Snowshoes and the Three Amigos

Snowy Sangre

It was a perfect morning for an outing… 20 degrees with deep snow from the last few days of snowstorms. At the trailhead it was obvious that snowshoes were going to be required for today’s trek so I dug them out of the back of the truck and examined them to see how a year of neglect had treated them. Fortunately they were in great shape, one of the buckles was loose so I had to readjust it and refit  the straps.

Three Bucks in Deep Snow

It was a long tough slog to the top of the ridge but the climb through the deep snow in the shade of Hell Hill was the worst of it so I pressed on. The Sangre de Cristo Range was beautiful from the overlook, the golden light of the morning sun was still giving them a bit of color so I had to stop to add a few images to my collection of about a million pictures of the magnificent range. I was hoping to see the elk herd on the summit resting by the edge of the forest but there wasn’t one track in the snow. The elk must have found some far away corner of the woods to shelter from the snow. There were no tracks of any kind, not even a deer on the summit but as I was on my way back down I spotted motion out of the corner of my eye.

I dropped my trekking pole and quick lifted the big 400mm lens to my eye to see what was moving through the woods. I quickly ascertained that it was a buck… followed soon by another and another. It was the Three Amigos looking very strong. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them!

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

Two Decades of Digital Photography and a Publishing Tidbit

Book cover,Cottonwood Pass and the Colorado Continental Divide

Put out a new ebook on Kindle / Amazon this week called “Two Decades of Digital Photography“. It covers my experience with digital photography from the original Canon EOS-1D through several camera, lens and software iterations and includes over 200 of my favorite images through the years , the stories behind them and how they were made. The ebook will soon be followed by a paperback edition pending some details I still need to work out.

I’m also trying to learn the process for publishing a book on the Lulu platform but I seem to have run into a little hangup, I’ll let you all know how that problem’s resolution comes about! *** Update*** So it turns out the hangup was with the pricing. You have to enter a price for each country that they have listed so you have to go online and do your own currency conversions.

Using InDesign to create a Kindle ebook turned out to be quite a difficult undertaking. Creating a novel with no pictures would be easy, you just write the book and save it as a reflowable epub file. Saving a fixed format file is an entirely different matter. No matter how I formatted the file or what process I ran it through to convert it to Kindle I could not get the fixed file to work. No matter what I did the Kindle viewer jacked up the format. Finally I got a tip from somewhere on the internet and managed to fix the problem using the Kindle Create software. To correctly format an InDesign photography book for Kindle you must export your book as a .PDF file. Then start the Kindle Create software and select new project in the file menu. Then click the Print Replica button on the left which will allow you to read a .PDF file. Once Kindle Create has read and formatted your .PDF file you can save it as a Kindle Project and click the Generate button to create the .kpf file which you can upload as your manuscript in the Kindle ebook creation process.

Unfortunately I had already published the badly reformatted reflowable version and the Kindle software wouldn’t let me replace the reflowable version with a fixed format one so I had to unpublish it and start over with a whole new submission.

Lol, now I have a permanent record of how I bumbled my way through the process so next time I can just read my own blog post to figure it out 🙂

Great Looking Wildlife

Mule Deer After the Snow

Had a pretty good couple of days photographing wildlife. We had a good snow the other day so I had to go out in it of course. I usually have pretty good luck finding deer to take pictures of and this time was no different! Found this beautiful buck foraging for food in the snow. He spotted me and looked me over for a little bit and then went back to eating so I guess I wasn’t bothering him too much.

The star of the day was this little mountain chickadee though. He was bouncing around on the branches in front of me  so it was fairly difficult to get a shot of him sitting still but I did get a couple!

Also had pretty good luck at Eleven Mile Canyon, saw one eagle and this little herd of mule deer who graciously posed for me while I took all the combinations of images I could think of!

 

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

Mountain Chickadee

Mountain Chickadee

Gathering Storm and A Pano

I checked my weather app while drinking my morning coffee and it said snow was on the way. In the pre-dawn darkness I couldn’t tell if anything of interest was going on down the valley but it didn’t matter, I was going hiking anyway. I fired up the truck just as the sun was clearing the ridge to the east and a short time later I saw the massive fog bank completely filling the Arkansas Valley. A few of the taller peaks in the valley protruded above the sea of white, creating an enticing scene that I expected to be photographing at the overlook.

But it was still too dark when I arrived at the overlook. I’ve been down that road before, the camera is completely confused by the fog before the sun turns it into it’s customary bright white color. I shoot raw but even with that tremendous amount of latitude the fog always seems to come out with an ugly greenish tint. So I decided to keep going on to the trailhead. I figured by the time I made it to the top of the ridge the sun would be shining a bit and the fog would be easier to photograph.

Gathering Storm on the Sangre de Cristo

My timing was perfect too, by the time I arrived the light was starting to color the western sky and the Sangre de Cristo range to the west was beautifully lit. I snapped a few images of parts of the mountains before ultimately deciding uon a panorama. After a couple of meter readings I settled on manual mode with a 320th of a second, ISO 160 and f/8 for an aperture. Of course I fiddled with the settings a bit as I examined the rear LCD, but that was the starting point.

I was also hoping for some pictures of the mines but by then the interesting light was gone and the sky and fog were just an uninteresting white. But it’s Ok, I’m really happy with the pano!

 

 

Gathering Storm on the Sangre de Cristo

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Fun Day With the Eagles

bald eagle in flight

It was a perfect morning to spend with the eagles. There was a bit of cloud cover to help with that bright winter sun and it wasn’t too cold! We found Speckles near the end of the canyon where he obliged us with a few photos before heading back downstream where we found him a couple other times.

There was also a handsome red-tailed hawk perched on a treetop at near the dam. Red-tails in treetops can have an awful lot of patience though, so we decided not to wait for him to fly. He was still there on the return trip So the decision appeared to have been a sound one.

_MG_3272As we passed all the likely spots for an eagle on our final trip back down the canyon it appeared our day might be over… but just as we were about to give up we spotted one of the majestic birds in a tree near the cliffs north of the picnic area. We parked and carefully exited the car with cameras at the ready. I dialed in a 1600th of a second at f/8 and -2/3 exposure compensation to account for the bright white head. The ISO value came in at a very usable value of 800. We moved toward the resting eagle when suddenly he took flight and headed back upstream.

He flew right past the beautiful cliffs on the west side of the canyon while I tracked him and fired off bursts of three or four shots so as not to fill the buffer up too quickly. The result.. one of my best eagle shots in a long time!

 

 

Red-Tailed Hawk

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Checking on the Eagles

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

I had a free day so I decided to check in on the eagles in Eleven Mile Canyon. My last few visits there have been less than stellar so I wasn’t too optimistic, but cold and snow the night before had me thinking this day might be different. I was in the canyon just after sunrise plowing through three inches of new snow, feeling thankful for new snow tires on the back of my truck! Lol, this visit was a first though, I got so tired and sleepy between the tunnels that I had to find a pullout and take a nap 😦 On the other hand it was very quiet that early and the canyon is a great place to take a nap! I’ll have to keep that in mind 🙂

I made it all the way to the end without seeing a thing and made the turnaround. I would make the turnaround one more time without success and then finally spotted the eagle called Speckles in a tree high on the ridge to the west. He was too far for a good picture but of course I had to at least give it a try. It was so cold in the canyon at that time I decided to just move on and hope for a better sighting of a different eagle.

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

I usually give up after two passes through the canyon but decided this day to take a chance and make three. Finally after 10:00 a.m. Speckles was finally getting busy and I found him in a tree down by the water. I couldn’t get a good angle on him from the truck so I grabbed the monopod and hiked down the river a bit in hopes of better light and a better view. I captured a couple of nice shots of him on the branch before blowing my best chance of the day for in-flight pictures. He flew right at me and almost right over my head but I couldn’t wrangle the monopod into position in time and missed the whole event 😦

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

Later on I got a couple more opportunities for in-flight pictures and finally around noon managed to get a picture that made the day feel worth while. I’ll have to get back there soon if there is going to be that kind of action! It won’t be long and our nesting pair will be laying eggs and spending a lot of time at the nest. Remember though, this year the area down by the river in front of the nest is off limits for the reproduction period from January through June.

Keep my book, called “Seasons of the Raptor” about the Eleven Mile Canyon and other Colorado raptors in mind if you are looking for a gift for an outdoorsman or for some light reading in your spare time! The book is also available as an ebook and can be read for free from your Kindle Unlimited account!

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

New Year New Direction

I’ve been so busy the last few weeks that I haven’t had time to sit down and assess my state of existence. The holidays are a great annoyance to me so I spent the entire two weeks avoiding everything and everyone. With all the bad news about the new Covid variant I decided I’d better get caught up with my health care details so I scheduled my first annual checkup in three years. Fortunately I passed all my blood tests and have been given a clean bill of health for the coming year. Now the first two weeks of the new year are already almost gone and my head is finally clearing enough to assess the previous year and make some plans for this year.

Snowy Hayden Pass

I finally got out this morning for a trek in the high country and a little fresh air this morning, only to discover that I’ve seriously lost the edge off my physical conditioning over the dreaded holidays. If I’m going to climb a 14er this year that situation is definitely going to have to be remedied! I did make it up Hell Hill and back down around the mountain so I’m not starting at zero but my legs are definitely feeling the burn 😦 It was very gloomy this morning which is fine with me, that means I’m going to get the mountain to myself, but it also means that picture taking is going to suffer. But happily when I got to the summit there was a patch of sun shining on Hayden Pass in the Sangres, at least I believe it to be Hayden Pass according to the nifty little peak finding device they installed there!

For years I had kicked around the idea of writing a photography book but never got past the printing and distribution obstacles. Writing a book or creating a calendar is one thing, but actually having enough of them printed up to make money with it is an entirely different matter! But then along comes self publishing and Print on Demand. Now writing a book has become feasible, one needs just to be able to write and to figure out the process, that’s partly why the holidays blew by without my notice…  I was busy learning how to write a Kindle Book and navigate my way through the process. The free ebook writing software made that pretty easy but when I got to the point of trying to turn one of my better efforts into a paperback I discovered that I was still going to need some better publishing software, so I added InDesign to my library of Adobe products that I subscribe to. The good news is that the review process on that one is complete and my first paperback book is now on sale! It’s called “Seasons of the Raptor” and it can be purchased on a Amazon.

I think it also might be a good time to take an honest look at my other photography projects including my YouTube channel, my blog, my art website and my longest running project… my stock photo business.  I put a solid year into my YouTube channel, achieving my goal of 100 videos. My honest assessment of that revenue stream is that it is never going to amount to anything. I am so far from monetizing the channel that I’m not even going to bother to try. If I find something worth filming I’ll shoot and post it but I’m certainly not going to waste large amounts of my time creating videos that nobody is going to watch. Victor on Ice is one example of a worthy project, a lot of people worked really hard on the show and my video of it made a bunch of people that I like very happy 🙂

I’ll keep writing in my blog because I just like to, but after years of effort it is obvious that it will never be a significant revenue stream. Facebook and Twitter are a complete waste of time but I still have hope for my Patreon Channel if only because I have a ton of new lighting equipment and I really enjoy working with models and creating a beautiful lighting set using flash. It’s just fun!

And finally the stock photography business is a great disappointment. When I started years ago it was possible to make some money as a stock photographer but image prices are now so beaten down by over saturation that it really isn’t worth the expense of going anywhere to acquire the images. I’ll continue to upload what I do capture on an incidental basis as I go about my life. If I happen to get some appropriate shots while I’m out running errands or hiking or something I’ll still put them up. I can still at least make enough to buy some new gear once in a while.

Well that’s about it for today, I’m going to get started on my next book… I think it is going to be “My Favorite Pictures”, “and How I Made Them”. I’ve been shooting digital for 20 years now and over that time I’ve captured quite a few that I’d like to highlight before moving on to the next 20 years! I’ll keep you all posted on my progress!

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Roadblocks and Breakthroughs

Well it’s been a busy 2022 already, one of my resolutions… well maybe my only resolution was to actually do something with all the thousands of images I’ve captured over the last few years. Maybe more than a few years, I got my first digital camera in 2002 and I’ve been blazing away ever since!  My original plan was digital stock photography but the returns on that medium are now so low that it is barely worth doing.

Red-tailed Hawk

So I decided to try my hand at book writing starting with an ebook on Kindle thinking that the file I created with the free software would easily translate into a paperback book. That turned out not to be the case though so I thought I was going to be limited to the ebook route.  But I really want to be able to create a paperback so I didn’t give up. It occurred to me that Adobe has a good utility for doing just that called InDesign. What the heck, I thought… so I downloaded a seven day trial version to see if I could learn yet a new software package. Fortunately It is enough similar to Photoshop that I was able to pick up the essentials in a day and I’m about halfway through re-creating the ebook I had written on the raptors into the Adobe software. Besides, I figured if I was going to be serious about this there’s no way to avoid using serious professional software anyway.

But after sitting in front of the computer for a couple of days I’m still going to have to get out with the animals for a few hours, maybe tomorrow!

 

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.