Oh how busy life can get. Saturday was the first day I’ve been out to ‘just shoot photos’ in many months. We went up to the Marin Headlands which is worth a trip even without a camera. The day was great, and I think I have at least a few posts worth of shots. What we’re looking at today is a very excited turkey that was attempting to impress a couple of hens that were nearby. He was doing some dancing and showing off his very colorful feathers. I got lucky as he started walking in my direction which gave some great reflections off of his feathers.
We hit the Santa Barbara Zoo today for Father’s Day. The shutter was clicking and I managed to get a few decent shots. This is a sleeping flamingo that was somewhat curious in what I was up to, but not enough to remove its beak from under his wing.
Today I saw the full extent of the recession here in the United States. We can’t even afford bald eagles for photo ops. We’re settling for bald seagulls in front of old flags.
Not much time to write today, so I’ll let the image tell its own story.
Yes, this is a real flamingo. It is probably the most dramatic flamingo image, as it steps from the shadows. Very little post processing was done to this other than trying to sharpen it just a tad since there is the slightest bit of motion blur. I love the lighting here!
Doesn’t this make you want to go for a swim? This shot was achieved through skillful negotiation, and patience. The birds were flying in and out of this little cove and the family wanted to move on. Of course once I setup for the background, the birds decided to take a rest from flying. This didn’t help my small window of opportunity to get the shot I foresaw. As luck would have it, everyone wanted to take a break like the birds and took a breather. This gave me five more minutes to sit and wait. Even though I would have preferred an incoming seagull, I was pleased to get this guy on his way out. He’s in a good spot, great wing angle, and I can still see his eye. Perfect.
The month of May has been almost, if not, the coldest on record for the Bay Area. Rain, cold, clouds. The sun and warmth tended to appear only mid-week. This weekend, everything is starting to feel normal. The sun is shining, it’s warm and we went to Monterey to enjoy the coast. Here’s a nice seagull that was brave enough to hang around while I climbed on the rocks to get closer for some shots.
This little quail was on the trail sitting on a branch as we were walking by on the way to the farm. He was sitting in a very picturesque spot until I brought the camera out, and then he started scooting down. I managed to get a couple shots before he went into the underbrush. I didn’t realize just how colorful a quail is.
Our first visit to the new Happy Hollow Park and Zoo provided a few opportunities to get some fun photos. This one is of a Cattle Egret. Sure, it’s a zoo bird, but it is a good looking bird nonetheless. The sun was high and bright for most of the day, so shooting was a real challenge. This photo was taken in the shade and had the grass highlighted wonderfully behind the egret.
Additionally, I wanted a photo of some vivid colors that weren’t flowers or bees for a lagging daily shoot assignment. This one will do nicely I think.
#ds152 – Bright, vivid colors can draw attention and add “pop” to a photo. Make a photo that has vivid colors today.
This shot has sat around for some time, ready to go and not let out. I have very mixed feelings on it and I’m not sure why. On one hand it always catches my eye in the grid display in Lightroom while reviewing older shots. Whenever I open it with some renewed excitement, I feel let down that the bird (I believe it is a turkey vulture) is not larger in the frame. Perhaps it works since it gives a sense of scale as-is. I do love the cloud formations.
Today I am planning on going to the Japanese Tea Gardens and tomorrow to the Embarcadero up in the city. I should have some good material for awhile after that.
Today is the first time one of my Daily Shoot suggestions was used. Today also has horrible weather and I won’t be going out shooting in it. So instead, I am sharing a photo that I’ve been sitting on this for a while. The image quality isn’t great, but this catch shot of a hummingbird chasing a bug is one I feel lucky to have. In this, the beak is open and the bug is plainly visible.
This was taken in San Jose while at a park with the kids. I was trying to shoot some of the birds in the trees when I saw this hummingbird in the air. This was shot a 110 mm on a 70-300mm lens at 1/1000 f5.6.
#ds147 – Birds are beautiful and rewarding to photograph. Challenge yourself by making a photo of a bird today! (@theskane)
While shooting at Travis Marina, I found this fine seagull model. He made sure to pose a few times for photographs. In the end he looks quite stunning with his bright plumage and yellow eye and beak. This is my contribution for Daily Shoot #80, a tack-sharp focus.
#ds80 – Make a “sharp” photo today any way you interpret it, either tack-sharp focus or a subject that is sharp itself.
After a busy week at work and very few opportunities to use my camera, I returned to it again over the weekend. The following four photographs were taken around Travis Marina just northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge. A great chance to catch up on my Daily Shoot assignments.
This is Travis Marina with a faux tilt-shift technique applied.
#ds88 – “We often get stuck in a rut of always zooming to the longest focal length. Break out today by making a wide-angle photo.“
I love the detail in this pelican. For this assignment, this is titled “The Pelican Brief”. Yes, I know it’s literal, but it is a nice pelican portrait.
#ds89 – “Continuing the Friday fun theme, make a photo that goes with the title of a book you’ve read.”
A couple enjoys the view of the San Francisco Bay.
#ds91 – “Sunday (Valentine’s Day) challenge: What is love? Make an interpretive photo today. Keep it clean, people.”
Fog Under the North Tower of Golden Gate Bridge
#ds90 – “Odd or even: Compose an image with an odd or even number of subjects today, and make a photo.”
This was shot at Shoreline Lake in Mountain View. This time, the camera was properly setup for bird photography. I like the tones and position of the Seagull here.
Sunday morning, while at Shoreline Lake in Mountain View, this hawk flew into the bushes nearby where my friend Jose and I were setup. Since I knew it would be moments before it would take flight again, I took the camera off the tripod and set it up for servo focus. It was overcast at about 8:30am. I forgot to set shutter priority and oh how I wish I had the camera set for a higher ISO. I think the solution is to setup one of my camera presets for bird photography.
This shot is slightly out-of-focus since it was handheld. Then the bird took flight and flew right at us. They were framed wonderfully, but each was blurry due to the slow shutter speed. Despite the issues with this shot, I still like it and how close I was. I suppose I can tell always people I took this with my iPhone.
Today I did a brief photowalk along the Guadalupe River in San Jose. The primary goal was to complete today’s Daily Shoot assignment. I ended up taking more pictures. Many had challenges being framed nicely due to all the trash along the river. While the trash helped with the goal of the assignment today, it was tough because the birds down there are great subjects of photos. Here are a few of the shots from today.
Below are the shots for The Daily Shoot #ds62: “One man’s trash is another’s treasure. Make a photo of something discarded or abandoned today. (@lyzadanger)“
This last one, I considered posting as my assignment contribution, but I figured the one above was a stronger photo.
#ds49 – “Sunday challenge! Pick a focal length, any focal length, and stick with it the entire day. Post your best shot. (@rlepage)”
I wasn’t able to keep the focal length with my one lens all day (too many potential missed opportunities. I did try to keep with a single length at one location. Getting close to planes made for some interesting shots. Note the birds in this shot.
This morning I caught the sunrise at Almaden Lake in San Jose. It was great to be there as the birds were waking up, the light was changing and the world came to life. This was good practice in dealing with quickly changing lighting conditions and fast-motion photography. To top it off, Mt. Umunhum and Mt. Loma Prieta made for a great backdrop to the flying geese. Here are some highlights. The rest can be found here.
Today I left work a bit early in hopes of catching some of the waning light of the day. The wildlife sanctuary at the Dumbarton bridge was a good place as any to try and complete a couple Daily Shoot assignments. While at it, I was hoping to get a bit more practice with sunset photography and if really lucky catch a good picture of a bird. While still only owning a 28-135 lens, I wasn’t holding out for a killer bird picture.
This is the type of shot I was after. I am not necessarily thrilled with it, but it was fun to try and get this one. Finding the dead tree and placing it against the power lines and marsh seemed like a good combination. I think a wider lens may have made this a bit more dramatic. I am using this one for #ds43: “Trees come in all shapes and sizes. This time of year they may be covered in snow. Make a photo of an interesting tree.”
I would be hard-pressed to find one with snow out here.
After my attempts with the sunset, I noticed this next shot with my car.
I liked the way the car, the radio tower, fence and bridge came together. For this one I waited until a truck drove by to add a sense of bustle.
Finally, my other favorite shot from this mini-outing was the photo of four cones that were stuck in the silty mud under the bridge. I love how dirty this photo is and how along with the bright reflections in the water. The cones captured the setting sun to make it look like a flash was used on this shot.
Finally, I have been hunting for a picture for #ds41: “Share a little bit about yourself by making a photo that exemplifies your part of the country or world. (@book_up)” While this one is similar to the one with the tree, it captures a bit more about the area. Marsh, Wildlife, hills and the power that drives silicon valley.
The variety of color on this image is what I think I like the most. This was captured with the camera closed way down. 90mm, f36, 1/1000
I am debating if this image would look better cropped in a portrait style which would put more emphasis on the birds.
#DS19: “Weather affects our lives in so many ways. Make a photograph that illustrates the weather where you are today.”
Santa Cruz Mountains during a rainy day.