Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jan 23 Back to Barnegat

Saturday was beautiful and sunny. When I got to Barnegat the winds were brisk and the waves were huge, many of them going over the jetty. The female harlequin image shows how adept she is at riding the waves. The purple sandpiper image was taken in late afternoon light from the beach side of the jetty. All images were taken full frame, with a Nikkor 300mm f/4 and a 1.7 teleconverter.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday Jan 16, Barnegat and Brigantine

Every visit is different. Barnegat Bay was calm in the morning. Initially the only signs of wildlife were three men who were snorkeling in the frigid water. The action was at the end of the jetty where long-tailed ducks were abundant and a few harlequin ducks hovered near the rocks. Though the afternoon was warmer, the wind arrived and so did the photographers and birders.

I ended the day at the Edwin B Forsythe NWR. Of note was a tundra swan and a brown headed swan, which I first thought must be a rare bird. On closer look it is probably an immature mute swan whose head and neck has been in the mud.

Photos include People on the Jetty, an Atlantic Brant, (showing the amazing colors of the water near the jetty), a Long-tailed Duck, a Bleating Gull, and the Brown-headed swan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13, Dreaming of the Alabama Hills

The Alabama Hills in California are near Mt Whitney in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, not far from Death Valley. Please copy and paste the links to view the images mentioned in this blog.

Yesterday morning I was greeted with this wonderful tactile image of the Mobius Arch and Mt. Whitney by Stephen Shoff in Better Photo's Snap Shot Newsletter.

Next I followed the link to the BP Perspectives gallery and was swept away with Kerry Drager's more graphic and colorful take on the same subject.

At night I stopped by the website of Alain Briot and found his marvelous and sensual B&W image titled Sierra Arch.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dec 27 Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Sunday at Barnegat Light, NJ
It was a glorious day, close to fifty degrees, gulls, peeps, loons, red-breasted merganser, and sea ducks were in abundance. Barnegat Light is known for its lighthouse and a mile long jetty. In the winter, the jetty is the best place to see harlequin and other sea ducks. In walking the jetty one needs to be careful every step of the way. Howard B. Eskin, an excellent photographer had a harrowing accident that he recounted:
Since then, I stick to the sand, rather than the jetty. There is a concrete walkway up to the jetty, which can be very productive. The posted images were taken from both the walkway and the sand.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Edwin B Forsythe NWR Dec 12

A glorious day at Edwin B Forsythe NWR (known to birders as Brigantine). Arrived 40 minutes before Sunrise, an ideal time. There was enough light for many interesting and colorful captures before the sunrise. Currently there are 1500 snow geese at the preserve. Their flight pattern is very sporadic, but when they take off in mass it's a feast for the camera and their roar and chatter is music to my ears. There was one major flight around 8AM, but instead of flying overhead to the fields, they moved their location in the preserve and I found them later, grazing. I spent at least an hour with an American Bittern. He was a great fisherman, but true to his breed he stayed mostly in the reeds.

My favorite images from the 12th are the dawn flight and the Great Blue Heron in Flight. I was reasonably close to the heron, used a 200-400VR lens with a 1.4 teleconverter, and was able to pan and get good details in the bird.

Fosterfields in Fog Nov 26

Was greeted with fog Thanksgiving morning and took off immediately for Fosterfields Living Historical Farm. The filtered light added to its charm and I shot a few typical landscapes. What really grabbed me was the enhancement of colors due to the soft light and moisture. My favorite shot is the close-up of leaves and berries.

Moose Peterson Nov 12-13

Adorama in NYC brought together Moose Peterson, famous wildlife photographer, and Nikon (with loaner lenses) for a day shooting at Jamaica Bay NWR. A distant hurricane which brought us damaging winds changed the location to the Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area of Brooklyn. Thursday night Moose presented an informative slide show at Adorama that was impressive and exciting to watch. We met Friday at 7 AM near City Hall. The guard sent us away from our original location because we were taking too many photos and might be terrorists.

Immediately Moose corrected the way I was holding my camera. How right he was, and I am forever grateful for the feedback. The Chambers Street subway station was our next stop and it was ideal. The ceiling tiles and arches with the play on light and shadow consumed our interest for a couple of hours. Next we set off on the Brooklyn Bridge. Due to the gray sky, Moose suggested we think in black and white. He said to shoot in color and then consider using Nik Silver Efex Pro to convert to B&W. This was also transforming for me, and has given me a much better understanding of how effective B&W can be.

In the middle of the Bridge the wind was particularly strong. I had been wearing a knit hat and felt the need for more protection. Up went the hood on my black coat, and out came the red scarf. Moose noticed the transformation and asked to photograph me. I said yes (and signed away all permissions)because his photo is amazing. Follow the link to his blog, and go down to the bottom of the page to find me. Take at good look along the way at his extraordinary images. He used the soft light to do some incredible close-up work on the wonderful architecture and graffiti. Unfortunately Moose lost his hat in the process, since the wind blew it beyond retrieval.

The DUMBO section of Brooklyn is old, exciting, historic, and somewhat gentrified. How great to cross the bridge on a cold and windy day and then find Starbucks. The streets were exciting and the two small parks under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges provided more photo opportunities. I have to go back in better weather and catch a sunset. Lenses borrowed were Nikkor 85 f/2 at Chambers Street, Nikkor 24-70 Brooklyn Bridge, and Nikkor 14-24 DUMBO. All lenses are outstanding. My kudos go to Nikon.

Use the above link to go to Moose's blog as indicated, and start exploring his archives and short movie lessons. I check it out every day for information and inspiration.