For as much time as I've spent watching this bald eagle nest, I should be on a first name basis with the owners. The eagles don't talk much, so I'll just assume their names are Eddie and Ellen.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
It's a gray day in Seattle, just like yesterday, the day before, and the week before that. It's the end of May, and I've been able to barbeque only twice so far this year. And one of those times was in the rain.
So what does this have to do with nature photography? If you only photograph (or barbeque) when the weather is just right, there may be long periods of time when you don't get to do it.
You may have to change your photographic style a bit.
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.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Last month, I wrote about sharing a small vantage point in Yosemite National Park with hundreds of other people, all hoping to catch one of the most photographed natural events in the park. This month, I want to talk about how to do your own thing despite that.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
I'm waiting in knee-deep snow for a natural light show that may or may not happen. So are hundreds of other photographers. Any parking space within a half mile of good vantage point was claimed three or four hours before show time.
We're all waiting for the setting sun to light up Horsetail Falls, a thin thread of a waterfall that occasionally glides down El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. For a few weeks in February, if the conditions are just right, the setting sun will make the waterfall appear as if it were on fire.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Imagine a print by Ansel Adams. You're probably thinking of a black and white image, impeccably sharp and detailed, perhaps of Yosemite. Now visualize something by Monet. You're probably seeing a vividly colorful "impressionistic" painting, perhaps of a Japanese bridge or the French coast.
A lot of artists have a definitive style. You can see a piece and instantly know that it is an Adams, for example. Cultivating a style can be key to developing your own brand as an artist.
But you may also want to try something else.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Ansel Adams once said that producing "twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." I'm not going to go so far as to call these 12 images significant, but of the images I produced in 2010, they are my favorites. At least for now. My tastes change over time.
I posted my first "12 best" set last year, prompted by photographer Jim Goldstein. I'm doing it again because it's a worthwhile exercise. It can help you identify themes that you're passionate about so you can focus on them in the New Year. It can help you see where you're in a rut.
It can also help you feel better about your work. Creating a significant image is incredibly difficult. It's easy to get frustrated by uncooperative weather or wildlife. Reviewing your best work of the year can help you see the photographic drought was never as long as it seemed at the time.
So here are my favorites, in no particular order: