Archive for Pacific Northwest

Baskett Slough Sunrise

Posted in Natural History with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2016 by chamimage
Sunrise on Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Sunrise on Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

It was raining when I left home in Salem, Oregon yesterday. But, some of my best landscapes have come from stormy days so I set out for a drive, if nothing else. It had stopped raining by the time I got to Baskett Slough NWR. Fog shrouded the hill I wanted to hike and I usually like to check out the ponds first, anyway so went to the pull out at the narrows. I was just leaving when a huge dusky Canada goose blast off went up right to my left, out where this image was taken.

After a few experimental shots on the geese against the foggy hillside, none of which survived editing, I noticed the break in the clouds. I grabbed my 70-200 mm lens for a few landscapes. You can see the silhouette of a bald eagle just above the horizon on the right. He was apparently what had triggered the goose blast off. They fly over and watch for geese that can’t fly. Those geese are henceforth called breakfast. He had no luck with the geese, but as I finished with the landscapes I noticed he dropped something into the water. It was about right for for a coot carcass. Quickly another bald eagle swooped up the carcass. Then two more materialized to chase the bird with the food. While editing this image I could see the other eagles perched on trees out there.

Two weeks ago I photographed an adult eagle in the back part of the refuge. When it flew, I knew exactly where it was going by the direction it flew and found it again in an old snag on the hill I like to hike. Two weeks ago my hike produced no sightings of deer, which is unusual. I was starting to wonder if they had all died off from some disease or something, but yesterday I saw deer in every location I expected to see deer.

Stormy Sunrise

Stormy Sunrise

This image from 2006 is from the same angle, a bit tighter. Some of those trees have either fallen down or been cut. The bald eagles loved those trees so it is a shame. There is more plant growth now as the marsh is filling in, as they do. Didn’t get the color of the sun shining through a lsot this time. That was also Velvia film in 2006. That was another rainy morning when I went out, anyway.

Newborn Fawn

Posted in Natural History, Photo Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2014 by chamimage
Doe and Fawn

Doe and Fawn

I found this black-tail doe and newborn fawn near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park in Washington state. The series of photos that ensued told a story. These are all straight out of camera. None of them are great photos in and of themselves, but I like them as a series.

Newborn Fawn

Newborn Fawn

Momma decided to move away and stepped over a fallen log.

What's a Fawn to Do?

What’s a Fawn to Do?

The log was Mt. Everest to that little fawn.

He threw himself at it.

He threw himself at it.

He threw himself at it with all he had, but fell back on the first try.

The Second Try

The Second Try

His second attempt looked like it was going to end with the same result…

Kicking

Kicking

He was high-centered, but he managed to get his feet under him and start kicking his way over.

Success

Success

He made it.

Reunited

Reunited

Time for some security time beneath mom.

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

This image is all blurry, but shows how tiny and fragile this little guy was.

Hopefully, they lived happily ever after. The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Sunset

Posted in Natural History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2013 by chamimage
Nautical Twilight

Civil Twilight

When I went to edit the images in a file from the Oregon Coast I was reminded by the intense blue of some of the images that sunset is not just sunset.

I remembered a workshop I attended ten or so years ago where I was introduced to the concept of the phases of sunset and sunrise. The Navy is the source for these phrases. When you are on a ship light and vision was kind of important in the days before radar and navigation systems.

There is a detailed description of the phases at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight.

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset or sunrise as we know them is when the sun is above the horizon. The golden hour.

Civil Twilight begins when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon. Most of the colorful clouds occur during this time as the sun still lights them from below and the suns rays travel through the most atmosphere and is most diffused and some colors are blocked of filtered.

Face Rock_Bandon, Oregon

Face Rock_Bandon, Oregon

Nautical twilight occurs when the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon. As far as the Navy is concerned, navigation using the horizon is no longer possible. For photographers, the color blue becomes prominent and the objects become silhouettes. Some of us love this period and are happy to wait for it. Most photographers have packed it in and gone home by now.

Astronomical twilight is when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. It is dark, but not dark dark, if you know what I mean. This was about the time when my mom finally came out and dragged me inside when I was a kid. She had been calling me since Civil twilight, of course. And I had been saying “five more minutes” since then. This is the light I like for cityscapes. The lights are all on, but the sky is not black.

Face Rock

Face Rock

Close Encounters

Posted in Photo Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2011 by chamimage

Watching for Little Red Riding Hood

I went to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last week to photograph large mule deer bucks that lay low there during the hunting season. In the past they have proven to be quite cooperative, but this year they were a bit more stand-offish. Maybe it’s the late autumn we are having and maybe it is just a new angst-ridden generation.

I found the coyotes, hawks, and owls to be more generous about letting me spend some time in close proximity to them – especially the coyotes. Two of them got a little closer than I was totally comfortable with. I always worry about rabies when a wild predator approaches me closer than one would expect.

The adult coyote above was actually hunting dragon flies ( sorry to burst your bubble about the fierce predator lying in wait for Red Riding Hood). There were so many dragon flies in this place they were alighting on me constantly. At one point this coyote did a little mouse jump at a bunch of dragon flies clustered in a sun spot warming themselves. It was unexpected and I missed getting a photo of it.

As he fed along I noticed that he was so close that I could no longer focus on him. That’s close. I took my eye from the camera and stood quietly and he walked past me so close I could have petted him as he went by. He gave a little glance upward as he passed. At about ten feet past me he broke into a run. I’m not sure if he finally caught my scent (Phew!), or the glance into my eyes finally registered that I was a human.

In retrospect, I decided that he did not recognize me as human because I was standing behind my tripod. Not something that is normal, but not the shape of an enemy.

Coyote Pup

I met this half-grown coyote pup on my first night in the refuge. He was hunting grasshoppers along the road. I met his sister later, also hunting along a road. It must be a bit scary being on their own, suddenly.

At one point he left the road and I got my camera on a tripod and followed him, getting ahead of him by taking a fork in the trail and then waiting for him. This is when he emerged. Instead of being scared he was actually curious about me and took a few steps closer to give me a sniff. The EXIF says he was 11.9 meters away when this was taken. Again, I was standing behind the tripod and that may have thrown him.

There seem to be two varieties of coyote – runners and non-runners. The majority of them run if you even begin to slow the car down. I’m not sure if running from humans is a learned trait, but I think every coyote who has ever been shot at by a rancher or had his mate shot is a runner from that point on. I’m sure running is conducive to longevity in ranch country.

Rolling In It

MMMMMM. Roadkill. Likely the sister of the above coyote pup.

Sunset on a Heron

One advantage of the late autumn is that the heron, egret, and cormorant rookery was still fairly active. It is in an area that is closed until August 15th to allow the chicks to fledge unperturbed, but they were still nestlings this year at that time.

 

Thirteen Years

Posted in Photo Stories, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2011 by chamimage

Cape Lookout 1997

I made the above photograph thirteen years ago on New Year’s Eve in 1997. It was the same day I got back into photography (after a fourteen year absence – something to do with college and medical school, blah blah , blah). That morning I had bought my first Nikon camera, a N90s, along with two lenses. I had learned about a new film, something called Velvia, to replace my old Kodachrome 64. This was my first roll of it. A roll of film went a long way back then. I’m not sure I used up the roll in half a day of shooting.

That started a tradition of going to the coast on New Year’s weekend. In 1997 I lived in Spokane so that was not a short jaunt. Now it is a 50 mile drive.

Cape Lookout 2011

As far as I can remember, which sometimes isn’t too far these days, yesterday was the first time I’ve been back to Cape Lookout since 1997. Surprisingly little has changed. The sunset was not as dramatic this time, but was enjoyed thoroughly, all the same.

There was some unexpected angst associated with my visit. I passed the picnic area where our family used to picnic here oh so many years ago. My parents would have been in their forties then. Now they are quite old, and the memory of them in their younger years was a bit sad.

Oregon Coast Waterfall

The new photographs were taken with altogether different equipment than in 1997, a Nikon D3 with a 24-70mm lens and Gitzo tripod. Scandisk compact flash card instead of film. One heck of a dusty sensor. Never had that problem with film, but we did have scratched film from the cavemen at the film processing place. I suppose we have made progress, but good images were made back when. That doesn’t change. It’s still about creativity.

Newport Sunset

I can throw in a Velvia shot from 2001 here and you wouldn’t have known the difference. I hope I am a better photographer now. I know I am a better enjoyer now. Maybe we can all work on making every day as joyous as a day at the beach.

I’ve decided that the best way to become successful in photography is to sell me a camera. A guy named Bryan Peterson sold me my first Pentax SLR in 1982 and went on to write some successful photography books that still sell well. He lived in France the last I heard. A very nice, spiky-haired woman named Laurie Excel sold me the Nikon N90s in 1997 and now runs her own photography tours, called Execellent Adventures and has a new photography book out this year. Her hair also became famous in Joe McNally’s occasional “Where is Laurie’s hair?” features on his blog.

Independence Day

Posted in Photo Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by chamimage
Lake Crescent Sunset

Lake Crescent Sunset

     The Fourth of July is approaching and in my neighborhood that means being tormented by firecrackers at all hours of the night for a good ten days in a row. I always remember back to the most peaceful Fourth I ever spent, which was at Lake Crescent Lodge in Olympic National Park in northern Washington state. Being a national park, fireworks were prohibited and, somewhat surprisingly, the rules were obeyed.

     The above photograph and the photos below were all actually taken on the Fourth of July evening. I could have taken two of them from the exact same spot, though I probably moved the tripod a little bit. I published a magazine article on the Olympic National Park and they did not choose the photograph I would have selected (they rarely do). It was one of these three.

     It was not the one above, which is my personal favorite. I could understand that because it was a travel magazine and they are all about accomodations. They are also all about advertising revenue and publishing a photo of a lodge gives them a good pitch to ask for an advertisement in that issue.

     My choice for the article would have been this one, which could have been shot from the same position as the one above, so you can see what the view is from the lodge!

Lake Crescent Lodge

Lake Crescent Lodge

     The article as I wrote it was a work of art. It would have made you laugh, it would have made you cry. What they published was a heavily edited skeleton of what I wrote that said “I went…, I saw…, We stayed at…” I found out that travel magazine writers get no respect. They also published the weakest of the photographs (slides in those days) that I sent them. Needless to say I don’t brag about that article a lot. Here is the photograph they published.

Lake Crescent Lodge

Lake Crescent Lodge

     I highly recommend the Olympics for a summer visit. There is Hurricane Ridge, with vistas of snow-capped peaks and habituated deer with huge antlers to photograph. There are some of the best tide pool beaches in the northwest. And everybody seems to like the Hoh Rain Forest the best, with its moss draped trees and forest floor, but I live in Oregon and it just looks like home to me.