Owls, Owls and More Owls Photographic Exhibit

•February 27, 2015 • 3 Comments

Owls have superpowers. They can hunt and see prey in the dark (the only bird of prey that can do so), triangulate the sound of potential prey with a unique offset positioning of its ears (including under the snow, out of sight), concentrate sound to its ears with its radar dish-like face and fly with complete silence with special feather fringes that mute turbulence noise.

Northern Hawk Owl Perched

Northern Hawk Owl Perched

Owls are known to be mysterious because we seem to be able to catch only brief glimpses of them in the wild. I have been fortunate to photographically capture a number of owl species in the US (including Alaska), Canada and Africa.

You are cordially invited to view my “Owls, Owls and More Owls” photographic exhibit at the Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge, Colorado.

As the Featured Artist for the month of March, my framed owl prints will be viewable at the gallery from March 1 to March 31, 2015.

A reception will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2015, 4-8pm at the gallery.

I look forward to seeing you at the reception and hearing about your owl stories.

Owls Owls Owls Announcement

Owls Owls Owls Announcement

Thank you

Rich

Bosque del Apache – More Than Just Cranes

•January 31, 2015 • 10 Comments

 

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near San Antonio, New Mexico is known worldwide as the wintering grounds for the Sandhill Crane and Snow Geese. Most birders and bird photographers have made at least one visit to Bosque to experience the 10,000 plus cranes and 40,000 snow geese.

But Bosque is more than just cranes and snow geese. It is also home to a vast variety of birds and wildlife. In a recent trip, I was fortunate to see and photograph other species:

American Coot

Coot A Coming

Coot A Coming

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

Wigeon

American Wigeon

American Wigeon

Gambel Quail

Gambel Quail

Gambel Quail

Northern Pintail

Pintail In A Panic

Pintail In A Panic

Norther Shovelers

 

Snow Geese

Thousands of Snow Geese fly in from surrounding fields to roost for the night on the shallow ponds at Bosque. The water will keep them safe from predators.

See the video of Snow Geese roosting for the night:

 

And, finally, of course, the Sandhill Cranes

See video of cranes foraging in the golden sunrise:

 

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However, the one image that I am most proud, is one that was the most difficult to capture and I tried oh so many times:

Feathery Reflection

Feathery Reflection

 

What do you think?

 

Story on a previous visit to Bosque del Apache:

Bosque del Apache

 

And a thank you to Russ Burden for being the guide for this trip. www.russburdenphotography.com

Hope that you enjoy,

Rich

“Foss” Means “Waterfall” in Icelandic

•December 4, 2014 • 4 Comments

There must be thousands of waterfalls in Iceland. As you drive the ring-road around the island, waterfalls seem to appear on every mountain, of which there are thousands. Probably the most famous waterfall, is the horse-shoe shaped falls called Selfoss.  Selfoss is located in the Vatnajökull National Park in Northeastern Iceland and is easily accessible. You can walk right up to the edge of this magnificent wonder of Iceland. Beware, there are no guardrails, very few signs and nobody telling you where not to go.  In early October, we had this spectacular sight practically to ourselves.

 

Selfoss

Selfoss

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Selfoss

 

Selfoss

Selfoss

 

View the video:

With so little time and so many waterfalls, we could not possibly photograph them all. But Waterfall of the Gods – Godafoss –  was definitely on the list.  With easy access and a short hike one can photograph these falls from either side, and from below or from above.  No guardrails to spoil the view, but watch your step.

Godafoss

Godafoss

 

Godafoss

Godafoss

 

Godafoss

Godafoss

 

The fall colors were in bloom, especially in the sage grass. Combine a variegated landscape with another beautiful waterfall and you can get stunning vistas:

Another Beautiful Waterfall

Another Beautiful Waterfall

With so many great photo opportunities, one trip does not allow enough time to see them all. Looks like another trip to Iceland is in my future.

Check out my other blog posts on the Iceland trip:

Bardarbunga

Aurora in Iceland

 

Bardarbunga

•November 12, 2014 • 3 Comments

Bardarbunga, one of the largest volcanoes in Iceland (there are over 200 in this country the size of Ohio) started to erupt on August 16, 2014. There have been over 125 eruptions of volcanoes since recorded history going back to 874 AD. This recent eruption is no small event. The major airlines that fly across the Northern Atlantic collectively held their breath, waiting to see if the debris cloud would disrupt aviation traffic; such was the case back in April 2010 when Eyjafjallajökull erupted. Back then about 20 countries closed their airspace for 6 days, and over 10 million travelers were affected.

Fortunately, that has not been the case with Bardarbunga. This volcano has settled into steady discharge of lava and about a dozen earthquakes a day.

It has also provided the public with a wonderful opportunity to see the volcano up close.

While in Iceland in early October, my photography buddy Bob and I found a small airport that was providing flight-seeing tours over the volcano from the town of Myvatn. In a Cessna 206 (6 person airplane) we flew to the eruption site, made 3 passes, and returned safe and sound. Not only was the volcano stunning, the terrain and scenery were beyond this world (infact, parts of the movie Interstellar were filmed in Iceland). We flew about 1000 feet along the east side of the site and lava flows, close enough to feel heat on the windows.

Below are images and video (shot with a handheld GoPro camera) of the event. Hope that you enjoy.

 

 

Video Link

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Aurora in Iceland

•October 14, 2014 • 10 Comments

The aurora borealis has always been a phenomenon of interest, but never an exciting photographic pursuit for me. It is visible mostly in the fall and the winter months in the higher latitudes of planet Earth (Arctic and Antarctic) and is also know as the Northern Lights in the northern latitudes.

When the solar wind carries a stream of highly charged electrons from the sun that collide with the oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere of earth, the emissions are the colors of the aurora. The aurora can be seen in green, red, yellow, pink and blue colors, but is mostly visible in green.

My attitude towards the aurora changed in a recent visit to Iceland, a place where auroras are a frequent nighttime light show. I became hooked on aurora hunting.

While my photography pal Bob Karcz and I traveled the roads of Iceland in search of the next photo opportunity, we were constantly mindful of the perfect location of an aurora sighting for that night. To capture the aurora on camera required clear skies (a rare event in Iceland), dark skies (no lights from nearby towns), mountains in the foreground (makes for a good composition), water for a reflection, (if possible) and, of course, a solar wind collision event. No small task. Then, there are the 10 or so camera settings that must be just right to capture the image on camera.

After a multitude of failed attempts, including hiking to overlooks in the dark, freezing our butts off while standing in the snow waiting for clouds to clear, ducking under an above ground pipeline to get a clear view, and retreating to the car during heavy rain and winds only to see our tripods get blown over (fortunately our cameras were with us in the car), we finally saw an aurora that is forever seared in my mind’s eye:

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And one reflected in the waters in Dalvik, Iceland:

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Wildlife Video Clips on National Geographic

•August 16, 2014 • 6 Comments

I am pleased to announce that National Geographic has selected 50 of my wildlife video clips for presentation and sale on their National Geographic Creative website.

My video clips can be viewed here:

National Geographic Creative

or click on the image:

Rainbow's End

Rainbow’s End

 

 

Mountain Bluebirds

•August 6, 2014 • 4 Comments

Breakfast Bug

 

A dedicated birder and wonderful person by the name of Bonnie Baker is responsible for the placement of nearly 100 bluebird birdhouses around Lake Dillon in Summit County, Colorado.  My quest to photography bluebirds started late in the season and  I was very fortunate to stumble on the last 2 occupied birdhouses for the season. I took advantage of this discovery and hiked to the locations with my heavy camera gear for 8 mornings over a three week period. I spent 2-3 hours each morning watching, waiting and photographing these beautiful creatures. I learned their routine, rhythm, approximate time it would take them to return with a meal for the chicks and which was the superior hunter of the pair (it was the female).

 

Butterfly Catcher

 

In Summit County we are fortunate to have the mountain bluebird. The male mountain bluebird is all blue from tip to tail. Other species of bluebirds are much less so. On my last visit to the site, the last birdhouse to be occupied was empty. The chicks had fledged. But they were not far away. Instead of just 2 bluebirds flying about, now I counted about 5-6 of them. A wonderful sight.

Click the link below to view my gallery of mountain bluebirds, all taken at the Dillon Nature Preserve on Lake Dillon, Dillon, Colorado.

Mountain Bluebirds

Hope that you enjoy.

Thank you Bonnie Baker

Rich

 
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