Out to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR this morning.
There have been news reports of newborn bison at the Arsenal so my buddy Tim and I made a run through the arsenal this morning.
Lots of bison, lots of deer, not a lot of photography as the animals weren’t exactly in good light for most of the morning. Still, we managed to spot three newborn bison calves. One looks like it was born in the past 24 hours as the mother was looking quite raw and low on strength.
The placenta is still fresh and hanging from the calf and the mother is on her feet. One of three calves we spotted.
Today is Thursday. By 6:30 am, I’ve fed the dog, loaded the dishwasher and greeted the new sunrise on the porch. Everyone else is still sleeping. Fifteen minutes later, I’m sitting in my office holding my coffee mug, staring at the computer screen.
“What to write today?” I’m thinking. I sip more coffee. I think this same thought every day that begins in front of the computer.
I’ll start with a photograph. That usually gets the chocks removed from the wheels. The fox activity in the neighborhood has been picking up, I’m thinking a fox photo might help direct my mind.
I find a photo of a Red Fox running across an open field near Red Feathers. In it’s mouth is a field mouse. A fleeting moment, out of the blue. I’m lucky to have witnessed it and even more lucky to have photographed it. The moment came and went in less than 30 seconds.
Sipping my coffee, I’m down to the last and it’s no longer warm.
“I have something to work with” I’m thinking. “Fleeting moments. Yeah, fleeting moments is a good theme.” My thoughts progress as I scoot away from my desk with coffee cup in hand.
As I walk downstairs, the front door comes in to view and I see the bottom half of my daughter-in-law’s car in the driveway. Trudy has been watching the kids this week but I wasn’t expecting them today.
“Oh, surprise. Always the last to find out.” I’m thinking as I open the front door to let her and my grand-daughter in.
As they enter the house, Trudy appears from the kitchen. Doobie runs to the door and tangles himself in the group trying to coax Ava into playing. The noise went from silent to a crescendo of confusion in less than 5 seconds.
I’m receiving fragments of the conversation at this point so I decide to proceed down the hall into the kitchen to refill my coffee mug. Doobie and Ava dart by me. Trudy and Chelsea are right behind me. The noise level hasn’t decreased.
“Do you have your wallet?” Trudy directs her attention to me. I’m in my sweats and my hair looks like I’ve slept in a wind-tunnel.
“Ahhh, no. It’s upstairs.” I reply.
“Chelsea needs ones.” Trudy says.
More sentence fragments enter my ears, thoughts are coagulating. Something about Chelsea needing three, one dollar bills for Noah at school this morning, which apparently wasn’t known about until Noah got to school.
No worries, three dollars should be possible. The school is a couple of blocks from our house, so coming here is a lot easier than driving to a bank machine and getting $20 and then trying to break it. School is starting.
I return to the kitchen with my wallet which contained a single dollar bill. I proudly pull it out and hand it to Chelsea.
“If you ever talk about me behind my back Chelsea, please tell them that I’m the kind of guy who would give you his last dollar.” I grinned like a hobo who just found a bottle of whiskey.
Trudy and Chelsea continue talking. More fragments assemble. Chelsea is embarrassed. Doobie is still running and jumping, tipping the trash bin, smacking his head. Ava is somewhere down there tangled up with Doobie.
Trudy takes the dollar bill from Chelsea and hands her a twenty.
“You didn’t have enough ones?” I ask. “I only have the one.”
Trudy stares at me for a second and hands me the dollar bill.
“Here, give it to Chelsea” Her hair is in worse shape than mine.
“I just did.” I say, wondering what just happened.
“Oh. Well, she probably won’t need it then.” She says
I place the single bill back into my wallet and move towards the coffee pot.
Fifteen minutes later.
Chelsea and Ava and Doobie are all about their business. Mom is downstairs getting her coffee. Trudy and I are sitting on the back porch enjoying the nice morning, waking up from our stupors.
“So, you take the dollar from Chelsea, give it to me and tell me to give it to her?” I said in a low, almost laughing tone.
“I don’t think my mind was working yet.” Trudy replies. She starts laughing and continues laughing.
“This may be the all time best blonde moment you’ve had.” I say.
She laughs harder. I laugh with her. The sun is up. The coffee is hot.
I’ve been working diligently on my web sites these past few days. Holed up in my office, listening to Progressive Rock on the internet radio.
My website editing workflow, I’ve discovered, is based on my experience in the newspaper world. It am certain it’s subconscious but I find I take the same approach to publishing my web site changes that I used when working at “The Diary of the American Dream”
Everything laid out in advance, editing done, changes made, publish the first edition and then start looking for problems. In the newspaper days, we would issue updates to the pages in spurts, calling them “chasers”
I’ve done the publishing of the base editions and now I’m in “chaser” mode, making fine tune tweaks to the pages.
Here’s what I’m working on today. A couple of image galleries on Image Colorado have been added. 2017 highlights and 2017 moose photos.
I’ll use this photo as the example shot for today’s blog post.
For the amateur photographer looking to better understand compositions in landscape photography.
There’s a concept called “Previsualization” photography gurus often preach.
There’s another concept I call “revisualization.”
Previsualization in essence is thinking about what your photo is going to look like before you actually see it and make the image. Previsualize your scene, when you see the required elements you have something to work from because it’s recognizable. It works, if you have capacity for abstract thought. All abstract thought ability mileage varies from photographer to photographer though.
Revisualization is different from all that, but it plays into previsualization as a precursor.
I often challenge myself to shooting with “one camera, one lens” for a day of heavy photography. This forces me to use that lens exclusively for an extended period of time and learn exactly how it will perform on that body and in general on other bodies in dynamic situations.
My first choice in lenses for this exercise are prime lenses. For example, the blog photograph today was taken with a Canon EOS 1Ds MKII using the EF 50mm f/1.4 during one of my photography workshops. I shot with the above mentioned camera/lens combination that entire day. My physical location was determined by the position my client wanted to be in. I was there to assist, not do my own thing. I get the shot I take once the assistance isn’t needed. Now I’m in a position not of my choosing, with a fixed camera/lens and I have to find a shot at the last second.
A fixed camera/lens combination automatically takes you out of your comfort zone because it removes the possibility of certain types of shots. You’ll often find that you have to compose a shot on the fly and it’s not necessarily the previsualized scene you had in mind. A couple hundred of frames in, if you’re learning anything, you’ll literally get the picture.
When it’s all said and done, you could wind up with some really nice photos you may not have thought of if you had brought that big super-zoom instead.
Getting out of your comfort zone is a good way to learn.
I have taken a couple of weeks off from getting photos and have been working in the office on some long overdue web site updates and such.
Google never liked my main business web site due to it not being “mobile friendly.” I don’t really care what Google wants me to do, but I have to be realistic. If my web site doesn’t show up on a mobile phone web search, that’s people who aren’t finding me.
I design and maintain my own and others web sites and as I grow older, it’s become a challenge learning the ins-and-outs of SEO optimization and site functionality.
Basic redesigns are done and online now. I’m still doing fine tweaking on some of the pages here and there.
I’ve just added the “Colorado Landscape Photo Tour” page to the main web page. That should get me in the search results. My goal is to have everything I’m doing turn up on page one google search results. Should be there by the end of this month.