Red-tailed hawk hunting for prey on the high plains of Colorado.

I made a trip out today to reconnoiter the local lakes, all of which turned out to still be mostly frozen. I need to fill in some gaps in the bird catalog with a few different species of ducks and such, but there wasn’t much of that going to happen. I also walked about a mile along the South Platte River near Littleton, and what few waterfowl were there were at a distance and not excited about me being near them. The only interesting thing along the river was my chat with a guy hiking in to go fishing. I used to fish the lakes at South Platte Park many years ago. It was a favorite place to take the kids when they were youngsters. I caught some mongo-huge mackinaw trout in those lakes too. If I were still into fishing, I’d probably be better served to go drop a line in the water than lugging around camera gear at frozen lakes. That would require me getting a fishing license though, and I haven’t had a fishing license in over 15 years. Don’t need one in Red Feather Lakes, as all the lakes are private.

Still, a worthy trip though. The weather was mostly clear and in the mid-50’s. A welcome break from the frozen world of January here in Colorado. And, I needed the exercise.

Since I have no photos from the day, here’s a photo of a red-tailed hawk taken on this very same day in 2017.

Old photos are what you get when it’s still frozen.

 

I’ve been a little bit side-tracked this week and haven’t given the blog much attention. Life does that sometimes.

Everything is going well though.

I have been editing more moose photos for the stock catalogs the past few days. I set a goal of having a minimum of 4,000 images online by the end of 2020. I’m well ahead of that pace and here it is only the end of January. My current tally is 3,740 images online. That leaves me a grand total of 260 photographs to add to the portfolio by the end of this year. I love being ahead of the game. You’d be hard pressed to look for a moose photo on any stock agency and not find my moose showing up. But, i’m not just uploading moose photos, though they are a big part of my sales catalogs. Actually, the vintage train shots are generating the best sales at the moment. The real trick to stock is to find the types of images that people are looking for and work on improving your presence with those kind of shots.

I recently added some new Bison photos, which do pretty well. I need to get out again and get more of those, they are good sellers.

My next photo trip will probably be to Monte Vista in March to photograph the Sandhill Cranes. Last year’s trip sucked, so did the year before, but for different reasons. Last year was bad weather, the year before was automotive failure. These things happen. I feel like I haven’t got a full session completed in several years and I do get bites on the Sandhill Crane photos. Enough sales at least to cover the expenses of the trip, which isn’t that much.

One of my favorite pastimes at the moment is wheeling and dealing with used photography equipment. Sorta fills in the gaps of the long, dreary, photography challenged winter days. This has been an extremely boring winter so far, with zero snowfall in January, so I’m not out getting winter landscapes like I had hoped to do. Good thing winter lasts until May, so there is plenty of time to catch up.

I have a few articles in progress, but I’m not really feeling the mojo on them yet so they’ll sit there in the draft folder until I find the motivation, thoughts and words to complete them. This writing business is a challenge at times. I think I do best when I have more social interaction, which isn’t really robust in the winter months. I get these great ideas for writing about something but by the time I sit at the computer and lay out the brilliant thoughts I had, the completed ideas elude me. I used to carry around a small notebook to write my ideas in to keep that from happening. I probably should get back in the habit of keeping that notebook handy if I intend to write my self imposed quota of words each day. My quota is a minimum of 500 words a day. Judging by the count on this blog post, I’ve achieved my goal for today.

 

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve modified the look of the blog.

This blog is published using WordPress. I’ve been using a theme that was designed and released in 2016, and to be honest, it was a bit too simple and limiting. I liked the overall design but the old theme just didn’t provide me with enough design options for what I’d like to do down the road.

The new theme has a similar feel to it, but it gives me quite a bit more freedom in laying out my blog. I’ll probably be dinking with the look of the blog a bit over the coming weeks, but for now, the basic look and feel is in place.

I’m always interested in reader feedback so feel free to send me a comment.

 

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

I picked up a used Sigma 105mm macro lens on eBay a few weeks back.

The one lens missing from my kit since I switched from Canon to Nikon has been a suitable macro lens. I had this same lens in the Canon mount and loved it. Very sharp, easy to manually focus and quite sturdy.

The one I got on eBay was a total steal for the price. I’d been watching the eBay action on these lenses for over a year and when they did come up for sale, and that was far and few between, they were commanding over $350 used in good condition. I found this one for $179 and it is in near mint condition.

So today, I decided to do the lens micro-focus adjustment on my D750 and D810.  The results were better than I could have hoped for, as neither body required an adjustment to the fine focus offset. Both cameras set to 0 offset on this lens. That means that I got a perfect focusing, near mint quality macro for next to nothing.

If you are exploring the lens market, I highly recommend searching for a used version of this lens. Sigma doesn’t make this model any longer and the folks who do own them hang on to them like they are gold. And for good reason.