Saturday, January 31, 2009

Last Day of January

Thank goodness January is coming to an end. It has been an endless progression of snowstorms and cold temperatures. For those who think that man-made global warming is real think again. The average January temperature here was almost 6 degrees below average and snowfall is at a near record pace this winter.

Still not much to photograph this winter as far as scenery goes, so I am trying to get better with birds. Quite the day today. As I went out on my back deck with a bag of birdseed, a pine siskin landed on the bag which I was holding. Then, while photographing all of the birds suddenly flew off. One or two may have hit the window on the house. As I turned to look a hawk flew in. It was obviously looking for a meal from the injured birds. Just as quickly as the hawk flew in it flew off. I went to investigate and found a pine siskin face down in the snowbank. I picked it up and kept it in my warm mitts for awhile. Eventually, it got over the shock and flew off. I then saw another siskin in the snowbank. Unfortunately, it had been there awhile and was frozen. I caught a few good images off of the deck and then it was off to try again to photograph the snowy owl. After playing a game of cat and mouse with the owl not wanting me too close this is the best that I could get. The white at the bottom is the snow which is blowing in a fierce wind.

This may be my last time I see the snowy this winter. What a magnificent bird.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Newsletter Available Online

My January newsletter issue is now available online at

This is obviously free and if you wish to subscribe send an e-mail to

I have featured some of my new photos and a how to take better landscape photos.

Winter Birds

While I do not consider myself to be an expert birder, birds do sometimes make great photo subjects. Case in point the chickadees in my back yard. During the daytime hours on weekends they now flock around expecting sunflower seeds when I go to clear the deck of snow (which is everyday). I have also been able to feed them out of my hand. And of course, in time, I decided that they would be good photo subjects. Here is one that I took today.
The pine siskins not wanting to be left out, but not being as bold as the chickadees have let down their guard too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Top Ten List

Top ten list of taking better landscape photos:
1. Read your manual and learn how to use your camera
2. Learn to see differences in light (intensity, color, direction)
3. Steady the camera with a tripod or other method
4. Use the manual settings on the camera
5. Learn how to understand and use a histogram to judge exposure
6. Do most of your shooting around dawn and dusk
7. Use the rule of thirds for better compositions
8. Simplify your images to allow your subject to stand out
9. Understand the relationship between ISO, shutter speed and aperture
10. Shoot what you like, enjoy and have a passion for.