Images of the Week – Feb 7-13

February 14, 2011

The beautiful sunset skies disappeared last week and left us with warm days and cold nights.  Morning frost is generally uncommon here, but was in abundance last week.  Thankfully the weather is changing and it looks like it will be a wet week.  Clear skies may not make for nice sunsets, but are good for photographing White-tailed Kites hunting in the last light.  I should have spent more time photographing them and will have to work on that the next time the weather cooperates.

The theme of the past week was quite appropriate give that today is Valentine’s day.  Many birds have either paired up or are in the process of doing so.  Both pairs of Kites are actively nest building, the Mute Swans will probably start laying eggs sooner rather than later, the two Kestrels are back together, and we have seen two Cooper’s Hawks flying together in the evenings.  Not to sound too sappy, but love is definitely in the air.

“Togetherness”  –  Mute Swan pair

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Images of the Week – Jan 31- Feb 6

February 7, 2011

The theme of the past week has been the intense sunsets.  It’s interesting that I’m primarily out looking for wildlife, but when I put together a collection of my favorite images from the week, only one contained an animal.  This is one of the things that makes photography so exciting…  you never know exactly what will catch your attention on any given day.

There has been another pair of White-tailed Kites seen at LLC over the past few weekends.  I’ve only seen them on weekends, which is a bit strange.  Yesterday it was confirmed that they are intending to nest somewhere nearby.  The resident pair seems to be tolerating them so far.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

“Alien Landing”  –  Goleta, CA

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Images of the Week – Jan 24-30

January 31, 2011

This is the start of (I hope) a weekly series where I will post some of my favorite or interesting shots from the previous week.  I will try not to cross-post too many of these on Flickr, but there may be a duplicate or two here and there.

Birds and Spring seem to be the major theme from the past week.  The local pair of White-tailed Kites have been working on their nest, and there may also be another pair staking claim to the northern side of the park.  Likewise, a pair of Mute Swans have given some signs that they may start working on a nest.  They have both been pulling dead reeds, but have not made any effort to construct a nest.  Meanwhile, the mustard and wild radish is near peak bloom at the park, and wildflowers are beginning to bloom in the foothills.  All of the early rain and recent warm weather have gotten Spring off to an early start this year.

“Winter’s Color”  –  Rainbow over the Santa Ynez Mountains

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Cold Springs Trail – After the Rain

November 21, 2010

Since we had a good dousing of rain on Friday night, I decided to hike up Cold Springs Trail to check on the water flow.  There really wasn’t very much water, but thankfully it was still running clear and not mud colored.  This hike was an experiment to see if I could make do with just the Joby – Gorillapod Focus, and not a full tripod.  It worked really well when there were boulders to work from, but was nearly impossible to use at ground level.  My knees were not at all happy about this experiment!  However, with mirror lockup and a cable release, it did a great job holding the camera still.

I’ve been doing so much wildlife photography lately that I feel like I’m getting in a bit of a rut.  So, it was very refreshing to search out some different subject matter and to look for interesting compositions in the exceedingly chaotic wilderness.  I’ll have to make a point of going on more of these excursions this winter.


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Challenge II

July 31, 2010

One of my favorite trees recently had an argument with gravity, and lost.  That’s too bad, it was a very cool tree.  And I was just thinking about climbing it…


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A Challenge

July 21, 2010

I’ve been spending (too much) time on Flickr looking at other people’s images recently.  There are a lot of outstanding images, but after awhile it gets a bit overwhelming and everything starts to blur together and I feel like I’m looking at the same images over and over.  It’s actually giving me a headache just thinking about it!  Some amazing photographers have commented about the number of images being posted online and have pondered what it means.  What can one person contribute when there are already billions of photos online?  Perhaps the end result should not be the primary goal, but instead the process of creating should be what matters most.  I find that the times that I push myself to discover new places and improve the quality of my work, are the events that I value the most.

As a result, I have challenged myself to ‘find’ more images in nature and attempt to push my creativity and compositional skills to the next level.  I feel like I know my local area like the back of my hand, but it is astonishing how many photographic subjects go unseen, when you aren’t actively open to seeing new things.  I have a feeling this will be a very educational challenge.  So far, the successful images are few and far between, but that is all part of the process.  Here are a few of the better ones, although they do have their significant flaws.  Consider this a work in progress…

“Time Machine”

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February 21, 2010

Officially, Spring is exactly one month away.  However, we’ve had springlike conditions here in Santa Barbara for the past few months.  An early October storm helped get things going early and all the recent rains have kicked things into high gear.  Spring must feel far away for those dealing with all the snow back east.  Enjoy the winter weather while you can, because Spring is just around the corner.

~ Click on the images to view them larger.

“Busy Bee”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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