When I was an interpretive park ranger at Dinosaur National Monument last summer, I created a photography program to give amateur photographers ideas on how to improve their vacation photos. The “Simple Tips to Better Photography” was a non-technical tutorial on the art of seeing. With today’s do-it-all-for-you digital cameras, most of the technical stuff is already done by the camera, and often done quite well.
But what snapshooters need to learn most is what I call visual poetry. They need to learn how to make a compelling photograph. Too many people don’t use their telephoto lenses to their best advantage, and that is one of the most important tools they have to capture the compelling part of the photograph.
Although this presentation is focused on landscape and nature photography, the same can be said about photographing people.
I began my presentation with a discussion about visual poetry, adapted for general audiences: Read the rest of this entry »
The Yampa Valley Crane Festival in northwestern Colorado celebrates the fall migration of greater sandhill cranes on their way to their wintering grounds. Sponsored by Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, the festival drew me to the harvested wheat fields near Hayden to find these handsome birds. Read the rest of this entry »
Actually, these photographs are from my last two trips to Echo Park. I bought a “new” used AWD Toyota Sienna and broke her in on the Echo Park Road. Then a week later, I took my friend Marilyn there since her little (and heavily loaded) Honda Fit wouldn’t make the trip. Marilyn is a volunteer for several wildlife refuges, and I met her last year at Okefenokee NWR. So, like me, she moves from place to place with all her possessions stuffed in her long-suffering car.
When I heard what sounded like a hummingbird singing, I went to the back porch with my camera and found two rufous hummingbirds locked in an aerial battle. Although some of these photographs aren’t sharp, it shows the Ninja-like dance before they dropped to the ground, still locked together. Read the rest of this entry »
A fellow ranger and I were discussing the constant quarreling at the hummingbird feeders by the newly arrived rufous hummingbirds. Emily said they reminded her of the fighters in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” They can fly so fast you can’t keep track of where they’ve gone. Or they can hover in a slow motion attack. She said she calls them “bully Ninjas” – although I think she used another adjective that was more creative. Wish I had written it down. Read the rest of this entry »
The employee housing area for Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado side is at around 5,900 feet in elevation, and even though it’s 2,300 feet lower than that at Mesa Verde, this area reminds me so much of my summer there three years ago. The Utah junipers and pinyon pines are familiar. But instead of scrub oak we have big sagebrush.
We had mule deer at Mesa Verde, often in bachelor herds like we have parading through our yards here. Read the rest of this entry »
Since I will need to expand my repertoire to include dinosaurs now that I am working at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado for a few months, I felt it appropriate to show some living dinosaurs – BIRDS! Yesterday morning was my first in my new one-bedroom apartment in the housing area, and it was an exceptional one. There were dinosaurs everywhere! Read the rest of this entry »