Last Minute Opportunity

Hey there storm lovers! I have just had a last minute cancellation for my upcoming Storm Chase Safari. If you love storms, this is a great opportunity to join me and up to four storm chase enthusiasts as we head to Tornado Alley in search of weather. I have hired two expert storm chase guides to follow the storms and put us in the safest, yet best spots to capture nature at her best! With only one spot available, I’m sure it will fill quickly so, don’t wait, sign up now!

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Update on 2009/2010 Safaris…
Brown Bears of Alaska June 7-14, 2009 FULL
Bosque del Apache Nov 30- Dec 4, 2009 1 spot remaining
Yellowstone Jan 17-22, 2010 2 spots remaining
Yellowstone Jan 31- Feb 5, 2010 1 spot remaining
Brown Bears of Alaska 2010 space available
Polar Bears of Churchill Fall 2010 dates TBA

Letting The Creative Juices Flow

I feel at my most creative when I am photographing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s wildlife, landscapes, macro, abstatcts, etc. I am simply in my element when I have a camera in my hands. From the moment we left the dock, I was on the lookout for interesting subjects to photograph and we hadn’t even left the dock area before I had my lens trained on my first image of the day. Using my infrared camera, I photographed these shacks nestled in the moss draped Cypress.

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Leaving the shacks behind and heading onto the lake, I kept photographing the Cypress. I liked this image with the lone Cypress on the left leading to the other Cypress along the shore. I photographed this scene in both infrared and color. I prefer the infrared version.

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In both of the above images, I knew what to expect from my camera and had an inkling of how I was going to finish them but, I allowed myself the freedom to take creative license once in the digital darkroom and feel that I improved on what I had in mind when clicking the shutter.

We found a nest that we wanted to work, threw out the anchor and settled in. After photographing the female in her nest, we sat back and enjoyed the peace and quiet, only broken by the call of Osprey to their mates. Keeping one eye on the nest and the other eye on the sky for incoming birds, I also found myself enjoying the scenery. I was drawn to this Cypress tree trunk, strong and solid that was surrounded framed by a lovely green of leaves above and their reflection in the water below. I used my 600mm with a teleconverter to isolate the tree removing any unwanted elements from the frame.

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I find myself mesmerized by reflections. I especially love the abstract nature of reflections in water…the way a ripple creates an artists palette of colored patterns, no two ever the same. The early morning sun cast a warm glow across the water. Once again I used a telephoto lens to isolate and focus on patterns.

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Later that day, we were at the wetlands photographing when a storm began brewing in the distance. I felt a quiver of anticipation at my upcoming storm chase safari next month as I put my eye to my camera. The dark sky seemed to suck up every bit of color from the landscape before me. No worries, I knew exactly how I was going to finish this one….B&W would bring out the drama of the approaching storm, the blowing trees, the rain in the distance, the foreboding sky.

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Even when I am photographing wildlife, I have my eyes open for other photo opportunities. Having an open mind and accepting whatever the photo gods put before my camera has rewarded me with many an amazing experience.

Images captured with Nikon D200 infrared converted & AF-S 18-200mm (first two), D3, AF-S 600mm VR, TC-17E (Cypress Trunk and Leaves), D3X, AF-S 200-400mm, TC-14E (reflection), D3, AF-S 14-24mm (storm)

Fantastic Last Day In Florida

With one last day of shooting before heading back home we had many options of locations to choose from. Photographing the Osprey the day before had been so incredible that we opted to give it another go. The water was calmer but, the Osprey weren’t as active. However, there were still many opportunities. We discovered a nest that was cradled in the top of this Cypress that had recently leafed out in the beautiful greens of spring. Patience paid off and I was able to capture one of the Osprey with wings spread as it landed on the nest.

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We also worked on flight shots.

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After a great morning working the Osprey we headed back to the west coast and ended up at Fort DeSoto for an evening shoot. The Laughing Gulls and Royal Terns were in full mating behavior, calling and displaying to each other. The light was beautiful and I used the panning plate to get low for soft backgrounds…

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It’s been an outstanding twelve days, first with a great group of folks on my Fort DeSoto Safari followed by a few days spent exploring new locations with good friends.

Images Captured With Nikon D3, AF-S 200-400mm VR (Osprey), AF-S 600mm VR, TC-17E (Gull Preening) on Lexar Digital Media

The Sightings Continue

We spent the day in Central Florida beginning with a boat ride to photograph nesting Osprey. I was in Osprey heaven as we had over a hundred nests to work. Some had eggs, some had already hatched. We saw some chicks that couldn’t be more than a week old. the problem was selecting a nest that was low enough with good backgrounds and no distracting branches. This female kept calling to her mate. He eventually came in with a fish, landed in a nearby tree and ate half the fish before bringing the rest in for her to feed the chicks.

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It was simply amazing to sit and watch them fly around us.

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As we were leaving the area, we found a Barred Owl.

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Our next stop was at a nearby wetlands that was very active with many subjects to photograph.

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I was able to add a new bird to my files when we spotted a Least Bittern. The background is not the best but, it is their habitat and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph this little fella.

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Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 600mm VR, TC-14E on Lexar Digital Media