|Posted on June 7, 2011 at 10:19 PM||comments (0)|
I visited the Wild Bird Sanctuary with a friend the other day. Now, I am no expert when it comes to birds and other raptor species, but what I do know is that these birds are amazing close up.
Take America's bald eagle for example. This bird is covered in layers of dark detailed feathers. The beak and talons are bright yellow and its head is a stunning burst of white.
But why did America choose the bald eagle in the first place? Many accounts say Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national symbol. Both the bald eagle and the turkey are natives of the United States. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the bald eagle "was chosen because it stands for strength, courage and freedom".
Bird photography is extremely challenging (I was lucky this bird was tethered to the ground). Since most birds are small in size and fast, a telephoto lens is often necessary to achieve any decent image. The lighting is crucial when capturing feather detail and the vibrant colors birds often display. Use a tripod to help achieve the clearest image.
Garth McElroy of Nature Photographers says the best place to start is in your own backyard. Set up a bird feeder, get your gear ready and wait for the best moment to shoot. Don't be afraid to experiment.
|Posted on June 5, 2011 at 4:05 PM||comments (1)|
Last year, The Huffington Post selected the St. Louis Zoo as one of the best zoos in the country. While the admission is free and the exhibits are fantastic, many people outside the St. Louis area might not know of the city's second zoo, Grant's Farm.
Grant's Farm is the 281-acre home of the Anheuser-Busch family. While the family does not live there currently, they do celebrate special occasions at their private estate from time to time. The Anheuser-Busch family shares its land with more than 900 animals representing close to about 100 different species.
The estate does have a petting zoo, but their variety of animals feature more than just the cute and furry. The farm puts on shows throughout the day featuring its two African elephants. They also have zebras, Blackbuck Antelope and Red Kangaroos.
This place is an attraction for all ages. The children can spend quality time with the goats and the parents can enjoy two complimentary cups of Anheuser-Busch beer in the Bauernof, an old courtyard housing several old-fashion carriages.
A trip to a Anhesuer-Busch estate wouldn't be complete without seeing Clydesdales and Grant's Farm has them. While the majority of the Clydesdale fleet is housed in Boonville, Missouri, Grant's Farm still features some of these iconic beauties for visitors to view.
|Posted on January 4, 2011 at 7:03 PM||comments (2)|
“The physics of movement when shooting is always compared to where you are at, not the actual movement of the subject. So shooting a car moving towards you or away from you will illustrate less movement than something that is moving parallel to you.”
|Posted on January 1, 2010 at 8:15 PM||comments (1)|
|Posted on November 4, 2009 at 2:53 PM||comments (0)|
I eat lots of bananas. Yep, they are my favorite fruit of all time and I usually have one a day during breakfast or dinner. It’s the best food for the on-the-go lifestyle I live in. What other fruit comes with its own handle?
I’ve eaten them so much that I’ve mimicked the way monkeys eat them in the wild. I peel back the banana not from the handle but from the other side, where apparently the nutrients are better stored (I eat the whole banana so it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense).
If you are still wondering about the photo above, let me tell you about it. This was shot through glass at the St. Louis Zoo. The zoo is one of only a few zoos in the country to offer free admission to the public. Anyway, I saw this monkey lying in the sunlight and its hand above his head (almost as if he was pondering a great thought) and that’s when I took the picture above.
Many of us think highly of ourselves, I am not one of them, just kidding I am. I think one of the ways we can bring our egos back to earth is realizing that we may have came from that creation pictured above. Come to think of it, with me enjoying bananas so much, I may still have a little monkey still left in me.
|Posted on October 18, 2009 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
So I’ve heard many praises about the photos of my dog and well, here is yet another one. The photo illustrates the place where she was most comfortable, near the water.
There seems to be something hidden within every dog that lights up when they see the first sight of water. It may be that I’ve only grown up with golden retrievers, but still there must be something to explain their sudden burst of euphoria.
Abby, the dog pictured above, loved to swim in the water. The many trips to Minnesota and to our neighbor’s lake house must have rooted a love for the elements from the beginning. When my brothers and I were in the lake, she wasn’t far off, guarding our every move like a worried mother.
The picture above was shot during the first light of the morning at our neighbor’s lake house. It was just Abby and I soaking in the morning rays, listening to the rhythmic waves coming in. After realizing my state of complete calmness, I took out my camera and captured Abby and the light splashed upon her wet fur coat.
A great photo may very well depend on the quality of the lens or megapixels, but I’ve also learned that capturing a decisive moment may very well make or break a photo too. Also, good lightening is a must when it comes to taking a photo that expresses a certain mood or offers a certain emotion to the viewer.
A dog near the water, perfect lightening, and a decisive moment, were the tools I had. All I had to do was push a button….timeless, priceless, unforgettable.
|Posted on September 13, 2009 at 11:46 AM||comments (0)|
So I was looking back at all of my old pictures and I found the match that goes with the first picture I posted on this blog (look at the very last photo). Her name was Abby and she was a golden retriever who loved every part of being outside. She loved especially cold snowy days and running through the snow licking the icicles and surrounding herself in white powdery snow. In a way, the snow was her way of making her own mark on a perfectly covered backyard. Her footsteps were left in the snow that day, but the memories of her still remain fresh in my mind.
I remember summer trips up to Wisconsin with her in the car wedged between my older brothers. Like most dogs, Abby loved being in the car and she loved being around water. All of us would be swimming in the lake and she would constantly swim around us to make sure that we were okay. It was almost like she was counting her hens or acting like a shepherd keeping us together as much as possible.
In this photo, I shot a profile angle to show her true identity. She seems strong, determined and frozen in time. I saw this stance and I grabbed my point-and-shoot and took a couple of pictures. This is the image that I got…beautiful isn’t?
Our animals become our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers or in my case my best friend. They sleep all day with no worries or regrets and are there to listen to your every mistake and sorrow. But as life boldly shows, things come and go, life isn’t meant to be forever. For many children, a family pet becomes their first interaction with death and a sense of loss.
As Abby ran through the flurries of snowflakes that wintery day, I am reminded how everyday is a blessing to live, to grow and to make an impact.
|Posted on September 10, 2009 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
I thought I’d move away from nature a little bit and move into macro-level photography.
This picture of a butterfly was a hard one to shoot because the butterfly house had some of the best and worse source of lighting. A green house is supposed to bring in light, but when the light is reflected throughout the whole area, adjusting my ISO and focus became a challenge. Another thing that was difficult was how frequent butterflies move around. So when I saw this one land, I pointed my camera and quickly shoot several rounds.
I really liked how this photo turned out. The patter on the butterflies wings is a great example of how animals emulate nature for survival.
What’s interesting, is that very idea of blending in has jumped into the human spectrum. We find ways to blend into our surroundings when we feel scared, ashamed or alone…we avoid situations just so that we don’t get discovered. Human nature is similar to nature itself, we change like autumn leaves, we erupt with anger like a Hawaiian volcano and we change moods just as the wind moves butterflies.
|Posted on September 9, 2009 at 12:34 PM||comments (0)|
This is my first post on my new blog that I set up, hoo ra! I will be featuring some photos of mine and telling you the behind stories of each. Lets start with this one.
This is a picture of my golden retriever Abby. She died two years ago, but I still remember how excited she got when there was snow on the ground. One of those snowy days I took my camera with me and started taking shots while sliding down a hill. I think this photo really captures her movement, her beauty and her steadfast spirit.