Spent this past weekend in Rockport, TX trying to find Whooping Crane at Aransas NWR via a boat with Kevin Sims. Had a great time as always. Thanks again Scott for the invite.
Saturday with very foggy and had to start late and tried to wait out the fog. No luck with that strategy, so Kevin worked the shoreline. We found three whooping cranes that were looking for crabs in a small pond close to the shoreline. We got very luck as they worked their way towards us and ended up walking out of the pond and got very close. Ended up having to taking off my 1.4X teleconverter as I was only getting head shots. A great problem to have when shooting whooping cranes.
Got this stare down from the juvenile crane. They stuck around for about 1/2 hour and then walked away. Was a great experience.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head
1/500 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, spot metering, +2/3 exposure compensation
Just got home last week from my second journey to Yellowstone National Park in winter, traveling on Jared Lloyd’s Winter in Yellowstone Workshop. My first trip last year was one of those so called life changing experiences with it being an easy decision to go back again this year before the airplane wheels touched down in Houston. Last year was very special with fishing coyotes, bull elk, jumping fox, frosty bison and a long-tailed weasel. Also got to see wolves in the Lamar Valley about 1 mile away through a spotting scope. This year changed that perspective, just slightly, forever.
Day 1 in the park started out with a slight delay with the snow coach but it all worked out with us entering the park at the West Yellowstone entrance around 7:30 a.m. We had heard about a carcass near the road with wolf activity, so we were very excited to see what the morning would bring. As we approached the location, we could see what was left of the carcass but no wolves, so we kept going in search of other wildlife along the Madison River. We worked the river to the warming hut and headed back west.
Just past the seven mile bridge, we spotted two wolves on a hillside that were watching a young bison that was standing in the river. The bison had apparently been attacked earlier by the wolves on her rear legs and was seeking shelter in the river.
Manual mode, 1/2000 sec @ F10, ISO 500, spot metering off the snow, +2 stops
Manual mode, 1/1600 sec @ F10, ISO 400, spot metering off the snow, +2 stops
We photographed the wolves for over two hours and they eventually moved over the hill out of sight. The bison took that que to try to make an escape by walking along the river right in front of us and then up on the road heading east, limping along as she walked. We found her later on the opposite side of the road lying down next to a tree.
We all knew what would likely be her fate by the next morning, which came to pass. The circle of life is very hard to watch in person but inevitable in the wild.
Manual mode, 1/1000 sec @ F10, ISO 400, spot metering off the snow, +2 stops
Manual mode, 1/1000 sec @ F10, ISO 400, spot metering off the snow, +2 stops
Manual mode, 1/4000 sec @ F6.3, ISO 320, spot metering off the snow, +2 stops
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Induro tripod with leveling head and Wimberley II gimbal head, some hand held.
Hoping that all of you had a great 2017. My plan was to post my favorite shots for 2017 before now but I got tied up over the holidays so it will have to wait for early Jan.
2018 will start out with a bang for me from a photography perspective and then have some challenges. It’s going to be an interesting year for sure.
Spend the morning of Christmas Eve at Bolivar Flats along the gulf coast taking shorebird photos, along with a few raptors. While walking out along the shoreline, saw a dark spot out on the sand that looked out of place. Trusted my instinct and picked up my camera and spotted a peregrine falcon. Got very excited and walking slowly closer to him, laid down, took a couple of shots, went to check my histogram and he took off.
Walked away from that area over to one of my favorite spots around the corner and spotted a couple of hundred Avocets feeding just off shore. Laid down and belly crawled towards them. The muck was very slimy and ended up on my knees and pushed my ground pod along for about 60 ft and stayed put for a couple of hours.
All of a sudden, all of the birds flew away, which usually means that either a raptor or human was nearby. Spun around on my stomach thanks to the slimy muck and caught this Northern Harrier flying along the vegetation line.
Ended up seeing a couple of Harriers and four Caracara’s. Tis the season for migrating raptors.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head.
Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, +2 exposure compensation.
Golden light at sunrise rocks. Got this Reddish Egret portrait shot from Bolivar Flats along the Gulf Coast on Friday. As usual, was using my ground pod to get the low-level look.
I try to get into position about 1/2 before the sun comes up to get some cool pre-dawn color but that’s not practical with the time change. Have to get up at 4:00 a.m. at the latest to make the 6:00 a.m. Bolivar Ferry. Was walking out to my spot when the sun popped but it was still good. Don’t know about the birds, but I had a great time.
Started out shooting black necked stilts when this reddish egret flew in. He didn’t stick around long but loved the golden light on him and the weeds in the background.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head
Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 700mm
Spent last weekend at Morro Bay in California taking photos of sea otters. This was my second trip there in the last 4 1/2 years. Got some time to see some old friends and make some new ones. Love this small bay town and need to try to make this an annual trip.
Day 1 was cloudy with about 20 otters wrapped up in sea weed near the Morro Bay rock. They wrap themselves in kelp to keep them from floating away at night while sleeping.
Tried to get as close to the water as possible, which meant positioning my tripod on the rocks and sitting on a rock for a few hours. Had to shift position when the water came up with the tide.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head.
Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, + 1 2/3 exposure compensation, 500mm
Aperture priority, 1/400 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, + 2 exposure compensation, 500mm
Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F4.5, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, + 2 exposure compensation, 500mm
These two reddish egrets went toe to toe yesterday at Bolivar Flats along the gulf coast of Texas. Had my ISO cranked up to 3200 while taking static shots of a couple of white morph reddish egrets when these two started fighting. Should have increased to ISO to 6400 but didn’t have enough time to change any settings as the action happened very fast. Lots of blurred action in this series but it was very fun to watch and photograph. More to come…
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500MM F4 IS II with 1.4X teleconverter mounted on skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head.
1/20 sec @ F5.6, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, + 1 1/3 exposure compensation
While taking pictures of a lone whooping crane, three sandhill cranes came flying in. They apparently thought that they had power in numbers and tried to chase off the whooping crane. It made for some very cool photo op’s. They were almost successful when all of a sudden two other whooping cranes flew in what I thought was an attempt to save the day. In reality, they ended up chasing away the original whooping crane. Go figure…
1/500 sec @ F9, ISO 800, evaluative metering, – 1 1/3 exposure compensation
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head