May The Rut Be With You

Wild Bighorn Sheep in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

I haven’t taken a photo in over a month, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not working on them.

This time of year is Bighorn Sheep Rut season. Any other year and I’d be out in the snow looking for new shots, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to spend a lot of energy on them this year. Main reason being that I have thousands of unedited images from previous years and I’m sorta holed up at home now taking care of my convalescing wife. Top that with the fact that where I normally go for bighorn is under a lot of disruption from road maintenance at the moment , well, it’s just not sounding very interesting to me right now.

Today’s photo is a previously unedited photo from 2014, which was a pretty good year for photos. I’m mining through the old catalogs for more additions to the stock photography portfolio and this photograph is one of the recent additions.

Speaking of stock photography, I’m having a good year with sales. I did the calculations yesterday and so far I’ve sold 6,447 images in 2019. Not bad, not bad. I’m not getting rich on them, but it is a steady and reliable income, and the bighorn shots do sell frequently. That’s why I’m mining more from the old catalogs.

Got my cameras out and changed the internal clock time on them. You did remember to do your time changes didn’t you? I knew you did.

This recent blast of January weather in October/November has really put a crimp on things around here though. Fortunately the snow blower is working fine, even if my back isn’t.

Since I’ll be hanging around the house for the next few weeks at the very least, I’ll be sharing some of the “old gold” I find in my catalogs as I mine for more stock photos.

In the meantime, stay happy and stay healthy. The year is winding down and I’m looking forward to wrapping it up and getting on with next year.

My Rodents Are Out Of Order

Marmots are common in the Rocky Mountains and are very sociable animals. They are related to squirrels.

In lieu of the fact that I’m not out taking photos this week, I’ve decided to go through some of my neglected image catalogs.

Case in point. Rodents.

Not the most glamorous subject in the photographic world, rodent photos still sell on the stock agencies though I’m not sure why.

My best guess is they are needed to fill out some type of web or print article on the subject, and as such I try to keep a good supply of nice, clear photographic depictions of the critters available for that purpose.

While going through my catalogs, I noticed that my rodent photos were not exactly organized the same way I organize most of my other photos on the hard drive. Neglect pure and simple.

Today, I’m wading through a sea of rodent photos and have been concentrating on getting my portfolio of Marmot shots straightened out.

Here’s one of them. He is now a well organized rodent.

Too Much Gear Head Talk These Days

Shiras Moose of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

Happy Moose Monday

Enjoying a few last days of quiet time before I meet a group of photographers in Red Feather Lakes for a 4 day moose photography trip.

This is the second year in a row I’ve organized the outing for North American Nature, Wildlife and Landscape Photographers Association, a Facebook group I started about 6-7 years ago.

The intention is to organize this outing each summer as long as there is interest. Moose are a niche photography subject. I think a subject for the elder photographers. I’ve been debating writing about them for Fstoppers, but I’m not sure the audience for that publication is all that interested in things like this. Maybe it’s best to keep things in their respective boxes. Young people are more interested in photos of young women’s assets and gear head talk.

Life in the slow lane.

I don’t generally hang around young women trying to show off their assets and I don’t do too much gear head talk these days.

Cute Is As Cute Does

Mountain Goat Kids at the Summit of Mt. Evans, Colorado

Summer wildlife photography is prime right now.  With Mt. Evans finally thawed out enough to get to the Mountains Goats, my friend Tim and I made our first run up the mountain on July 5th.

Wild Mountain Goats Living on Colorado Mountain Peaks.

We were not disappointed with the results. Quite a large herd of goats on hand with at least a half dozen kids running around in the rocks.

Cute is as cute does.

Wile E. Coyote

Wildlife of Colorado – Coyote at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

With the weather finally behaving like summertime, I’m off this morning with my son-in-law Shawn to The Rocky Mountain Arsenal to look for wildlife photos.

He’s playing with a new toy and I have one just like it. A Nikon D750. For a 4 plus year old camera (still available), it does a pretty good job as an all around camera.

As for Rocky Mountain Arsenal, it’s full of stuff, but I’ve seldom been there in summer.

Here’s a Wile E. Coyote photo taken there a few years ago.

It is Wildlife Wednesday.

Feathers Friday

Red-winged Blackbird perched in a tree, protecting his territory.

Today is Feathers Friday.

The Red-winged blackbird is fairly common in my neck of the woods. Loud, obnoxious birds. They are stunningly pretty though.

I’ve been working on new articles and actually have a couple ready to publish. I’ve been invited to write for another internet publication, where I’ll be writing about photography, so I’ve been sitting on them for that to begin. But, it’s never wise to get too far ahead of the curve. Once I’ve got that arrangement nailed down, I’ll share the results.

In the meantime, I’m still writing for my blog and am looking forward to sharing more than daily photographs this summer.

It’s been a long, cold winter and very busy spring. Time to get back to work.

Enjoy your weekend.

The Local Duck Pond

Female Wood Duck Swimming in the Sunbeams Along a Lake Shore

I’ve been a bit dormant on the photography front for the past several weeks. Getting everything ready for summer and that type of stuff.

I made a trip out to my local Duck Pond the other day with my friend Tim.

Nice afternoon sunlight, lots of interesting birds.

Here’s a sample.

A Snowy Egret Rests on a Rock in the Shade Next to a Pond.
Double-Crested Cormorants Perched On A Log With Wood Duckling Swimming By
Wildlife of Colorado – Wood Duck Duckling in Calm Blue Water
Adult Canada Goose Walking in a Green Field of Grass

And That Was The Mistake

Bull Moose Shedding Velvet - Colorado
Bull Moose Shedding Velvet – Colorado

Moose Monday!

It has become a tradition to post a moose photograph each Monday. No problem. By my calculation have about a half million moose photos.

I’m still nursing a severely strained back and just when I think I’ve made some progress, it reminds me that it’s not over with.  I’m on phase three of the recovery, which started yesterday (Easter Sunday.)

Moose Monday, I’m finding, is a bit improved from where I was the night before when I went to bed. The fifty thousand dollar question is will it be well enough to make the drive to Kentucky on Thursday? That’s a lot of driving, four long days on the road behind the wheel round-trip. I’ll make the call on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, back at the computer, I’m going through a older catalog of moose photos from 2013. It’s interesting to look at the older shots, it helps keep a perspective on the photography. What was I doing then? What were my good shots? What where my mistakes? What’s different about how I work now?  Like anyone else I suppose, I can make mistakes. Always good to not repeat them.

I found an inadvertent mistake, omission, brain fart, call it what you like, in my thinking back in 2013 vs today. My interest in moose was peaking back in 2004 and has progressed up until now. By 2012 I had figured out where and how to photograph moose and get consistently good results. One of the “holy grail” moose shots I originally put on my shoot list was the moose shedding velvet shot.  I got my first taste of that scene in 2012. Saw the whole thing from beginning to end, multiple moose, nice morning sunlight,in close proximity.

What more could a wildlife photographer ask for? I was happy. I’ve enjoyed knowing I checked that box off many years ago. I put them in a catalog and then forgot about doing it again.

And that was the mistake.

 

 

I Have To Ask Myself These Questions

Photograph of a Elk Cow in Northern Colordo
Wild Elk in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

I’ve been in such a production mode on my photographs since January, I haven’t really taken the time to sit and analyze my portfolio of images.  I have a few basic guidelines I try to stick to when considering an image that I’ll use as a stock photograph. I try not to over-think things, but the real danger lies in under-thinking things.

I am a Colorado photographer. Yeah, I’ve done a lot of traveling, but I don’t see me venturing out of the region much in the upcoming years. Getting old ya know, things that were never an issue when I was younger are taking on a more prominent role in my thinking.

A large part of my thinking is flying. I’m to the point that I don’t really want to drive to the airport and get on an airplane to fly somewhere. There are probably a few reasons for that, one being that I don’t want to spend the last moments of my life screaming in pure terror, another is that I don’t want to lug a bunch of weight around airports and all things associated to that. I usually check my luggage but the camera gear stays in my possession all the way.  This makes for a more basic kit of camera equipment and it still ends up being a lot of weight to have to deal with for a long periods of time. God forbid that I tear both rotator cuffs moving luggage around only to die in misery on a flight that crashes into an ice covered Minnesota corn field. I know, I’m over dramatic, but don’t tell me you don’t think about the same thing when you walk down the causeway to get in an airplane.

As a result of my changing mental state as I’ve grown older, I prefer the road trip. I have vehicles that will do just about anything I’d want to do at any time of year. Colorado is a big friggn’ place too. Think about the room I have to explore, If you took the entire Commonwealth of Great Britain as a land mass, you could place it comfortably inside of Colorado and still have a fairly large piece of land left over. When you think about the population, Great Britain has some 66 million people  crammed into a space less than the size of Colorado, and inversely a population in Colorado of 5.6 million people occupying an area 1/3 again larger than Great Britain. Well, you can get the picture.

Literally, you can get the picture in Colorado without having to deal with everything that flying a long distance has to offer in the way of inconvenience, harassment and unknown events. When one does a road trip, one can keep everything they’ll need in the boot and get there at a comfortable pace without having to worry about much more than not wrecking your vehicle. I’ve a pretty good driving record, wrecking cars isn’t something I’ve ever done a lot of.

As to the point of today’s blog entry… Well, that’s the grind it out part of blogging. One has to conjure up blog entries, otherwise one isn’t blogging correctly. I come up with things to write about all the time, but by the time I go to write them, they no longer interest me. I need more immediate gratification when it comes to writing something. Blogging is more of a literary quickie. Writing short stories is more of a sustained act of passion.

I much prefer to write about today’s things than I do writing about something I came up with 2 days ago. So with that in mind.

Today’s things are Elk.

I have a few really nice elk photos, good enough to maintain a portfolio of 45 or so images in my stock catalog.

So, here I am yammering on about being a Colorado photographer and I have such a puny catalog of a very nice and abundant species of wild animal. The elk. Yeah, there are lots of elk scattered around the entire country and there are probably even 10 times more elk in Colorado than there are moose.

So why haven’t I focused more attention on elk?

It’s a good question. I have to ask myself these questions. And I probably should answer them as well.

The answer is simple. If you need elk, you go get elk.

I need another 450 elk photos.