Friday, July 27, 2007
This was at the same nursery as the hummer from the other day.
This guy was just being thoughtful in the filtered light.
He was watching me intently as I got closer. He did not seem scared.
He was more curious I think. He kept tilting his head from side to
side. He probably knew the big lumbering beast that was stuck on the
ground could never get close enough to bother him.
I love the way the side lighting shows every feather on his face.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Egret in Flight
This image was taken at the same time as the happy seals. The seals were just to the left of this guy. It was a fun day to be out with my camera!
Monday, January 1, 2007
Egret in the Wind
The last couple of days have had some amazing winds. Wild weather always makes for great photo opportunities. The backdrop of this image looks almost like a painting, but the gusty wind made these beautiful ripples on top of the bigger waves near the beach. The timing of the heavy gust was perfect too, just at the right time when this beautiful Egret looked up from foraging in the tidal pools.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
We were looking at roses the other day at La Sumida Nursery on Patterson in Goleta. I was minding my own business when I heard this buzzzzz over my head. She was having a great time buzzing the roses and me, but with a little patience I was able to find her resting spot in the top of a Pomegranate tree.
Thursday, November 2, 2006
The hound loves to explore new territory.
I guess she's sniffed all there is to smell
at home. Yesterday we got to take a walk along the bluff in Shell Beach,
just north of Pismo Beach. Near the end of our walk we heard a
bit of chattering from a bush. Upon further examination
we found the hiding place of a beautiful hummingbird.
Unfortunately the sun was too low in the sky to get a good shot
so when we went out for our walk today I checked the bush and
sure enough, that must be home for this guy!
I took quite a few shots, this is where he was just about tired of playing with me. He is just starting to take flight. You can see his left wing rising behind his back.
Friday, October 20, 2006
I liked this photo when I took it. But I had no
idea what I could possibly do with it. Then,
when I was getting ready for a show one evening
I started playing in Photoshop. I decided that
the space above the bird was perfect for a little
creativity. The way he was walking made him
seem very determined, but there was just a little
something missing. The reflection in the glasses
is the palm trees from another one of my cards.
I was actually able to convince many of the kids at various art shows that I had to bribe the seagull with fish to get him to wear the glasses. :-D
Saturday, September 9, 2006
We when to a beautiful place in Carpinteria today called Seaside Gardens.
Seaside Gardens is a nursery and botanic garden. They had some amazing
plants. And it was a hummingbirds' paradise.
One of the things I liked about the Gardens is they had the plants separated by country of origin, both in the sales area and the nicely designed botanic gardens.
So, if you are in the area and you find yourself in need of a Lotus for your Koi pond or anything else remotely exotic just get off the 101 at Exit 88 (Padero Lane or Santa Claus Lane) go toward the mountains and turn right. Seaside Gardens will be on your left.
Friday, September 1, 2006
She looks like she is perched, just waiting for lunch to scurry by.
The only problem with that is flowers usually don't scurry.
In reality, she is stretching her neck out and tilting her head back and forth trying to figure out why there is a strange creature with a 300mm nose stalking her.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Butterfly Beach Sunset
It was a nice sunset this evening. No clouds, but still a nice glow in the sky.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I went to the doctor and, big surprise, I have to eat
healthier and get more exercise! (should have seen that comin')
On the plus side, walking is his recommended way to do that.
And I figure, if you're gonna walk, you might as well do it
This is Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara. It is one of the less traveled beaches around here. It is not in an area that you would normally stumble on. And it is our favorite beach. So after making one good pedometer out of two broken ones, we had a nice sunset walk. Oh, I mean... we went out and got some exercise!
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Oriole Eating Seeds
Well, at least I think it's an Oriole. She's beautiful whatever she is. She was flittering from bush to bush looking for seeds. There was actually quite a breeze and she was swinging wildly on this small branch.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Tomato Worm Assassin
This is how we take care of tomato worms around here!
We really like birds in our yard anyway and it appears these guys really like tomato worms. We try to encourage them as much as possible.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Lil Brown Bird
I like these guys, they are quite comical.
They are not native to the United States, they are actually from Europe and Africa. But they seem to thrive anywhere by mooching off of gullible humans who like them and think they are quite comical.
Friday, March 3, 2006
Ahh he's a great bird!
This is his scratchin' perch. He comes over there when he wants a good bird scratchin'. Not something your average Finch would do. They are usually quite a bit more high strung.
But, hey bird, you are almost 7 months past your "best by" date!
This is not his first appearance here.
Friday, December 30, 2005
More Pictures of the Kids
Yes as a matter of fact I am one of those crazy people who thinks
of their animals as their kids! :-D
If you had animals like mine you would too.
'Course, if you had animals as smart as mine and you treated them like most people treat their pets you'd probably get an unpleasant present in your favorite shoes.
Friday, December 16, 2005
I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by
some amazing creatures.
This is one of them, a good friend of mine, "Tweetums".
Tweetums is a Zebra Finch.
He is not the first bird I have shared my home with,
but he is by far one of the smallest.
(When I lived in Hawaii I lived with an Umbrella Cockatoo
Until I met Tweetums, I lived under the misguided impression that bigger birds had more personality, and possibly even more intelligence, but he's set me straight. Tweetums was pushed out of his nest at a young age. Because of this, he has imprinted more on humans like a hand-fed baby bird. Early on we noticed he was very friendly and mellow compared to most finches. It was not long before we were able to get close enough to him to scratch him on the chin.
Now, we have been friends for many years. He always finds new and interesting ways to communicate with us and he tries to understand our crazy habits. I was tinkering with the rental digital camera from last evening's Pascucci's adventure, I wanted to see what it was really capable of. I took a bunch of low light photos of Tweetums while he was hopping around (this one is my favorite). I was not totally sure how he felt about it at first, but later when I went to cover him for the night, he hopped out of his nest again and started dancing around (not his usual evening behavior). So I grabbed the camera again! Well to make a long story a little shorter, we repeated that several times before I just had to slowly lower the lights to try to lull him to sleep. He is quite the ham, and really likes any interaction with other creatures.
So I have to wonder, are the creatures around me particularly amazing and I am just blessed to be around them. Or, is the potential there in most animals for this type of connection if you look for it. If I had to guess I'd say it's both. Regardless, Tweetums is a credit to his species and I will never look at another bird the same way after knowing him. There is much more going on there than you might think.
Saturday, October 8, 2005
This is one of the higher speed shots I have taken of
the hummers in the Palm Springs area. I usually take a
slower shot that shows more motion in the wings, but
it is nice to try a variety of things. The shutter speed
was actually not that fast, it was helped out buy the fact that
I just happened to hit the shutter at the top of his wing sweep.
This guy has some amazing throat feathers that stick out on the sides.
I get a lot of questions about my hummingbird shots...
How fast was the shutter speed?
Actually, relatively slow. 60th to 250th of a second. And, it is not usually the shutter that freezes the motion of their wings. Normally a high speed strobe is used which can go down to as little as a millionth of a second because it does not depend upon the mechanics of moving a shutter.
Some commercial shots are even staged with a high speed strobe and camera outfitted with an infrared trigger. The trigger fires the shutter (and the camera fires the strobe) when something breaks the beam in front of the camera. Cool use of technology, but if you depend upon the technology completely you will get a very clinical image that does not look at all life-like.
I don't use a strobe for two reasons. I think the resulting photos look too clinical and just like any other bird and, I don't have one. :-D
You must have an impressive lens, what kind is it?
Most of my hummers are shot with an average Canon 70-200mm zoom lens. I am just very patient when it comes to watching these guys, I have spent over an hour at times to let them get comfortable with me.
Did you use a tripod? Did you set up the shot in advance?
Nope, with very few exceptions these are handheld shots taken while wandering around where the hummers frequent. I like the freedom to move around and get exactly what I want.