Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) Rural Iowa - April 22nd, 2016 Canon T3i & Tamron 150-600 mm It is hard to sit still and wait for wildlife to come to you, but it is worth the wait. You have to remember that they are wild and that usually means that they will leave when you arrive… Continue reading The Shot is Worth the Wait
Iowa doesn't have a ton of waterfalls, but they're there if you know where to look. If you're planning to photograph waterfalls, you're going to need some extra gear. You'll want to bring along a towel and possibly a change of clothes. Waders or a swimsuit might also come in handy, depending on the season.… Continue reading Don’t Fall Down The Waterfall
Photography is all about lighting. Through manipulating light, you can add sharp edges to your photos or soften them. You can envelop your subject in shadows to make details pop out. When photographing outdoors, you can change your light by choosing the time of day with care. Shooting at sunrise or sunset can add dramatic… Continue reading Choose Your Time of Day Wisely
Birds in the heron family, like the Great Egret, are always a challenge to photograph. They can strike very quickly when fishing, and that makes it hard to stay focused on their head. These large wading birds can be found alongside rivers, ponds, and lakes during the summer months in Iowa. This can make them… Continue reading White Wonders
Summer brings a host of changes in its wake. The temperatures rise, the flowers bloom, and the pollinators fly to and fro. I love the bursting colors as the prairies bloom, and the colorful butterflies only add to the beauty.This image captures much of what I love about summer. The grass is green, the flower… Continue reading Summer Visitors
It’s almost a fairytale setting: a large lake covered in blooming, yellow lilies, the sun shining, and the wind blowing. A chorus of frogs is merrily ribbiting. This idyllic scene is hard to find. But, well worth the effort in the end. One of the sights that I saw in this little corner of paradise… Continue reading Who Knew Fairytales Were Real?
Iconic landmarks can be a lot of fun to photograph; but, the trick is finding a new way to photograph these structures. The Campanile has stood over the Iowa State University Central Campus since 1897. Finding a new way to capture this well-known structure is definitely a challenge.Changing seasons and different events can give different… Continue reading Framing is Important
Summer is nearly here, and the chaos of spring is almost over. The plants are snug in their planters, and the spring storms have hopefully passed. It's finally time to start going through photos again.The Iowa State Capitol Building is one of my favorite places to do architecture photography. This photo is one of my… Continue reading The Part Can Be Just As Beautiful As The Whole
I've been doing wildlife photography for over three years now, and recently I've been going through my older photos to transfer them to discs and store them off of my hard drive. It's crazy to see how my photography skills have changed and to find hidden gems that I never published before. This photo is… Continue reading Flashback to the Past
Post-processing and Photoshopping are two different types of photo editing. These editing modes are often mistaken for one another and the fact that both use the same program, Adobe Photoshop, does not help matters. This confusion between the processing has led to the "straight out of camera" movement on Instagram and Facebook groups. Post-processing is… Continue reading Post-processing vs. Photoshopping
"Invasive species" or "introduced species" are terms that are used frequently in conservation circles. If you've heard these sayings before; perhaps, you heard it on a news broadcast or saw it on a sign. Maybe they were talking about a tree, a weed, a fish, or a bird. In all of these cases, the same… Continue reading What Are Invasive Species?
When looking at a map for a larger park, you may notice a pair of binoculars. When you look at the legend, it may say "Bird Blind" or "Wildlife Viewing." If you are a photographer, these places are well worth checking out. Observation areas are not all equipped for photographers. I've been to many wildlife… Continue reading Bird Blinds Are Wildlife Photographers Friends
Wildlife Photography is often about being ready to capture that perfect shot. You're eagerly peering through the viewfinder at your subject, and your finger is on the shutter release. You're tense, nervous, and excited. The shutter clicks and soon the animal takes off. Sometimes though, it's nice to sit back and enjoy watching your subject… Continue reading Sometimes It’s Fun To Just Watch
Springtime is great for photographing young animals. Whether you're on the lookout for fawns, owlets, ducklings, or goslings, this is the time of year to find them. Different ecosystems are host to each of these young ones. But, they all share a common factor, protective parents. Youtube is rife with videos of people tangling with… Continue reading Keep an Eye on the Parents
Trumpeter Swans are one of North America's great conservation stories. Through the 1800s, hunters prioritized Trumpeter Swans for their feathers and meat. Hunting combined with habitat destruction led to the near demise of the species. Bird Surveys of the Continental US in the 1930s were only able to locate 69 swans in Red Rock Lakes… Continue reading Conservation Efforts Do Work
Wintertime in Iowa means that your light conditions are constantly changing. There have been times where I have seen the weather change from cloudy to sunny and back in a matter of minutes. There are also many days that are overcast, and it is hard to draw out the details in your photography subjects. Elements… Continue reading Watch Your Lighting
If you want pictures of wildlife, it helps to know what they want. Generally, it is easiest to catch small birds if they are willing to come to bird feeders. A great way to practice your photography and to get used to new gear is to set up near a set of bird feeders or… Continue reading What Does the Little Bird Eat?
Whether you are a beginner or an expert at wildlife photography, you will always benefit from learning more about the animals that you want to photograph. Simple information like what eco-systems a species is more likely to be found in or what times of the year you're more likely to see a species are essential… Continue reading Know Your Subject
I am not a big fan of going out into the aftermath of the cold, wet, winter snows. Unfortunately for me, those can be some of the best times for photography. When the sun is shining on the snow, it can highlight the beauty of different birds and objects. The contrast between the snow and… Continue reading Go Play in the Snow
The colors found in a picture can make it or break it. Sometimes, when out on a shoot it's hard to tell if a photo will have those rich color tones that will stand out from the crowd. This photo is one that I was not sure about until I got it off the camera… Continue reading Shades of Brown
Landscape photography is a fun art that is uniquely dependent on the weather and season. The same landscape will look completely different with a gentle snow falling or the trees just beginning to blossom. One element that is very hard to pin down in Iowa is the right cloud cover. If the sky is cloudless,… Continue reading Clouds Can Make The Picture
Landscape photography is vastly different from wildlife photography, as I have come to learn. This is not only because of the difference in subject matter. In wildlife photography, you are often at the mercy of the whims of the animal that you are trying to photograph. Sometimes, they fly or move away from that perfect… Continue reading Don’t Settle for a Snapshot
Sometimes nature and the seasons are not your friends when it comes to photography. This is especially true in Iowa during the summer when photographing near water. Once the temperature rises, algae start to bloom in the waterways and can destroy a beautiful picture. All hope is not lost though and this picture is a… Continue reading Play With Monochrome
If you are a photographer interested in wildlife, you should always be aware of what is around you. This is especially true when photographing young animals. The parents are often close by and may decide that you are a danger to their young. Knowing a species signs of aggravation may save you and your gear… Continue reading Be Mindful of Your Surroundings