There hasn't been a waterfall per se at Dry Falls in central Washington for at least 10,000 years. But when there was a falls there, it would have been spectacular: 400 feet high, 3½ miles wide and ten times as powerful as all the world's current rivers combined.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The black-capped chickadee is no ivory-billed woodpecker. Dozens visit my office window every day to feast on the free suet.
But just because they're common, doesn't mean they are not interesting. And a recent snow storm that, at times, had my yard buried under nearly 10 inches of snow allowed me to create some images that help tell their remarkable winter story.
Friday, December 30, 2011
The usual goal in photography is to create an exceptionally sharp image. If you're photographing a bird, for example, most photographers want an image that's so sharp you can see every feather on the bird and every barb on the feather.
To capture that, you typically need a sturdy tripod, a cable release, lots of light — and a stationary subject.
But what if the light is dim and your subject is moving? That's when you need to pan — moving the camera with your subject. It involves moving the camera so that your subject is always at the same spot in the image.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
People often ask me what they can do to improve their images. Often, I reply, "Get a tripod."
I'm a firm believer in tripods, so to speak. They allow you to capture sharp images that could be impossible to capture with shaky hands. They also slow you down. In the time it takes to set up your equipment, you can also think about whether your first idea for a composition is really the best it can be. Nearly all of my images were captured from a tripod.
This one wasn't. And it wouldn't be anywhere near as good if it had been.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
It's late April and the sun is just beginning to rise over the Bowerman Basin, a muddy bay in Washington's Grays Harbor.
Very little mud is visible right now. One of the highest tides of the month, 8½ feet, is covering much of the mud. Tens of thousands of shorebirds are covering the rest. And more shorebirds are on the way.
Over the span of a few weeks, maybe a million shorebirds will stop here. The flock consists mainly of western sandpipers, dunlin, two varieties of dowitchers, and plover.
They're on their way to breeding grounds in Alaska and northern Canada, but given that some started in Chile and Argentina, they tend to take a few regular breaks on their way north. Grays Harbor is one of the few major stopovers.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
In a particularly brushy area in Seattle’s Discovery Park, I heard the unmistakable song of a winter wren. The birds were made to be heard, not seen, but I grabbed my camera and started looking for it anyway.
Moments later, a woman came up and asked what I found.
“Oh, I thought you found something interesting,” she said and then walked away.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I enjoy all types of nature photography, but wildlife photography may be the most rewarding. It’s extremely challenging. Even if you’re lucky enough to find the animal you’re looking for, it may not be in the mood to pose for you. The challenging times are certainly frustrating, but they make you appreciate a stunning wildlife image all the more.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Canon 1D Mark IV is the most customizable camera I’ve ever used. It has dozens of settings that allow you to tune it to your exact needs. Wading through all those settings, though, can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of time for trial and error.
After using the camera for more than two months of intensive wildlife photography, I’ve finally settled on autofocus settings that I really like. I’m sharing them with you because I’m often asked for my settings.