Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Lounging Squirrel

Saw this guy and needed to grab my camera.  Luckily he sat still long enough for me. I have never seen a squirrel just lying down like this before.  I guess even rodents need their down time, occasionally.  :) 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Canada City Nights

One night, while visiting Jarrett in Vancouver, B.C. (where he was living when we met in 2011).  I went off and took some night shots, near the site of the Olympic Stadium there.  I saw this city scene and was amazed.  The lighting was perfect!  While editing this, I darkened the photo, and this was the result.  

Sci-Fi, anyone?!? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Birds of the Northwest in winter

Many of these birds live in the Willamette Valley year-round, but some like the Dark-eyed junco, the Hermit thrush, and American robin, come down to the valley from the mountains in the winter where food is more plentiful due to human supplied food, from either winter flowering plants and food in feeders.  The Lesser goldfinch is actually a resident to west central and southwestern Oregon, and a local birder described that they "uncommon north, east (valley); may wander in winter".  Seeing them in Portland is actually quite rare, so I was extremely lucky to see them! 

Lesser goldfinch

Anna's hummingbird

Spotted towhee

American robin

Mallard duck

Black-capped chickadee

California scrub jay

American crow

Song sparrow

Hermit thrush

Steller's jay

Dark-eyed junco

American Bushtit

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Looking back, looking forward

As we say goodbye to another calendar year, we start to look back, as well as forward.  I am always look back on photographs, if for nothing else, to see how my photography keeps changing, as my photography grows.  I also look back on them to find that just right photo for a blog, or ideas for a book, or to make a "slideshow" to show loved ones.  I was looking for abstracts tonight for photos for a sample book of abstracts or the like.  While doing this, I came across these photos I took on our August trip to coastal Washington.  The last one is just a sample of many abstract photos I came across in just an hour.  I believe that a goal of mine for the coming year, will be to complete a sample book on some topic, possibly abstracts, and I will likely have Jarrett write an introductory page.  (If the published photo book ever comes to fruition, I will definitely have Jarrett write some of it.)  

For now, here are a few photos (not all abstract) from August of this past year!  Enjoy and Happy New Year! 

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 left 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.