Beach Break

After a hectic first half of the year with lot’s of travel, presentations, working one on one with folks, getting my own network totally re-worked and totally improved and just finishing up an ebook with Peachpit I was sure looking forward to a couple of days at the beach with my mom.  Not only was it relaxing but, the weather was awesome with a good variety from bright overcast lighting up Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  The grasses added a nice foreground element as well as hiding the long line of people eating to go into the lighthouse for a tour…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 200 f16 @ 1/60

 

The waves hitting the rocks at Boiler Bay sucked me in and I pulled out my Singh Ray Vari-ND to slow the shutter speed way down to capture blur motion.  I included the people in the upper right for scale…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 200 f32 @ 10 sec

 

We couldn’t have asked for better coastal weather for our short visit.  High, thin clouds provided soft light with few shadows which it great for extending your shooting time through the normally hard light of midday.  I walked across the Newport Bay Bridge to get a shot back at the harbor…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f13 @ 1/90

 

And, as typical on a nice summer day, the sea fog began rolling in just before sunset.  I love working with fog as it’s a great way to simplify a scene hiding the background elements that can be busy or uninteresting…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f8 @ 1/15

 

I made my final, and favorite, click of the day at dusk.  The fog and blue cast of twilight adds a moody feel to the scene and the lights add a warm color contrast to the scene…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 200 f11 @ 1/4

What a great way to re-charge the creative batteries and spend time with my wonderful mother.  Now to get back to work.

 

 

Got My Head In The Cloud

iCloud cloud that is!  I finally broke down and invited fellow adventurer, Craig Meyers out to my office to get me totally networked and linked wirelessly.  All I can say is, “Wow!”  I can’t believe how awesome it is!  In just a couple of days Craig had me connected via my network and iCloud so that each one of my computers talk to the other and I can keep documents up to date on all machines!  I can even get my email on all computers and they continuously update each other.  I know I’m a little late to this party but, I am here now and loving the cloud!

Craig Meyers, iT guy (and darn good photographer) Extraordinaire!

And, when we were done in the office we headed out in search of water.  We began our first morning at the Women’s Forum overlooking Crown Point as the sun burned through a fog bank…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f9.5 @ 1/125

 

As the fog burned off we headed towards our first waterfall…

Nikon D800 AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f8 @ 1 sec

 

You can imagine how happy I was to have a shooting companion for the 4th.  We arrived early to get a good spot for the fireworks…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f9.5 @ 3.7 sec

 

We took a break from shooting and powered it for the next full day and when we called it a day the entire network, Apple TV, iPads, iPods, iPhones, buffalo, drobos, MacBook Pros, MacBook Air and Mac Pro all happily communicating with each other.  To celebrate, we got up early the next morning and headed south to Silver Falls State Park.  An unexpected bonus was the sun rising over the fields and fog lifting off the damp grasses…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f38 @ 1/2 sec

 

As the sun appeared on the horizon, the fog lit up as if on fire…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f38 @ 1/45

 

I had not photographed Silver Falls in years and was looking forward to seeing it again.  I decided to come at it from a different perspective and not do the classic identifying shots but, rather some details that caught my attention.  The rich and varied greens in the trees and reflected in the water caught my attention along with the straight tree trunks breaking up the green…

Nikon D800, 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f22 @ 2 sec

 

The calm water reflected the rich colors of the trees while contrasting beautifully against the moving water.  I looked for close up abstract shapes and patterns…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f38 @ 2 sec

 

I continued my theme of details only when I turned my lens towards the falls and composed a tight frame of a very small trickle at the far edge of Lower North Falls…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISP 100 f11 @ 1/6

 

A late lunch break refreshed us and off we went to spend our last evening back in the Columbia Gorge working Horsetail Falls.  It was a great evening spending quality time at one falls, working it from different angles…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f5.6 @ 1/8

 

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f8 @ 1/8

 

Chasing the light as the sun backlit the spray from the falls…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f8 @ 1/6

 

After a successful afternoon we found ourselves back where we had begun our photo/networking adventure, Watching the sun set on the Columbia Gorge and Crown Point, a fitting ending to a whirlwind work/play adventure…

Nikon D800, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR ISO 100 f5.6 @ 1/90

Thanks Craig for your expertise and friendship!

Florida… Fish Hawk

The hi-light of our afternoon was an Osprey that repeatedly came to hover over the pond as it looked for fish.  It began at the afar end of the pond the first few fly overs…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC 14E II ISO 800 f5.6 @ 1/100

 

I even had a chance to work on a vertical sequence as it banked…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-20E III ISO 200 f8 @ 1/350

 

And, while I attempted to capture a sequence of it, as it dove for a fish, I was only able to make one sharp image.  Something to keep working at…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-20E III ISO 200 f8 @ 1/350

 

We didn’t have much time out photographing between squalls but, the time we did have was highly productive!

 

Florida…Just Add Water

After days of being pummeled with gale force winds and dozens of inches of rain by Tropical Storm Debbie, Florida began to emerge from cover.  In just a matter of days, the severe drought conditions that Florida has faced for the last few years turned into flooding with standing water everywhere.  As the weather improved birds emerged from the protected areas they had found to hunker down in and headed straight for the water, any water.  So, we found a nice little pond and spent the afternoon photographing the variety of birds that visited.

A Great Egret strolled by…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-14E II ISO 400 f8 @ 1/1000

 

White Ibis flew in at mach speeds with a tail wind pushing them…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-14E II ISO 200 f6.7 @ 1/750

 

They came to hunt for a meal…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, ISO 400 f6.7 @ 1/250

 

While on alert to their surroundings for predators…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-14E II ISO 800 f8 @ 1/500

 

A Great Egret seemed to be having the best luck catching fish…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, ISO 800 f8 @ 1/750

 

It even caught a turtle that it worked for quite awhile before finally swallowing it shell and all…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, TC-14E II ISO 400 f8 @ 1/1000

 

We observed juvenile Little Blue Herons from totally white (first year) to a calico (turning into adult plumage)…

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 VR ISO 200 f8 @ 1/250

 

A Great Blue Heron postured when other birds came to close to “his pond”…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, ISO 800 f8 @ 1/750

 

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, ISO 800 f8 @ 1/750

 

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR ISO 800 f8 @ 1/750

 

His dancing made me think about my own dance I needed to do with my aperture, shutter speed and ISO to capture the image in sharp focus, stop movement and with a softly blurred background.  I chose a wider aperture to keep the background blurred which provided some of the light I needed for a fast shutter speed.  I also increased my ISO to get even faster shutter speeds to be ready for that lightning moment when my subject goes in for the kill…

Nikon D4, AF-S 600mm f4 VR, ISO 800 f8 @ 1/750

 

One line in the recipe for great bird photography reads “Just Add Water and wait.  The birds will come to you.”