Monthly Archives: August 2011

Have You Heard About New Hampshires New Wildlife Guides?

Tufted Titmouse

Well Google+ has already paid some dividends. I started using “Sparks” and selected “birding” and “wildlife” as topics I was interested in. Sure enough the first story that came up was that the State of New Hampshire had just created a new wildlife website (

Available on this new website is New Hampshire’s Wildlife Viewing and Birding Trails Guide.

If you would like to try Google+ and need an invitation, I have a few left. Just click on this link: Google+ Invites

Monday Musings – Venetian Patterns

One of the stops on our European trip was Venice.

St. Marks Clock Tower

I’m going to give everyone a tip here, fairly common knowledge photographically but said in a different way than you have been used to hearing it. Photography is an art that sees 360°, make sure you do as well. Don’t always look in front of you, look up, look down and look behind you, you never know what you might see. Had I not looked up, I would have missed the cloud pattern behind St, Marks Clock Tower. To finish this image I used Nik Filters “Monday Morning”.

Green Window, Yellow Wall

I used Nik Filters “Glamour Glow” to finish this image. The morning light hits the walls in Venice with a special touch. One of the things I don’t like about vacation photography is that you are never in the right spot at the right time of the day. Put differently, I wish I could have parked my butt in one or two spots at sunrise and sunset and just took advantage of the light…no such luck!

Solids and Stripes

I dont think I executed the above image the way I wanted to. I saw the image differently when I pressed the shutter but the result was not what I wanted. One problem with this image is that I am shooting up from the street. Causes the proportions of the window to look funny.

Palm Tree Shade

This image was finished with Nik Filters “Tonal Contrast”

Overall, the colors in Venice are incredible. It is definitely on my list of places to revisit. One day was not enough time.

Images captured with Nikon D700 and 24-120 VR I on Lexar Digital film.

Never Ending Love

You may have noticed that I have been a poor blogger the last few weeks. The reason is I have been in Europe celebrating my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Nat & Phyllis Mistretta, 50 Years Ago!

I have been incredibly blessed during my life. I have had the love and support of both of my parents and have watched them mature (ahem, get old) with grace and dignity…..together. They have reaped the rewards of the seeds they have sown. I also have a great wife and 3 beautiful, albeit mostly grown children (you can tell I don’t like the mostly grown part) ;-). Our family, my folks, wife, children and my 2 sisters clans equate to 16 people. As most of you know, organizing 16 people to go to Europe is a Herculean task but with 1 1/2 years planning, we were able to make it happen.

Vincent, Margaret and Paula One Christmas Many Years Ago

My father paid Paula and I $50 to kiss Margaret to make this picture :-). (Actually I am making that up to distract people from realizing I am holding a Barry Manilow album)!

One of the gifts we presented my parents while on our trip were 2 DVD’s with all of their 8mm and Super 8mm films set to music. They truly enjoyed being able to watch their wedding day festivities with their children and grand children.

Guest Houses, Roman Forum

As I prepared for our trip, I decided to tie a photographic challenge into the mix for me. My challenge was to take only one body (Nikon D700) and one lens (the old, 24-120) and try to photograph images of famous places differently than others have done. I will share some of the results with you over the coming weeks. As you can imagine, I have about 75 GB of new images to process and review. My goal is to present my parents with a book of the images from this great trip as a remembrance of the 12 days we all spent together celebrating their never ending love.

Images captured with Nikon D700 and 24-120 VR I, on Lexar Digital Film

Snowy Egrets

Snowy Egret in Breeding Plumage

The above picture was taken along Dune Rd in Quogue at sunrise. As you can tell, this male was in full breeding plumage and trying to impress the ladies!

Snowy Egret Party

A little further down the road, this group of Snowy Egrets was working a tidal pool. I must have been a tad late to this party as the feeding was limited. I suspect they cleaned the tidal pool out before I got there.

Images captured with D700, 600mm f/4 w/1.4 TCe on Lexar Digital Film

Monday Musings – Ever See an Osprey Being Harassed?

Its a known fact that Red Winged Blackbirds like to harass Osprey. This really isn’t an issue for just Osprey but Raptors in general.
I have documented this several times at the Osprey nests I visit. As one would expect this behavior is more common when the Osprey and Red Winged Blackbirds are sharing nesting locations.

Red Winged Blackbird Sneaks up on Momma Osprey
Red Winged Blackbird Showing Off

On a recent trip to one of the nests, I was able to capture this in flight pursuit.

Red Winged Blackbird in Pursuit of Osprey

What interests me most about this behavior is it seems to be specific to a few of the Red Winged Blackbirds. There are times I visit these nests and the birds all seem to coexist without any interaction. There are other times when the Red Winged Blackbirds are relentless in their pursuit of the Osprey, so much so, that photographing and observing the Osprey’s behavior (yes, observation is a major part of what I do when I go to photograph subjects) can be difficult.

Photos captured with D3x/D700 w/600mm f/4 on Lexar Digital Film