Saturday, December 22, 2012

Favorites Images From 2012

1/800 | f/8 | ISO 200 | Fill Flash

1/500 | f/8 | ISO 200 | Fill Flash

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The year 2012 is coming to an end and 2013 is getting ready to move in; since I will be out of town for the week between Christmas and New Years, I figured I would put together a collection of my favorite images from 2012 before things get crazy here with last minute Christmas tasks and packing. So here we go! The first image of the Burrowing Owl was without a doubt my favorite encounter with a bird this year. This BO made it's home along a country road outside of Dallas for about 1 month back in January and was very cooperative toward photographers. This was my first time to ever see this owl and while I only was able to photograph it on two occasions, none in ideal light, it was still the highlight of my year and I am so thrilled that I was able to see and photograph it! The second image of the Green-winged Teal is hardly an outstanding image, but my duck portfolio was something that I tried to work on this year and this image was one of my first and simply for that reason it made it to my list of favorite images of the year. Going into 2012 I made it a goal to get good images of the male Painted Bunting, a bird that had alluded me for a couple of years, and I was excited when a photographer told me of a spot where you could get images of them at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge and it was there that I took these two images. The last image is my favorite photo that I have taken of an American Goldfinch to date. I photographed it in my backyard not long before the finches started their migration back up north. I always enjoy it when these little birds descend upon my backyard for some food every year, but sadly this year I have seen fewer than 5 at my feeders. So anyway, there they are, my 5 favorite images of 2012. I hope you all enjoy them. I already have some plans and goals set for 2013 and I cannot wait to get started on them. Thanks to all of the people out there who have been reading my blog this year and to the ones who take the time to comment, I really appreciate it! 

Merry Christmas!

click images to view larger size.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Great Blue Heron

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I photographed this GBH at the same suburban park as the ducks in my previous post. It was a very cooperative individual and allowed for a close approach. It was very late afternoon and the light was really nice! I am hoping to go back there again this week and try for some of the other duck species. 

Thanks for looking!

click images to view larger size.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some Ducks

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I was at a large city park yesterday afternoon that had a good size pond with a few ducks like Gadwall, Wigeons and Pied-billed Grebes spending the winter there. What I like about city parks is that the ducks are usually highly approachable (except the grebes) and while it's hard to find some of the more interesting species at such places, you are able to get great images of what's present and it makes for some fun photography and is a great way to beef up the portfolio! I didn't get to spend a lot of time there, so I am hoping to go back next week and try for the wigeons and grebes. I will post an image or two of the highly cooperative Great Blue Heron in the next few days, so stay tuned!

click images to view larger size.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lesser Scaup in Flight

1/2000 | f/5.6 | ISO 400 | Fill Flash

It has been almost one month since my last post on the blog, my apologies for the lack of updates! I have not been out in the field much over the past month, just too little time. The wintering ducks have arrived as well as the sparrows and Goldfinches. I have not had any Goldfinches in my yard this winter, except for one straggler this week, due to the very warm weather we have been experiencing here in North Texas there is an abundance of natural food available. We are finally expecting some cold weather next week and I am hoping for a freeze so that they will come to my yard where I have plenty of thistle feeders set up! I do hope to spend more time out next week at some of my favorite spots, I have been very restless to do some photography. I am happy to say that I have upgraded my workstation from a slow Dell to a much more powerful HP machine which is fantastic so far. I am now just trying to decide on what IPS monitor to buy and I will be set for all of my photo and video projects. Anyway, here is a photo from this afternoon of a Lesser Scaup photographed at a series of small ponds that are sandwiched between two fairly busy one way streets. It was a new location for me that I had heard a lot about, where you can find dozens of Hooded Mergansers along with Scaups, Gadwall, Teal, Shovelers, and a couple of Canvasbacks. I went hoping to photograph the hoodies and canvasbacks, but they were very skittish and would take flight to the next pond whenever a jogger or someone walking would go by, so no good photos of them today. The light is not the best with this image, it was cloudy right before I got there, but naturally the sun came out and I had to use my flash to try and balance it out. While I didn't do the best job on this image exposure wise, this is actually my first good flight image ever, thanks to my recently acquired Canon 400 5.6 lens.

Hopefully I will get out more next week and have some new images to share with you all.

click image to view larger size.