More on the Photographer

I wrote on page one about an artist expressing what he "sees". I realize in reading it over that what I have done is to give a short synopsis of what I have learned from the writings and pictures of photographers published in magazines and websites. I haven't as yet gained the ability to do it that way. As with other things I do, I don't usually "see" what I'm after until I have it. When I am photographing birds and other wildlife it's just a matter of preparing for what I think will happen and when it does, start shooting. If I'm fortunate, out of whatever number of frames I get the one I want will be there. A landscape develops more slowly. It would seem that would be better but for me it is more of a challenge. Partly because when it does develop, it's almost more fleeting than wildlife. I often see things or places that I think are worth photographing but I'm unable to "see" the picture. Or many times I watch it happen but have failed to setup properly because I couldn't "see" it coming. I think patience and experience are key ingredients in this type of photography. I'm working on both.
Geese in the North Cascades

Geese Along the Skagit

This is a "right time, right place" snapshot. I say snapshot but here's the rest of the story. Wife and I were beside the Skagit river watching eagles when we heard the geese cackling as they took flight from the field behind us. I quickly turned and raised the camera and snapped just as they started past the mountain. Last picture on the roll! As fast as I could, I reloaded and was able to take this and one other snapshot before they were past. I've always been happy to have gotten this picture, but just think of what I may have missed.
Columbian White-tailed buck

Columbian White-tailed Deer

A Columbian White-tailed Deer in the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge. One of 38 sub-species of white-tailed deer, these are now found only in Douglas Co. and along the lower Columbia river in Oregon and along the lower Columbia in Washington. The JBH refuge was established primarily to protect this animal.
    The question I ponder (that's almost like muse) is, should we go to such lengths to save every sub-species of every bird, animal and insect left on earth? This is a beautiful animal, but are the other 37 sub-species so different?
    Conservation and preservation practices that do not needlessly or unheedingly allow destruction of life or ecology are necessary without question.
    However, are we truly sorry the dinosaur is no longer running amongst us? If someone were to somehow come up with a pair, would you want them re-introduced into a forest near you?
Snowy Plover

Snowy Plover

Continuing a bit more on the theme above; efforts have been made to increase or re-introduce the population of grizzly bear on some public land in areas where human use is common and expected. Grizzlys, especially females with cubs, are known to attack without provocation.
    Snowy Plover, the little bird on the left has never attacked anyone that I know of. It has been the subject of recent news because its habitat protection has been cut by 40% on the west coast. It lays its eggs in a depression in dry open sand. Obviously, as the people population increases and there is more use of the ocean beaches, this little fellow will suffer. Changing climate conditions also will reduce his natural nesting areas. However, to remove the protection so that the beach can be further "developed" as seems to be the reasoning and purpose of some of those involved, is perhaps a questionable motive..?

Morning at Davis Lake

Sitting by the campfire, drinking coffee and waiting for a Gray Jay to give me the right pose. He never did and after a few moments I realized that what I was looking at was worth a shot. Just after sun-up and fairly cool, the start of a beautiful day. And it was worth a shot but the only reason I am putting it in is so I can reflect upon it. I haven't captured whatever I saw or felt in such a way as to convey that, through this picture, to someone else. Perhaps if I had backed up to get some of the campsite or maybe a wisp of smoke? Too often, I don't give these kind of shots the consideration and planning they need. As a comparison, I had given quite a bit of thought to details respecting the jay, and if he had returned would probably have gotten the picture of him I was after.
Red Crossbills in a creek

Red Crossbills in the Creek

I believe I mentioned my propensity to try for "bird guide" photos. And I have a few like that of this species, the Red Crossbill. But these birds are usually in a flock and while a picture of a single bird might show well what they look like, it's only when you watch them together that you really "see" them. This was taken in my yard in a recirculating creek I built. Having the water there is a great attraction to all the birds, but only the occasional flock of Starlings compares to the frenzy generated by a flock of these. At one time on this day there were upward of a dozen in the water at once with some coming in and some leaving. Another thing you can see here is color variation. They range all the way from dull gray to bright red and/or yellow.
Turkey Vultures on posts with wings spread


I had never seen this behavior before, in real life or in pictures. Since taking this photo, I keep having the feeling I may have seen something like this depicted along the road someplace. Like perhaps a trading post or some other attraction perhaps in the southwest. If so I didn't really pay much attention so can't recall it now. If anyone seeing this knows of such someplace I would appreciate an e-mail. These three were of a gang (vultures run in gangs, don't they?) of about 8. These took up their identical poses and gave me plenty of time for pictures. They posed so readily and in so many positions, wings up,wings down, mouth open, that I began to think of them as politicians.
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