The Shot is Worth the Wait

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

White Wonders

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 Visitors

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

Who Knew Fairytales Were Real?

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?

Flashback to the Past

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

What Are Invasive Species?

"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?

Bird Blinds Are Wildlife Photographers Friends

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

Sometimes It’s Fun To Just Watch

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

Keep an Eye on the Parents

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

Conservation Efforts Do Work

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

Watch Your Lighting

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

Nature’s Heroes

Wildlife Photography is full of crazy adventures. Maybe one day, you're sitting in a hunting blind waiting for ducks to fly or swim in. The next day involves walking through the woods searching for owls. These are regular days for a wildlife photographer, but sometimes you come across something you didn't expect: an animal in… Continue reading Nature’s Heroes

What Does the Little Bird Eat?

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?

Know Your Subject

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

Go Play in the Snow

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

Shades of Brown

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

Play With Monochrome

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

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

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

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