Saturday, November 24, 2007

River Otters - still there!

I went back again this morning, hopeful that the otters would be there, and indeed they were. The light was a bit better than last night (although still overcast). At one point the curious otters swam almost right up to me. The vertial portait above is full-frame, the others (2 otters in frame) I cropped a bit. 500/4IS; 1.4x; Rebel XTi; ISO 400
Photographing otters is a great way to start a day!

Friday, November 23, 2007

River Otter

I lucked out this evening to stumble across two otters popping up through holes in the ice, close to shore. The light was fading fast and my heart was beating like mad - this was the best otter photo opp I've ever had. I set up the gear in seconds and waited for them to resurface. The otters were backlit and it was getting dark, so I had to shoot at ISO 800 and accept slow shutter speeds. Out of about 100 shots, only a handful were sharp. Lucky for me, this was one of them - with the otter looking right at me. I'll definitely be back checking this spot over the next few days!

500/4IS; Rebel XTi (still waiting for my new bodies); ISO 800; 1/15s at f4

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Porcupine and Argentina photos

Since getting back from Argentina I've been busy with with work, getting ready to move next weekend and buying new camera gear to replace the stuff that was stolen on the trip. I've barely had a chance to get out shooting, although I lucked into this cooperative porcupine near my place recently.

Below that are some Argentina pics (I'm finally starting to process the raw files from the trip). The first photo is of what Argentina is famous for - beef. There are cows everywhere, and often on the roads, so you have to be ever vigilant when driving.

The second shot is my dad and I at the farmhouse where he lived in central Argentina, until moving to Canada at age 4. The house is now abandoned, but visiting it was a trip highlight and very nostaligic.

The last photo is classic Argentine scenery in the northwest - high-altitude desert on the edge of the Andes. I can't wait to get back there again and spend some quality photography time in those hills.

Hope all is well, and happy shooting!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bohemian Waxwings - 500mm handheld !

I was out birding today and lucked into a flock of about 250 Bohemian Waxwings. I've been wanting to shoot this northern species for years, but have never had a good chance. The birds were jumpy, so I decided to try to stalk the flock with my gear handheld. With a slow and cautious approach, I was able to get very close. This was the first time I've seriously tried the 500IS handheld, and I was amazed to get sharp photos in the overcast light, especially given the effective focal length of 800mm (factoring in the 1.6x factor of my temporary Rebel XTi body). There's no way I could have done this without an Image Stabilized lens.

Techs: ISO 400; f/4; 1/500s

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finally time for a post!

Sorry - I haven't been very active with this blog since returning from my Argentina trip! I've been working on getting my replacement gear, and preparing to move at the end of the month. I'll be relocating to the east side of Georgian Bay (Midland area), which strategically places me in a more central location for access to tons of great photo spots (Algonquin, Awenda, Killbear, Killarney, Georgian Bay Islands NP.... all will be within reach)!
As always, I've also been keeping up with stock photo requests. This has been a banner year for me, continuing the annual growth trend in my stock photo business. My mantra these days is to 'work smarter, not harder' which I'm achieving by shooting in-demand subjects, and focusing my business efforts on a small, but high-quality group of clients. Why didn't I think of that a few years ago when I would regularly work all night on photo submissions that paid so little!

The best news is that I've been enjoying a bit of down-time lately (this is rare for me)! I read a fantastic book this week that I simply could not put down. "Let My People Go Surfing" by Yvon Choinard (the founder of the outdoor gear company Patagonia) is hands- down one of the finest books I've ever read. I'll be giving copies to lots of my friends this year for the holidays.

Today we had our first big snowfall of the year. I hate to bid farewell to autumn (my favorite season), but I don't have a choice. Here are a couple of fall shots from near my house.
Happy shooting!