Saturday, January 30, 2010

Staring Contest

I think he's going to win. This image was inspired by similar images I have seen made by Art Morris (this bulletin is one example). Artie does a much better job than I, but he has about 20 years more experience at this than me, so I'll cut myself a little slack.

Technical Specs: Canon 7D, 100-400 @ 400mm, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 400.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This image of a Heermann Gull is one of my favourites from my trip to La Jolla. I didn't have very much time since I was set up to photograph the close up pouch details of a Pelican (an image for another day) and this Gull landed on a nearby out cropping. I quickly composed the image, liked what I saw the viewfinder and took the shot. A couple of seconds later the Gull took off.

Technical Specs: 1Ds3, 800 f/5.6 IS, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 400.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pelican Eye

On my second day in San Diego, I met another photographer who was trying to get an image of just the Pelican's eye. I decided to do something similar, though I was going for more of a tight head shot rather than just the eye. This was taken about 6m away from the Pelican with my 800mm lens (and 6m is the minimum focusing distance of that lens). In retrospect, I should put my 7D on there and gotten more eye detail and should have used some extension tubes to get even closer.

Technical Specs: Canon 1Ds3, 800 f/5.6 IS, f/7.1, 1/500s, ISO 200.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Turquoise Eyes

The bright, beautiful turquoise eyes of the double-crested cormorant are one of its distinguishing features (the other is its orange/yellow bill pouch). I went out for my last morning session at the La Jolla cliffs today and one of the images I wanted to make was with a cormorant. I'm happy with the way this one turned out. Now its time to drive back to San Jose.

Technical Specs: Canon 7D, 800 f/5.6 IS, f/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 200.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mt. Whitney at Dawn

I just finished processing this image I took a couple of weeks ago. It features Mt. Whitney in the background with the rocks of the Alabama Hills in the foreground. The sunrise that morning gave some nice colors but the lack of clouds kept it from being spectacular.

Technical Specs: Canon 1Ds3, 100-400 @ 220mm, f/8, 6s, ISO 100.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Perched Hawk

I have heard several people mention that the area around Half Moon Bay is a great place to see raptors. About a week ago, I drove up there and spent a few hours trying to photograph them. I only saw a couple of raptors that afternoon and this was one of them. It was a generally uncooperative afternoon weather wise with it being almost overcast (hence the white background), and they weren't getting that close.

Technical Specs: Canon 7D, 800 f/5.6 IS, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 400.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

American Coot Portrait

The Coot can be challenging to photograph because its body is very dark but its beak is a bright white, so if you expose for the body, the beak will be blown and if you expose for the beak, there will be no feather detail in the body.

A friendly recently asked me whether I do a lot of editing or whether I just take really good pictures. Both go hand in hand. I shoot RAW and shoot with the intent of post processing (with a rough idea of what I'm going to do in post). This Coot is a good example. When taking the shot I exposed the image so that I could get the absolute longest possible exposure without complete clipping the whites the beak. Then in Lightroom most of my processing involved applying a tone curve which boosted the shadows and pull back the highlights a little.

Technical Specs: Canon 7D, 100-400 @ 400mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 800.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ring Billed Gull

The Ring-billed Gull is one of the most common Gulls in North American. As such, it gets ignored as a photographic subject (I know I tend to ignore them all the time). However, sometimes it pays to try something even with such a common species. I tried to get as close as I could to this resting Gull. The lighting was also a little flat day (lots of clouds) so I positioned myself to try and get as interesting a background as possible.

Technical Specs: Canon 7D, 100-400 @ 400m, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 800.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Round'n'round the Mobius Strip we go

This morning I went back to the Alabama Hills to photograph the Mobius Arch at sunrise. To my surprise, there were several photographers already there, set up and ready to go. I couldn't get the ideal vantage point, but I still managed to frame a shot with the sun's golden light on the arch and Mt. Whitney in the center. I also have a few images of the Lathe Arch which I will post in a few days.

Technical Specs: Canon 5D2, 24 TS-E II, f/14, (HDR of 3 exposures, 1/30s, 1/15s, 1/8s), ISO 200.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


This afternoon we arrived in Lone Pine. Among the beautiful views of the Sierras and Mt. Whitney the other attraction here is the Alabama Hills. I've wanted to photograph one of the arches here for quite a while and finally had a chance this evening. By the way thats me in the image, staring up at the beautiful night sky. Before the moon came out it was pitch black and the views of the milky way were fantastic. I'll be returning here before sunrise tomorrow morning for more photography.

Technical Specs: Canon 5D, 17mm TS-E, shifted up, f/5.6, 2min, ISO 800.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Bad Water Sunset

The conditions at sunset today didn't disappoint. Once again, it looked like all the clouds would result in a poor sunset but that wasn't the case. I chose Bad Water as the place to shoot and it turned out to be a good choice. During the final minutes of sunset, nearly the whole sky was red, which was reflected back by the salt.

Technical Specs: Canon 5D2, 17mm TS-E, f/6.3, ISO 100.

Happy New Decade

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade to everyone!

We arrived in Death Valley last night and this morning I went out to see the first sunrise of the new year and to photograph Zabrieski Point. It was looking a little cloudy at first, but the enough of the clouds cleared up to get a beautiful sunrise.

Technical Specs: Canon 5D2, 24 TS-E II, f/5.6, 1/6s, ISO 100, shifted up.