Giving the Canon R7 a Workout

Finally got a chance to really let the R7 shine. A trip to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal yielded some great photo ops with an osprey fishing, snowy egrets in flight, some cute little killdeers along the shore and a double-crested cormorant. For this exercise I left the focus system in animal tracking mode with animal eye focus turned on. I narrowed the focus area to a large middle zone with all surrounding helper points activated. The R7 had a very easy time of tracking the birds with the smooth blue water behind them and I found the camera a complete joy to use on this day.

Cold and Snowy on Mount Evans

Our trip to Mount Evans was a bust, sad to say… although we were lucky to even make the summit with the weather going on. People were still going up as the heavy rain and most likely impending snow were moving in, and I would not have wanted to be heading up after 2:00 or so. We didn’t see any goats or sheep, which was a great disappointment for what will probably be our only chance at the summit this season. I was able to capture a few nice shots of the weather though, using the RF18-150 STM kit lens with the new lens hood and circular polarizer I purchased for it on Amazon 🙂 I found the lens a joy to use and have no complaints about sharpness or Chromatic Aberration.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Rain and hail also spoiled a visit to Georgetown and Guanella Pass. We saw a few forlorn and very wet bighorn ewes hiking along the road but the rain was so heavy that we really didn’t feel like getting out to shoot. Jefferson Lake on the other side of the pass was beautiful, but no moose showed themselves and there were no pronghorns to photograph along Tarryall Road. We saw a couple of hawks near Lake George but they were too far away and flew the wrong way when they did take flight. Here is where my R7 struggled the most, with a distant bird flying into a backdrop of trees. It really wasn’t able to find the bird and track it. Not sure how to handle that situation, I guess I will have to narrow the focus system down to one point and hope I can get it locked on the distant raptors.

On the other hand the bird was too far away to photograph anyway, so I probably could resolve that issue by not bothering to take the picture in the first place. Oh, and by the way… I used DXO Pure Raw to process the raw images and decided to license the full production copy for my workflow!

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite pictures, hope you enjoy!

 

 

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!

A Big Day

It was truly a big day, starting early on Tuesday morning with a long drive up to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area. Kevin and I had high hopes of getting some great pictures of the burgeoning snowy egret and blue heron populations. As we drove past the central lakes we spotted a good number of egrets wading along the shoreline so we stopped to capture a few images. Shortly thereafter an osprey surprised us with a fly over and a splash down. Fortunately for us it took the intrepid raptor a few tries before we finally captured him splashing down and flying away with a fish so big he had to carry it in both talons! It wasn’t until I was home on the computer that I discovered one of the birds we thought was the osprey flying over was actually a rare capture of a Black Crowned Night Heron.  We also were privileged to get some nice shots of the snowy egrets and double crested cormorants in action.

Soon the sun was getting high in the sky and the heat of the day convinced us to move on to Waterton Canyon for a bike ride in hopes that the bears would be coming down to the river for a swim. My first bike ride of the year was not an easy one, I definitely need to get in shape! We rode all the way to the caretaker’s house without seeing anything to shoot before stopping at the old dam structure for a look. Once I had shed my pack I noticed Kevin taking pictures of the water and I soon discovered that a hapless rattlesnake had somehow fallen into the river and was trying to get out by climbing the tall cement walls of the dam.  He would try for a while and then drift back in the gentle current before trying anew. A crowd soon gathered, including a couple of the park rangers and we feared that if he didn’t change strategy he would eventually drown. Luckily he began moving across the the dam toward our side of the bank and was eventually swept away by the current which carried the poisonous viper to safety.

My hat was not so lucky though, blown into the river by a strong gust where I helplessly watched it drift downstream. We spotted it a quarter of a mile downriver and rode a bit ahead to a spot I hoped to climb the bank and recover it from the shallow water. But while we were waiting for the hat we got word that there were bears spotted in the water downstream, which of course took priority over my hat, now presumed drowned.

Sure enough there were a couple of young bears frolicking along the opposite bank where we were able to capture a few images before the beautiful beasts scrambled up the steep embankment out of sight.

 

 

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!

New Species in the Canyon

Yesterday was the day for my weekly visit to Eleven Mile Canyon. Unfortunately with gas prices the way they are I’ve had to limit my visits to the canyon to once a week. They day began with an apocalyptic looking cloud of dust enshrouding the entire landscape,  the result of tremendous winds we’ve been experiencing this spring. The wind from the night before had never subsided and was still buffeting my truck as I traveled down Teller County Road 1 to the canyon.

Bald Eagle Nest

I was unable to see eaglets in the nest at the entrance, probably due to the wind. I could see the mother eagle was fighting to stay on her perch on the edge of the nest as powerful gusts threatened to unseat her. I imagine the young ones instinctively know to keep their heads down in such conditions.

I watch carefully for osprey in the lower mile or two, as that is they formerly chose for their nest. However there were none to be seen on this day. There was also nothing at the bend, no eagles and not even the often seen blue heron that seems to have made that part of the canyon home for the summer season. However not too far past the bend we spotted a blue heron, then another… and another. All together there appear to be at least four of the great birds nesting somewhere near that relatively calm section of the South Platte River, good information for future visits!

Double-Crested Cormorant

Just beyond there another bird flew in and took up a position high on the giant rocks lining the river. A quick look through the binoculars identified the visitor as a double-crested cormorant, a first for the canyon! We snapped a few pictures of the handsome shore bird and continued on. Our experience with that particular bird at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal led us to believe that he might be comfortable standing on the rocks for a considerable amount of time… more than we had the patience for to be sure.

White-Faced Ibis

Another mile upstream another large bird revealed himself, a species I had never seen before… a large heron looking shore bird with the beak of an oversized sandpiper and unusual red and greenish markings. This one would have to wait for identification until I could get home and feed the image into Merlin, my bird ID application. Eventually I would learn that this was a white-faced ibis… another canyon first! Further investigation indicates that this species as well as the cormorant are expanding their range as climate change warms the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains.

Eventually the osprey flew over, but my equipment let me down on this encounter and I was not able to acquire focus lock as the great hawk circled overhead. Hopefully it won’t be long before the much anticipated Canon R7 mirrorless upgrade to the 90D is available and focus issues will be a thing of the past! I understand the new animal eye focus is quite incredible!

High winds often made audio impossible for the video I was shooting, but I still managed to get a few seconds of footage of the new visitors to the canyon, I hope you enjoy the short video on my channel!

If you enjoy the content and would like to contribute to the cause, please feel free to click the donate button below!

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

And don’t forget to check out my books and calendars on Lulu Press and Amazon!

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!

The Joy of Printing

Yesterday’s awesome photographic and video adventure in the Colorado Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area is made even more awesome today by the ability to make a few prints with my new Canon iX6820 printer. Something about preparing a bunch of images that myself and others are only going to look at on a smart phone somehow feels

Snowy Egret

incomplete. Of course my photography experience began in the film era, a time when you would take your film to a lab for processing and the first view you would have of your work would be the 4×6 inch prints that came back with your developed film. So to me the process seems only half done until I experience the joy of carefully crafting the image for output to an actual print on beautiful professional luster or glossy paper.

I captured over 600 images yesterday of the abundant wildlife found in the refuge, which  through my editing process was narrowed down to about 50 of my favorites. Of those, these three were my favorite and today I am enjoying a little printing after which I will place the 4×6 proof images into my little album that I frequently leaf through to look at all my favorites and decide which will be enlarged and framed at a later time. I don’t always get around to enlarging every one of them, but just having the 4×6 to look at makes the task feel complete 🙂

Bull Snake

On this outing we spotted snowy egret, double-crested cormorant, whitetail deer, a blue grosbeak, American bison and to top it off, a beautiful yellow and black bull snake taking in some sun on the wooden trail steps. The three images in this post were my favorites but it will take me a few days to process all the raw images that I will be using on my website and uploading to stock agencies.

Who knows… I may experience the “joy of printing” on a few more of these images before I move on to my next photoshoot!

Bucks Does and Fawns

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! I should mention at this time that this blog post is not sponsored by Canon or any other firm. All equipment used in the making of the blog and video have been purchased by me on my own volition.

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.