Archive for Sirui K30X ballhead

Looking Back

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2017 by lilybug1960

Looking back.
 
The title has double meaning in regards to this image. First, this time of year is a time I don’t get out to shoot much. I spend time catching up on unfinished business, planning things for next year, and simply evaluating where I am, where I have been, and where I am going. Photography, like sunsets, often will give you an idea what it is going to look like on the horizon by watching what it does to the landscape behind you. In order to see where my skills need to improve or my focus needs to be for next year, I have to look at the previous year. Did my skills improve? Did I lose focus or did my focus improve on what I wanted to achieve for the year? When I first started doing photography professionally, I loved doing landscapes although my income came from portraits. As I chased my dream of being a nature photographer vs a portrait photographer, the income shifted as I progressed. I am able to continue with nature photography while picking and choosing what portrait work I want to do, and in turn produce a better body of work. As I move forward I want to keep the trend constant and produce better work, while being pleased with the balance of photography I do. Sort of like having a great sunset behind you, then looking forward and seeing the sunset you hoped for develop to your liking. In reality though, could there ever be a bad sunset or sunrise?
 
Sunset, Bosque del Apache, New Mexico. Tamron 18-400mm Di VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 100, shutter speed of 1/25th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear
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Just a month away

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2017 by lilybug1960

Just a month away.
 
In just a month from now, we head to Wyoming for our annual Winter in the Tetons Workshop. So far this winter the snow has been sparse in the valley, but that is supposed to change overnight. We want some snow out there. It has become one of, if not my favorite workshop Cecil and I do. The conditions can be tough, but very rewarding. I teach all the time that the best compositions in nature are those with simplicity as a theme. Simply using the blank canvas of snow to isolate a bare tree is, to me, a very pleasing visual composition. The negative space of the snow leads you to the tree and no where else. Simplicity.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 800, shutter speed of 1/800th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Spectacular Sunsets!

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2017 by lilybug1960

Spectacular Sunsets!
 
New Mexico sunsets do not disappoint the viewers and photographers. Yesterday a cold front blew through and lots of clouds were present for sunset. What made this even better is that I was leading my “Creating Landscape Images” workshop group! We started earlier in the afternoon learning some of the basics of exposure and composition with the hopes of a beautiful sky at sunset. We arrived at the “Flight Deck” finding our compositions about 45 minutes before the sky would light up. I emphasized to the group that when the action was in the sky forget the “Rule of Thirds” and go with the “Rule of 9/10ths”. This simply means if nothing or very little is happening in one part of the scene, let the area that stands out take over the image.
 
A couple of neat things about this area is in the center of the water at the bottom is a wood snag that the Refuge actually places in that location to help with the stress of the ducks and geese. There are several in the area and those like this are there to reduce the stress of the birds by giving the Eagles and other birds of prey a place to perch. When the birds fly around there was a higher instance of death from stress of the birds. This allows them to relax vs constantly moving as the Eagles fly over head. We did get to see a Golden Eagle who apparently didn’t get the memo however and was flying around looking for dinner.
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Aperture Priority, f8, ISO 100, -.3 stops of exposure compensation, resulting in a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

American Kestrel

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2017 by lilybug1960

American Kestrel.
 
This is a male American Kestrel I photographed at the Outdoor Discovery Center last week in Holland, Michigan. I wanted to discuss two things relating to not only this image but many others. First, it is a captive animal in a center and can not be released into the wild. Birds in a center will often have jesses, the leather straps on their legs, don’t be dishonest and try to remove them and try to pass the bird as a wild bird. Quoting my friend Andre, “don’t lie”, just show the bird as it is. There is nothing wrong with photographing birds in a center. It teaches you how to apply things that you are learning when you do get out in the “wild” and are shooting the birds in their own environment. Plus it is a chance to just get a great image of a beautiful bird!
 
Secondly, I see birds like this or even in the wild cropped really tight in the image. I think back on one of the many lessons that John Shaw taught me, and that was to leave room in the image around the subject. He used to joke, “if you can’t make it good, make it big”. This really resonates with me because I like to get tight on the bird, but only when it shows perfect detail. Filling the frame with a subject to make up for sharpness or movement works against the photographer. In addition, you are killing any chance you have of marketing the image in either digital or print form. If it is too tight and you are making a print, often you will end up clipping part of the bird. Leave space, you don’t always have to fill the frame with the bird or any singular subject like in macro work as well. I think the background adds so much to the image.
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 900, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

2 Perspectives, 1 Lens

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2017 by lilybug1960

2 Perspectives, 1 Lens.
 
This is one of the biggest reasons that I feel this lens is such a great lens for “Zoos”. I am standing in pretty much the same spot for both of these images the only thing that changed is the light and the zoom length. I can simply give an image 2 different “feels” by zooming in and out depending on the actions of the bird. I could step in if needed as well, but I am at about 7 feet away for the images. The first one with the wings spread is at about 100mm, the second is at about 220mm. I say it again, it could be the perfect lens for shooting in situations you need wide, and you want telephoto.
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 2000 (wings spread) and 800, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Peregrine Falcon

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2017 by lilybug1960

Peregrine Falcon.
 
One of the obvious advantages of visiting and photographing birds of prey in a rehabilitation or discovery center is the opportunity to see birds like a Peregrine Falcon. Peregrines are birds that are usually seen high on cliff faces or zipping by at high rates of speed hunting song birds. This Peregrine was believed to have been injured in a collision with another Peregrine. It is fairly young and may have been in a territorial dispute. Its wing has some nerve damage and will not recover to the point it could hunt successfully in the wild. I have some images that need to be processed of where they fed it a song bird that had died in a collision with a window. Seeing the behavior of the bird with prey was really fascinating.
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 720, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui EP 204S monopod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear 13 Sling Bag, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Eastern Screech Owl – Red Morph

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2017 by lilybug1960

Eastern Screech Owl – Red Morph.
 
We were very lucky to have been the first visitors to the Outdoor Discovery Center after the arrival of the red morph of an Eastern Screech Owl. He had injured a wing and isn’t able to be released back into the wild. His first time as a model was great. They didn’t know how he would do and they said he may not want to be out there with folks, but I think he was enjoying the attention. He even fell asleep. Cute little thing. Visit and support your local Centers, they save a lot of birds and educate a whole bunch of folks as to the world around us!
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 800, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear