This & That

A fair question for me to answer is, is it difficult for me to write posts on this blog. The answer is no. If it were hard I might not do it. However, if it were hard I might put forth more effort and have better posts. As it is, I just enjoy doing it. Whether the subject is “slice of life”, politics, religion or the advertised subject of photography, I find it enjoyable, even if I am sometimes angry (politics) when I do it. There is no question, that writing a blog is a cathartic exercise in blowing off steam or just getting something off ones chest.

One of the only hard parts for me about writing a blog is coming up with titles. There are some days that the titles write themselves. Others not so much.  I have used titles such as this or that or this & that many times when I wish to just share some pictures and write about whatever comes to mind. So, here we go again.

If you are anything like me when it comes to nature photography, you love traveling and exploring in an effort to accumulate imagery. The farther away the better, and the more exotic the subject, the happier I was. With that said, there is nothing more relaxing than staying near home, such as in your own back yard, and just shooting (with a camera) whatever comes your way.  Bird feeders help to attract birds to our cameras.

Certainly one of the key reasons to photograph birds and other critters, is to record action and behavior. Some days are better than others as we are subject to the whims of our models. When the action is escaping our cameras, and the behavior is minimal, portraits reign supreme. When that happens, how pretty or interesting “the pose” is, makes or breaks the photo.

All three bird photos you see below were made in my backyard.

That moment when they stop movement, often only for a fraction of a second, is when that pose will occur. Be ready!

The pose below is in fact also, both action and behavior. The bird landed, I focused, and it began preening. If I had paid my little friend to strike a nice pose, it wouldn’t have been any better.

I often look at this sort of photography as if I am working with a seasoned, professional model. Just let them pose and be ready with the trigger.

For me, any day of photographing “this & that” meant working close-up with subjects.  Macro photography is about intimacy. Getting to know your subjects by entering their world.

Whether it’s a hairy caterpillar or a sleek dragonfly, exploring up close and personal can be a study not only in the life of “little critters”, but of their physical design, as well as the discovery of any artistic merits they might possess.

Close-ups do not need to be edge to edge macros. There is nothing wrong with creating pictures that are up close, but not true close-ups.

Blanding’s Turtles to me, exude personality. I love turtles and this species is one of my favorites. Oh those big, soft eyes. This picture also tells a story of where it lives despite the fact that it is landlocked at the moment. If you explore just above its hind leg, and again at its farthest back location, you will see that there are some leeches that are hitchhiking.

This turtle knew that it could not escape me. It was a great distance from the nearest water. I tried to be cognizant of that fact and shoot quickly and then leave so she/he could be disturbed as little as possible.

Whatever subject we choose to make photos of, should be treated with the utmost respect and care for their safety and their state of mind.

The great thing about long lenses is that we can move intimately inside the lives of animals while we actually remain a comfortable distance from them in real life.

With that said, I actually used a zoom lens at only 170mm for this image. It is however, a substantial crop.

The subject is a Muskrat in a marsh, as it chomps down on some nourishing plants.

When we do use long lenses, a 500mm in this case, it enables us to compress the distance between our primary subject and the background. In this case the background behind this Brown Pelican in breeding plumage is a White Pelican.  The image illustrates the size difference between the two. Now if I just could of got the entire white bird in the image. That, is the drawback of using long lenses.

The image above was created on the Gulf of Mexico in southeast Texas. The image below of White Pelicans was captured in central Wisconsin. Sometimes long trips are needed to make the pictures we envision, and other times you can make it home in time for supper.

Patience, perseverance and plain old stick-to-itiveness are half battle when searching for subjects.

This final image was made a thousand miles from home in an alpine tundra that was over 12,000 feet above sea level.

This bird is a Water Pipit. So what’s a bird that lives near and in the water doing up there?  This is the rare alpine race of that water bird. They adopted.

There’s a story everywhere and we never know when one will present itself. This bird and its mate were nesting about 50 feet from this location, amongst some rocks. No rushing river with riverside rocks to nest in? We’ll just make do with where we’re at,  and catch some nice flying insects for our babies.

That’s our this and that for today.

God Bless,

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