It can take a lot of work to find the right perch sometimes. It can be a branch, a stump, some barbed wire, or in this case a rock. Once you find the right perch then you have to start working on the background and seeing if it works with your perch. Then there’s the light, is it better lit up in the morning or afternoon? So many decisions and things to figure out. Least of all is getting the subject to land on your perfect spot, or at least the spot you think is perfect. Is it worth it? Well, the photograph, in the end, will tell you that. I spent a long time sitting on the bank of the Missouri River watching the Sparrows fly around me before this one individual finally went to the spot I had picked out. I thought it was a good afternoon, photo could still be better though.
The world doesn’t come to an end during winter in the Rocky Mountains. One would think that with the amount of snowfall we get and the harsh temperatures that life just stops, but no it goes on. The trick to surviving in winter is maintaining energy. Maximum caloric intake with the least amount of output. That’s the balance. On warm sunny days, you often can find various ungulate species lounging in the sunshine while employing this technique. This young Bull Elk spent the morning grazing and by the time the afternoon hit he was out for the count, except for the occasional glance at his harem. Priorities after all.
Wintertime is a fun time to take the camera and play around with black and whites. It’s easy to see why as all the snow makes for the perfect white element so that just leaves the black element. This old barn outside of town made for that perfect element. Since I’ve photographed this barn in the past, I knew it would be a good subject for the afternoon. The white paint job makes it blend in more with the snow which is a unique element compared to most barns that are red and stick out more.
I’m very pleased to finally have the story of the PA-12 Faust published in EAA’s Sport Aviation. I’ve known Jim Booth and his family for a couple of years now and they are just amazing people. The plane’s history is really fascinating and the article is a good read. If you’re an EAA member be on the lookout for the February issue.
There are many ways to capture a great black and white image when it comes to landscapes, but one of my favorites has always been to use a long lens. Trying to capture everything you see in the viewfinder can lead to extra elements that might not be worth having but using a long lens can isolate good elements that are stronger. The treelines on the mountainside were far more important to me than the mountain itself which is why I used the 600f4 to isolate the trees.
There isn’t always a great deal of light showing, sometimes it’s just a spotlight. In the years I’ve lived in Bozeman I’ve noticed that there are plenty of times when we get cloud banks out to the west and you wouldn’t think there would be any light at sunset but then a hole opens up and just a sliver comes through and that’s enough to add some drama to the Bridger Mountains. This was one of those moments that I captured with the 200-400 VRII.
Looking back certainly was dramatic but looking forward was even more so! I’ve driven the road up through the Horseshoe Hills towards Helena many times on my way to the Missouri River but I have never seen the skies as dramatic as this past weekend. When high winds are gusting, the storm clouds are moving about like crazy and can lead to some really amazing photo opps.
It’s always important to have a camera with you when you’re out and about. I always carry one when I go out fishing not just because I take pictures of fish but in case something comes up where I really need to stop and take a picture. Driving home the other day from the river the storm clouds were amazing! With the high gusts, the clouds were moving fast revealing pockets of light in between sessions of pure darkness. It was really cool! I pulled over, grabbed the Z50 and took a couple of clicks.
Yep, it’s that time of the year again where you need to reset your blog actions and the copyright on your site if you have components that have the year 2019 attached to it. For me, it’s the plugin Digimarc which applies an invisible watermark in my photos. Every year that plugin has to be changed to have the current year in it. Actions are very easy to change and should be done regularly as the equipment and skills you acquire grow.
May 2020 bring joy to all!