Mixing It Up

Today is mostly about me gabbing about some old pictures of mine. Sharing my thoughts about them as to whether they “say anything” about either the subjects or the photography. From there I deal with questions that may or may not be something that others have wanted to ask.

If you photograph wildlife, particularly birds, then you likely are fascinated at what makes them tick, and how to share that with others via the photograph.

I love hawks and the common Red-tailed hawk may be my favorite. Even when they are doing nothing they will always take time to preen. Which of course, is something. You can photograph one of these critters preening for 30 minutes, and at get a thousand different poses. The secret is to keep your eye at the viewfinder, and your finger on the trigger. You will get similar photos….that are all different. A clean and simple blue sky background simplifies the action/behavior.

A group of birds in action at the same time always fascinated me. How do they manage to keep from crashing into one another? These gulls flew to and fro on what seemed like a choreographed dance.  No crashes.

All of that ”organized chaos” that we saw in the previous image is to me not as amazing as this breathtaking battle between young and mature Bald Eagles as they fought a “dog fight” World War ll style. Up and down, back and forth, in and out. At times it seemed too spectacular to be true, as if it was staged by a movie director.

As a photographer, the helter skelter craziness of the gull scene was much easier to capture than this photo. These Bald Eagles were not far from me, therefore a perfect pan from start to finish was necessary. A pan that went left to right, then right to left, then up and down. All of those years of standing 30 feet from groups of high speed race cars with a camera, taught me how to keep pace. The idea is to be not too fast and not too slow when you pan flocks or small groups like this. If I had made this image just yesterday, I doubt it would look like this. Practice makes for better images and I am out of practice.

Goldeneyes were among my favorite ducks to spend time with and photograph. These two crisp looking first winter males made for a beautiful image, for which I gave them all the credit.

A single mature male Goldeneye “revs up” as to gain altitude. Almost right at me. No panning here, just quick on the trigger.

I’m exhausted after all that action.

All in all, the bird portrait is a favorite for every photographer.

Most birds look great in a portrait, but then again some birds just know how to pose. Like paid models with no fee.

Bellow we have a Black-crowned Night Heron, a Yellow Warbler, and a Double-crested Cormorant.

Then there’s the floating portrait. A great way to learn how to pan with a moving subject, is to find one that is moving very, very slow. Such is the case with this young Pied-billed Grebe swimming in Duckweed.. Notice that the subject of this image is almost at our eye level. My blind was my car but I was able to park in sort of a depression alongside this waterway. That and the fact that long lenses, in this case a 500mm, flatten our perspective and put us more in an eye to eye position.


Nature has many designs. Macro photography is one way to explore them. Whether it be a frosty cut tree and the patterns it presents, or the color and “rhythm’  of some autumn Foxtail Barley Grass covered in morning dew, getting up close and sharing nature’s design has always been one of my favorite things to do. I know, I have a lot of favorites.

Many photographers/teachers will flatly state that we as photographers should avoid shadows whenever possible. I disagree. Shadows can add drama, and actually be the highlight, which I know is counterintuitive, of your photo. It depends of course where it is in the finished image.

This picture which was made in The Badlands N.P., was created in beautiful light which was nice to begin with without the shadow. To me, that shadow adds pop and color to our vision by dividing the colorful, textured rock and the mostly featureless shadow.

Just wait a few minutes.

This beautiful scene in northeast Utah, was nice but lacked power and intensity. At least until the setting sun appeared in the west. I was on a mountain to the north and there it was, the image I had hoped for. Compositionally, it doesn’t get any easier than this. Wait and sometimes you receive.


I love it when questions are asked of me which are provocative, and just maybe a bit accusatory. There’s been few to none of them lately, but?

Why Wayne, so much “religious stuff“?  Do you think you are God’s messenger or something?

I’d love to be God’s messenger, but me thinks I need more education to be classified as such. There are better candidates. All I do is share with you what I think, what I know, what I have seen, and what has happened to me. Therefore, what I believe.

I know a lot about sin, because I practiced that long before I practiced a Godly faith. I have been there, and now I am somewhere else. A better place. A place that gives me an eternal future, rather than a few selfish years. To feel good when I rise in the morning rather than to feel (and be) guilty. I am still guilty, but I am much better than I was and I know I am forgiven.

Ultimately, I do what I do and say what I say because I believe in it. Because I have seen what happens with faith and knowledge. Faith in the right place, in the one and only God, with knowledge obtained properly, from that God.

May God Bless,

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