In my last post on this blog, I actually managed to use in the title
no less, the word (or lack of word) ficktion, instead of fiction. I
can assure you, that was a typo, not a misspelling. I have this
affliction of sorts where my brain does not communicate properly with
I guess I might try actually rereading the title before I hit the
I have stated here recently on Earth Images, that I believe the two
most popular forms of serious outdoor photography are, wildlife, with
birds being the most photographed category of wildlife, and
landscapes. Everybody begins their serious photography with landscapes
(waterscapes, cityscapes etc.), and moves on to wildlife, especially
birds, when they realize the possibilities and decide to spend the
money necessary for the lens (s) to accomplish that act.
Today’s post is about bird photography first, with a few landscapes
thrown in at the end.
The image selection for the bird shots was taken from just a couple of
old (very old) folders and the landscapes are equally old and are from
a single location. I am not attempting to show you what I consider my
best work. I moved on from that premise a long time ago. Now I share
whatever is relevant to what I have to say, or I simply share
Most of today’s bird shots are close-ups, with only one truly distant
shot. Some were birds that were close to me when I photographed them,
and some were made close via the crop.
I think one of several reasons birds are such a popular photographic
subject is that they are so colorful. That said, some of the most
photogenic and sought after birds, are treasured like a classic black
and white movie. The Common Loon is in that category.
Now from colorless to colorful in the wink of an eye.
Here we have the male Eastern Bluebird. Cool blue with a warm rust
color, the bluebird is sort of like a western landscape. This male has
a mate near-by and is checking out the woodwork, plumbing, and
mortgage on their new house.
This male Eastern Meadowlark is a competitor with that bluebird in the
“look at me“ category. Here we have a cool, blue sky, with a warm
almost hot yellow breast and face.
He was surely close to me when I created this image and posed for
maybe seven or eight seconds. Enough time for maybe twenty pictures.
They were made from a tripod, but while I was in the open.
Getting back to the basics when it comes to color, the (very) common
Killdeer is a very photographable subject. This “shorebird” can be
found not only on shores, but in fields, yards and city streets. They
move a lot and they move quickly, but they stop for brief respites and
that’s when the shutter should start burning.
I enjoy the rust color reflections on the mini waves in the
background. This is am are of flooded field next to the road. I was
in my car when I made the picture.
There’s nothing more fun to photograph (or just see), than any bird of
prey. These rough, tough predators can be weary, or they can pose for
you for an hour. Eagles, hawks and falcons (Kestrels included) are
among best subjects among birds. The same can be said for owls and
they may pose for you for hours at a time.
He/she probably sees dinner in the form of a mouse or vole.
A different Red-tail.
Rough-legged Hawk. Yes this one as all of the images on this page are, was
made in the wild. I was close and in the car, but this image is (no
surprise) a crop as well.
You might find many owls perched up high or on the ground. This
Short-eared Owl only stayed a brief time. I thanked him/her ( I
usually do) and moved on.
Kestrels can be nervous critters but they will stand their ground if
they have a kill. This female American Kestrel was oblivious to my
presence as she tore apart, dismembered and devoured this Vole.
Bald Eagles are a favorite of most photographers. While the pictures I am
showing today are mostly close-ups, sometimes behavior is best
captured at a distance. This mature (left) and immature Bald Eagle
sparred over some fish for quite some time. It is the youngster (dark
head and tail) who won this game of nerves.
If I am showing images of birds of prey, it usually means there will
be some flight shots from the rear. A specialty you might say.
Somebody has to do it.
This mature Eagle arced towards the left just in time to bring some visual
interest to the scene.
This younger bird was so close that I could not get the entire subject
within the boundaries of the picture frame. I like it this way with
edge to edge bird.
When you have worked a location for landscapes (and macros and
wildlife) as many times as I have the Badlands of South Dakota, and
have shared those old images as many times as I have, sooner or later
you begin to look for edits that will present to viewers at least a
somewhat different vision.
With the photos below I used the art pf the crop to turn these
pictures into a slightly different flavor, is you will. They border
on the panoramic.
Varying rock colors with color saturating overcast skies aid in the
way the story is told, as does the editing by crop.
A silhouette of some Badlands rock forms with storm clouds at sunset
is the perfect way for me to say goodbye for today.
It’s The Thought That Counts
The above cliché is a much used sentiment. Let’s think about it for a moment.
On several occasions in my life, I have heard the criticism, your
problem Wayne, is that you think too much.
I’ve never believed it is possible…….to think too much.
Now if they would have said, you always think so much but you don’t
come up with worthwhile conclusions, they might have had something
Thinking, followed not too far in the distance by feeling, is in my
opinion, a noble and wise course to life. Still, it only counts when
it comes honestly and goes peacefully.
So here’s to the “thought process”, for all the good it can produce,
and all the bad it might inspire, it is as necessary as breathing.
May God Bless, and many happy thoughts to each of you,