Friday, January 29, 2010

Michal Neuvirth...

A couple of weeks ago we took Shane to Arlington Virginia to see the Washington Capitals practice at the Kettler Iceplex. We all had a great time and got some autographs as a bonus. It was nice to finally get to take some hockey photos since the Bears like to show there fan appreciation by not allowing us to take our cameras to the games anymore (but then I have already complained about that a few times on here). These photos are of goalie Michal Neurvirth. He started the season at Hershey and once Varlamov returns he should be coming back to the Bears. He has played well at both places. I think what I like best about Neuvy is the huge smile he has when he is named a star of the game. He looks just like a big kid having a great time. But then at 21 I guess he is still a kid. Expect a few more hockey photos in the future from this trip.

Did I do something wrong? Since the week before Christmas my hits have been way down and the last two weeks everyone stopped commenting. I have even noticed that many people that were regulars have not even been looking. Did I offend someone in a post without knowing it? I am going to give it about another month to pick up before reducing my postings to two or three times a week.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bugling Bull...

I have said it in the past and I will say it again. I have posted so many elk and whitetail photos that I am left speechless. With the new year upon us I am hoping to find some photo contest to enter this year and I would like to also find some kind of avenue to sell some of my photos. I know I have posted my share of images that are not that good and just filling space but I know some of them are worthy of print or potentially winning something. I want this to remain a hobby so it stays fun but I spend so much on equipment and traveling around to take photos that it would be nice to get a few extra dollars to help me in the equipment.

Don't forget to stop by Shane's site for a new post today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Snow Birds...

I have mentioned it before but I will say it again. Because I don't have the time to make a post everyday between this blog and my history blog I do scheduled postings. At times I get my fire history site done as much as a month in advance and occasionally this site as many as three weeks in advance. It makes my life easier and then when the post is made it is almost new for me also. These photographs were taken during the December 19TH snow storm. I really don't like snow and with hockey games that weekend and my back going out again I took all my photos from the window.

The birds were very happy that I had the feeders filled before the snow hit. And by the amount that were in my yard I must have had the only feeders in the area. The first bird is a field sparrow and the second is a dark-eyed junco. A few weeks late but they stilled made it onto the site.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Coopers Hawk...

A few days after the snow I took a trip to Gettysburg to pick up a Christmas gift. While there I decided to take a drive through part of the battlefield looking for something to photograph. What I found were hawks in many of the trees. Problem is they did not want to cooperate any more than the ones around my house. They were either obstructed by branches, to far away or as soon as I lifted the camera they would fly away. This one stayed still for me but he was a distance away. The photos were taken with the 70-200 with the 1.4 attached at full zoom and then cropped in tightly to make the photos. One of these days I will get lucky.

It is Tuesday so please visit Shane's site for a new post.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Textures and Blending Practice...

Well last week did not go as planned. The idea was to head to Bombay Hook, Delaware as soon as I get off work Wednesday morning and stay until Thursday afternoon. The guy that was going to go along couldn't make it and I didn't feel like going alone so I stayed home. That may have been a good move since I was sick all day. The contingency plan was to hit SNP for a day. The park has been closed because of snow or ice for some time now, it finally opened up (over my four day tour), but the weather can reek havoc their. I was following the storm that was to hit this are Thursday night in hopes of being able to go there on Thursday. The more I watched it the worse it was looking for me. I guess correctly as it started sleeting there before 10 a.m. and the Skyline Drive was quickly closed. I would have made a six plus hour round trip drive for nothing. I now realize that when I do get down I will be photographing antler less deer in the snow.

Not getting away and the big WWII Saturday coming up soon I thought I would practice trying to make photos appear older using textures and blending modes. These are all experiments and I know I need more textures in my library but I am beginning to think I may be learning something new. So yes you can teach an old dog new tricks. The first photograph is a close up of the spokes and wheel on the OCC POW MIA bike. It was my first attempt at using numerous textures, four in all. The second photo was taken last year at the Eisenhower farm. I changed the colors manually, then used two textures before getting the idea to put it on a texture I had to make it look framed. I do not know if I did these right or not but I am starting to get the effect I wanted and feel more comfortable with what I am doing. Now for some new photographs on Saturday.

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Unexpected Surprise...

On my first trip out to photograph wildlife in this new year I didn't only photograph squirrels I also photographed these morning doves. It wasn't until I got home and downloaded the cards that I found this unexpected surprise. I didn't see the bird in the back ground flying until I opened this photo in camera raw for adjustments. I found it to be pretty neat and really liked what it brought to the photograph.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yes, More Elk Also...

Like yesterday I am at a loss for words, after so many elk and whitetail photos there is only so much a person can say. So lets just say it is Thursday and please visit Shane's blog for a new post. If you are wondering why I do this ever Tuesday and Thursday it is because according to google analytics almost everyone of Shane's hits come from links to my site.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Whitetails...

What can I say that I have not already said about the SNP whitetails? I can come up with nothing. With that I leave you with this photo and short video.

I noticed my video wasn't up. After trying numerous times to do it again and every time it seemed to work but continue to show up black I decided to check my other videos. All of those are showing up the same way when they worked in the past. I checked blogger and it seems they are having a problem. Hopefully they will get this corrected and all my past videos will show back up also.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Immature Eagle With Fish...

If I said I was excited when I seen this it would be an understatement and after looking at the cameras LCD I was even more excited. Then I got home, down loaded the card and the reality of what I got set in. This immature bald eagle started flying around us and I opened fire with the D300. As he made his approach to the water I just tried to pan with him and keep the shutter release pushed. He swooped down just hitting the water and came up with this fish in his talons. He didn't travel very far before he lost his grasp and the fish went falling back into the water. The bad part was these were the only three keepers of the bunch and they were not as good as I had hoped (the first photo is pretty soft and the second one is not very sharp also). They were shot with the 70-200 f2.8 with the 1.4 attached and then cropped in pretty tight. I guess I failed to mention, these were taken on the trip Shane and I took to Conowingo Dam between Christmas and New Years.

Speaking of Shane it is Tuesday so please visit his site for a new post.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sparring Elk...

These young Elk were caught sparring early one morning during the rut in Elk County. Unfortunately they were on a hill side making them hard to photograph and the light was not very good yet. With the movement of the animals it requires a faster shutter speed to freeze the action and that means a higher ISO increasing the noise in the images (that is very noticeable in these). These were taken with the Nikon D300 with the 70-200 f2.8 and the 1.4 attached. They were all shot at 2000 ISO, 1/100 second at f4.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Same Ending As Last Week...

Since I ended last week with small game photos from my first wildlife shoot of the year I thought I would end this week the same way. I have spotted an all white squirrel close to home that I hope to photograph I just have not been lucky enough yet, maybe someday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yes I know I Need These With Snow...

I really do want to get these deer in the snow but I keep checking the SNP site and Skyline Drive is closed because of snow. They will open it up sometime and when they do I will make a trip south. This spike is the same buck that I posted before grooming and sparring with a larger buck. The other buck may be the same but I did not compare photos to see. I hope to be adding some new photos to post later this month with trips still planned for SNP, Benezette, Conowingo Dam and a trip to Bombay Hook in hopes of catching some red foxes during there mating season.

Since it is Thursday how about stopping by Shane's blog for a new entry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Final Installment Of The House Fire...

This is my final installment of the house fire near Newville. Up to today I posted general photos from the fire ground, so today I wanted to post a few of firefighters up close working the fire. The video is short and shows the Shippensburg truck boys opening up to get to the fire. After posting the same incident three days in a row there really is not much left to say.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More From The Newville Fire...

Okay, I found some time to work up a few more photographs and gather some information on the fire I photographed Sunday. The call was dispatched around 10:20 a.m. for Oak Flat Road, West Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County. The first arriving chief reported a working fire. Fire apparatus from Newville, Walnut Bottom, Penn Township and the Cumberland Valley Hose of Shippensburg responded to the fire. Firefighters only operated inside for a short time before being removed because of rapidly deteriorating conditions. At that point the fire was battled from the outside. I arrived about 25 minutes after the initial dispatch and the first few photos I recorded with heavy fire showing were taken right away. Within minutes the bulk of the fire was knocked down and overhaul was started. The ranch style frame house was a complete loss.

The last photograph was my first attempt at using textures. I learned I need to expand my texture library and that I need more practice at doing it. It did not come out exactly as I had hoped by I can't wait to try it on some photos from the battle of the Buldge later this month. The video is short and like I said yesterday I forgot I was using it for something else so it is not in high definition. If you turn up the volume you can hear sounds from the fire ground.

Hey it is Tuesday already so please stop by Shane's blog for a new post.

Monday, January 11, 2010

House Fire In West Pennsboro Twp...

Yesterday morning my wife and I needed to make a trip to Shippensburg before I went to work. While on the way there a house fire was dispatched in Newvilles area. I never go anyplace without the camera and this trip was no different. Not knowing exactly where the fire was located when we got close enough we followed the thermal column into the scene. I shot allot of photos in the hour I was there before finishing what I set out to do so I wouldn't be late for work.

The plan was to work up more photographs and have more information on the incident but work just didn't want that to happen. At this time of year fire calls pick up and with us being in the freeze that we are in calls here at work kept me running all evening leaving little time to work on my laptop. I will continue this post more this week with additional photos, information and a video or two. This was my first chance to use the D90 on a fire and it worked well. Part way into shooting the incident I remembered it has a video feature so I took a couple of short hand held videos. Even though I didn't have it set on the best quality (I was using it for something else and forgot to switch back) was pleased with what I got.

The first photo here is the first one I recorded after getting out of my truck. The second was taken shortly after. The last two were just a couple early photos that I liked. The third one was desaturated except for the reds and yellow and the last one I just felt would look best converted to black and white.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year, New Photos...

On January 5 I decided to brave the cold and go to Wildwood lake in hopes of getting my first shutter releases of the new year. I found that the birds were smarter than I was and with the exception of a flock of Canada geese, a few mallards and the occasional bird mixed in there were none to be found. The squirrels didn't seem to be effected by the cold and they were out and feeding. I wanted to shoot some video but the close proximity to two highways meant truck sounds that I didn't want.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thanks For The Bird Seed...

This female cardinal was a recent visitor to my front lawn. With winter upon us I try to keep the feeders filled and the birds seem to love it. They bring hours of enjoyment to me and the cats as we watch them eating.

Please stop by Shane's site for a new blog post.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Immature Eagle...

This immature eagle landed in a tree close to us but pretty high up. It wasn't until we clicked a few photos that we realized he had a fish in his talons. The sky was an ugly white and the tree was full of branches but it was still an eagle eating and some of my sharper eagle shots. Like the others I will keep trying until I get all the planets to line up for me and give me the perfect photo. I tried removing some of the branches but like in the past the more I try the worse it gets.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Of The SNP 9 Point...

You have seen this deer three times in previous post and he is even the buck in the new header, and I promise I won't keep posting photos of him. But on the second trip to SNP he provided us with many opportunities to photograph him. This 9 point was the largest as far as points go that we seen in two trips. He did not have the biggest rack but he may have had the widest spread. That is Shane in the last photos getting a few shots of him before we left him to feed in peace. Who knows is they ever open Skyline Drive back up while the bucks still have there antlers maybe you will see him again in the snow.

It is Tuesday so please stop by Shane's blog for a new post.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Conowingo Eagles...

Last week one morning Shane and I got up early and headed to the Conowingo Dam in Maryland. It looked like things were finally going to work out after our plans for SNP and Benezette fell through. We arrived shortly after daybreak on a cold windy morning. Our hopes were that with the cold they would open the gates to allow water through to create energy. When we arrived we found that water was already flowing (I forgot the river was up from recent rain and snow melt). The water flowed the four hours we set on the dam waiting for eagles. This was my third trip to the dam in 2009 and Shane's second. It was our worst trip for seeing eagles. They had to be around we just didn't see many, but we did see some doing things we had not witnessed before.

I did get my best photos yet of eagles flying and fishing but I am still not happy with what I got. If they just looked as good on this screen as they did on the camera LCD. I do plan to make a few more trips to the dam before winter ends, with more practice maybe I will eventually nail a real keeper. By the way this trip marked my last shutter releases for the year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Buck And Does...

I have posted so many whitetail and elk photos in the last few months that coming up with something to say is getting harder and harder. So instead of rambling on about nothing I will just leave you with these whitetails from SNP. The video is 41 seconds long, turn up the volume and listen to the rain and the buck.