Not your Average Valentine’s Day

This might not be the most cheery of Valentine Day posts but frankly I couldn’t find a photograph of something that was really cheery and this day does mark an important day in aviation history. The F4U Corsair was one of the fiercest Allied aircraft during WWII but it didn’t have an auspicious start. If you’re into aviation or a bit of a history buff then you’ve probably have heard of all the trouble that Vought had getting this plane from the blueprints to Carrier decks. But once it was there, pilots swore by it.

Today marks the first combat action of the F4U, from Marine units based on Guadalcanal in 1943. On a mission to Kahili Field in Southern Bougainville, fifty alerted Zero’s were ready for the American bombers and their escort of fighters. Two P-40’s, two PB4Y’s, four P-38’s and two Corsairs were shot down during the raid. Only three Zero’s were shot down during the attack. It was a devastating blow to the men stationed at Guadalcanal and was hence dubbed the St. Valentines Day Massacre.

Lots of Snow to Play With

Some people see lots of snow as a burden or a pain in the butt, but to us photographers who enjoy winter landscapes, there is nothing better than a fresh blanket of powder. The challenge with landscapes is always trying to come up with something new and different, especially if you frequent the same spot over and over again. Well snow makes an instant change to any landscape that can yield some amazing results. One of my favorite ways to utilize these great waves of snow is to not only convert to black and white but to find a single black point to focus on.

Images Captured with Nikon D5, 200-400 VR, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Small Fish, Big Kype

Winter is one of my favorite times to be using the flyrod because the fishing can be amazing. Rainbow Trout spawn in the spring and as they move up the river they become more aggressive. Males can grow large Kype’s on their lower jaw but this one takes the cake. I haven’t seen such a kype in such a small fish before but those little details certainly make for interesting individuals to work with.

Images Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, SB-5000, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Time to Remake Actions

This is a really important but simple thing to do. At the beginning of the year it’s important to update all copyright elements with blog and website elements. It’s kind of tedious and time consuming but it’s an important element to protecting your photography. One thing that I have always done is use a hidden watermark in my photos that includes a copyright year. It’s in most of my actions so going back through and changing each one can get annoying but there’s an easy trick to it. Simply go to your actions, turn off button mode, select the action that you need to change and delete just the items that need changing. Simply run the action with those steps deleted and then you can start recording where you left off and make new changes. It doesn’t take too long and you don’t have to rebuild everything.

Props Help

As I have stated many times before, I love this time of the year! The cold dark dreary days of winter can start to eat away at your spirit if you don’t find ways to overcome it. For me that’s taking pictures, fishing and skiing; generally in that order. Each of these areas yield different rewards some due overlap.

One thing I have been pushing more and more in my fishing photography is the use of props and not just doing the smiling portrait with a fish. Sure it’s nice to have that moment but it’s also kind of cool to show the gear you used to catch that beast. This is one of my latest ones that a good friend was happy to hold as I made a few clicks. Really simple with the D5, 24-70 AF-S and SB-5000. You gotta use flash in order to bring out that color. Positioning can be tough and requires a little playing around until you find something that works for you.

Little Browns but Big Color

I Love this time of the Year! Winter in the Rockies is a very interesting time and the best part is, every winter is different. This year has been quite dramatic compared to last years massive snow dump. Currently we don’t have the same snow levels but we have some cold temps. Everything is being affected by this. The fishing is still pretty good though.

Personally this is my favorite time for working with freshwater trout species because the Rainbows are in spawning color and the Browns are coming out of the Fall spawn so they are turning a really dark brown. How do you bring out these colors? A little pop of flash and some under exposure. Keep in mind that the subject doesn’t have to be a huge specimen. The little guys can have great color to. The trick is really watching the highlights and light spillage because those white spots from the flash are eye sores.

Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, SB-5000 on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

A Week of Remembrance

This has been a week of remembrance indeed. Firstly, former President George H. W. Bush was laid to rest after his passing last Friday. Then, today, we mark the seventieth seventh anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The events that took place day changed everything for this country, for the world and for the former President who eventually flew TBM Avengers in the Pacific. It is important that we remember and honor these people and days as we continue forward in life.

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