Saturday, November 30, 2013

Undine Falls

What's in a name? This falls was apparently named for German water spirits who would hide near waterfalls in hopes of luring men to marry them so they could gain souls. A brief Google search gave similar myths in different cultures throughout history. The allure of waterfalls has been with us a long time.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lamar Canyon

To me Yellowstone is wildlife, water, and a sulfurous aroma (perhaps odor to others). The river canyons are usually dark with black water making it a challenge to get an image that does not have the water as a black hole pulling your eye into it. The dawn light reflecting on the Lamar River brightened the water making this an opportunity too good to pass up. I can photograph wildlife and water. How to photograph the sulfurous aroma will take some more thought.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksiving

I  thought this was a good time to share this video taken a couple months ago in Flandrau State Park. I upgraded to the new OS Mavericks yesterday and put this together on iMovie 10+. Upgrading appears to have been a mistake. Footage from the C100 is not visible with quick look but the 7D footage is visible. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wolf Music

This is a short recording of wolves howling one morning. Blogger makes it difficult to add mp3 files so going to this link may not work but give it a try. When I tested it the file was downloaded and played automatically. I'm looking for an embedded media player for future recordings. 
Wolf Chorus

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ram in the snow

I took a couple variations of this ram thanks to the 100-400 mm lens.  The steep hills of Gardiner Canyon fit with the myth that sheep live in a remote, rugged wilderness. However, this was photographed from a pull out along the road.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Soaking up the sun

While the adults were busy eating, chasing, and being chased this lamb decided to enjoy the warm morning sun.  I'm back in Montana when I see this image. Lots more sheep to come over the next couple weeks.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Love is in the air

The big horn sheep rut is in full swing with rams competing for ewes. This shot seems more tasteful than the up close sniffing from behind that happens regularly. 

Friday, November 22, 2013


When the grizzly carried a piece of carcass off to eat it met with a pair of determined wolves. So ends the saga of the wolves and grizzly. A full version will be put together after I return home. Technical: processed with iMovie

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The other half of the fight

This female wolf had her hands full with the grizzly who stole the elk cow she took down with the help of her mate. To make matters worse a pack of coyotes came in to eat when the grizzly left. She chased the coyotes who ran toward the crowd giving us some very fast paced shooting for a few seconds. Where to you point: coyotes at 30 feet, the wolf at 30 yards, or do you run to the car? The choices a photographer has to make in Yellowstone.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I'm continuing to relive yesterday morning with another shot of the grizzly guarding the cow elk carcass it stole from the wolves. The ravens are doing what they can to get a bite but the bear has furry competitors on its mind. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yellowstone Nirvana

I'm looking for big horns butting heads but this opportunity unfolded over 3 hours this morning. The chess match between this grizzly bear and the wolves was amazing. Marauding coyotes, annoying magpies, and stealthy ravens were added for good measure. Recorded with 500 mm and 1.4 tele-extender on a Canon 7D, ISO about 1250, remote cable release. Image cropped about 2/3 of original.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Chase

I'm headed to Yellowstone for another attempt at recording big horn rams fighting for dominance. I went during the first week of December last year and the dominant ram had been selected so this rut behavior was the recorded. Hoping for better timing this week.

Friday, November 15, 2013

On Two Legs

This was captured off the video shown on yesterday's blog. With my wandering mind I associated the precarious balance of this guy with the polar bear's threatened status. Don't even try to guess how I find similarities between polar bears and whitetail deer. Perhaps its because I have been watching the antics of polar bears at Churchill in the morning on recently and deer in the park during the afternoon. 

Technical: Captured from Canon C100 footage @1/60 second. Yes, the hooves are clipped.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


This is the last thing a wildlife videographer wants to record when filming deer behavior.  The buck's body language is fun to watch but hard to put into a story about the deer rut. The lens is white, manual focus is required, and tracking him through the woods are all movements that he may have keyed in on. I am covered in a bag blind so the only movement is the camera and my gloved left hand. In my experience deer with little hunting pressure are very curious. Archery hunting from fixed tree stands is allowed in the park with a 3 deer per hunter limit so there is some hunting pressure but also lots of deer. This area of the park doesn't have hunting so I am free to hunt with the camera.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Preparing for Winter

Winter is here. It was 9 degrees in southern MN yesterday morning. This chipmunk getting ready for the upcoming season was recorded a few weeks ago. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cottonwood River Sunset

After a dark, gray day there was a rim of brightness on the horizon just before sunset; an excellent opportunity to do time lapse! 

Technical: manual exposure 1/60, f 8.0, ISO 1250, 3 second interval using Magic Lantern, JPEG files, images connected with Quicktime 7.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Simple Pleasure

Sometimes we overlook the simple acts in nature. This clip is presented in real time, unedited except for the addition of background music. I invite you to sit back and enjoy one of life's simple pleasures.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thinking Christmas

Red and green must mean Christmas is coming, right? These guys were a welcome sight on a recent walk through the woods. I came across a stump covered with them and after an hour of shooting realized the best shot was from below with the background blurred. A little slow on creativity on that day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November Lines

To the mycologist this is an image of fungi. To the logger it is the memory of harvest. To the mushroom it's home. To the photographer it could be about contrasting textures. To me it's about contrasting lines in the wood and the mushrooms. Lines in the mushroom stem are reaching to the almost horizontal lines of the edges of the caps. Then there are the diagonal lines hovering on top of the mushrooms to complete the frame around the mushrooms.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autumn Drama

I am always looking for a story to tell with video. Predator/prey relationships make a good story even in the insect world. Bill Wallauer who filmed the movie Chimpanzee for the Disney gives some insights into the world of wildlife filmmaking at Google + Photographers

Technical: Filmed with a Canon 7D and 70-200 mm lens

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Sky is Full

My wife has been telling me about the number of birds in the fields she sees on the way to work. This weekend I had a chance to see them and take a couple shots. I am amazed at the organization of flocks.  Who leads? Who gives the fly and land signals? 

Technical: 200 mm focal length on Canon 7D, cloudy white balance. Image chosen from several because corners of frame were filled more than other choices.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I have been watching turkeys lately and am gaining an appreciation for them. When not concerned about a photographer they have some very interesting behavior. I watched two of them chasing each other around a tree a couple days ago, fun to watch but not enough time to set up the camera.

Technical: Maneuvering of the mobile (Toyota) blind and slight cropping needed to eliminate the children's slide on the left.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Would you like to dance?

We have all heard about the polka, waltz, tango, and rumba. How many know the turkey trot? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Journey

With the new month I'm making the transition from graphic design to storytelling. November is one of the hardest months for me to find landscape images, March is the second hardest. With that being said, Wildlife photography takes over as my obsession. Last year I discovered gray squirrels, animals that are everywhere but difficult to record while going about their normal lives. The next few weeks will find me watching them every chance I can, perhaps even taking a shot or two.