Major Award

No, I didn’t get the coveted “Leg Lamp”… But I did get this plaque in the mail today. Making Who’s Who in America has been on my mind since I was young and discovered the publication in the school library, using it as a resource for writing reports and such. Much to my surprise I received an email a while ago from the Who’s Who in America organization stating that I had been nominated for inclusion in the biographical record. I actually thought it was probably a hoax at first, but after checking all domain names and email hosts in the correspondence I felt comfortable enough to answer the email and fill out the application. After that I was invited to participate in an interview and again, much to my surprise my application was accepted and it seems I am now a proud member of the Who’s Who in America list and a major bucket list item checked off 🙂

 

Who's Who in America

 

 

My record in the database isn’t complete yet though, it states that the branding team is working on a professional bio that won’t be completed for approximately 60 working days. I’m not sure when that will be but I’ll be checking the link from time to time to view the progress!

Well any way… back to work on my new website… It seems I’ll be coming out of retirement in the portrait business. Inflation is nipping at my heals and it appears full retirement is not going to be a good plan for now. If things continue the way they are, I’ll probably be photographing my own funeral 😦

Morning Surprise

Cooper's Hawk

So the plan today was to drive to the upper parking lot at the trailhead and beat the ‘shroomer to the upper meadows to see if I might find the elk herd before they retreat to the coolness of the dense forest. And of course maybe get pictures of the dusky grouse flock before her dog had a chance to scare them into the forest. There were no grouse but as I neared the edge of the forest I heard a strange call that required investigation. I eventually spotted the bird in a tree calling down to me. I had seen these before but always thought they were some kind of meadowlark or something. Not a tiny bird but not a big one either, bigger than a robin though. Anyway, I snapped a few pictures until the bird took off, and I continued on through the forest to look for elk.

Mule Deer Fawn

Alas, there were no elk on the summit but there were a few cute mule deer, including a doe with her curious fawn in tow. They stopped briefly to check me out and kept on walking. With my long lens I was able to photograph from a distance beyond their danger zone.

Upon arriving at my desktop I loaded up the interesting new bird and discovered it to be a Cooper’s Hawk. The All About Birds site provided by Cornell Labs identified the raptor for me including a few interesting facts about their lifestyle. They are a forest dwelling bird that feeds on other birds and migrate in the winter along with osprey to South America. According to ABCBirds.org , “Like so many other species, Cooper’s Hawks are harmed by habitat loss, which may limit suitable breeding habitat. Collisions with glass windows, turbines, and poorly lit communications towers also account for many deaths.” Just one more reason that I’m against the wholesale adoption of all those stupid windmills that don’t supply enough power to justify their damage to the landscape.

That the hawks eat other birds could explain the apparent shortage of song birds on my mountain this season! Well anyway, there is at least one nesting pair living in the dark forest, and maybe more. Now I can’t wait to get back up there for some more captures!

 

 

Also don’t forget to check out my books and calendars on Lulu Press and Amazon including my latest, “Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies” and this year’s wildlife calendar “Colorado Wildlife 2023“!

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

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!

Coyote on the Hunt

2023 Wildlife Calendar

Exciting news!!! My 2023 wildlife calendar is finally published and available for purchase on my Lulu Press publisher page! This calendar has 14 full page pictures including the front and back covers plus 12 full page monthly grids with enough room for notes and appointments on each page! See below, the pictures I have selected for this years calendar which will of course not have watermarks on the actual printed pages.

So if you enjoy and want to support my work, click on the links above to purchase the calendar!

 

Also don’t forget to check out my books and calendars on Lulu Press and Amazon including my latest, “Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies”!

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

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!

My Author Copies Arrived

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

Big day yesterday, the author copies of my newest book “Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies” finally arrived! I was a bit nervous about it as there have been a lot of changes in my office configuration since my previous book was published! Since then I have upgraded my computer to Windows 11, put in a new high performance graphics card, and downloaded new drivers. It didn’t change my colors much, but I did notice that my monitor does match my printer much more accurately now. Wasn’t sure how that would affect my publishing experience at the big publishers!

Well, the good news is my copies came from Lulu Publishing perfectly and I made a nice Youtube video to show it to you! In the video you will see the cover and the content as I thumb through the book and describe it, so if you are interested, please just click the link and enjoy!

In the meantime, the book has been accepted at Barnes and Noble and I have learned how to go to their home page and request that they stock some copies in the retail stores. I don’t know how that will go yet, but I have hopes that they will at least put a few  copies into the “Local Interest” sections at our Colorado Front Range Stores! The book is of course available at my Amazon storefront.

Once again, please feel free to view my Youtube video about the book and visit one of my published material storefronts at Amazon and Lulu Publishing if you would like to purchase the book or peruse my other publications! My books are also available in eBook form if that is your preferred method of reading!

Happy Easter From Mine Country

Herd of Does

Happy Easter 2022… I probably should have gone to Easter service at church, but somehow a gathering of people don’t seem to bring me closer to God. I knew my trail would be peaceful today so that is where I went to celebrate my Easter holiday.

I was greeted by this little band of doe mule deer, also apparently enjoying this beautiful quiet morning. I stopped my hike for a half hour or so to take a few pictures and let them pass. They were wanting to go around the fence and I didn’t want to scare them into running straight at it where they would be forced to jump.

Historic Mine Ruins

Eventually they slowly passed, enjoying a bit of mountain grass along they way and I went on in to Victor to see if anything was open for breakfast. Well nothing was open but I again spotted this cool old abandoned structure on the mountainside that I’ve been trying to photograph for some time this year. As I drove through town I caught a glimpse of it that I hadn’t seen before and got to thinking with a long enough lens I might be able to get the capture.

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

So I parked my truck and put on the 100-400L and took a walk through town. I couldn’t get the pine trees out of the lower left corner, but the view of the old house was pretty good… if I was patient enough to wait for the wind gusts to stop, the south wind was blowing the flags over my scene most of the time making it impossible to shoot. Finally I got a few seconds of calm and took the shot, 1/1250th of a second at f/5.6 and ISO 320.

I was able to coax a bit more contrast out of the image by converting to monochrome with the Photoshop channel mixer and am fairly pleased with the results. Once summer comes and those branches get leaves on them this image will be impossible until next winter.

I’m happy to report that my books are getting a bit of attention and even today someone read over 50 pages on their Kindle account!

I’m a Publisher

Ghostly Figures in Foggy Mine Country

Well I did it, I’m officially a publisher. I wanted to publish a paperback version of my latest creation called “Two Decades of Digital Photography”. I have ebooks uploaded to Kindle and Lulu which is easy because they don’t require an ISBN. However print versions do require an ISBN and if you get one the easy way through Amazon or Lulu you aren’t the publisher, they are. And that means they have exclusive use of your publication.

The path to becoming your own publisher goes through Bowker.com where you can create a publisher account and get your own ISBN numbers. Today I did just that and ordered one ISBN, unfortunately getting just one is the most expensive way to go, you can get a block of 10 for much less per number. But I’m still in experimental mode so I just started with one.

The number showed up on my account waiting for me to assign a book to it, which I managed to do. So… what does it all mean? The paperback version of Two Decades of Digital Photography is now available for sale on Kindle and pending on Lulu while I wait on the mail for a proof copy for final review and approval!

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 🙂

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.

Windows 11 and Kindle Publishing

As we approach the new year the weather is clear and cold up in the mountains. Not very good for photography but pretty good for tackling year end administrative details and sitting in front of the old LCD monitor. Yesterday’s big event was the upgrade to Windows 11. In my younger days as a computer geek I would have been all over the new developments but these days I was content to just wait for the announcement. In fact my desktop is now probably three or four years old so I wasn’t sure it was even going to be eligible for the upgrade.

But as it turns out, the other day when I booted up, Windows informed me that I was eligible for a free upgrade, a note which I gave the old “later” response thinking I might not even bother to do it. But after looking into it a bit and discovering that there were actually going to be performance improvements to the multi-tasking software plus some intriguing aesthetic enhancements, I decided to see if my computer really could perform the upgrade.

I checked over the requirements and it seemed that my little Dell actually met the requirements (of course after I had installed 32gb of memory and a 1tb aux disk) so I shut down all my tasks, even though it says you don’t have to, and fired up the download and walked away. A couple hours later the download was complete and the installation started automatically. That too went off without a hitch and I am now running on Windows 11. I have to say I am pleased so far, it seems to be a bit snappier and I like the look and feel. In fact an issue with my graphics card driver seems to have been repaired. One time I was messing with the colors and contrast on my monitor and something got completely jacked up, turning my whites pink along with various other problems. I had to switch my theme to dark mode to avoid the hideous colors on the task bar and backgrounds. There seemed to be no other way around it but now it all looks fine again. All my applications seem to be working well, including my Adobe products and Open Office which are really the most important things I use.  Today I will find out if the printer driver was affected.

Series Cover for Photo Adventures

I’m also proud to announce significant progress in my newfound book writing career, I have completed the first three short stories in my Photo Adventures series on Kindle! To accomplish this you need at least three stories to complete the three cover artwork displayed for a series. Kindle uses the covers of your first three stories to create a three cover collage. I decided for consistency’s sake I would stick to the theme of wildlife adventures and now that they are complete I have a pleasing three animal cover 🙂 Now I am fiddling around with some new ideas for a more substantial writing including a recounting of the year my wife passed from cancer and a new phase of life began called “Beauty for Ashes”. I don’t know if I will actually be able to deliver on that idea though, time will tell if I can actually get through the first chapter. If I can write the first chapter I may actually come through with that idea.

Today my big task is going to be trying to acquire a new season pass for Eleven Mile Canyon and Manitou Lake and maybe even a Colorado state parks pass, but I’m thinking I should probably have a new windshield installed on my truck first. Seems a shame to put shiny new stickers on a cracked up old windshield 😦 But then again, it also seems a shame to have to put a shiny new windshield on a 25 year old truck… I keep thinking that there is going to be a Nissan Frontier 4×4 in my future but I seem to keep finding camera equipment taking priority over a new(er) vehicle. Which brings to mind the old saying for parents, “Teach your kids photography, that way they will never be able to afford drugs.” 🙂

 

 

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! Also be sure to check out my short stories on Kindle in my new series called Photo Adventures!

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

Chaos in the Canyon

Cold and dreary today, my bones ache so I can be pretty sure winter is returning to the high country tomorrow. That was definitely not the story yesterday though, it was nice enough in the mountains but it felt like summer in Waterton Canyon. Beautiful day for a mountain bike ride so even though I was running behind from my trip to Englewood Camera, there was no way I was going to miss out on that!

Beautiful Blue Water of the South Platte in the Rockies

On the mountain bike ride up the canyon I saw evidence of the bighorns, mainly in the form of rocks strewn all over the trail in a couple of prime spots but unfortunately I didn’t see any animals. Stopped on my way back down to try out my 4 stop ND filter on a particularly beautiful spot on the river. Got some nice pictures but the water is really not running fast enough at the moment to warrant a motion blur picture. The canyon walls were dark and would remain so until late afternoon, long after I intended to be on my way home.

Sometimes I like to ride hard on the way down but this day I just took up a leisurely pace

Bighorn Sheep in Waterton Canyon by the South Platte River

hoping to give the sheep time to come down from the mountaintops for a photo op. As I rounded a bend about three miles in I saw a small group of ewes and perhaps one young ram gathered by the river. I rode in just close enough to get set up without disturbing them and readied my gear. It was looking like my 28-105 would be the right lens for the situation, the big 400 mm was not going to be necessary with the critters right on the road and I was hoping to get a wide angle video of them at the stream getting their daily drink of water from the South Platte.

Bighorn Sheep in Waterton Canyon by the South Platte River

It all started out well, the sheep ventured down the riverbank to the beautiful pristine blue water of the headwaters of the Platte for their drinks and I moved over to a rocky outcropping in the stream for a good view. All was going well until some other hikers and a couple of horses appeared on the scene. The little herd ran back up the embankment onto the dirt road at the edge of the cliffs and began to feed on the grass and make their way to their

Bighorn Sheep in Waterton Canyon by the South Platte River

trail back up the mountainside. Finally they were out of range for the wide angle so I switched to the big 400mm lens.

As they were meandering up the hillside they dislodged a couple rocks which made quite a noise, scaring the horses who took off running in the other direction. The thundering hooves scared the sheep who then high tailed it to the top of the ledge, knocking a bunch more rocks down, which of course dislodged even more rocks in my direction. I wisely scampered to the opposite side of the road keeping a close eye on a few hefty threats rolling toward me in case I needed to dive out of the way!

Fly Fisherman in the South Platte River

Finally the chaos subsided, the horses stopped running and the sheep went back to eating. But they hadn’t forgotten… every animals was keeping a wary eye on those horses as their riders coaxed them back into their trek up the canyon. it did make for some interesting pictures, all the sheep lined up in a row at the top of the ledge 🙂

Eventually I packed up and headed back down the canyon. I knew there would be no more sheep so I pedaled hard to the trailhead for my long drive back to the mountains.

As always, these pictures and more are available on my website for purchase as wall art on glossy acrylic or metal sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool gift items are also available with a beautiful mountain scene, including apparel, bedding and pillows, shower curtains, coffee mugs and tech gadgets including  battery chargers and phone cases!

I have also created a YouTube video on my channel for some HD footage of the action! Please subscribe if you like! I have a long way to go to get my first 100 subscribers so I can get my own custom URL!