Tuesday, September 18, 2018

It's that time of year, again!

Young Cedar Waxwing on Yew

Every September into early October, we get flocks of Cedar Waxwings come through our yard to feed on the Yew berries.  (Yew berries are toxic to humans, by the way.) The birds put on this display of flying from our large Maple and Oak trees (both Eastern varieties, not native to NW Pacific), and then fly down either singly or in two to four at a time, and just have a frenzy of a feast! eating as many berries as they can!  It's very entertaining to watch.  (This was from this morning.) 


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

When I was in Northern New Mexico, last November, I drove to this national monument near the Kasha-Katuwe Indian Reservation and hiked through some amazing sandstone canyons, and up to the top of the bluffs.  It was actually very warm for mid-November, but I was happy for this.  (I know a bit about the possible weather in that part of the country, since I started college in southern Colorado.)  

There are "tents" here; pinnacles of eroded sandstone that stayed as natural pillars with a pointed "cap" on top of them.  

I have noted some of the photos as I walked the trail, throughout the collection of photos. 


The walk into and through the canyon, to the top (plus some artsy shots.) 

















A Dark-eyed Junco that is a different "race" from the one here in Oregon. 



Views from the summit. 






As you can see in the photos below, the trail goes through some very tight spaces in the canyon.  This was on my way back through it.  There were places that only one person at a time could go through the very tight squeezes, so patience was needed. 



(The trail is in the lower right corner of the photo below.)



The view looking up to the top of the bluff (and some "tents"), as well as some local flora; common juniper and a cholla (CHoi-ya) cactus.  





Friday, August 3, 2018

Finished with Landscape photography (for now)?

While hiking in one of the Audubon Sanctuaries, in Portland's famous Forest Park, today, we stopped on a bridge looking down a creek, and I turned to Jarrett and said, "I think I am done taking general landscape photos, now.  I could take a photo of this creek, but it would not be art to me.  I believe it's time to focus on more artsy and abstract photos for a while."  There will be more photos of landscapes for reference, or if I can make a landscape look more interesting to a viewer, but not most of my photos.  The one I took below is an example of one that is interesting and has some visual depth to it.  (It is also a preview of a blog about my trip to John Day National Monument - Sheep Rock Unit, from earlier this July.)  


Nature is one of those difficult subjects to make look more artsy, and this is why basic landscape photography is a pretty easy entry into nature photography.  You can start big and get more detailed photos.  It takes years to really understand that a subject like a tree or a flower (or a rock) can look more interesting than just what one sees through the lens of a camera.  Yes, a basic photo of a tree is a great place to start, but to a trained photographer, it can be made into art!  

Here is a good photo of a Norfolk pine in Wellington, New Zealand, I took in 2008.  This would have been a reference photo (either for location or for species identification).  In 2018, I may have taken this one, but definitely looked for a photo that was more abstract, and take that photo.  (This one really is a nice shot, but it is a basic overall photo of the tree in it's surroundings.)  


By contrast: on today's hike, we came upon this tree and I saw art right away, and took this photo.  Someone new to this may have seen the interesting parts of the tree, but could they see the "art", as quickly as I did?  Maybe, maybe not.  



I guess that after more than 18 years of doing photography, both professionally (and making money) and as a hobbyist, I need to change my approach and grow again as a photographer.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Posing squirrel

Saw this guy go scampering across the roof, watched him for a minute, and then he posed.  All I could do was grab the camera.  :) 


As soon as I went in for another shot, he moved, but I got him in this pose.  

Although they are pests and can do major damage to a home, they are cute and entertaining at times.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Some things never change...

In the summer of 2002, I took my first color photography class, where I had weekly assignments and developed my own color film (as this was one of the requirements for the class).  It was great to learn the processes, but I was grateful that there were still photo labs and stores that developed film, at that time. There are far fewer labs around sixteen years later. 

For those of you who are familiar with my earlier work, you will recognize the below photo.  I took this photo because I saw the flower first, but then noticed the plant's shadow on the rock. 


When I was out late this past winter, I saw this "rogue" crocus growing under our tall Douglas fir trees.  The lighting and other conditions were just right, so I grabbed my camera.  Again, noticing the shadow, I turned my attention to that, and what you see below is the result. 


As many of you know, this is not a new thing for me.  I have taken many photos of shadows throughout the 18+ years I have been doing photography.  I will see what else I can find and share more shadows, with all of you!  

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring has sprung!

Although we just had a soaking rainstorm, followed by below average temperatures this weekend, more typical of late February than early April, there are many signs of Spring here in the Pacific Northwest. The days are lengthening, the birds are building nests for egg-laying to start a new generation, most invertebrates are re-emerging from their winter hibernation or hatching from their eggs, leaves are appearing on deciduous trees, Spring bulbs are poking above the ground and some are flowering (some even lasted through the winter). I could go on like this for a while, but you didn't come to my website to hear me describe the signs of the season.  You came here to see photos, so please enjoy the signs of Spring that I have captured so far this year!