All good things must come to an end – and it’s time to ‘put a bow,’ signaling the end of the 2022-2023 Eagle season – for me, at least. Since we returned from our trip, we’ve seen many Eagles in the Carson Valley but lately there have been few the last week or so. The nearby area outside the Valley has had no Eagles in the last few weeks so, for me, Eagle Season is over. It’s okay, with the weather warming up a bit we have lots of other projects around to occupy my time. And I’m still processing image files from the trip.
2022 was my best Eagle year ever! While I’ve taken some great pictures in past years, I got more great Eagle shots in 2022 than any time before. As you saw in one of my ‘Be There’ posts, my Eagle year continued while I was in Wyoming. Here’s a couple more Carson Valley area shots from 2022.
With an incredible finish to 2022, I was excited to return home and get out to see what 2023 would bring. Sadly, my lovely bride and I both got a crud on the way home, so we stayed very close to home for a couple weeks after our return. When we were able to get out, we found lots of subjects. Most, however, were fairly far away – even for my Canon RF 800 f/11 lens. An 800 mm focal length really brings those far away subjects up close. When combined with the 45 MP sensor on my Canon EOS R5 camera body, I have lots of data to work with when editing images. My greatest challenge is getting good focus on far away subjects. That’s not the fault of the equipment, rather, it’s the limitations of the photographer’s skills. We all have our limitations. Thankfully, I found the Topaz Denoise and Sharpen software, which can rescue some of my poorly shot image files.
Here’s the stuff from 2023! All in the Carson Valley.
A second hot zone was on Old Foothill Road, just south of the state line.
And that’s it for my 2022-2023 Eagle Season! I’ll still have my cameras out and about and may bump into something, but I won’t be actively looking for Eagles for the next 10 months or so. Stay tuned for the rest of the ‘Be There’ series because there’s lots more to come (Bison and Big Horns and Elk – oh my!)! Enjoy – PHOTOROGR
This winter’s Eagle season did not disappoint (for me anyway)! I had a wonderful couple months looking for and finding Eagles in our area. I can tell that things are winding down when I bring home more image files of other critters than Eagles. So, I’m done actively looking for Eagles this season, but I’ll still be watching for them.
Well, nothing against other wildlife, but Eagle Season is about the Eagles and the other stuff is just not the same. And so, it’s shifting to targets of opportunity while filling the days until I head to Ely NV and the Nevada Northern Railway’s Winter Photo Workshop in a few weeks. Enjoy – and stay tuned – PHOTOROGR
Last month I shared some silhouette images with you – images I made during one of the classes I took at the Winter Wings Festival. I also took a class in wildlife as fine art which is the subject of today’s post.
I was out the other day and I found these two Geese floating in one of the irrigation ditches in the Carson Valley. Geese aren’t my favorite subject and the light wasn’t in my favor, but I decided to try something new using the techniques I learned in Klamath Falls and seeing if I could make some ‘fine art.’ I made several images using various exposures. Fortunately, the Geese were just floating along so they weren’t disappearing into the distance or making great ripples in the water.
When I downloaded the images and began processing, I tried several different ideas – color versus monochrome, variations in contrast and color, and a variety of filters. I ultimately chose this single color image, processing the dark areas into silhouettes to accentuate the position of the Geese on the water and in the frame using Adobe Camera RAW, and then finishing in Photoshop and Topaz Studio.
Wildlife photographers live for those special moments when they record something special. Those moments are few and very far between, and must be cherished when they occur.
Today, I had one of those special moments. I was out looking for eagles and not finding any, so I decided to head to the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park. Many of my friends had been having success there. As I approached the house, I saw an eagle in the tree on the east end of the Park. I parked and quickly grabbed a few shots – maybe 33 or 34 – of him sitting when he started to flex his wings. Thankfully I had my camera up and shooting when he took off. Even better, he flew straight toward me! When I downloaded the images, I saw he was looking right at me as he took flight.
I’ve probably used all my special moments for the year and should possibly retire from photography, but I won’t. Oh yeah, you can buy one of these prints.
In my last post, I talked about the Digital Darkroom (or Double D) and the fun I was having while exploring the application of creative filters. For today’s post, I used an image made with my PowerShot G9X Mk II point and shoot camera (hence the PS Challenge piece of the title).
I don’t remember where I was going last week, but I remember that the light on the Sierra Nevadas was gorgeous. I pulled over and got out of the truck, grabbing my trusty PowerShot, and began clicking. I always bracket exposures for my landscape shots to decide during post processing what I am going to do. I bracket up and down one stop with this camera. I used all 3 exposures to merge them into an HDR in Adobe Camera Raw, then applied filters using Topaz Studio.
Just for fun, I processed this using three different filters.
Today started like any other day. I woke up, did my morning things, and went to the kitchen to make breakfast. I was just about to take breakfast to my lovely bride when she walks into the kitchen with her iPad showing a video presentation called ‘what to shoot when there’s nothing to shoot.’ We watched while we ate, enjoying the images on the screen and the commentary.
As we watched, I got to thinking about the current situation here in the Carson Valley. We have serious smoke from the wildfires in California – some news reports indicate that Gardnerville has the worst air quality in the country. Visibility is almost nil. We haven’t seen the mountains in a long time. Of course, the smoke makes for some interesting sunsets.
This has been our view of the evening sun for the last 4-5 days. I shot this with the Canon 7DII, big lens, handheld. Look close and you can see the outline of the mountains in the lower right corner of the image.
The guy making the presentation talked about a time when he was leading a photo workshop in Monument Valley and a snowstorm kicked up. The storm obscured the grand views and challenged his creative processes to make the trip worthwhile.
This is not the first time I’ve faced conditions like this. A year ago, my lovely bride and I were in Yosemite National Park and many of the vista shots were obscured by smoke, so I made the best of it and shot on a smaller scale. I came away with some beautiful images. And I see that I didn’t post any of those images – stay tuned!
With this year’s smoke, I’ve chosen to shoot on an even smaller scale – macro in the back yard.
This is a Rose of Sharon flower being pollenated. (Get really close and one can see pollen on his head and body.) Handheld Canon 7DII with the big lens, from about 9′ away.
Our Hibiscus has been a favorite subject for several years. More close up than macro, as these blooms range from 6″-12″ in diameter. This mature plant produces a large number of blooms for a couple weeks every August.
Another point the presenter made was to give yourself a challenge to make you get out and make images. Taking this to heart, I’ve decided to give myself a new challenge every month. I’ll continue my backyard challenge this month and set a new challenge for September.
I am very excited to have four of my pictures featured in the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce 2018 Calendar. This is the fourth year the Chamber has featured my images in their calendar.
Contact the Chamber at http://www.carsonvalleynv.org/ or by calling 775-782-9490 if you want to purchase a copy.
I submitted 12 images this year.
This view of Jobs Peak was taken just south of Mottsville Lane.
I was out one snowy morning and made this image of the historic buildings in Genoa. This image is featured on our Christmas cards this year.
These horses on Waterloo Lane have become a favorite subject. When I arrived the day I made the image, the horses were scattered about their pasture, but these two walked up to each other as if to say, ‘Do you think he has something for us to eat?’
Spring was still young when I made this image along the Carson River Trail.
The main building in Mormon Station State Park on a snowy day.
I shot from a low angle for this view of Jake’s Wetlands in Minden.
A storm was approaching over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in this image made from Foothill Road.
Jobs Peak as seen from the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on a summer day.
And the winners are:
JUNE: The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park at the end of the rainbow. I checked – no gold!
JULY: the Waterloo Lane horses on a nicer day.
AUGUST: The Carson River as seen from the Carson River Trail.
DECEMBER: I found these four deer along Foothill Road near Jacks Valley and made this wildlife panorama.
I fired up the PhotoRanger on a chilly Thanksgiving morning and took a drive to the west side of the Carson Valley.
I found this guy on Foothill Road just south of Centerville Lane. He was in the middle of the road when I first saw him. I waited for him to get out of the road and I pulled off the road for this shot. The 3 cars behind me didn’t see him at first, but they seemed more understanding when they realized why I slowed suddenly.
This Kestrel was on the trail sign on the Carson River Trail, just off Muller Lane. I grabbed this shot and moved for a different angle, but he wasn’t very patient.
There were 2 Great Horned Owls in this pole barn, but only one was accommodating.
I’m not sure what this Hawk was thinking, but it was probably something about an annoying photographer lurking about.
I’m getting back into wildlife mode, as you can see. More to follow!
Today’s PS Challenge image comes from East Valley Road in the Carson Valley. A couple days ago, we had a nice storm front come through, bringing cooler temperatures and some interesting and gorgeous skies. This is a view of Genoa Peak and Duane Bliss Peak, in the Sierras and forming the northwest border of the Carson Valley.
I couldn’t resist processing the image in black and white to bring out the drama.
A couple days ago, my lovely bride and I decided to take a hike along the Carson River Trail. I hiked the trail a couple months ago, before the mosquitoes hatched and gained air superiority along the River. Since I didn’t have insect repellent in the PhotoRanger, we cut the hike short to preserve my legs. For the first time ever, someone (meaning the mosquitoes) thought I was sweeter than Susan. Please note – I placed a bottle of Off in the PhotoRanger so I’m not caught unarmed again!
While we were on the trail, however, I grabbed a quick shot of the River with the Sierras in the background. The ‘vee’ in the water to the right of the big tree is a Cinnamon Teal swimming away, but trying to maintain a cool demeanor as he did so.