The Trees are Silent

A week ago I saw an estimate that over one billion birds were in Colorado on the way to their winter shelters. The trees on top of my mountain were filled with bird song and I could see thousands of them of every variety, blue, yellow, gray and probably many others that my eye wasn’t fast enough to notice.

Mountain Bluebird

But yesterday the trees were silent. There were a few hardy winter birds preparing for the harsh Rocky Mountain Winter and a few mountain bluebirds hiding in the thick mountain grass. But for the most part the trees and the hills were quiet.

It won’t be long now and the leaves will be changing and snowflakes starting to fall on the peaks of the high country. I’m always sad to see summer go but in all honesty summer is the most difficult time for my photography. The mountains are constantly hidden by smoke and the animals are scattered over thousands of acres of wilderness. In the winter they gather in large numbers to the lower meadows and clearings where I can find and photograph them more easily. The deep Colorado snow extinguishes the fires and the bitter cold air can’t hold moisture like the heavy air of summer. The distant mountains are crystal clear and the sky is often filled with dramatic storm clouds drifting over the peaks. Winter is when I capture my best imagery.

But for today, it is the bluebirds that made themselves available to my lens. 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” 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
 
 

Canon R7, Worst Case Scenario

Well, maybe not the worst case scenario… Dropping the camera onto the interstate from an overpass might be the worst case, but this was one that was very concerned about. So I was out early this morning, before the sunlight could illuminate my deer friends eyes… I had the R7 set to animal eye focus but the eyes and the nose were just black spots, and the camera latched onto the nose thinking it was an eye. On a side note… the ISO for the deer capture came in at 12,800 and it turns out that DXO Pure Raw made a much better image than Topaz DeNoise could. Looks like I’ll be hanging on to Pure Raw for those tough cases.

Fortunately I still had the AF point button available for reprogramming, so I set it to toggle tracking and non tracking so that in that scenario I can just click the one button and use a single focus point on the eyes like the old days. Also I reprogrammed the M.fn button to toggle the focus points and areas with just a one button click to quickly set the focus points I need.  I also changed the exposure lock button to be a flash control button since I never use exposure lock and I thought the asterisk might remind me of a flash unit 🙂

Lol, come to think of it, I also reprogrammed the set button to toggle from EVF to LCD, that auto detect display switching feature was driving me nuts and my nose on the LCD kept rearranging the focus area every time I looked away from the EVF. Now the camera just stays on the EVF until I tell it to switch to the LCD. Now the camera works the way I want it to!

When I was packing up from my hike through the high country I spotted a red-tailed hawk on a distant power pole so I wandered over to see if I could get a shot. As I neared the raptor I could see that he was eating something, so I found a rock to sit on for a while and observe the action. Got a few minutes of footage that I’ll be sharing later, but for now I’m still working on the stills. I have to say, I’m impressed with how the R7 focusing system handles the video tracking. It’s far superior to the 90D tracking mode which continually loses the subject.

After the great bird finished with the rodent, I just sat and waited for him to fly. I set my focus area to a wide selection across the upper middle of the frame. Finally he flew right through the focus band and the tracking followed him all the way through. Unfortunately the EVF doesn’t seem to be very useful for tracking a subject while shooting. The display was very jerky and and I could only catch a glimpse of the bird every once in a while. I suppose the better method would be to snap a few captures and then recompose, making sure I’m still locked onto the subject.

Anyway, here’s a few of this morning’s image, 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!