Category Archives: Travel

Touching Video About Midway Atoll Albtross

I first saw this clip on Chase Jarvis’s blog and became instantly captivated by the work of the photographer, Chris Jordan. I have to admit that some of the images are graphic so watch with some discretion.

Im not sure what it is about this video and the work Chris is doing that I find so compelling and moving. I suspect what moves me is the realization that all our carelessness with the environment is directly affecting the lives of other creatures. The proof is powerful. If you really think using styrofoam cups and soft drink bottles doesnt have an impact on our lives, spend 5 minutes and watch this video.

Bird Land!

I have a trip to Florida coming up. Florida has a special place in my heart, it is a place I hope to explore more thoroughly in the coming years. Its rich in wildlife and easily explored.

One of my favorite birds to photograph are laughing gulls. Florida is the laughing gull capital of the east coast 🙂

Laughing Gull Preen at Sunrise
Laughing Gull Glide
Laughing Gull Checking Out a Fisherman

I have a host of new places to explore and new bird species I would like to photograph. It will be a challenge given the migration has started so I will be in between some bird movement but I look forward to sharing with you what I learn.

Have a great weekend!

Images captured with D3x and 70-200 VR I on Lexar Digital Film

What Are Your Favorite Florida Bird Photography Locations?

I will be heading down to Orlando soon for Photoshop World 2011. I plan on going early and taking advantage of the time to do some bird photography. While I have visited several locations on the west coast of FLorida, I have not visited many locations on the east coast.

Brown Pelican on Pier

In doing some research, I think I have narrowed down my potential locations to 3 areas. 1) Viera Wetlands, 2) Merritt Island NWR and 3) St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Which of these locations do my Florida friends and readers recommend? If not these are there other recommendations you have? If so email me or comment below.

Monday Musings

I think some of the best photographic advice I have ever received was “the best zoom you have is your feet”. There really are many ways this can be applied to becoming a better photographer. On a recent trip to Portland Head Light, our subject was clearly the beautiful light house during this magnificent sunset.
Here is a postcard view from on top of the rocks.

Portland Head Light at Sunset

While the above image is ok, it wasn’t striking and after I returned from the trip, I decided (as I almost always do when I return from a trip) that I did not get THE shot I wanted and needed to go back sometime and photograph from a different location/vantage point.

However, what I did leave Portland Head Light with was one of my favorite images from my trip to Maine (below). It is an image of a photographer standing on a park bench, taking a picture of the U.S. flag at sunset.

Photographer at Sunset

An image created because I took the time to stop, turn around and move my feet. We have legs, and they are the easiest photographic tool to use. Why do so many of us stand in one spot when we make images?

What Better Way to Kick Off Halloween Weekend………

Than with a pumpkin festival! There is a small quaint town in Maine named Damariscotta where an annual pumpkin festival and regatta take center stage in October. On a recent trip to the area we were able to photograph some great works of art by local pumpkin artisans.
Here is one of my favorites

Pumpkin Art at the Damariscotta Pumpkin Festival

Have a great weekend!

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

On a recent trip to Maine, I had the pleasure of visiting a small coastal town named Bristol. One of the many attractions in Bristol is Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. The original lighthouse was built in 1827. This version didn’t last long because the mortar used in its construction as mixed with saltwater, causing the mortar to break apart.

The lighthouse that stands today was built in 1835 with mortar mixed only with freshwater. It seems like they got it right this time!
Here is one of my favorite images from the morning.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse at Sunrise

Another great vantage point to photograph this lighthouse from is down by the ocean. In order to get there you need to climb down some steep, wet rocks. Keep in mind it is pitch black while you are attempting to do this! Unfortunately I arrived after the best light but was still able to make this click. I especially like the reflection in the tidal pool. Only wish that pool was bigger.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse from the Ocean

This last image intrigued me because of the position of the flag, and the glow of the light around the lighthouse. Now that I look at it, I wish I had moved the tripod so the flag was a little more to the right of the lighthouse.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse with Flag

The last 2 images just don’t do it for me. They were good attempts but I guess I just have to go back to Bristol some time soon! It rarely happens that you are able to create the exact image you want the very first time. And with sunrise lasting only 30 minutes or less, you can’t get to every position around the lighthouse that you want. There are always sacrifices in life.

One of My Favorite Florida Locations

I love photographing in Florida. The diversity of and access to wildlife is hard to beat anywhere. I had the opportunity to visit Palm Beach County this past week. I used the time to visit one of my favorite places, Jupiter Beach Park. The park is a fantastic place to photograph at sunrise. The assortment of birds that I see regularly there are Ruddy Turnstones, Brown Pelicans, Common Terns and Least Terns. I have also occasionally photographed Osprey, Great and Snowy Egrets and Laughing Gulls at this location. Oh yeah, there are a group of regulars here that feed the pigeons each morning, so if you want pigeon pictures, this location will fill your CF card!

Ruddy Turnstone on a rock

There is a jetty to walk on which you can capture people habituated Ruddy Turnstones like the photograph above. There is also a long stretch of beach you can walk as well. That is where I shot the Ruddy Turnstone image below.

Ruddy Turnstone in Rippling Wave

In order to prepare for this trip, I looked at some past images from the park to figure out how I could improve on the images I already had in my files. As a result I came away with 2 goals for this trip. 1) Take images with cleaner backgrounds. As you can see in the first image, I went to great lengths to ensure that I captured as much of the inlet behind the bird as possible, limiting anything that would be a distraction to my subject. 2) Find some emotion and pull some heart strings with the images I took.

I think I was successful with goal number 1. The images I came away with on this trip were much better than those of the past. This is good, it means as a photographer I am improving my skills and craft. An essential trait to any business. On the second goal I was less successful. I tried to pull emotion by photographing many, and I mean many, of the Ruddy Turnstones I saw limping around the beach. Why were they limping? Their feet were tied with fishing line, an unfortunate consequence of foraging near fishermen. However I did not pull off telling that story the way I wanted. I also snapped a few pictures of an Osprey flying overhead with a fish in its talons but did not have the right light in order to bring true emotion to that image.

The closest I came to pulling emotion was this photograph of a least tern preparing to drop into the water at sunrise. At least it stirred emotion in me!

Least Tern Preparing to dive into the water