Small Talk, Shop Talk, Let’s Talk, Chit Chat, Just Thinking

All of the titles you see above have already been used multiple times. I am running out of titles for my favorite type of blog post, which consists of just showing pictures and sharing my general thoughts or memories.  Today I thought I’d just use all of them.

This Ring-billed Gull image has always been one of my “go to” shots for explaining snow exposure in its relationship to some birds. Perhaps I should say, bird exposure in relationship to the snow. My other teaching picture is a “crow in the snow”. A poet and didn’t know it. A “blackish” crow in the snow may seem like the more difficult exposure but really this was. Not because of the black or the gray on this bird but because of the white. White on white can be more difficult than black on white. One needs to keep the white on the bird at a different value than the snow. What did I do? As well as I can remember, I exposed for the white on the bird by using a straight exposure with multi segmented metering, with no compensation. This rendered the white portion of the bird and the snow slightly lower than reality, due to the fact that all meters attempt to make things neutral or mid-toned gray. Then when I got home I used Photoshop to lighten the snow around the bird. That separated the bird from the snow and added back the 3D aspect of the image that existed in reality, but did not show in the picture. I think the fact that there is no detail in the snow is a reasonable interpretation of the scene.DSC_4909b

I love photographing small mammals and my favorite in this area is the Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel. They can be very skittish but patience has its rewards. These are two separate animals and each stayed in front of me posing, for enough time to make hundreds of images.Bbirds13 027bc

PWarbler 022bc

Then of course there are a lot of big mammals to photograph as well. Moose, are big mammals. I found this one on the westward side of Rocky Mt. N.P. in Colorado. I was alone when I found her and within two or three minutes I had a crowd fitting of a zoo. I of course left when the crowd got there.RMNP2 003

I’ve shown this trio of 2008 images, of this cute little salamander before. Staying with any wildlife subject you find, until they have left the scene is one of the most important attributes of a wildlife photographer. I made all three of these images with my 105 macro lens. I kept my aperture set at f20 for all three as well. I used a tripod and auto focus, and my intent was to keep moving with my subject, while I composed during each click of the shutter, as I also turned my camera to finalize the composition. I did initially move in closer (the first more distant picture) to my subject which I had spotted some distance away. My subject kept true to its journey which was directed right towards me. It is amazing how often wildlife subjects will come to you if you are quiet, and gentle in your style.Salamander 003

Salamander 004

Salamander 005

Sunrise with three owlets. Mom and dad are just out of the picture to our left. I photographed owls at this location for three years in a row but this was the only year that they had triplets. Usually three little owls means at least one will not survive. That was not the case here as all three fledged. The third owl, spent the past five days alone in the nest as it was the last to hatch from the egg, and therefore younger. The parents stayed some distance away but within eyesight and earshot. One morning all three owlets were perched in a pine tree. I love happy endings.DSC_9877b

To me there is nothing quite like viewing and photographing the natural world up close. One of my favorite subjects are grasses, especially Foxtail Barley grass. Add the light of sunrise, and some morning dew, and this simple subject becomes an outstanding one. I spent two consecutive mornings photographing an area of about 4 feet by 3 feet. It was well worth the effort.DSC_6242

It is always difficult for me to explain to a non-photographer, or a photographer who is completely into the social aspects of image making, just how memorable a morning alone with some grasses can be.

Of course winter provides an excellent opportunity for close-up abstracts. It can turn a cold day into a warm and inviting one. This is an old film image and my tech information is long-lost. I am guessing that I used my Nikon 105 Micro lens and possibly took my exposure from a square of gray card.AbsractElMorro 081

Have a special day,                                                                                                                        Wayne

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