Archive for January, 2013

MOAR POWERRRRR!!!

Point and shoot cameras pretty much all have a power zoom, but the feature is almost unheard-of in the DSLR world. I ran across this specimen on eBay, and had to have it – ended up getting it for 20 bucks, and that even included an EOS 700 camera!

PotD 2013 031/365 – MOAR POWERRRRR!!!

Takeoff

This Mallard hen decided to depart, and I just twisted around and snapped off a quick shot. Wonder of wonders, it was even in focus!

PotD 2013 030/365 – Takeoff

Monster in the Water

If you look at the roots on this tree, what you see is simply roots, gnawed by a beaver. But what do you see if you look at the reflection?

PotD 2013 029/365 – Monster in the Water

Drip…

This Northern Shoveler hen had just come up from a root on the bottom of the creek. I thought the huge drop of water on her beak was cool.

PotD 2013 028/365 – Drip…

Afternoon Glow

These tall weeds around Bass Lake had just a wonderful look in the afternoon sun.

PotD 2013 027/365 – Afternoon Glow

I Know I Said “Fetch”, But REALLY?

A lady was walking her two dogs along Clear Creek, and she threw a stick in to the water. The dog dove right in, and came out with this…

PotD 2013 026/365 – I Know I Said “Fetch”, But REALLY?

Lunch on the Butcher Block

Right inside the entrance of Rocky Mountain Arsenal, there is a large tree with a big dead limb that flattens out at the top. I’ve taken to calling it the Butcher Block, because every time I’ve been there, there’s been a raptor enjoying a meal on the dead branch. This is my favorite shot from the arsenal so far.

PotD 2103 025/365 – Lunch on the Butcher Block

Weedy Goodness

I’ve been wanting a shorter prime lens to complement some of my longer ones, so I rented a new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 to try out. It’s been getting stellar reviews, and after five days of using it, I believe every glowing review. This was shot with the 35 on the 5D, at f/1.6.

PotD 2013 024/365 – Weedy Goodness

Why I’m Not a “Purist”

Simply stated, photographic purists are those who espouse the opinion that a photograph should not be edited, and that only a straight-out-of-camera shot is “valid”. To me, while this concept is a requirement for honest journalistic work, trying to apply it to any sort of artistic work is bullshit. Editing of photographs after the shot has been around as long as photography itself, and if a purist believes that old-time film (or even before film) photographers didn’t alter their work prior to showing it to the world, they are deluding themselves. This shot is a good example for me. “First Light” is a shot I posted here last week as a part of the PotD project this year, and I also posted it on G+, where it got great feedback, and has turned into one of my more popular shots. However, it most certainly was NOT a good shot SOOC, and I’ve almost deleted it a couple times in the past year. When I finally got around to actually working on it, I was pleased to find that there really was something cool lurking in that crappy SOOC snapshot. Here are both the finished shot, and the SOOC original.

The finished product

The unaltered original

The Magical, Mythical Mandarin

One thing to know about the Mandarin Duck is that they are not from around here. They originate from Asia, and the closest breeding population (feral) that I’ve heard about is in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, there is a Mandarin that lives in the area of Prospect Park, and he is a very famous fellow. He’s probably had as many cameras pointed at him as most models. He’s very vain…

PotD 2013 023/365 – The Magical, Mythical Mandarin

Lake Ladora

This was shot across a frozen Lake Ladora at Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR. I didn’t care for the shot when I first took it, but after a little work, it’s one of my favorite landscapes.

PotD 2013 022/365 – Lake Ladora

Angry Coot

The original Angry Bird. He doesn’t look like he appreciates being shot. In truth, every Coot looks like this head-on 🙂

PotD 2013 021/365 – Angry Coot

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s, my first thought when I hear the name “Rocky Mountain Arsenal” is of chemical weapons. Even quite recently, driving past the site gave me a bit of an involuntary shudder when I thought about what went on there. The arsenal manufactured chemical weapons and other nasty things from the time it was created in 1942 until the late 60’s, and from then until the early 80’s, it was used to decommission and destroy chemical and other weapons, as well as by several companies who used the site to produce pesticides. In 1984, the arsenal was designated a Superfund site due to the massive amount of contaminants found during a survey there. A huge clean-up effort ensued, but what was discovered over the years was that the lack of human activity in the area resulted in the return of many species of wildlife to the area. In 1992, the site was declared a National Wildlife Refuge by Bush the Elder, and since then, as areas were declared “clean”, they were annexed into the refuge. The clean-up was officially completed in 2010 – the total size of the refuge is now some 15,000 acres, and is called home by over 330 species of animals.

I was of course aware of this transformation of the site over the years, but until last week, the knowledge was only theoretical. I drove out there to shoot some of the wildlife, and it was really heartening to see what had been done to restore an ecology that had been utterly gutted over the span of five decades. The shot below of a flock of grackles leaving an uprooted tree was taken near the refuge’s entrance, and in the background, you can see the large and modern visitor’s center. Also visible is an array of solar panels that help power the facility, and also provide covered parking for guests at the center.

The Sentinel

A lone Prairie Dog on the lookout for potential threats.

PotD 2013 020/365 – The Sentinel

Front Range

This shot of the prairie and the front range of the Rockies was taken from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

PotD 2013 019/365 – Front Range