photography from the ground up

Archive for March, 2010

Plúmage à Deux

The more I photograph cranes, and get to know them, the more I am amazed by their synchronicity. It’s like they’re all wired to the same brain. I caught these two feeding in the farm fields at the north end of Bosque del Apache. They wandered like this side by side, and then they would both straighten up and look around–scouting the nearby terrain for predators I assume, then they would go back to their feeding.

Equipment: Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-400 mm lens, Bogen tripiod.

Camera Settings: f 11, 1/250th sec., ISO 400

Coyote Call Aspens

An aspen grove in the snow! An iconic photographic scene captured by the greats: Ansel Adams, John Shaw, Art Wolfe to name but a few. This is my humble contribution.

I made this image while driving home from Los Alamos. Coyote Call is a trail on the “open” side of the Valles Caldera NP. This stand of aspens is just a short distance from the trailhead. Normally, I would avoid making this type of photograph in this kind of light, but I think the long shadows in this case give the image more depth.

I captured this photo in color, but did a B&W conversion in Adobe Camera Raw, and I like the result better than the color version.

Equipment: Nikon D200, Nikon 17–35 mm zoom lens, Bogen tripod

Camera Settings: f 36, 1/15th sec., ISO 100

Dead & Deader II

I made this image yesterday on a hike in the Ceja Pelon badlands. The rocks are actually pieces of petrified logs, a dominant feature in Ceja Pelon. We came across one that was close to seven feet in diameter! The place also features a large assortment of hoodoos, and strange rock formations. It’s sort of like being on another planet.

I was attracted to the contrast between the sensual contours of the dead juniper and the hard, crystallized forms of the scattered, fossilized logs. I made several exposures from different angles, and this is my favorite.

Equipment: Nikon D200, Nikon 17–35 mm zoom lens, circular polarizer, Bogen tripod.

Camera Settings: f 22, 1/15th sec., ISO 100.

Red Tail

I was driving up to the Valles Caldera to take some photos when I spied this Redtail Hawk perched in the top of a blue spruce by the side of the road. I quickly changed lenses and started shooting from inside my truck. The bird just sat there surveying his domain; every so often he would cast an inquisitive glance my way. I slowly got out of the truck, and grabbed my tripod, the bird remained in his perch. I continued to move closer happily snapping away. I took 47 exposures before my subject turned his back to me, stretched his legs and his wings, and flew off into a side canyon. This is my favorite out of all the images I made that day.

Equipment: Nikon D200. Nikon 80–400 mm zoom lens, Bogen tripod.

Camera Settings: f 5.6, 1/800th sec., !SO 400