Birds of Winter

Firstly I would like to take the opportunity to welcome several new viewers to this blog.  The number of people reading Earth Images has been slipping as of late. That actually is normal this time of year as people are out enjoying the out-of-doors.   I thank several other blogs, especially that of the great John Shaw for sending me new readers. Every time I begin to let this blog fade, something happens to breath new life into it.

I made a lot of images of Bald Eagles in the winter of 2007/2008.  I have shown the best of those photos many, many times.  There is a second tier (below) of pictures from that year.  They fall short of that professional or art quality, but they are good enough to share with friends. High contrast, noise and other technical difficulties have kept them from that first group.  I have not altered those defects for today’s showing. The first three images that you see below have each been shown once before but the final three have never before been seen.  The first picture is part of a five shot sequence, and you have seen the other four many times.

All of these particular images were made at Lock & Dam #13, on an Illinois stretch of the Mississippi River.  I had planned  my trip to coincide with several days of frigid weather.  The only water that was not frozen, was the water just below the dams.  I had over 400 birds that day and plenty of fishing and fighting.  I began my photography with the temp at -5 F, and finished with zero degrees.

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In this part of the world, during winter when you’re waiting for that perfect snowfall, or those beautiful macro ice patterns to appear, Bald Eagles, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Shrikes, Snowy and Short-eared Owls fill your time, your senses, and your heart. The eagles require a bit more of a journey from where I live than the others but as most of you know, I believe that it is all about the journey.

I  give thanks for all of those winters that were filled up with these great birds.  If you are a nature photographer, winter never need be a bleak or lonely time as long as there are The Birds of Winter

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I keep saying that I am going to stop writing about other photographers and stop sharing their links.  Tracking software allows me to see how many visitors (not subscribers) click-through the links that I post.  Over the past several articles in which I have included links to other photographers, nobody has clicked through. That of course tells me that at least the casual viewers of Earth Images have no interest in the world of photographers out there and what they do.  Just the same it is difficult for me not share those new great photographers that I find, and those veterans that have helped make photography what it is.

I would imagine that a psychiatrist would have a field day diagnosing my need to share the names and work of other photographers, particularly the older ones. If I were that psychiatrist I might suggest that Wayne has fears of being forgotten, and he transfers that to other image makers.  The truth is that when I was 22 years old and I would meet another photographer, I would sing the praises of other picture makers.  I do it because I love photography and care about what happens to the hobby, art and business of it all.

I am writing this from memory, not from an internet bio. John Sexton probably deserves to be called the premier black and white landscape photographer in the world.  He was Ansell Adam’s protégé, and went on to be his assistant.  He was one of the few dark room craftsman that Ansell gave permission to print (interpret) his work after he was gone. All this despite the fact that John has never copied Ansell’s style. John’s imagery is often a little bit more ethereal and less crisp and stark than Ansell’s.  He has continued to evolve over the years.

It is people like  John Sexton that keep me going to places like Facebook.   I only wish he would consider sharing more info and images on that platform.

Take note that John earns much of his income from guess what?  That’s right workshops. If you read this blog you know my contention that workshops are how most photographers earn their living.  You might however also want to note the prices that John commands for his prints. As far as I know his prints are all still wet process (true) black and white images.

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Just one more word about great photographers and their commitment to this thing that we all love.  I have been waiting since the mid 1980s for Art Wolfe to go home to Seattle, and decide it is finally time to take a real vacation.  Relax and enjoy life a little.  Below you see a recent post from Facebook on how Art finally takes a real vacation.

Art Wolfe  This week I’ll be on vacation, I’m headed back to the Johnston Straits off of Vancouver Island in Canada with a couple of good friends to see if we can find some Orca whales. Wish us luck and hopefully with a decent connection we’ll be able to share some images from the road. By for now!

Thank you,                                                                                                                                     Wayne

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2 Responses to Birds of Winter

  1. cminer52 says:

    Winter birds are special to me too Wayne, but as the years pass the tolerance to the cold temps takes some of the enthusiasm out of the quest, as always an inspiring post on your part.
    Gary

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