Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pecking Order

Feeders are great for the interaction although the stress probably does burn some extra energy.  But when the diet is peanut butter there should be some extra fuel for a good fight, albeit a brief one.  Filmed at Sax Zim Bog.  Techinical: ambient sound added, 50% normal speed

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This pine grosbeak was busy in the tree appearing to be eating snow.  Technical: photographed standing in the bed of the pickup to reduce angle, cropped.  Photogrpahed at the Blue Spruce feeders, Sax Zim.

Monday, January 28, 2013


This hairy woodpecker is very nervous and is finally convinced the red squirrel's warnings might be important than eating.   As photographers we concentrate on the visual elements but recording video brings in the importance of sound.  Sometimes I just close my eyes and listen at the feeders. Technical: action at 75% normal speed, sound cleaned with Audacity.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Staying Warm

I've spent the last couple days in Sax Zim Bog braving the -18 degrees yesterday morning.  The temperature tested the lower comfort limit of my footwear which is definitely above that temperature.  My feet were cold!  This ball of feathers is staying warm in his own way.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slow Creeper

Another version of my fascination with this hyperactive bird.  The video is shown at half normal speed so the birds unique behavior can more easily be seen.  Filmed at the Owl Ave. feeder complex in Sax Zim Bog.  This is an excellent feeder for a variety of birds and photogenic placement of the feeders.  Technical: Overcranked to 60 fps, shutter speed 1/125 to match shutter angle.  Converted to 30fps in Final Cut to create slow motion.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Catch me if you can!

Another photo from Sax Zim that shows its range of birds.  Brown creepers and great gray owls have feathers but other than that they could not be more different.  The photographer's challenge is to get an image with the beak an eye present in this bird that is in nonstop motion, I guess that's why there is a high speed burst mode.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Great Gray Variation

There are a couple ways to look at this image.  Yes, it is a great gray owl with snow on its head and a few flakes coming down in the background.  Looking at the image from a design perspective the diagonal perch and eyes to the right make the image more dynamic than a flat perch and the owl looking straight ahead.  The owl is separated from the out of focus and flat background. Compositionally there is space to the front of the bird.  The beauty of photography is the fact there are no right answers just different possibilities.  Over the course of a few a hours lots of possibilities were tried.  Now ther is the fun of reliving the experience while editing.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's in the Eyes

I spent yesterday at Sax Zim and had an unforgettable day photographing with friends.  One highlight of the was spending the afternoon with this owl.  The music of shutters on burst mode filled the air.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I'm on the road looking for winter wildlife.  The birds were on the river in Monticello and active but the sky was gray and dark.  Sometimes you can't fight the light, therefore a black and white image.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Common Redpolls in Motion

This video gives a much better story of redpolls in winter.  Birds are limited in the amount of fat they can store, too much weight would make them unable to fly, so eating is the answer to a cold winter day.  Yesterday's bird ID has been corrected.

Common Redpolls

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Common Redpoll

January is a great month for photography of birds at feeders.  The challenge is finding a natural setting and getting them to hold still for a fraction of a second.  Currently in New Ulm the environment could be March except for the cold temperature.  This was taken last January.

Monday, January 14, 2013


The astute observer will see the "catch light" in the eye on this overcast day.  It was snowing lightly in Canal Park and a flake just happened to be in the area of the eye when the image was captured.  What is he thinking?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hot Ice

Rumor has it that the temperature has been so warm in Duluth recently the ice is almost too hot for the gulls to walk on.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Robins and Rain

January 10, 2013. 39 degrees for a high, currently (5 pm) raining.  The average high is 23 degrees.  Is it any wonder these robins are confused?  This short clip also demonstrates a basic problem with global warming.  The robins are frantically burning energy in search of non existent food.  This energy/nutrition mismatch is more serious than any icebergs melting, flooding a few thousand homes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Winner

Competition is intense for the slices of bread at Canal Park, occasionally there is a clear winner.  Technical: soft image, included because of storytelling value

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January Stretch

I went Duluth this week for the first photo trip of 2013.  I've been to Canal Park a couple times with no success in photographing the gulls but have heard they arrive at about 3 PM so this visit was timed for them.  I don't know if the gulls can tell time or have been trained to arrive for their daily meal of loaf bread.  In any event the light was sweet.  Technical: 100-400 mm, handheld, WB=cloudy

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Chase

A short movie of my recent Montana trip.  The beauty (agony) of video is time compression.  Five days of observation is distilled to less than a minute of video.  Everyone has seen the rams knocking heads, this is what happens to the winner.  He gets to run around for days on end waiting for the ewe to be ready for mating.

The Chase