A Look Back At 2012
2012 was a fantastic year for me as a photographer and I am looking forward to the joys that 2013 will bring. Happy New Year to all.
Sometimes my hopes are too high. I hope for birds and I also hope for birds in good light. I don’t always get what I want though; for example, I wanted this male Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) I photographed at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Montana in good light.
When I photographed this owl I didn’t have my Nikon D300 yet and didn’t feel comfortable using a higher ISO than 640 on my Nikon D200. In good light this image would have been better than what it is but I am still happy with the flight pose, the view of the eyes and I also like how the blur of the wings adds a feeling of motion.
This was a beautiful owl and even though I didn’t have the best conditions to photograph it, I am glad I took the shots anyway.
P.S.: My mother is visiting me on her first trip to Utah, she is going to love it! I’ll be slow to view and comment on your blogs, thanks for understanding. Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family.
More Short-eared Owl images
While I was away in Montana for eight days starting last week I had a fantastic time photographing this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. I posted one image of it while on the road which can be seen here and I could barely wait to share more photos of it.
When I first spotted the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) it was on a post eating prey, I will do a separate post about that later but for now I wanted to share these images. I liked the pose in this frame with the young hawk slightly fluffed up, standing on one leg with the other leg bent and the talons clenched.
This image shows the juvenile shaking its feathers and lifting its wings. It sure shows off the gorgeous plumage patterns of the breast.
A little while later it looked like the Red-tailed juvenile lost its balance and tried to get it back. It lifted its wings and tilted forward in this frame.
I backed up my zoom a bit because I thought the hawk might take off if it couldn’t get its balance and captured this pose where it fanned out its tail and dropped one wing down while lifting the other up. The young Red-tailed did regain its balance.
It wasn’t long after the Red-tailed regained its balance before it lifted off from the fencepost, I caught this pose soon after it got into the air. Those legs look so very long in this photo.
The juvenile flew to another fencepost nearby and just looked around. I am not sure what it was looking at when I created this image but the pose reminds me of juvenile Burrowing Owls parallaxing.
When the hawk took off the final time it did not give me the best eye contact with this pose but I like that I can see the eye and a catchlight plus the intensity of the look the bird has. I also like the position of the wings and the outstretched talons.
Normally I wouldn’t keep an image like this with so little eye contact from my subject but again there were things I liked about this frame, I like the fanned tail, the dropped legs and the nice view across the back and wings of the bird. I still can see the eye and the catchlight and I am pleased with that.
I’m sorry I haven’t had much time to look at and comment on all of your blogs, it will take me awhile to catch up with commenting, culling, resting and getting used to being back home. Stay tuned for more photos from my trip to Montana!
More Red-tailed Hawk images
On the first day of my recent trip to southwestern Montana I came across two Willets (Tringa semipalmata) near a lake shore, one was an adult and one was a juvenile. There were plenty of bugs around, the horse flies bit me up pretty good and they even made me miss a few shots because I had to keep swatting them off of my skin. There were insects that the Willets were hunting and eating, primarily they seemed to be focused on dragonfly nymphs.
I thought this image of the juvenile Willet and a Boreal Bluet (Enallagma boreale) damselfly was interesting, although it appears the shorebird is attempting to catch the damselfly, I believe the Bluet was just flying by as the Willet searched for food in the water.
More Willet images
I arrived home last night after spending five days photographing in southwestern Montana and although I am exhausted I am also elated because the trip was simply divine.
With the exception of some intermittent clouds and infrequent light rain in the mornings and afternoons, the light was wonderful and the weather hot during the middle of the day. The winds came up around noon each day but I’m not usually out photographing in the harsher light of mid day.
There must have been a recent hatch of Deer and Horse Flies because they swarmed around me in the hundreds and although they made photography a touch miserable I wasn’t about to let them chase me away from the great opportunities that were presented to me. Besides, their bites aren’t nearly as troublesome as the biting flies found on Antelope Island State Park in the spring.
I took 5,428 photos while I was there so the process of culling and editing them is going to take some time, but after scanning through some of the images I am quite pleased with the results of my efforts.
Because of my photography I’ve been able to meet the most fascinating people, have seen gorgeous scenery, listened to the sounds of nature and have seen the most amazing birds and wildlife. Life is good, very good!
I will be writing more about this amazingly wonderful journey to southwestern Montana but I wanted to post this sunrise image from the campground at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge today as a prelude of photographs to come.
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