The Three Amigos Emerge and a New Video

Mule Deer Bucks

I finally dared to pass through the dark forest to reach the higher peaks above the treeline on the other side. It was a beautiful morning, warm with no wind, I had nothing else pressing to do and I just went for it. I was hoping to see the dusky grouse that the mountain is apparently named for but I had no such luck. Don’t think I spotted a grouse up there last year either. In fact, I didn’t see anything up there except the grass and the old mines.But on my way down I spotted a deer on top of the ridge looking down at me so I snapped a picture which revealed a buck with fuzz covered antlers . Then another deer appeared so I stopped and attached the 1.4x teleconverter for a little better view. Finally a third buck appeared and I realized I was being treated to a view of my favorite deer trio, “The Three Amigos” as I call them. These three bucks have been roaming the countryside on my favorite mountain for several years now and I was delighted to see them still safe and together.

I wasn’t going to shoot a video but seeing them inspired me to flip the switch on my camera to video mode and shoot a few seconds of footage 🙂 I hope you enjoy the video as much as I do! Unfortunately I didn’t get a good still image of all three together because by the time I got done with the filming they weren’t standing together anymore, but I did get a good shot of two of them looking down from the mountain with great curiosity!

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!

If you enjoy the content and would like to make a donation for the cause, please click the button below!

My Grande Film Experiment

Canon A-1So some time ago I picked up an old Canon A-1 film camera at a thrift store for my antique camera collection which I intend to display on a shelf in my office someday. Well the camera looked like it was in good working order so I began to wonder if the thing would actually work. I went across the street to Walgreen’s and it just so happened that they had a battery for the thing so I installed it and by golly the little internal LED meter came to life!

I acquired some film and soon my film experiment was off and running! I was surprised to discover that a couple of the local camera stores still maintain functioning film labs and eventually I turned in a roll of film. After a couple long weeks I received the call… my negatives and prints were back and by golly the camera works and the prints looked good 🙂

Mule Deer Doe

So does film compare in quality to my 32mp Canon 90D? Of course not, not even close. But I did find the entire process enjoyable and discovered that I still like the whole process of loading film, shooting the pictures, running the advance lever and physically going to the lab and talking with real people. I also discovered that digital photography has made me a bit lazy. It costs nothing to rattle off a few test shots with the wrong exposure to get the camera set up for a shoot with perfect settings. With film it costs a dollar every time you click the button so it isn’t feasible to just fire off some shots. It also won’t do you any good because there obviously isn’t any immediate feedback on a screen to tell you what to do!

South Face of Pikes Peak

I had to relearn how to read a scene and run my old incident meter. The reflective meters in cameras can’t always be trusted to return an exact exposure so sometimes it’s better to use the old style incident meter to read the light actually falling on a scene to get an accurate exposure.

The old camera with it’s old manual focus lenses is quite small and light, and a very easy thing to carry along on a hike where there is no pressure to capture a lot of images for a YouTube movie or Instagram. Any shooting I was doing with my film camera was just for me, a simple exercise in enjoying my hobby. I found the entire process relaxing and intend to continue shooting with film once in a while.

Climbers in Garden of the Gods

But if I’m going on a vacation or a shoot where I am serious about getting images there is no way that I’m going to be shooting film. No film camera will ever come close to replacing 10 frames a second at 32 megapixels. Also with digital I can change my ISO with the changing conditions which I am constantly encountering in my photo trips that often begin in predawn light and finish in bright midday sunshine.

But I have to admit, I am a bit nostalgic for the old days when you would take your roll of film to the camera store and talk with other people about their recent experiences with our beloved hobby. I enjoyed the experience of laying your strip of film on the lamp and carefully examining the frames with a loupe, looking for just the right with which to create an enlargement. Other photographers would gather around and take a look through the glass for themselves and the whole experience had a special feel that has been lost in the digital era.

Downtown Victor Colorado

I still recommend film and the entire photographic process for anyone starting out in photography. I think there is great value in understanding each step of the process, from selecting the correct ISO value for your roll of film, to metering the light for a correct exposure, to learning the patience to wait for your results. So even though I won’t be shooting with my A-1 all the time, I have acquired a backpack for the camera and manual focus lenses and I intend to continue putting it to use once in a while! Not too much use though, with these fuel prices the trip to the lab in Colorado Springs costs about $40, Add that to the $25 for the film, processing and the high res scans and it’s a pretty expensive proposition to turn in a roll of film!

I have included a few scans of my negatives with this post, I hope you enjoy the results! If you enjoy the content and would like to contribute to the cause, please click the donate button and select an amount!

 

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!

Seasons of the Raptor (second edition)

Seasons of the Raptor

I am pleased to announce that I have released the second edition of my first book, “Seasons of the Raptor“. It includes a new chapter complete with exciting images of the return of our beloved osprey pair to Eleven Mile Canyon, following the destruction of their nest in a violent spring storm the previous year. Also included is the return of the bald eagles to their nest at the entrance of the canyon along with their beautiful new eaglet who is now growing rapidly and working hard at learning to fly!

The book can be purchased from my printer / distributor at Lulu .com, along with a number of other publications I have created! For those of you who prefer Kindle, the book is available on Amazon in ebook format!

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!

Osprey in Eleven Mile

Pure Joy

That’s about all I can say about my morning of photography. The title came to me when I was filming a little vesper sparrow singing his heart out on the summit of Grouse Mountain. Click the link to the video here if you would like to experience two minutes of joy :)There was also a little house wren at the parking lot singing an equally beautiful song but I was so busy shooting stills that I forgot to film it. I was glad when I encountered the little sparrow that gave me a chance to record the joyous song 🙂

To round out my joyful morning I also encountered a pair of fox kits playing hard at sunrise. I was lucky that one of them managed to run right toward me during his play session and I got some of the best fox captures ever! Then a red-tailed hawk left his perch high on a power pole to also fly right at me and an elk cow stopped to pose for me. Finally a herd of mule deer wandered past in the warm light of the morning sun and I felt that I had earned a nice cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll at the Gold Camp Bakery 🙂

 

If you enjoy the content and wish to contribute to the cause, please just click the above button and select an amount!

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!

Definitely a Wild Day

I have to say… today turned out way better than I thought! First I couldn’t even figure out what to do with my day, so I just sat in my chair with my coffee until the sun was already way too high in the sky. I had some things I wanted to do but I knew there would be way too many people in the mountains on this holiday weekend. So I found myself giving up on doing anything when I finally decided to just take a little hike and check in on the art gallery in Victor.

Fox at Play

A last minute tip from a buddy revealed the location of a fox family in my area, so I went there first and spotted a couple of what appeared to be the two adult foxes still out enjoying the sunshine. I’ll have to try to get there earlier one of these days to see if I can catch the pups before they duck back down into the den for the day. I didn’t stay long, but I did shoot a couple of different angles to try to get the best light, and managed to get a couple captures that I like including this one which is my favorite of the day.

Then it was onward to my hiking trail near Victor

Mule Deer Doe

where I spotted a few deer, a couple of does and a buck. Fortunately they didn’t bolt when they saw me, just calmly wandered through a sunny patch before heading over the ridge into the dense forest.

I went without success this evening to try to view the fox family again, but I was fortunate to witness a red-tailed hawk flyby within easy camera range. He flew past the wrong way first, giving me a chance to check my settings, a 2000th of a second at f/8 with auto ISO with +1.3 exposure compensation turned out to be the right mix! Out of almost 200 exposures, this one (below) turned out to be my favorite. The wings weren’t in the bright sunlight but I captured the catch lights in his eyes perfectly! This one will definitely find it’s way onto my wall somewhere!

Red-tailed Hawk Soaring Overhead

 

If you enjoy the content and would like to make a donation to the cause, please click the button above and select an amount!

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!

Quite an Assortment

I’ve seen quite an assortment of critters at the Canyon lately! My latest trip was pretty much centered on the bald eagles, and a cute little family of Canada geese… there isn’t anything much cuter than the little yellow goslings following behind their mother! However recently I’ve seen cormorants, a white faced ibis, great blue heron, eagles, red-tailed hawks, beaver, deer, American dippers, robins, and a ton of little sparrows that are hard to identify without referring to Merlin, my bird ID app from Corning University. Anyway, I just wanted to put them all in one place in this cute little gallery 🙂 Also be sure to view the video of our rapidly growing eaglet!

 

 

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

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!

Finally Eagle Catches Fish

Red-winged Blackbirds

I’ve been trying for years to capture an image of a bald eagle actually catching a fish and yesterday it finally happened 🙂 A morning at Manitou Lake worked out and an early arrival time was scheduled. Unfortunately the gate wasn’t open yet so entering the park required a bit of a hike from a nearby unofficial parking lot but the morning was still young when we arrived at a likely vantage point for some good photography. Picture taking was off to a good start with some awesome captures of a female red-winged black bird, busily gathering cattail fuzz for her nest followed by the arrival of a few great blue herons.

Bald Eagle at Manitou Lake

Soon it was time for the arrival of the osprey that have been coming to the lake at the same time every day on their morning fishing trip. Unfortunately the osprey seem to have changed their schedule and have decided not to oblige us. It was beginning to look like another photo bust at the lake when suddenly a bald eagle flew in and circled the lake. Soon our National Bird was making a dive at the water, a bit far for a good capture but I readied my camera anyway. A 1600th of a second shutter time, f/8 and auto ISO seemed like good settings for an eagle gliding in for a catch.

Suddenly there was a splash and the mighty raptor was on it’s way with a good sized trout. I kept my lens trained on the approaching predator with my thumb on the back button focus, and kept shooting away. The bird was so small in the frame that it wasn’t really possible at the time to discern whether I was successful, but I was elated that I had actually witnessed the event!

Garden of the Gods

Then it was on to Woodland Park and Colorado Springs for supplies and to shoot the remaining frames of black and white film with my Canon A-1 film camera. I turned off at Manitou Springs to take the back way through Garden of the Gods in hopes of a worthy subject for my six frames of Ilford B&W film. Plus they are building a round about at the west entrance and I wanted to see if it was possible yet to get past the mess on 30th Street. Well, it is not, you can go across to the visitor center but it still isn’t possible to go north. Fontenaro Street to the south is the best route to Colorado Springs proper from the Garden. Before leaving however, I stopped for a few captures of the new leaves of springtime at the visitor center with my A-1 film camera and also a few with my 24-105 wide angle on the 90D using a polarizer.

Here are a few more images from the lake which can be counted on to provide a variety of bird species and color, hope you enjoy them!

 

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

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!

If you enjoy the content and would like to contribute to the cause, please click the donation button and choose an amount!

A New Strategy

May I start out by mentioning that this article is not relevant for my WordPress followers who already understand the concept of a blog post.

 

It has recently come to my attention that many of my social media followers are not aware that most of my posts are actually links to articles, videos and prints that I have produced. WordPress and Youtube both allow for the designation of a thumbnail image to entice viewers to click and open the product. What I get however are not visits to my blog and videos but instead likes and comments on the thumbnail itself.

So I have decided to put instructions on the thumbnail itself indicating to the viewers what to do, I.E. click the thumbnail to open the product, whether it be an article, a video, a print for sale or a link to some important information.

By the way, while you are here I would like to point out that each WordPress article has links to all my other products! If you are on a desktop the links are on the left, while phone viewers have a Menu button on the upper left. From there viewers can click to navigate to more blog posts, prints and gift items, stock images, Youtube videos, Kindle and paperback books, calendars and more books on Lulu Publishing and much more! Hopefully the image below will solve the problem, time will tell!

Misty Mountain Deer Herd Click to Enter Button

Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies Now Available at Barnes & Noble

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

I’m pleased to announce that my latest book, “Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies” is now Available at Barnes & Noble! And much sooner that I expected 🙂 Anyway the book features all the major species including the large mammals such as bighorn sheep and elk, predators including fox and coyote, the great Colorado raptors including eagles, hawks and osprey and of course all the small birds and animals. In the book I reveal the equipment needed to get meaningful captures of the animals plus techniques for finding and photographing them.

The book includes almost 200 of my best wildlife pictures of all the species I’ve had the good fortune to encounter in the wild, from the lowly ground squirrel to the majestic bull elk and the diminutive sparrow to the fearsome bald eagle. Anyway, I hope you will consider picking up your own copy of this comprehensive publication!

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

Interesting Perspective

So I went for a hike through the mines at Goldfield Colorado yesterday, taking only my antique Canon A-1 film camera with me. I had a few exposures remaining on my roll of Ilford Hp5 ISO 400 monochrome film and was hoping to expend them on the old mines. I think I had about 12 pictures to take but by the time I had reached the turnaround point on the trail I still had 4 remaining.

Snowy Mines

The last part of the trail doesn’t really pass many highlights so I was wondering how I was going to use up four exposures. That quandary got me to thinking of my digital camera where four exposures would be nothing. Lol, there have been times when I accidentally pressed the shutter button and banged off eight frames of the ground, or my shoe, or the floor mat in Kevin’s car. It’s nothing on a bird photography outing in Eleven Mile to shoot 600 frames with 500 of them almost exactly alike.

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

So then I got to thinking how therapeutic it was to be just walking along looking for a real and distinct image with no real pressure to actually find one. I was just thoroughly enjoying the process of manual photography. I enjoyed loading the film by hand and cranking it into place. I enjoyed turning the lens to the aperture I wanted and setting the shutter speed dial to my desired value. I enjoy the satisfying slap of the mirror as the camera bangs it out of the way to expose the film.

And today I will enjoy going to the lab to turn in the film for developing and for the opportunity to browse the camera store looking for some little gizmo I might need. And I always enjoy chatting with the lab people about the whole process of shooting film, a skill nearly lost on today’s photographers.

I’m going to have a good day 🙂

Don’t forget to check out my new book, “Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies” now out in print on both Amazon / Kindle and Lulu Publishing!

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