Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ice Feather

Another macro shot from earlier this week. Technical: contrast increased using Nik Color Efex Pro 4 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ice Fossils

The spring temperature fluctuations this week have made for some interesting morning macro shots.  This scene was   gone by noon and did not reform on the next evening freeze. My eye is torn between the round leaf on the left and the bright line on the right, stopping in the middle to look at the narrow leaf.  The line on the lower right seems to pull the round leaf and bright line together.  A lot to look at.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Geese Feeding

Snow Geese Feeding at Squaw Creek NWR from Dale Bohlke on Vimeo.
With hundreds of thousands of snow geese in the middle of the refuge it was nice of this group to be near shore for photographers.  The temperature was 62 degrees, I wonder when we'll have our first 60 degree day. Technical: Splashing water audio added in post production using Foley technique.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Before and After


Black and white conversion of a monochromatic silhouette using the local adjustment brush in Lightroom to open the of goose and slightly darken the water.  Some days you just have to play on the computer.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fire and Snow Geese Video

Fire and Snow Geese at Squaw Creek NWR from Dale Bohlke on Vimeo.
Last Thursday I went Squaw Creek to photograph a few hundred thousand snow geese with a blue sky as background. The drama of smoke and fire coupled with birds in the air was much more interesting than the blue sky I was expecting.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting Good

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.
Although this is about storytelling it also is pertinent to photography or any other creative skill for that matter. In my mind I know what I want to show but most of the time the image just doesn't show it as I imagine it. Therefore I keep trying again and again to get the shot, for the last 18 years and into the foreseeable future. That is the intrigue of photography.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Sentinel

I sat and watched a group of snow geese as they fed in the later afternoon light while this one watched me. It never took its eyes off me except for a quick nibble. Why does a flock suddenly burst into the air, for no apparent reason? Is one the designated guard that alerts the group? Just another one of nature's mysteries. Technical: Would the picture be better without the stick in the neck? Should it cloned out of the shot? What about all the dark spots in the water?  Sometimes nature isn't perfect.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fire and Snow Geese

My trip to Squaw Creek NWR in Missouri was short but unique.  I arrived Thursday afternoon and found a controlled burn in progress.  The birds were quiet but otherwise unaffected.  Cinders were falling from the air as I was torn between watching the fire and the birds.  The blue sky and 62 degree temperature were a welcome relief to our Minnesota March.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Under the Feeder

This guy was very nervous and ran off or up the tree several times for no apparent reason as I was recording it from the kitchen table.  Being at the bottom of the food change would make me nervous too.  The boreal owl was found on the other side of the cabin, only feet from the vole and birds.  Technical: The color of the snow was corrected for consistency.  ISO in the 2000 range.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Final Days of Winter

Whitetail Deer Struggling for Survival from Dale Bohlke on Vimeo.
This was recorded earlier in the month but with the sweet aroma of organic fertilizer in the air on warm days winter is almost over.For deer it's all about energy conservation at this point.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Mouse Won?

This boreal owl was found near the corner of our cabin which is a well known mouse runway.  Of course we don't know exactly what happened but the story of the owl crashing into the wall while diving for a mouse is somehow more appealing than it shivering and slowly succumbing to starvation and cold weather.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Amateur Biologist

Healthy Deer
Malnourished Deer

These images are from a pair of coyote killed deer carcasses.  In 1949 a short article was published in the New York Conservationist magazine by E. L. Cheatum.  This article is the basis of all current studies of ungulate mortality analysis, however machines are now used instead of fingers to determine the fat content of marrow.  Analysis of bone marrow fat gives an indication of the nutritional status of the animal since it is the last fat reservoir used by a starving animal.

The tracks in snow gave an intriguing story. The healthy deer was the adult which apparently was defending its weak fawn which is the lower image.  The kills were made a few days apart since the fawn was almost intact and the doe was mostly consumed when I found them.  An alternative explanation is a simultaneous kill and the adult was eaten first.  The deer died in an open woodland and all bones were intact therefore not a wolf or bobcat kill.

Cheatum's article is an interesting study in field biology.  I couldn't find the original article on the web but would be happy to send a PDF file of it to anyone who is interested.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Conserving Energy

This young deer was chewing, chewing, and chewing with occasional pauses to lick its lips.  An analogy for the lack of nutritional food in winter that has stuck with me is the cereal is eaten during the warm months, during winter the box is eaten.  Some might say I was desperate to see color in March and its tongue was the only color available.  Technical: photographed from my portable Toyota blind.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring is Coming

It's been a little slow now with the only activity being filming deer eating brush and shoveling snow. This pair of swans was recorded last March 6th.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gray Fox/Red Tape

This gray fox was captured on a trail camera located in a state park.  I have had two cameras set up for about six months, donating images for use by the park.  Imagine my shock when I walked into the office and was told, "I just found out we should have had you get a photography permit which costs $50 . . . we will wave the fee since you are donating images." Without a good working relationship with the park manager my chances of getting this shot would have been very slim.

Apparently there is a permit system in the state park system for photography and filming. The permit is on a per park basis and may require general liability insurance.  Approval is determined by the resident park manager. I would suggest getting to know the park manager if you will be photographing in a state park on a regular basis, better yet offer to donate images.

Technical: cropped to remove borders, 1/30 sec. ISO 800, Infrared exposure