Brilliant Colors

My favorite thing about spring migration (other than the massive number of birds) is the brilliant plumage on the males. Wood Ducks are especially beautiful to see but can be quite skittish. That's where urban ponds and lakes can come into play. Birds that frequent these waters are generally more used to having humans close… Continue reading Brilliant Colors

Sweet Little Ones

Springtime is a wonderful time to be out doing wildlife photography. Everything is renewing itself and it's time to start hunting for little ones. This can mean looking for nests, watching for parents, and researching animal habits. The best place to start is close to home, especially if you have woodlands or water near where… Continue reading Sweet Little Ones

Go Beyond the Bird Blind

Iowa has beautiful state parks and one that is relatively close to where I live is Walnut Woods State Park. One of the main features of this park for wildlife enthusiasts is the bird blind. Songbirds, woodpeckers, raccoons, and red foxes have all been known to make appearances there. It can become a habit to… Continue reading Go Beyond the Bird Blind

Stay awhile and Listen

Cedar Waxwing

Photographers that are interested in capturing wildlife should be willing to wait a while in one spot. This beautiful Cedar Waxwing did not return to the area where I was sitting for over half an hour. But, once it was comfortable with my presence, it happily flew back and forth over the lake hunting for… Continue reading Stay awhile and Listen

Patience is a Virtue

One of our favorite types of birds to photograph are owl. They come in many different species and looks. Some can be found in Iowa year-round and others only for a season. The Northern Saw-whet Owl is only found in Iowa during the winter months and can be hard to find because it is roughly… Continue reading Patience is a Virtue

Networking Can Lead to Great Finds

We never would have found this fox without the help of a friend. He knew that we were interested in finding foxes and let us know where one had been spotted in rural Iowa. Foxes have fairly large territories so even with a general location, it took several tries to find this one. It was… Continue reading Networking Can Lead to Great Finds

Even the Water Can Hold Surprises

Bullfrogs are a creature that can be heard anywhere near the water during the summer in Iowa. Hearing them is one thing, spotting them is another. Before you reach the waterline, you may begin to hear the splashes heralding the frog chorus' departure. Sometimes, if you're lucky at least one will stick around. This one… Continue reading Even the Water Can Hold Surprises

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Dirty

I don't like getting dirty. This doesn't mesh very well with wildlife photography, so I have to work to get over it. The reason for this is very simple. I want to get the best shot possible. The best shots of animals are those that are looking evenly at the animal. This means not shooting… Continue reading Don’t Be Afraid to Get Dirty

If You Want a Challenge, Chase a Butterfly

Every time you go to photograph a new type of animal, you find that you still have a lot to learn about wildlife photography. I was walking through the woods looking for birds and hoping for an owl. Instead I found a butterfly. I, in my ignorance, believed that it would be an easy shot… Continue reading If You Want a Challenge, Chase a Butterfly

If You Can’t Catch the Fast Ones, Go For the Slow

Some days, you just can't catch a break. Someone scares off your raptor or the ducks see you coming from a mile away and make a break for it. Those days, it's still worth going out because some animals won't run away that fast. This turtle was too happy to keep sunning itself while I… Continue reading If You Can’t Catch the Fast Ones, Go For the Slow

Look Everywhere For Your Subject

I nearly missed this shot because I wasn't looking up. This adorable, little squirrel was curious about me but it only poked it's head out for a few seconds. This is a good reason to remind my fellow wildlife photographers to look up for subjects. In fact the other photographers that I was out with… Continue reading Look Everywhere For Your Subject

Seek out the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Just because a bird is a common sight for you doesn't mean that it's not unusual for someone else. American Robins (Turdus migratorius) can be found in Iowa year-round and so they are easy for me to overlook when I'm hunting for a subject. This bird has a striking gray and orange coloration that can… Continue reading Seek out the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

You Never Know What You’ll Find Outside Your Door

Wildlife photography can include long, laborious car rides, traveling far outside your comfort zone, and sometimes sitting and waiting for hours for your target to come in. Other times, you just have to walk out your door.

First Adventures in Photography

My brother-in-law, Doug, has been shooting amateur photography for years. He started with trains and planes and has now branched out into wildlife. His frog picture is one of my favorites. He normally goes out on the weekends with a friend, Eric. This fall he invited me along and the first outing was set for the first day of pheasant hunting season, October 31st.