Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Top 10 of 2013
The sharp-shinned hawk to the right stopped by my backyard only briefly. Fortunately, my gear is always setup and ready to go. I ran downstairs and clicked off a 5 or 6 shots before it was gone. This is the first raptor photo I've made in my backyard.
In June, I made a trek up to Voyager's National Park in northern Minnesota. I had never been up there and figured I should check out the only National Park in Minnesota. I found this chestnut-sided warbler about 10 minutes into my first walk. It was very cooperative so I got to shoot it for 30 minutes.
The shot below is from the dock of the resort where I stayed on rainy lake. Our spring was kind of late so I woke up to 30F temps the first day. I really like the pastel colors in this shot and it looks great printed on metallic paper.
On June 30th, they demolished my old dormitory, Gage Hall, at Minnesota State University Mankato. The school had a big to do around the whole event. The gates opened at 7am so I left the house at 5pm to be sure I was first in line to stake out a good spot. I setup the tripod and remote trigger cable and lined up the shot. Then I waited in the pouring rain for two hours until they blew the building. Four hours for 8 seconds. I thought it was worth it. I also made a video and a time lapse. The best part was hanging out with old friends, so of which I hadn't seen since college.
On this day in July, I didn't feel like getting up for sunrise but I did anyway. I only got about 10 minutes of light before it started pouring rain. I ran back to the truck and grabbed my widest angle lens and umbrella and got this shot of a perfect rainbow over my favorite park.
The hummingbirds waited until about August before they came to my feeders. I faithfully cleaned and filled them all summer in anticipation. I found a chunk of rusty barbed-wire on a walk on day so I brought home and tried up to my feeder pole. This little guy/gal yawned for me and I got the shot. My homemade flash bracket helped fill in the shadows and add a little catch light to the eye.
This was another shot where I dragged my ass out of bed early. Conditions were perfect for fog that morning. I love the print on metallic paper and plan to print this real big one day.
Here's another shot from my backyard. I got the idea of setting up a deer antler as a bird perch from Moose Peterson. This rack came from an 8 point buck I shot years ago. It was raining out and this little dark-eyed junco stopped just briefly for the shot. (if you know your junos, they are quick little buggers) I've since captured a few more shots of birds on my antlers but this one is the first really good one.
This next one is also from my backyard "studio." The birch log came from a nearby area. Last winter and spring, some back-capped chickadees lived in there and raised at least two broods.
I made this last shot on Dec 28. I really like it because there is a lot going on in it. Most great blue herons migrate south. This one chose to stay and make it's living along the Minnesota River where the water doesn't entirely freeze. The mallards would grab little fish and chase each other around. Once in a while, a mallard would hope up on the ice to escape the other mallards. That's when the GBH would try to grab the fish. It's tough making a living around here in the winter.