Alaskan Bald Eagles

I’m not normally a workshop guy.  I have mastered my camera. I understand composition and exposure.  Heck, I lead workshops and teach post. And, most importantly, I like to do my own thing when I’m out shooting.  One of the great things about nature photography is enjoying the solitude of the wilderness.  But, I couldn’t figure out how to make the logistics for an Alaskan eagle trip work on my own, and Canadian Pro Chris Dodds has a great reputation as a workshop leader. So, in spite of my aversion, I signed up for a workshop.  I’m glad I did.   What a great workshop! The other participants in the workshop were a delight. Chris worked incredibly hard to make sure that we all had a positive experience. And, in spite of my I’m-a-professional-and-don’t-need-help attitude, I learned many things from Chris, both about shooting and post. (Chris is a good guy, especially for a Canadian. :-) But most importantly, I came home with thousands (OK, OK, more than 10,000) eagle images, including  some that I’m really excited about. Here are some favorites:

The Depths of Winter

It has been cold and wintry in Denver the last few days. The conditions bring to mind these two images that I made last January in Yellowstone National Park. (The conditions also gave me some time to process images, which is how I came to post these today. :-)  As usual in photography, bad weather makes for good images.  Though we almost had too much of a good thing – the snow was so heavy that it was difficult to autofocus on the Bison.

Blizzrd Impression
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Heavy snow in the forrest. Yellowstone National Park, Montana, 2013.

Thanks for stopping by. More new images shortly.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal Mulie

I went shooting at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge this morning with my friend and fellow photographer Mark Brown. (Also ran in to Jay Ryser and some other folks from the Front Range Wildlife Photographers group.) This mule deer is simple, but I like the morning light on the deer’s antlers and the strip of warm dawn sky in the background. It was a great morning for photography.

Images Featured on Project Coyote's Photo Friday

Thanks to Project Coyote for featuring some of my Yellowstone coyote images in their Photo Friday.

Thanks guys!

Prints in the Capitol Building

If you find yourself in the Colorado State Capital building during the current legislative session, be sure to swing by the Speaker of the House’s offices and the Majority Staff offices. They are currently featuring more than twenty of my canvas prints. (Embarrassingly, the prints have been up for a while, but I am bad about promoting these things.)

Coyotes Fight Over Winter Kill Bison

Dominance
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Coyotes fight for dominance next to a winter-kill bison. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2013.

I decided that it’s time for a break from the spate of recent desert landscapes.  I captured these coyotes fighting over a winter kill bison last winter in Yellowstone.

Coyote Pack
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A pack of coyotes plays in the snow. Yellowstone National Park, 2013.

The night before, a large bull died, apparently overcome by the bitterly cold weather. It did not take long for the local coyotes to move in. At one point, there were at least a dozen animals circling the kill. They alternated between milling around, trying to chew their way into the carcass, howling, and playing/fighting for dominance.  What a great morning!

Coyote Feeding on Winter Kill
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A coyote tries to wrest some meat from a winter-kill bison. Yellowstone National Park, 2013.

When shooting a scene like this, there are two things to keep in mind. First, with bright light, multiple animals, and a relatively featureless background, be sure to stop down for greater depth of field. Second, when confronted with a scene (like this one) where you are unable to fit the entire subject in the frame, you can always shoot a multi-image panorama. Just make sure that you keep the settings (and focus) the same for all frames. (This image is a panorama made from two different frames.)

Coyote
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A coyote steps carefully in deep snow. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2013.

Finally, take advantage of clean snow where you can find it! One of the great challenges of wildlife photography is getting clean backgrounds. With fresh snow, it’s almost easy.

 

Howl
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A coyote howls to its packmakes to alert them to a winter kill bison. Yellowstone National Park, 2013.

Valley of Fire

Fire Wave
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"Fire Wave" sandstone formation. Valley of Fire State Park, Utah, 2013.

Just before Christmas I took a quick trip to the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. What a spectacular place! Arches, sandstone in every color, shape, and pattern imaginable, great weather, and no crowds.  As an experiment, I made a new “story” using the new Storehouse iPad app: Valley of Fire.  Please check out the story and let me know what you think.

 

 

Skyline

Front Range
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Colorado Front Range at Dusk. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, Colorado, 2012.

This is another gem buried in my editing queue. (And another from my favorite local photo spot, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.)  I know that sunsets are supposed to be cliche. But sometimes they are just too beautiful not to photograph. Do you like the city lights in the foreground? I think it gives the image a nice sense of realism, and the contrast between the natural and artificial light is interesting. But . . .

Canada Geese in Fall Light

Canada Geese in Fall Light
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A flock of Canada Geese flys through warm fall light at dusk. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, Colorado, 2013.

It has been absolutely frigid in Denver the last few days.  I’ve been using the indoor time to make progress on the huge backlog of shots in my editing queue. I made this image around this time last fall, at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. I am struck by the warm, hazy, late-fall light. Enjoy!

For more images like this, be sure to check out our Animate Landscape portfolio.

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey
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A Merriam's Wild Turkey forages. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving to our many friends, clients, and patrons. We’re grateful for your support and friendship.

Archive Dive

Egret Landing
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A snowy egret (Egretta thula) landing in its nesting tree, Denver, Colorado, 2012

My greatest failing as a photographer is my inability to keep up with editing. Hence these heron and egret images that I captured in 2012. Better late than never! More soon.

Foraging Egret
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A snowy egret (Egretta thula) in breeding plumage forages in the shallows for small fish. Denver, Colorado.
Black-Crowned Night Heron wtih Nest Material
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A Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) returns to its nest with a stick. Denver, Colorado, 2012.
Egret in Flight
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A snowy egret (Egretta thula) takes flight. Denver, Colorado, 2012.
Black-Crowned Night Heron
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A black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) forages on a grassy shore. Denver, Colorado, 2012.
Juvenile Night Heron
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A juvenile black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) calls from a tree branch. Denver, Colorado, 2012.

Winterfest – Tomorrow

Just finished loading the cargo trailer for Winterfest, our last art show of the year.  The show takes place tomorrow at the Evergreen High School, from 9-4.  Hope to see you there.

 

 

New Image featured on 500px.com

I’m delighted that one of my new images is currently featured on the front page of 500px.com.  Please consider clicking through to give me a vote. Thanks!

Snowy Fall on the Maroon Bells
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Snow on the Maroon Bells, near Aspen, Colorado, 2013.

Last Show of the Summer Season

Sweet William MarketHope to see you at Sweet William Market tomorrow for our last show of the 2013 summer season. The market is located at the town center in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood.

 

Manitou Springs

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We’re enjoying the beautiful sunny weather in Manitou Springs this weekend for the Commonwheel Art Festival. Hope to see you here.