- 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
- Birds of Yellowstone 2011
- Yellowstone/Tetons Landscapes 2011
- Yellowstone Textures
- Custer State Park, SD
- Great Smoky Mountains NP
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Utah National Parks
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It's been a busy summer and not much time for bird photography. I did sit on the ground in our daughter's backyard one day and got pictures of a House Wren, zipping in and out of the nest and chattering at me. I took dozen's of pictures of a Gray Catbird with a bug in its mouth every time. It was doing a fine job of keeping the insect population down. I saw a bunch of Common Yellowthroats at the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge east of Algona, IA. I liked this shot of a female hanging on to a stalk like there was nothing to it. (Click to enlarge the photos. Lots more birds at the links above.)
I've been trying a few night sky photos. These were a couple of weeks ago, close to the new moon. 30 second exposures, f/3.5 at ISO 2000. The light on the horizon is "light pollution" from nearby towns. It is pretty tough in Iowa to find any place that doesn't have light on the horizon from towns or farm yard lights. There is also quite a bit of haze in the air in the summer time, making it difficult to see the dimmer or more distant stars. (Click the images to see them larger.)
I walked out in the backyard one evening last week, after the sun had gone behind the trees and noticed that there was a nice soft light on the flowers. Most people tend to think of bright sunlight as being the best light for photos. It seems surprising to learn that the quality of light in the shade or on a overcast day can produce very nice images of flowers. The same with people pictures. With the camera on the tripod, I took a few shots before the light faded. (Click for larger images)
Moon Rise Over Base Camp Delta (click to enlarge)
I've been home for three weeks, but finally getting around to writing about the National Scout Jamboree held in July at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, a brand new 10,000+ acre high adventure Boy Scout base in the mountains of West Virginia. It is hard to describe the event or the location in a few word except to say that it was a fantastic experience. There were approximately 35,000 Scouts and leaders from all over the world, as well as 8,000+ volunteer staff. I was one of those volunteer staff, working on the Videography crew, documenting every aspect of the first Jamboree at the new Scout base. We produced three videos for the "arena shows" where all of the participants came together to enjoy the scheduled entertainment, as well as videos for the daily news casts of the "Jamboree Today" and lots of additional video footage that will be used in future promotions. Our crew of 22 included 10 young men age 17-20, 3 adult women and 9 adult men. It was a very creative and energetic bunch, all working hard long hours, walking many miles each day with camera and tripods to capture some great video, then furiously uploading and editing to meet our deadlines.
I didn't have much time for taking any many personal photos, but I did stop on the way back to my tent one night to take a long exposure shot of one of the camp sites with the full moon rising overhead, and a few flower shots like the one below.
You can see some of the videos that our crew produced and the photos by the still photographers at the links below.
Saturday I did a presentation for the Summer Horticulture Showcase at the Iowa State University Borlaug Learning Center, Northeast Research Farm, near Nashua, IA. (That's a mouth full.) It was sponsored by Bremer, Cerro Gordo and Floyd County Extensions. There were several interesting presentations throughout the day. I had a great group of participants with lots of interest in photography. Of course, I showed lots of photos of flowers and birds and talked about how and where I took them (not all in the backyard). I also talked about the considerations I try to make before taking every photograph. These include
The lens (focal length)
ISO (light sensitivity)
Shutter Speed (stop action/blur motion)
f/stop (aperture and depth-of-field)
Lighting (quality and direction of light, bright sun, shade, back lighting, is a flash needed, etc.)
Composition, Rule-of-Thirds , Balance, Framing
A lot of things to think about, but all important to make good photos. I hope the participants left with a better appreciation for photography and give a little more thought to each picture to to make a memorable photo rather than a quick snapshot.
Just a few notes about my photos. See more on Facebook.