Air Force Academy Chapel

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR @ 28mm  5 Frame HDR

 

 

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8 @ 14mm  5 Frame HDR

 

Nikon D4, AF 16mm 2.8D Fisheye 5 Frame HDR

 

Same subject, 3 focal lengths, 3 different perspectives.  The lens you choose to use determines the perspective of your image.  Are you choosing the lens that best communicates your perspective?

Adventurer’s Spotlight…Jack’s Journey

You recently met Jack Holmes on Musings Of A Fellow Adventurer after the fall rut in Yellowstone…

Jack Holmes

 

I enjoyed the pleasure of having Jack Holmes accompany me on three consecutive Excellent Photo Adventures and he recently summed up his 25 day road trip/journey on his blog.  His was not only a journey of being in the right place at the  right time for capturing extraordinary landscapes, it was a journey of self discovery.  Enjoy…

Kenya: Masai Mara…The Final Days

I still can’t get over how easily I fell into the rhythm of an African Safari.  I would pop awake each morning around 3:00am and review images until my wake up call with coffee and cookies.  After enjoying a few minutes on my front porch I readied myself for the morning safari and off we went.  Some locations were known for specific animals which we would concentrate on and other days we would simply wander until we found a good subject.  Of course there is a science to our wandering.  Patrick talks with the other guides about what they saw and where each day to give us an idea of a location to explore.  Other days he simply chooses a location based on his extensive knowledge of the area and it’s wildlife.  Either way, each and every game drive produced more wonderful experiences and awesome photo opportunities than I could have hoped for.  For my last blog post I’ll simply show you some of the incredible encounters we had with the wildlife of the Masai Mara.  No photos, video or still, no words can fully express the wonder of being amongst tens upon tens of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and more…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-14 E II

 

And while I am pleased with my images I don’t feel that I even came close to capturing the wonder of experiencing the great migration in person…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-14 E II

 

My dream is to fly over a huge herd in a hot air balloon.  We’ll see what next year brings.

I loved the giraffes but, found them difficult to photograph.  I didn’t like cutting them in half along the horizon line which was nearly impossible to avoid due to their height.  So, I worked interesting groupings looking for elements to show scale like the distant giraffe that I purposely included to break up the symmetry of the close up pair (Masai Giraffe)…

Nikon D4, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II with TC-20 E III

 

Or, when an opportunity arose, I would work up close to capture their gentle eyes and beautiful faces…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-14 E II

 

I photographed my tent at each camp and finished them all to have the old time, Ernest Hemingway feel only I was hunting the wildlife with my camera…

Nikon D4, AF 16mm 2.8 Fisheye

 

In addition to the regular suspects that we continued to work and enjoy each encounter, we got lucky and had some wonderful close encounters with some colorful (Lilac-breasted Roller)…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-14E II

 

and unusual subjects (Bat-eared Fox)…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-14 E II

 

I couldn’t get enough of the big cats.  The lions are so majestic…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-20 E III

 

They are the ferocious predator…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-14 E II

 

that can send chills up your spine when they look into your soul with their piercing yellow eyes…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR

 

or when they bare their teeth to let others know to stay away from their meal…

Nikon D4, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II with TC-20 E III

 

We were very fortunate to see the other side as well.  That of the loving, indulgent mother of rowdy youngsters who want to use mom as a chew toy…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR

 

It’s not just the lions that I love so much.  The cheetah’s entertained us for hours over the course of the three weeks we were in Kenya…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR

 

They were quite tolerant to our presence…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR with TC-14 E II

 

We only had a couple encounters with leopard but, the encounter we had were exhilarating.  Patrick somehow placed us right in the best spot and while dozens of other vehicles jockeyed for a view of the elusive cat we got frame filling, up close and personal images when it came right up to our vehicle…

Nikon D4, AF-S 500mm f4 VR

 

And we had weather to rival some of my storm chase days…

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8

 

when each afternoon the skies would fill with dark and threatening clouds that sometimes rained us out but mostly provided beautiful skies for us to photograph…

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8

 

Twelve years was a long time in between visits to Kenya and a lot of the memories had faded to more of like fuzzy, happy feelings when I thought of Kenya than of any specific moments.  Returning brought back a flood of memories and touched me at an even deeper level this visit.  I feel my beloved Alaska making room for Kenya in my heart of heart special places to visit.  They make me feel whole, and happy and closer to nature than anywhere I have been.  This visit was particularly special because of two wonderful guys who made it the best experience I could have asked for by opening their world and letting me in to a history and friendship that spans decades.  Thank you patrick and Bruce for sharing one of the most memorable adventures of my life…

Nikon D4, AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 VR

 

I left a little part of me in Kenya and it will call me back year after year just like Alaska does and I will heed the call and go back as long as I am able.  I hope you can join me in 2013 on an Excellent Photo Adventure!  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Rocky Mountain Sky…

This week finds me in Colorado and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make some images of the night sky from Frasier, CO.  I got anxious and set the camera to start shooting before the moon went down.  I actually like the effect of the moon descending and the cloud that moved through the right side of the frame…

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8

 

I woke in the middle of the night to find my the battery had gone dead in my camera so, I inserted a new battery and set the camera for another series of four minute exposures…

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8

 

A final star trail sequence begun at 5:00AM added a touch of light blue to the sky as dawn approached.  The shorter trails are due to less time to make the final trail before the light got too bright….

Nikon D4, AF-S 14-24mm 2.8

 

A beautiful fall day of golf at Pole Creek golf course in Frasier, CO followed by a wonderful evening shared with new friends at their lovely cabin in the woods, good food and clean mountain air, and a clear sky to photograph the stars.  Who could ask for anything more