This is a Sandhill Crane. They’ve recently migrated back to our area of Wisconsin. You know their back in the area long before you see one by their amazingly loud and irritating call. Sandhill Cranes are large birds, standing nearly 4 ft tall with a wingspan of 6 to 8 feet. (Learn more about Sandhill Cranes HERE)
These exotic birds have become common during the warmer months but are very difficult to photograph (at least, for me) because they are extremely shy. When you attempt to get close enough to capture a good image they flee.
This opportunity came by chance. I was driving home and noticed a pair of cranes grazing near the road a couple of hundred yards before my house. I drove by and turned around when I thought I was far enough away that I wouldn’t spook them. I got my camera out of the case and then headed back down the road. (I try to always keep my camera with me.)
I took this photo while driving with one hand holding the camera and one hand on the wheel. I was the only vehicle on the road and moved as slow as I thought I could without sending the birds to flight. Even at 30-mph, the cranes became agitated and started to move. They were out of range before I could circle back for another shot.
I will keep a lookout for more opportunities to capture Sandhill Cranes. If I succeed, you’ll see them on this blog.
(Click the photo to view a larger image.)
Of the seventy or so images you’ll find in my Flickr Photostream, this is the image that has been viewed and commented on the most.
This is a view of Lake Michigan at the the Algoma, WI beach on March 4, 2007. I was heading to the church early in the morning and stopped, as I often do, to snap a few pictures. It was at the tail-end of a snow storm and, though you can’t see it, snow was still blowing quite a bit. I remember it being miserable outside.
If you go to my Flickr Photostream, you can see this same image in B&W. (Click Here)
The panoramic view below – created by “stitching” several photos together – was captured the same morning.
I’ve been itching to play with my camera but time hasn’t given me much opportunity lately. Still, when there’s an itch, my subconscious brain is always looking for a way to scratch it. This image brought some relief.
While eating my lunch today I noticed the very tiny bubbles in my clear bottle of sparkling water. With the help of a macro lens and the blue glow of my computer screen providing the background, I think it created an unusual and interesting image.
(Click the image to see a larger version.)
I overheard a sad conversation the other day. A man was telling the clerk at a convenience store how he was suffering from “Football Withdrawal.” It’s an affliction affecting many people this time of year…especially those who live in the frozen tundra. Although, for Packer’s fans, the onset was a little later this year, since the Packers got to play all the way to the Super Bowl.
In these parts, when you find yourself in the grip of Football Withdrawal you can make a trip to Lambeau Field – home of the World Champion Green Bay Packers. It’s not a complete cure, but it eases the discomfort a bit. There are a variety of historic images, activities, tours, Packers Hall of Fame, the Pro Shop and Curly’s Pub.
This is a view of the stairway leading to the second level of the Lambeau Atrium where Curly’s Pub is located. The guy in the picture is, of course, Curly Lambeau – the founder and first coach of the Packers and namesake of the stadium where they play.
There’s something about this photo that really appeals to me. It’s one of my favorites. (Probably a beauty-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder kind of thing.)
(Click the image for a larger view.)
This was the moon over our house on Saturday night, March 19, 2011. This is the night the moon was closest to the earth (Parigee) an event that happens every 18 to 20 years. This year’s Parigee coincided with a full moon, so I had to take a shot at capturing it.
It was a lot more difficult than I thought and, in actuality, I’m a little disappointed it didn’t turn out better. I learned a few things in the process. I spent a lot of trial-and-error time on aperture and shutter settings.
The most important piece of knowledge gained was that my 300mm lens focuses to infinity and beyond. (Not a good thing.) Because the moon is way out there, you should be able to set the focal length at “infinity” – the very end of it’s range – to focus on distant objects. However when you go to the end of the zoom range on my lens, things get blurry. It’s a subtle blur, not noticeable in the viewfinder. Even at 300mm zoom, the moon is still a small spot in the view finder. I really couldn’t see the blur until I viewed it on my computer screen.
Even after I figured it out and pulled the focus in a smidge, it’s not as sharp as I would like, but I think it’s the best I could get with my equipment and the atmospheric conditions at the time.
Sadly, a bunch of nice shots of this moon rising near the Kewaunee Lighthouse were ruined because I didn’t see the beyond-infinity-blur until I got home.
(Click the image for a larger version.)
On a cold, foggy morning I found these ice crystal spikes attached to the antenna of our car.
Though it looks like a Black & White image, this is actually a color photograph. The car is black, the frost is white and there didn’t happen to be any other colors in view.
(Click the image for a lager version.)
My wife and I had just settled in on the sofa to watch a DVD when I noticed some color in the sky out my living room window. I had to pause the video and run outside with my camera to capture a few frames of this beauty. A wider version from the same shoot is below.
About being left on the sofa in “pause” mode, my wife simply said, “I kinda thought this was going to happen.” She knows me well.
(For a larger view, click on either image.)
On my way to church early this morning (March 6, 2001) I noticed the sun breaking through the clouds over Lake Michigan. I stopped at a wayside just south of Algoma, WI and took a few photos.
The wider view below was taken with a sweeping motion using the panorama setting on my camera – the Sony SLT-A55.
I have another image from this series that I’ll post soon.
(Click on an image to see a larger version.)
A few weeks ago my wife dropped some bulbs in a small pot in our living room and…voilà.
I’ve been itching for spring to arrive so I can get out and photograph the flowers, bugs, butterflies and bluebirds.
(Click on the images to view a larger version.)