Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just Up the Road

The last 2 weeks, the winter weather has been showing signs that spring is on its way.  So, taking advantage of one such spring-like day, I decided to take the long way home from work and I ventured off onto a few of the many gravel roads that cut the landscape in this area.  I had a particular destination in mind and with the way the light was changing I knew I was going to have an opportunity at some great photos. 

However, it's always interesting how mother-nature can throw a twist when you least expect it.  After finishing up at my chosen destination where I was rewarded with some fantastic early evening light, I started my way home with no intention of making any other stops.  In fact, I came close to putting my camera back in its bag, but I knew better.

Cruising down a gravel road, less than a mile from my house I caught some movement in a cut cornfield off to my left.  As I turned my head for a better look, my only instinct was to slam on the breaks, which I did, although I'm lucky I didn't "flat-spot" any of my tires (gotta love gravel!).  Standing in the cornfield were 20-30 whitetail deer basked in beautiful, warm, sunset light.  However, they weren't going to stand around for long, since they definitely had taken notice to my skidding stop and they weren't impressed.  I grabbed my camera and starting firing away as the deer began to scatter.

Deer at sunsetIt's pretty astounding how many photos you can take when you don't lift your finger from the shutter button for several seconds! Unfortunately, the majority of those photos came out less sharp than I wanted and some were extremely blurry.  In my haste, I had selected an aperture that didn't allow a shutter speed fast enough to stop the deer's motion completely.  Add to that the panning motion I made with the camera in order to follow the deer and you have blurry photos.  Of the photos I was happy with, these two are my favorites and I feel they both are great reminders of a wonderful sight.

Deer at sunsetThe first picture really shows the deer's natural instincts to flee when threatened.  Maybe they didn't get the memo that deer season had closed?  The second picture came after some of the deer had settled down a bit and were showing some curiosity in what I was doing.  The buck in the center of the frame was where my eyes were focusing since I had noticed that he was the biggest buck out of the 3-4 that were in the herd.  I kept watching him hoping that he would strike a pose and he finally did!  I love the light and the contrast between snowy shadows and sunlit trees in both pictures.

Great Light + Wildlife = Stunning!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Very Strange!

It's been a very strange week here in NE Kansas, due mostly to the massive snowstorm that pummeled us early in the week.  That storm really through my normal schedule for a loop and caused a short work week that seemed really long.  We were snowed in for about 1 1/2 days, so I didn't do a lot of photography outside of taking pictures of all the birds that flocked to our feeders, even when the storm was at its worst.  I really don't think the storm phased them at all!

But, I did get a chance to spend some more time updating the layout of my photography website.  So, if you visit that site you'll now see a short informational page and a new guestbook.  If you do visit, please feel free post something in the guestbook.

I also spent a bit of time going through my photo library, so hopefully I'll get a chance this weekend to add some more pictures to the site.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Daily Photo: 2/1/2011 - "Is it Spring Yet?"

Considering the Midwest is getting pounded by the snowstorm of the century (could be!), I'm thankful to be watching it from my living room window!  Even with the blizzard raging, our bird feeders are probably as busy as they've been all winter and one of our feeders is in need of a refill.  Just great!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugSince there is no way I'm getting out for an type of photography today (except some shots of the crazy birds), I've decided to post another picture from the weekend.

What first caught my eye for this photograph was the fading sunlight painting the top of the tree in the distance.  As I set up for the photo, I decided to try and get the contrast between the cold, snow covered field and the bright blue, almost inviting, sky.  In my opinion, the fact that the field is in shadow helps give it a feeling of being colder than it really is.  Finally, like the picture I posted a few days ago, the clouds add the final touch to the image.