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Photographing the Other Fall Color


Fall can be a magical time for photography. But when the last of the golden leaves fall from the trees, some photographers find themselves wishing for a white Christmas … or Thanksgiving, or any day for that matter … and waiting impatiently for spring and the return of green to the forest. But wonderful fall color can be found long after the leaves fall. In fact, the trees aren’t even the first vegetation to put on an autumnal display. Native ... Read More »

Happenstance Photos

Canada goose defending eggs at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. My original intention was to shoot RV camper photos.

If I’m shooting a fishing trip, I’ll also come home with flower photos. A pheasant hunt shoot may end with a windmill image. This is how I shoot, and how I instruct others to shoot. Go with your original plan until something else catches your eye. Because if this new subject interests you, it’s likely to catch a viewer’s eye too.   Read More »

Old Lenses

On a trip to the Grand Canyon, I carried a so-called "legacy" lens from the early 1980s. The lens,  Minolta 28mm-135mm zoom, is an A mount.

Looking closely at photography blogs on the internet, there seems to be a quiet but growing realization that film and digital cameras may come and go as the technology rapidly changes, but good lenses can stand the test of time. All photographers should take note of this. Even the least expensive interchangeable lens digital cameras available today often use that same brand’s pre-digital lenses. Perhaps surprising, many older film camera lenses are available on the used market at reasonable prices ... Read More »

From the West: Owls nesting in a Palm Tree?


  Actually this blog is still from the “Southwest” as a bump in the road stopped us from getting back to Nebraska several weeks ago. Most of the human snowbirds have left for northern climes and we will soon. One of the unique sights for a Panhandle Nebraskan is to see owls nesting in a palm tree. I’m assuming great-horned owl, but they also claim to have  long-eared owls, and again, I’m without a detailed bird book to work out ... Read More »

From the West: Time for a File Cleanup


Kind of like “Smelling the Roses” — the cottontail not only smelled the flowers, it seemed to think they tasted good also. This and the following two images were a fortunate happening on a local hiking trail, we also saw coyote, hummingbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and even a turtle or two. I carried a digital SLR with a 70-300mm zoom telephoto lens. It is very useful for all kinds of photography. I’ve used a so-called “full frame” sensor camera here and ... Read More »

From the West: A Walk on the Wild Side – Photography in a Zoo

great horned owl and cholla

  Visiting the Sonora Desert Museum south of Tucson last week I was surprised at the variety of photo opportunities, especially a morning presentation by a group from Raptor Free Flight. Beautiful birds in flight and with careful planning and a few camera and lens tweaks, the presentation really worked for bird flight photography and the spectators enjoyed a great time as well.   Raptor Free Flight team member Wally Hestermann shown here with a great performing red-tailed hawk. Released from a ... Read More »

From the West: Great Lenses, Great Cameras


  When I mention “great lenses, great cameras” I’m talking about the tremendous and continuing progress in camera and lens design and even the lower prices that make owning the new technologies possible. My son in Omaha is a devoted photographer and my source for the latest information, especially on the so-called “four thirds” and “micro four thirds” sensor size cameras and the trainloads of new lenses that will fit on most of the cameras. He even loaned a lens, ... Read More »

Darn That Fog


Waking to a landscape covered in hoarfrost is a photographer’s dream. Hoarfrost’s creation is a simple combination of water vapor in the air and cold temperatures. The vapor source, however, can range from atmospheric fog to steam fog rising from water that is warmer than the air above it. You can’t always look at the forecast and plan for it, but it doesn’t take a degree in meteorology to know that when overnight lows dip to -16 degrees, you can ... Read More »

From the West: Finding a Cure for the Blues

American Avocet

                  Friday was one of those grey, cold days here in the west and I’ll admit my mood pretty much matched the weather. Thursday’s 87-degree weather turned to Friday’s high temperatures in the mid 40s, and since I hadn’t been out to photograph for several weeks, the camera called. I ran into a real cast of characters on the Sandhill marshes and nearby, the first was a Black-necked Stilt, then an American ... Read More »

From the West: Wednesday’s Musky

Bob Jatczak with Wednesday's musky

What a coincidence, Monday’s arrival of the May, 2012 NEBRASKAland and Wednesday’s fishing trip into the Nebraska Sandhills. Author Jeff Kurrus wrote what turned out to be a very timely article on Nebraska’s musky population: The State of the Musky Address, Nebraska’s 50-inch Niche in the May NEBland. It arrived on Monday here in Alliance and my fishing partner Bob Jatczak of Alliance and I had already scheduled a fishing trip into the Nebraska SandHills, not for a musky, but ... Read More »