- Yellowstone In Winter
- Animals/Birds of the Badlands, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks 2016
- National Parks Landscapes 2016
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2014
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2014
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2012
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2012
- Animals of Yellowstone 2011
- Yellowstone/Tetons Landscapes 2011
- Yellowstone Textures
- Custer State Park, SD
- Great Smoky Mountains NP
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Utah National Parks
- About Me
Tonight the Lime Creek Nature Center had a program with injured raptors from the Wildlife Care Clinic at Iowa State University. I had the opportunity to take a few pictures of the birds prior to the regular program. There was an Eastern Screech Owl (gray morph), American Kestrel, Barred Owl, Red Tailed Hawk (injured with broken wing), and a Great Horned Owl (injured - missing one eye). They are all beautiful birds (despite the injuries) and in was fun to see them up close. This was a special treat for me because I have not been able to get close to a Kestrel in the wild (but I'm not done trying). I'm hoping to find a pair nesting where I might be able to get close in a blind. These were taken with the pop-up flash on the camera and a flash with a small diffuser to the right and higher than the camera providing the main lighting. Thanks to Lauren from ISU for taking time to let me take few pictures and assisting with posing the birds.
If the sky conditions are right, and with the right foreground subject, I like taking silhouette photos in the twilight or of the moon-rise or sun-rise. Getting in just the right position to get the moon rising where you want to photograph it can be a challenge - unless you have the right to guide to help (the sun-rise is a little easier). I've been using a free program that I downloaded called 'The Photographer's Ephemeris' from http://stephentrainor.com/tools. Not only does it give the exact time for moon and sun rise and set, but it gives the exact angle from any location in degrees of the compass with lines on a Google map. It is pretty cool and has helped me to get in exactly the right spot to get the moon or sun rise (the compass reading skills learned in Boy Scouts really come in handy here). There is a version for Mac or Windows and for iPhone/iPad.
Another part of the formula for a good photo is knowing what the sky will be like. I use Intellicast.com weather forecasting - then click on the link to the Interactive Weather Map - and click the Clouds icon to show the cloud layer. You can zoom in or out on the map and at the bottom click the play button to animate the cloud movements. This helps me to determine if there might be a chance to get a clear sunrise or moonrise. Partial clouds may be okay, but if it is full overcast I can stay home.
The windmill below is a long hike out to the middle of a field. Using The Photographers Ephemeris helped me to get to the right spot at the right time. (I did not Photoshop the moon into the photo below- that is the way the image came right out of the camera.)