Best of February 2008

January 30, 2009

I didn’t do too much traveling directly related to nature and wildlife photography, probably because I had many big trips planned for the spring.  It was a big month in terms of camera gear.  I finally bought the Canon 5D and it remains my favorite camera.

 

“Balance”  –  UCSB Lagoon, Santa Barbara, CA                                            Canon 30D, 100-400 @ 400 mm, 1/800 s, f/8, ISO 400

 

“Looking Back”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA                                        Canon 30D, 100-400 @ 375 mm, 1/2000 s, f/8, ISO 400

 

“Purple Haze”  –  Camino Cielo, Santa Barbara, CA                                      Canon 30D, 100 mm Macro, 1/20 s, f/8, ISO 100

 

“Paradise in Orange”  –  Goleta, CA                                                             Canon 5D, 100 mm Macro, 1/640 s, f/8, ISO 400

 

“Friends”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA                                                   Canon 30D, 100-400 @ 250 mm, 1/640 s, f/5.6, ISO 400


Most interesting of January 2008

January 29, 2009

I’m working on a series of posts documenting my best or most interesting photos from the past year.  I’ll start by trying to get the photos up and a brief caption.  When I have time I’ll try to write more about why I like each one or what went into capturing it.

 

“Clearing Reflection”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA                                Canon 30D, 10-22 @ 10mm, 1/5 s, f/14, ISO 200

 

“Naked Light”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA                                          Canon 30D, 70-300 DO @ 150mm, 1/100 s, f/8, ISO 200


Cause and Effect

January 25, 2009

As a nature photographer, this is one of the most anxious times of the year.  Will it rain enough to bring the spring wildflowers and will the storms occur at opportune times to give us dramatic clouds at sunset.  This week we got some rain, but the photographic opportunities were hit and miss.  Even though we haven’t received that much rainfall so far, things have really started to green up and some flowers are already starting to appear if you know where to look.

 

“Cloudy Blanket”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA                              Canon 5D, 24-105 @ 35mm, 1/50s,  f/10, ISO 400

 

“The Snake”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA                                   Canon 50D, 100-400 @ 160mm, 1/800s, f/8, ISO 400

 

“Wet Luck”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA                                      Canon G10, 11mm, 1/100s, f/3.2, ISO 80

 

“First Bloom”  –  Santa Barbara, CA                                                           Canon 50D, 100mm macro, 1/500s, f/3.5, ISO 200


Waves and Wildlife

January 20, 2009

I headed up north to San Francisco this weekend on a primarily non-photography focused trip.  The city is always amazing and I was really happy to make it up there while the weather was so nice.  After eating way too much great food, I headed back the long way along HW 1 yesterday morning.  I love looking at the waves along this stretch of coastline and could spend all day taking pictures of their infinite variations.  If there would have been potential for clouds, I would have drove down later in the day.  But with the nice weather, I got on the road early with the hope of seeing some wildlife along the way.  I wasn’t disappointed and managed to spot a pair of coyotes hunting in a field.  Sharing the field with them was a Harrier, who was fun to watch cruising low over the ground.  It would abruptly change direction and dive for the ground several times but I never saw it successfully catch anything.  The coyote and harrier photos were all taken with my 400 5.6 plus 1.4x extender on a tripod.  With this combination I don’t have autofocus, so all of these were manually focused.  Capturing a bird in flight at 560 mm with no autofocus isn’t the easiest thing to do and I was impressed with how many were in focus.

 

“Wave”  –  HW 1, north of Big Sur, CA

 

“Coyote  I”  –  HW 1, north of Big Sur, CA

 

“Coyote I running”  –  HW 1, north of Big Sur, CA

 

“Coyote  II”  –  HW 1, north of Big Sur, CA

 

“Harrier  I”  –  HW 1, north of Big Sur, CA

 

“Harrier  II”  –  HW 1, north of Big Sur, CA


Firsts

January 20, 2009

All the photos in this post are a first for me in some way or form.  I have had some recent success tracking Great Horned Owls, during the day.  Which I think is pretty cool.  I also recently saw two new raptors on a trip through Lockwood Valley:  the Prairie Falcon and the Ferruginous Hawk.  Lastly, I have never seen a Great Blue Heron with such intensely blue lores.  (The patch of skin in front of the eyes.)

 

“Great Horned Owl  I”  –  Goleta, CA

 

“Great Horned Owl  II”  –  Goleta, CA

 

“Prairie Falcon”  –  Lockwood Valley, Ventura, CA

 

“Ferruginous Hawk”  –  Lockwood Valley, Ventura, CA

 

“Great Blue Heron”  –  UCSB Lagoon, Santa Barbara, CA


Holiday Recovery

January 20, 2009

As expected, the holidays slowed me down and I haven’t had a chance to update the site in too long.  We’ve been having some amazing weather out here for January.  Unfortunately that means no clouds or interesting sunsets and the wildlife also seems to scatter.  But I have managed to capture a few interesting things over the past month.  Here are a selection of birds from the first half of the month.  I’m anxiously awaiting more rain (tomorrow!) and the start of the wildflower season in the coming months.  

 

 

Brown Pelican - Barry Rowan

“Brown Pelican”  –  UCSB Lagoon, Santa Barbara, CA

 

“Sharp-Shinned Hawk”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

 

“Cedar Waxwing”  – Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

 

“Northern Shovelers”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

 

“Western Grebe”  –  UCSB Lagoon, Santa Barbara, CA