As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on 2019 and what’s to come in 2020. My photography goals for 2019 were to get out and shoot more than in 2018 and try to improve the quality of my photos. Made some progress on both of those goals.
Yellowstone in winter was the highlight again this year, along with several local trips to the gulf coast/surrounding area. Looking forward to seeing what 2020 will bring. It’s going to be an interesting year for sure.
Here are some of my favorite photos from 2019.
Great egrets from High Island rookery that made the top 100 in Audubon’s photo contest.
Yellowstone Bison with some frozen fog @ -22 deg F.
Yellowstone coyote jumping up the hill towards us. Off the charts experience.
Black-necked stilt posing for me at Bolivar Flats
Thousands of American Avocets on the shoreline at Bolivar Flats with my group from Galveston’s FeatherFest.
Reddish Egret in silhouette at Bolivar Flats.
White morph reddish egret at Bolivar Flats along the Texas gulf coast.
Reddish Egret from Bolivar Flats.
American Avocet taking off at Bolivar Flats.
Willet landing at sunrise at Bolivar Flats.
American Avocet at Bolivar Flats.
We were lucky enough to find a long-tailed weasel. He was across the river on a hill and was very difficult to spot. I couldn’t find him after he was spotted. Had to try to find his black tail bounding across the snow. Cute little critter but a very vicious carnivore with sharp teeth and claws.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens, handheld
1/800 sec @ F6.3, ISO 1600, spot metering off the snow +2 tops, manual mode
To cap off my coyote encounter at Yellowstone, the coyote almost face-planted while nearing the top of the hill. The snow must have gotten deeper or the hill was steeper causing him to almost fall into the snow. He was able to maintain his laser focus on what he was looking at and didn’t miss a beat.
Minor cropping off of the left side of the frame on these head shots.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm lens, handheld while sitting in a snowbank.
Manual mode, 1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400
Here is a full frame shot of the Yellowstone coyote as he went around me after jumping up the hill. Was a very good day.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II, handheld while sitting in a snowbank.
1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400, manual mode
Yellowstone coyote on his way to the small creek before he ran up the hill. Full framed shot without any cropping. Saw this composition coming as he got near the cattails. Used back-focus button to get him in focus and then recomposed to put him in the lower left corner with the cattails in the top of the frame.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II, handheld
1/3200 sec @ F8, ISO 800, manual mode
Our second coyote encounter on Day 1 at Yellowstone was incredible. One of our workshop leaders spotted a coyote crossing the river at a distance. We got out of the snow coach and walked down the road to try to get a better view of him. He got up on the bank and made his way to our right in the snow, catching some food along the way.
Three of us went with Jared further upstream and waited for him to come to us. While sitting in a snowbank, got some cool shots of the coyote working his way along a small winding creek at the bottom of our hill. Was very happy to get those shots and expected him to continue along his way at the base of this hill.
All of a sudden, he took off and ran/jumped up the hill directly towards us. Luckily didn’t have my tripod or would have missed some of the shots as I had to lean back and to my left to shoot as a small tree got in the way.
He bounded up the hill while glancing from left to right with making direct eye contact with me several times. He would blast up out of the snow, which created a cool ring of snow around him. As he got closer, began to wonder if he was going to run right into me so I briefly lifted my head up to see how close that he was getting and he veered off to my left, leaving me with some full frame shots as he went by.
He kept going up the hill while almost face-planting into the snow allowing for a couple of cool head shots. At the top of the hill, he looked back at us and then went down the road like nothing happened. He left us with the thought “What just happened and did we capture it?” Downloading my photos revealed that I got 37 out of 40 photos in the sequence in focus when he ran up the hill in about 75 seconds. Have a 12 frames/sec camera really paid off.
I keep having these once-in-a-lifetime photography experiences in Yellowstone, which will ensure that I keep going back. Thanks again Jared and Doug. One of my favorite Yellowstone encounters ever.
All photos were taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens, handheld
Manual mode, 1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400, 500mm
Just got back from another trip to Yellowstone with Jared Lloyd and Doug Gardner. This was my third year in a row but had to grab a cancellation spot to make it. Was another awesome trip with meeting some great people and critters.
Although the park was somewhat slow for animal activity based on the last couple of years, we had some outstanding photo opportunities. The area finally got some snow right before we arrived. Coldest temperature was –22 deg F but much warmer than that for most days.
My first trip with Jared was the year of the fox, last year was the year of the wolves and this trip was the year of the coyote with some great bighorns thrown in.
This day 1 encounter featured a coyote that went mousing fairly close to us. He was successful and moved on. Thought that we were lucky to see this until the next coyote sighting, which was off the charts spectacular. More on that later.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II
Manual exposure, 1/2000 sec @ F4, ISO 1000, spot metering off of the snow + 2 stops