Friday, October 31, 2008

The Market at Washingtonburg 2008...

Today's photographs come from The Market at Washingtonburg, an 18TH century market and military fair held at the US Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, Pa. from September 19-21, 2008.

This is the second year in a row I had the opportunity to attend this event and if I have anything to say about it I will attend every year they have it. It is a wonderful time to learn about history and enjoy these living historians. During the day there is special programs and lectures an 18TH century blacksmith shop, military court Marshall, artist, craftsmen and more than 300 participants to name a few things.

This is also a great place to practice your photography skills. The living historians are more than happy to pose for portraits and the lighting conditions are constantly changing. If you are interested in more photos from this event click on the military tag to see last years photos. More will follow for this year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Skywatch...

This weeks skywatch photograph comes from my recent trip out west. It was one of those trips that you just couldn't buy a cloud on. Skies were nothing but blue without a spot of white.

While leaving the Grand Tetons and heading back to Yellowstone rain started moving into the area. We just happened to notice the sun coming through the clouds striking this group of Aspen trees with the dark clouds overhead.

I hope you enjoy this and every other sky watch Friday post today, to find more just click the sky watch link on the lower left of my site.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Hockey Season...

I am not a fan of winter but with winter my favorite sports starts, hockey season. We are a hockey family having season tickets to the Hershey Bears (yes Klaus the place they make chocolate), go to Washington D.C. to see our Caps play and have center ice on the television. I easily watch between 200 and 300 hockey games in a season.

This year with the great talent we have in Hershey we expect to win our 10TH Calder Cup and with the talent in Washington we will compete for the Stanley Cup again this year. When we go to Washington we feel like we are still in Hershey with all the former Bears that play on the team and it makes the NHL games even more special. Just last year while our sons played hockey at Twin Ponds I sat and talked with Coach Boudreau about the Bears for some time, little did I know in a couple of weeks he would be coaching the Caps and be named the coach of the year in the NHL.

The Bears opened the season on the road and won all four games, coming back to the Giant center they won the home opener 7-1 before falling the next night to the baby Pens. These were taken during the Pens game the first photo is of Chris Bourque, he has already gotten into a Caps game this year. The second photograph is Graham Mink, Mink played for the Bears when we won our last Calder Cup and after two seasons is back where he belongs, in Hershey. The last photo is our number one goalie Daren Machesney, if "Cheese" plays like he did last season, the cup is ours.

Now if the Giant center would just clean the glass once and awhile, maybe I could get some better shots.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yellowstone's Lower Falls...

Last week I mentioned that it was time to change thing up a little on the site. The last three weeks I posted nothing but wildlife photographs and I know there is some out there like me that could look at them all the time and need nothing else, but some of you probably get bored with them. Yesterday's post was requested by my nephew and with the other things I shot before heading west is was easy to come up with some post for the week.

Today's was just being lazy and not feeling like working up a photograph. The video was shot on October 3, with my phone. I mentioned in a post last month that I got a phone with a 3.2 meg video feature and while out west I played with it some. This was taken from high above the lower falls in Yellowstone. I also shot one from the bottom of the falls that I thought was great. I turned the phone the other direction so I could get the whole falls in not realizing that when I downloaded it you would have to turn your head to the side to see the video correctly. I never claimed to be a rocket scientist.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Logan And His Muzzle Loader...

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to my home town of Shippensburg, Pa. to photograph my nephew, Logan Robinson for his senior pictures. This was only the second time I photographed someone for portraits so it is not something I am totally comfortable with. I tried new things like shooting my SB800 from a tripod off the camera and using a reflector. The verdict is still out on how satisfied I am with the outcome of the shoot. I was more comfortable since we were shooting outdoors, we just didn't get out early enough to take advantage of the quality of light.

Logan has been making guns and plans to go to school after graduating to be a gunsmith, I wish him luck and hope for the best for him. The one thing he wanted me to do was photograph him shooting his muzzle loader. He had a magazine with a picture in like he wanted, so off to the range we went after shooting the portraits. I mentioned that he may have to fire a few times to get the results he wanted. Then we set up a signal to let me know when to begin firing. After changing battery packs to give me eight frames per second we gave it a try. After looking at the LCD on the back of the camera he was happy with the first shoot and we didn't try it again. Looking at the metadata all four of these photos were taken in the same second along with three others. Logan asked that I post these for him to see, I hope you like them Logan.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Black Bear In Glacier...

Just when you think you are finished photographing wildlife and seeing bears the unexpected happens. My next to last day of the trip we were coming down the going to the sun highway in Glacier National Park when we notice some activity along the road. We quickly realized there was a bear feeding on the berries along the road.

Next week I plan to change things up a little with some photographs from other places. After a few weeks of wildlife it is time for some change before coming back to them. With hockey season starting I need to post a few photographs of my other favorite bears, the Hershey Bears.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back To Sky Watch Friday...

After missing the last four weeks of Sky Watch Friday because of being away and then trying to get back in the swing of things with work I am back! I already had numerous photographs ready for Sky Watch but I got a bunch more on this trip out west.

This photograph was taken at Logan's Pass in Glacier National Park. With the weather being warm this year I wasn't prepared for the weather we faced here. The temperatures were in the 30 degree range with winds pushing upwards of 50 mph. At times it snowed and other times it would drive sleet into our faces making it hard to look up. Often these mountains were obscured in cloud cover but occasionally the wind would blow the clouds aways revealing the beauty of Glacier. I have been to the park before but with the weather this trip it was especially beautiful.

I hope you all enjoy it and I will do my best to get around to as many sites as possible today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Glacier National Park Bighorns...

For those that know me this was an accomplishment. I have the bad luck of never being able to see the big horn sheep, people go to Glacier all the time and see them up close, I went to Alaska and hiked a trail that was to be loaded with them and still I am looking. This was my second trip to Glacier and it looked as if I would go away empty handed again. But on the trip back from Logan Pass on the Going to the sun Highway we spotted these guys up high on the side of the mountain. Not the ideal shooting and not the photos I had hoped to get but I did see them and I did get a shot. Maybe one of these years I will get lucky.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mammoth Elk Battle...

I would like to say these young elk were fighting but it was more of a playful battle. Still fun and exciting to watch. This was taken in Mammoth and these two guys had no chance at the large herd of cows that were there. Elk number 6 a large famous bull had them all to himself and no other bull was going to take them away. I will post a photo of number 6 in the future with some of his antics.

This was taken early in the morning just after day break, they didn't bugle and there was no posturing like in a real fight. They did run around in circles and enjoyed digging up the freshly laid sod, they put on a show for a good 15 minutes or so, but because of their location and the location of the cows and other bulls it was not possible to set up the tripod so all were shot hand held.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lava Creek Mule Deer...

This nice mule deer buck was photographed in Yellowstone along Lava Creek between Mammoth and Roosevelt. If the Bison, Elk and Pronghorns were in short supply this trip the one thing that wasn't was the mule deer. I seen more mule deer on this trip than all the others combined. And some were very nice bucks. This buck was with four other deer, three of witch were bucks also, I didn't get much of a look at the other one.

After photographing him in this spot they decided to move back into the woods. We circled around behind them on the other side of the creek trying to get more photos. They knew we were there and continued to stay just far enough ahead of us to keep us from shooting. But then someone else spotted them from the road and when they tried to get closer they pushed them right into us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oxbow Bend Beavers...

As I said before the wildlife wasn't what it was in the past, but for the first time in my life I got to see some beaver (he, he, he, I can just imagine what some of you were thinking) and photograph them. We failed on our attempts to shoot the river otters and after trying multiple locations for the beaver I felt we would fail there also. But just when I didn't expect it they were right out in the open. There was three at this den but we only got to see two of them. I chose this one today because I liked the reflections of the aspens on the water. As usual the stupid people were around making there equally as stupid comments, this one lady said oh! look what does he have, it must be a shoe. I just didn't want to spoil her day and tell her it was the beavers tail.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lamar Valley Pronghorn...

After posting two days of the bald eagle I am back to posting the different animals I seen on the trip. On the ride from Denver to Yellowstone we seen hundreds of antelope in the fields. Little did I know that we would see very few more. The antelope are in rut the same time as the elk but we seen very few in the park and most were single bucks, very few doe. I guess we should have stopped and shot them on the way there. This buck was off aways in a field in the Lamar Valley, shot at 600 mm and cropped in.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yellowstone River Eagle Continued...

Today's photographs are continued from yesterday's. With that said there is not much left to say other than the nine photos of the eagle over the last two days were taken in a span of two seconds. I hope you enjoyed them and I will return to different animals from our trip tomorrow morning.

If anyone gets bored with the wildlife photos and wants to see something different give me a shout out, I do have other things to get ready for posting, like the Washingtonburg event from Carlisle in September, the Renaissance fair and portraits of my nephew firing his flint lock rifle. Of course I also have plenty more from the west trip including landscapes and a few short videos (they are not all wildlife). I am also hoping to get out and shoot the fall colors and the farmers bringing in their crops.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yellowstone River Eagle...

Today's photographs come from Yellowstone again, along the Yellowstone River, South of Hayden Valley. Not the best eagle shots I have ever taken and not the best of the trip but the sequence I got was interesting and I thought maybe someone would enjoy them. He was sitting in this lodge pole pine on the other side of the river, close enough we spotted him from the road but not close enough for quality photos. These were taken with a 400 mm lens at full length, shooting a Nikon there is a 1.5 conversion factor making it the equivalent of shooting 600 mm and then they were cropped to about 1/8 of the frame.

Upon see him I set up just to shoot a couple of photographs, deciding to wait him out I adjusted the camera to put him in the left side of the frame, thinking he would fly from left to right. Hey I had a 50/50 chance right, wrooong!!!. As always what ever I guess was the opposite of what happened, he went to the left. I still managed to get some photos of his take off and the beginning of his flight. Today I posted him and three of from the beginning and tomorrow I will post five more images of him that I managed to get before he left the frame.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Morning Moose...

We had very little luck this year seeing the moose, those we did see were to far away to photograph properly. During the trip we seen one cow in Yellowstone, a bull with two cows and a calf at Oxbow Bend, this bull and one other cow at Oxbow along with the few you see in the fields far away before day light.

When we seen this bull we were out looking for beaver to photograph. We had traveled back Pacific Creek Road on a tip but found no beavers. We did see two dens and a few dams. Bored with the lack of wildlife we were shooting trees and landscapes until we came upon Two Ocean Lake. There we decided to take a short walk, expecting to shoot more landscapes. It is amazing how quiet these large animals are and how easily they cam remain hidden. While walking the shore line of the lake he just appeared out of no where from the Willows. He was a ways off on this chilly morning and wanted to stay that way. We continued to try and approach him but he would just counter by walking further away. He did finally decide to run away telling us it was time to leave. Not the best shots because of the time of the morning and focal length, but still a moose shot and I was just happy to see some.

Check out the Pa Wildlife Photographer's site from a couple of days ago for moose photographs from Yellowstone.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yellowstone Big Horn...

Keeping with the theme I started two weeks ago I am posting a different animal again this day. This young big horn was shot just south of tower falls. It is a regular hang out for females and young big horn sheep. Every time I went to Yellowstone I have seen the sheep in this area and photographed them. You may have seen this sheep before on my site, but a few years younger.

Last day of daylight for the week and I thought it would never arrive. Only four years, four months and eight days to go before retirement. Will it ever get here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Canyon Wolf...

This photograph was taken September 23 shortly before 2 p.m. in Yellowstone in the area of twin lakes. Earlier in the day a group of five wolves took down an elk cow for feeding. At the time they took down the elk they were called the Canyon group and consisted of a black alpha male a female he is believed to have an pup with and two other wolves, this being one of them. By the time we left Yellowstone the group had been named the Canyon Pack.

We spent a couple of hours watching these wolves feed on this cow. At a later time I hope to post photos of the black male and female I referred to. This is the closest I have ever been to the wolves and it wasn't close enough to get the photos I had hoped but it was an experience I will never forget.

I will revisit many of the experiences we had again but for know my post will consist of covering the different animals we had encounters with.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Madison River Bull...

This bull was photographed on October 2 in the Madison River, Yellowstone. He was with a few cows and they posed well for the photographers. It is always nice when the cooperate by getting in the river, climbing the banks and posing so you can shoot all sides.

He didn't have much to say and was not very worried about his cows making us wonder about the rut. We went onto West Yellowstone for dinner and on the way back there was another bull in the same meadow. It was getting dark but we set up and prepared to shoot just in case the action started. Neither had much to say and this guy approached the other bull but they were not interested in each other meaning the rut had ended.

You will see more from this shoot as they provided some of the best photo opportunities of elk on the trip. Two years ago we spent many hours in this area as there was numerous herds and many bulls with plenty of action.

During the trip I shot around 4500 photos, many have been deleted or will be, but there has to be a few good ones in there to keep me busy for sometime. Bears were on short demand this trip also, we seen five grizzlies and two black bear but many did not give us the chance to shoot.

I would like to thank those of you that kept coming back day after day and for the comments. I would have liked to replied to them but we didn't often have Internet and when we did time was short. We would be up and out before dark, stay out until after dark and then try and find food between 9 and 10 at night. Then is was time to download cards, charge batteries, shower and try and get some sleep.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I am back...

I am back today after spending the last 16 days out with with my friend and fellow Tower 2 partner Brian Bastinelli. I would like to thank Brian again for the opportunity to go out west and shoot wildlife with him. I am making this post before I leave so I can only assume that like last time I shot thousands of photographs. The plans were to shoot in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park and Choteau, Montana. If everything worked according to my plans a couple of weeks ago you viewed scheduled posts and last week you got to see some of what we were shooting when we had the net in Jackson Hole. If not there was a week with no post. With any luck I will have time to prepare some images for tomorrow. And by the way this little fawn photograph was taken in July in Clearfield County, Pa.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Drama Begins...

For those of you that have never had a chance to watch the elk during rut you are missing a real treat. First the bugling by the bulls is like music to the ears. Then they begin the exciting show.

This photograph was taken Tuesday September 30Th in the evening after the sun had set behind the mountains. It was shot at 2500 ISO with a slow shutter speed and the aperture opened to leave in as much light as I could. I used a lens that with the conversion made it 600 mm and cropped it in, noise is to be expected, but I really wanted to share the excitement.

This was the second scuffle for the bull closest to you in a matter of minutes. He won the first and then had to take off after this guy when he realized he moved in on his herd of cows while he was busy defending them. It begins with them running towards each other, neck down, head up carrying the rack with pride. Then they begin what I like to call the dance, they run side by side for some time before stopping and facing each other. They put their heads down and sometimes dig up dirt and grass before locking antlers, you can just see the power in their rear legs when they begin pushing. More on this fight later along with who came out as the winner. I will also post some sparring from Yellowstone elks later also. Only here can you see beautiful scenery, a bear eating an elk and elks fighting withing 30 minutes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Teton Black Bear...

By the time you are seeing this photograph we have left the Tetons and returned to Yellowstone. With any luck the skies found a few clouds to make shooting better, the temperatures have gone down and we see some snow and the wildlife got better. But then again if I didn't have bad luck I would have no luck. This photo was taken the evening of September 30 along the Jenny Lake road in the Tetons. Rumor has it the elk was killed Sunday possibly by another bull. Later that night when the bear was not around the rangers removed the antlers to prevent poaching. We found out about it Monday and spent the evening on the carcass, the bear was their but did not come out. On Tuesday we spent about five hours on it in the morning. The bear did come out by I was in a bad position and when I did have a shot, well lets just say I didn't nail it. We went back later in the evening, I took a different position and out she came. The bear has a collar and an ear tag so we know she is a five year old female. The carcass is smelling pretty bad with the high temperatures we are having out here so I am surprised no grizzly bears have shown up to run her off. Sorry for the long paragraphs but I am putting these up as scheduled post and when I make multiple paragraphs it always leaves numerous spaces between them.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Yellowstone Coyote...

This is another scheduled post from Jackson Hole, we will only have the net for a couple more days so I am trying to get the weeks post in. Like yesterday's post this was done Monday evening. Once I get back home I will start posting in the mornings every day again. This coyote was shot from the window of the truck Sunday afternoon while leaving Yellowstone. He spent some time staring at the ground like there was food at that spot but he never pounced on anything, he just walked away after about five minutes. Once I get home I will work on some wolf and elk sparring photos to put up. I didn't mention before but we have hooked up with some people we met in the past and made some new friends we met through is a forum on Yellowstone and other parks and wildlife, we all have are cars marked so we can tell each other apart. One of our old friends Bill recently retired from the LA County fire department, we got to go on a little adventure with him and his wife. We also met another nice person Idaho Bill, he was helpful and passed some of his knowledge onto us. Only a few people are *^%$'s like the bear lady, may she be eaten this week by one of the wolves.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grand Teton's Elk Herd...

Today's photograph comes from the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. It was taken Monday night after the sun set and darkness was setting in. This large bull was trying to keep his herd of cows in line with two other bulls approaching. One did come close and the bluff charged each other before this large bull ran him off. The photo was shot at a high ISO to let enough light in to capture it, hence the noise in the photo. We did see many elk today along with a couple of moose, numerous bison and some mule deer. We spent the evening sitting on an elk kill while a black bear slept behind it never gracing us with its present. The rangers believe the bull was killed by another bull a day or so ago. The night before they removed the dead bulls antlers to keep poachers from getting them. We will spend Tuesday back on the kill in hopes of photographing the black bear feeding. I know that sound out of place since this post is showing up on Wednesday but I am putting them up as scheduled post when I have time, as I type this it is 10:00 p.m. Monday night.