captured many dynamic images which can be found right here on my web site. Click on the above portfolio link and look for Bosque Del Apache or check out my many galleries to find the right image for your home or office. Enjoy!
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I had seen on an internet post recently that there were three young Great Horned Owls and their mother located along the trails at the Ottawa National Wild Life refuge located nearby in Ottawa County. I went for a stroll along the lake yesterday and found the nest about 30 yards off the path near the Ranger Station. Although there were three young owls in the nest, only two were able to show their faces. The third one seemed to be below them in the hollow portion of the tree where the birds were nesting. Since I haven’t been an avid bird photographer over the years I wanted to test my skills and photograph birds nearby my home in Northwest Ohio. The refuge is located near Lake Erie about an hours drive from my home. It also boasts one of the greatest birding areas in the country, Magee Marsh. Next month thousands of bird enthusiasts will descend on Northwest Ohio for the International Migratory Bird Festival. Even though I am anxious to see how many birds I can photograph, I am not sure I want to interface with all these people as I try to better my skills with Bird Photography. Since I have the freedom to go to the Refuge during the week, I think I will avoid the congestion usually found on the weekends.
For you bird photographers reviewing this post, I used my Olympus EM-1 Mark II, Olympus 300 f/4.0, and 1.4x teleconverter. I shot hand held at 1000/sec, f/6.3 at ISO 800. You can click on the image for a larger view. Follow me on face book, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. Just click on the icon on the home page and follow me along the social media highway! 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!
It has been a busy summer for me, however not much photographically. Looking for a way to jump start the creative juices I decided to update my web site and make a few changes that you might be interested in reviewing for me. This image of a Tiger is from a shoot that I did last February in an animal preserve in northern Montana. It is part of a new issue on my website where I have decided to feature different aspects of my photography. I will update the featured gallery each month with a few images for your viewing pleasure. August’s features include a grouping of Tiger photographs I have taken over the years. Its tough to capture Tigers in the wild unless you find your self in India and do a photo tour over there. I have not had the pleasure of that trip as yet, but the images I have included came from two separate wildlife preserves in Montana where we can get up close and personal with some of these magnificent animals.
All of my images are available for sale, so drop me a line if your are interested in a print for your home or office. Share this post with your friends on Facebook, pin it on Pinterest, give it a +1 on Google, or check pout my profile on LnkedIn. Social Media can be fun and it helps me to get the message out about my blog and website. Thanks, and Enjoy!
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Happy Independence Day! Enjoy your freedom with Family and friends.
On this Memorial Day remember that all gave some, and some gave all. Celebrate this holiday with family and friends. Be thankful for the freedoms that we all share and remember those that gave their lives so that we can enjoy our lives free of oppression. God Bless America!
Happy New Year! I have some great plans for the new year photographically so tune in to see what is new and exciting. I have been spending some time updating my galleries and Portfolio. Take a peek at my Coastal Brown Bears gallery and you will find some new and exciting images of Grizzlie Bears from my trips to Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park. Find them right HERE. In addition, I will be adding some new posts which I will be labeling as “Behind the Lens” posts. These posts will go into detail about how the image was created. What equipment was used, what settings on my camera, and the thought process behind the shot. So, check back or watch for my posts on your Facebook page, Google+, or Linked In. Not following me on social media? Get there and lets get connected.
The Image on the left is a photograph that I captured while traveling to the Northwest Territories of Canada last September. Our goal was to capture images of the Northern Lights and we were not disappointed. When you see the lights with the naked eye, they look to be white or off white in color. When I captured the images with my camera they appeared to be green in color. I have posted a few of these for your pleasure in my Northern Lights gallery. This image was enhanced using Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. We measure the temperature of light in degrees Kelvin. Sunlight, flashlight, or Lamp Light all have a different temperature and may look different in color. To complete this image I changed the temperature of the light from its original temperature down to about 3200 degrees Kelvin. It changed the color of the lights from Green to this Bluish color. Its a different perspective. As photographers we can post images captured and illustrated with no enhancements, or use a little digital magic and create art that seems to stand out from the norm.
Remember to “Like” this image on Facebook, “Pin it” on Pinterest, or give it a +1 on Google +. If you would like a copy for yourself give me a note and I will print you one and send it out. Check the pricing for prints in my galleries section of this web site. Enjoy!
Mongoose! All creatures great and small. Although our main focus for Safari were predators, we found many opportunities to photograph many other species in South Africa and Botswana. One afternoon on our way back to camp, we came upon a termite mound that was habituated by what appeared to be small rodents. They actually were mongoose. These are very small creatures and yet very dangerous. They kill snakes for goodness sakes. They were a little skittish at first but came out to take a look at us after we sat for awhile.
In my past trip to Africa we didn’t see many of these little creatures. In Botswana we saw many of them traveling across the grassy areas surrounding our camp. This appears to be a dwarf mongoose. They eat all kinds of insects, earthworms, snakes, lizards, birds and rodents. They are terrestrial in nature and usually roam during the day. Some of these mongoose are solitary in nature hunting strickly for themselves, while others travel in packs. Since there were many of these animals in the termite mound we can assume they were not as solitary a figure as one might think.
Remember to “like” this image on Facebook, Pin-It on Pinterest, or give it a +1 on Google Plus. Enjoy!
An Amazing Story! One of the things I think is important is how we are able to tell a story with our photography. If your composition is right and the subject is simple, the photo should speak for itself. The viewer should be able to tell the story of the image without commentary from the photographer. If taken in context, the story gets a little longer and more difficult to tell with one simple click of the shutter. In this post you will see two images. The first is one of the Airport Male Leopard. He is up a tree where he was getting ready to feast upon an Impala that he had carried up to where he laid on one of the branches. We knew this was the Airport Male as his right ears had been damaged in a fight and he was blinded in his left eye. He was partially hidden among the leaves of the tree. We stopped to photograph him and spent quite a bit of time watching him enjoy his meal.
Now here is where the story gets interesting. On the power chart inside Mala Mala Preserve we know that the Lion is always on the top. The Hyaena is next followed by the Leopard. We were surprised to hear that. Yet the ranger told us the Hyaenas were more dominant than the Leopard and would run him off and steal the food that he had just acquired. We also found out that one of the reasons the Leopards take their food up into a tree is that the Hyaenas can’t climb. They have no sharp nails on their feet and are therefore grounded. While we were photographing the Leopard, three Hyaenas appeared at the bottom of the tree. They could smell the fresh meat and followed the scent to the tree where the Leopard was hiding.
The second image was a photograph of one of the Hyaenas who were circling the tree looking for a way to get to the food. The Leopard was unfazed as Hyaenas travelled around the tree and could not climb to the top. Their only hope was for a piece of meat to drop to the ground. Eventually, they just gave up and moved on. They returned a few times to the base of the tree and still could not find any food. An interesting story that was fun to watch. Sometimes the story goes beyond the click of the shutter. This was one of those instances and I am glad I have a chance to share it with you. Enjoy!
Lion – South Africa! As I continue to post my images from South Africa and Botswana, I will try to highlight some of the differences in the two locations. This image of a Male Lion is from South Africa. When I post one from Botswana, you will see that the main on the Lions from Botswana are darker black than those from South Africa. There is a distinctive difference between to the two that I found interesting.
This Male Lion was traveling with another Male and they were lying near a road on the border of our camp at Mala Mala. The ranger was surprised to find them. He indicated that a larger Male had run these two off a few years ago and they had migrated of the Mala Mala Preserve. He said that it appeared they were trying to work their way back and knew that the Male that had tormented them in the past was still on the preserve and might chase them off again. As we were observing these two males, one of them got up and was limping as he walked across the road. He clearly was injured. The other male kept lying on top of him as if to mate with him. We thought this a bit strange but the ranger indicated that this was a move to show dominance between the larger male and the one that was injured.
In addition to some great photography on our trip, our guides were quite knowledgeable on many subjects. One of which was the Lion Prides. Which ones were which. Which ones had dominant males and which ones were around in the preserve longer than the others. In the Mala Mala Camp itself, they had posted a history of the various Lion Prides in the area as well as some of the Leopards that were currently in the Camp. Enjoy!