Thursday, April 20, 2017

Grizzly on the path

 I was surprised at the amount of grizzly traffic on this paved trail. The new grass makes this a prime area to explore when they first come out of hibernation. There were three fences and a boiling pool between us as we stood beside the car. Nevertheless, we backed to the other side of the car as it approached.

Technical: Filmed at about 600 mm focal length, cropped 10%

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mom, Let's Play!

This mother grizzly was resting peacefully on a nice warm rock until her youngster had different ideas. This year old cub has another year with mom before being sent out into the world alone.

Technical: Post production stabilization  applied, the 20 mph cross wind was too much for image stabilization system in the long lens.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tired Out

I got back for Yellowstone yesterday and feel like this napping grizzly bear.  With the assignment of filming spring grizzly bears we (fellow volunteer Angela and I) had unlimited access to the Park interior. Despite that 5 bears were seen within a hundred yards of a single parking lot. More to follow.

Technical: shot with a SonyA7r2 and 600 mm lens with 1.4 teleconverter, cropped significantly

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Looking for Bear

I will be in Yellowstone NP for most of the next two weeks looking for grizzly bears. I have to admit grizzlies scare me. Fortunately most encounters are near the road and the safety of the car. I'm also reminded that bad encounters occur in wooded areas when they are surprised at a meal or with cubs. While the fear is rational it might be overstated. Now I have to find the bear spray and make sure it has not expired.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Learning a new technique

I have had a time-lapse feature on my trail camera but never used it until now. There are still some technical issue with camera motion but I like the technique and will be working on it more. The concept of seasonal transition intrigues me and this might be a way to represent it in motion.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Playing Lambs


We went to hike and photograph the landscape but were surprised to see a herd of desert bighorn sheep along the road on  our first morning in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.  We searched for the during the rest of our stay but did not find them again. Recorded with a 24-105 lens on a Sonya7Rii.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Family Photo, 2000 B.C.

 That was my first thought when I saw these figures holding hands. There several similar petroglyphs in Valley of Fire State Park with 4 human-like figures holding hands. It reminded me of the decals on the back of family vans. Most of these rocks have fallen from heights of 400-500 feet and now are more accessible than when the drawings were originally done. The rock below is up about 30 feet with the 8-10 inch foot hold to stand in while chipping the images into the sandstone. They are fascinating reminders of our long standing need to record and remember.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Creating Vastness

Badwater Basin in a must see at Death Valley. The iconic pancake sheets of salt on its surface were my planned subjects. Recent rains changed that plan, the salt ridges were collapsed in pools of water. On to Plan B, showing its vast open space. As the temperature fell to the low 90's and visitors thinned out I took this 3 image panorama, completely opposite the near focus landscape shot I had planned.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

One Man's Dream

While in Death Valley NP I was impressed by the passion and perseverance of past generations in pursuing their dreams. Pete Aquerreberry spent 45 years here mining gold. On the March afternoon we were there the temperature was approaching 90 degrees, I can only imagine what an August afternoon would be like. His lifetime achievement was a little over 500 pounds of gold. This site has been abandoned since his death in 1945. His scars on the earth are still easily seen.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Finding order in chaos

I just returned from a beautiful week in the desert, a perfect balm for the long gray winter. To complete the escape I left the computer home and am just going over images for the first time. The advantage is reliving the trip all over again but the disadvantage is not seeing the dust spots until now. One challenge shooting in the desert is finding organization in apparent chaos. A short hike on the Redstone Trail in Lake Mead Nat. Rec. Area was a case in point. The second two images were found in this small area along the trail.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

One sick raccoon!

Not all of nature is pretty and sometimes it is downright ugly. Predator/prey relationships have a certain synergy and although appearing brutal they are a part of the natural world. A less natural relationship is the interaction of domestic animals and wildlife. We usually think in terms of how pets are affected by wildlife and not the other way around.  My wife and I almost tripped on this raccoon last week and yesterday it was still alive. A Google search has lead me to believe it has a fatal case canine distemper.


Friday, March 10, 2017

March Clouds

When I looked at this morning's temperature of 6 degrees it was hard to recall the 70 degrees  on Mondaywhen this photo was taken. These clouds preceded a thunderstorm and extraordinary winds.  Is this the new March in Minnesota?

Technical: 1 stop graduated ND used in Lightroom

Monday, March 6, 2017

Blast Off!


I spent a day with snow geese and put this together. It started in the fog well before sunrise and ended at sunset.  I could still hear them singing when I went to bed that night. Their singing will either drive you nuts or make you forget the world for awhile. Multiple cameras and lenses were used with two cameras simultaneously recording in the fog sequence.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Explosion in the fog

I heard the geese in the dark as I drove into Loess Bluffs NWR.  The fog had a calming effect on them allowing me to make several trips from the car to set up two tripods and cameras. Another car coming into the Refuge spooked them and they headed off for the morning. This is a trailer for a one minute video that is in the works.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Spring bath

These geese were in a bathing frenzy after arriving earlier in the day.  The action lasted until the bald eagle in the nest above them decided it had had enough and swooped down to scatter them.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lining up for landing

These geese appear to have coordinated their landing plans. However, the best of plans falls apart when they try to find a spot to touch down.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Loess Bluffs NWR

I spent the last couple days recording snow geese as they await better conditions for continuing their migration. Loess Bluffs (formally known as Squaw Creek) is an undiscovered secret and there were locals watching the birds but only a couple other photographers. I had a chance to play with still photography techniques during the midday. Birds arrived over 5 hours and eventually were within 20 yards of the dike.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The original snow cone

This coyote took a break from his carcass feast to get a couple refreshing bites of snow. The day was perfect and I watched him for several hours until he waddled through the snow to rest on the hillside.

The snow bites have been slowed to half speed. While watching any of the current nature shows note the speed of the action. Slow motion is currently in vogue, given the quality of capture with Sony and high end video recorders, but tends to be overused in my opinion. I like to select a small portion of the clip to adjust and make the slow motion seamless with normal speed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Getting Back on Track

I watched this raven struggle in the snow as it worked its way to the trail leading back to a carcass while in Yellowstone. It's tempting to relate this raven's struggle with current events.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Slow Motion Birds

These ravens and magpies presented a perfect opportunity to experiment with slow motion. From a storytelling perspective there is something about the inertia of the carcass and the life it provides shown by the frenzy of the birds.

 Technical: Sony a7rii at 1/250 second, frame rate 120 fps. processed to 1/4 speed in FCPX

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thank You

I often have mixed feelings about rangers when I am being reminded about safety while trying to get that unique shot. However seeing them in action in weather like this I have renewed respect for them. It's nice to have them and have someone remind us of potential dangers when we are overwhelmed with the scene and forget to take care of ourselves.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Winter Rest

I just returned from Yellowstone and am adjusting to a brown landscape again. Winter was in full swing last week with white out conditions most days. The wildlife, other than the always present bison, were also laying low. I found this teenage bull moose early one morning before it moved into the forest. The other bulls have already lost their horns.

Technical: ISO 6400, 600 mm and 1.4 tele-converter, cropped

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Swan Salon

This is the last of the swan series taken at Shakopee earlier this month.  The 16 second format of Instagram is a great editing challenge and also a good way to share short videos. If you are having trouble seeing videos here most of the videos on the blog are also on Instagram at: dbsnature on Instagram.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I missed the embed on yesterday's post which has been corrected. If it is still not visible it can be seen at this link. I looks like there will once again be snow on the ground after today!
The Real January

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Real January

A Quiet Winter Morning from Dale Bohlke on Vimeo.

 This video is from a couple weeks ago when it was a really January. The near zero temperature was great for camera work but not so great for my toes. I have bike riding the last few days pretending it is March. Who needs to go south in the winter with weather like this?

Technical: sequences shot on two successive mornings

Friday, January 20, 2017

Goose Flips Over

This unique form of bathing caught my attention last weekend in Shakopee. It is tempting to draw parallels with current events as we flip over as a nation. As this goose does we always go forward. 

Technical: paddling motion slowed 50%

Monday, January 16, 2017


I have been camera trapping for several years, each year refining my technique a little bit. Last year I concentrated on better staging using a level and placing the camera with a good background (stage) for the animals. After using different techniques over the years there seems to be no need for attractants and scent blockers, either the set is in a good location or it is not. My thanks goes to the MN DNR, Scientific and Natural Areas Program, for permission to put these cameras on public land.

Highlights of 2016 (about 3 1/2 minutes):


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Wave

This trumpeter swan's winter wave is more exercise than I have gotten recently, at leastt until yesterday's snow. It's nice to have a real winter  even if the shovel is the free weight for boosting upper body strength. There is almost enough to XC ski which is definitely a lot more fun than shoveling.

Technical: Photography is all about time manipulation. When shooting stills it usually is about freeing time. This wing wave is at a quarter normal speed to show the beauty of the fluid motion.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Primary Pattern

I have a tendency to look for patterns and designs in nature, especially when shooting macro subjects. I caught myself doing the same thing last week when shooting ducks. Maybe there is something to the saying, "It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Winter Whites

It would be nice if the winter white was snow but the white birds of winter are a lot more fun to watch than falling snow.  I'm using the birds to practice slow motion techniques and various camera/lens combinations. The car is always nearby for a quick warm up when the toes get icy.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

We sing and party (well some of us) to welcome the new year but I'm sure most animals are oblivious to the 12 month calendar. I have taken the liberty to assume this coyote is happy for the arrival of 2017.