Sunday, December 17, 2006

Another great end to a great day @ Blackwater NWR, MD

I was there from sunrise to sunset. An amazing day, one of my best in a while...

This was the sunrise
The 100 mile sunrise

There was a mature Bald Eagle perched along Wildlife Drive
Bald Eagle @ Blackwater NWR, Maryland

Here's another, not posted except here on my blog
2006_1216_D200_38771

Blackwater rocks!

-Jon

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Two Bald Eagles (1) @ Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland

I took my first ride out to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge this weekend. It was great. So many eagles, and other wildlife. Here are the first other posted shots I have.

Two Bald Eagles (2) @ Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland

Great Blue Heron @ Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland

Eagle on Ice @ Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland

Blackwater's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/blackwater/

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My First Readable Band, V34! Banded Bald Eagle from NY @ Conowingo Dam, Maryland - December 2nd 2006

Larger

This was my first photo with a readable band!

A few others got photos of him(?) too and researched it, and he's from NY and was banded in 2002 as a chick (assuming I remember the story correctly). NY uses two bands: silver and blue I think...

2006_1202_D200_36102-cs1 v34-banded

Here are a couple more from this weekend:

Juvenile Bald Eagle In Flight
2006_1204_D200_37230

Juvenile Bald Eagle Landing
2006_1204_D200_37447

2006_1204_D200_37448

Perched Juvenile Bald Eagle
Juvenile Bald Eagle, Susquehanna River Maryland

tags: Conowingo Dam, Maryland, MD, Bald Eagle, Nature, Wildlife, Migration, Susquehanna River, Photography, Ornathology, Birding, Bird Watching, American Bald Eagle, December 2006, Power Generation, Nikon, dSLR, D200, Nikkor, Sunrise.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Portland Head Lighthouse.

Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

150,000


150,000
Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon].
I just hit the 150,000 mark on stream views.

Flickr has been great, really pushed me forward.

Thanks flickr.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Weekend photo travels (Zoo and Susquehanna River)



Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon].
After a nice adventure on Saturday, trying to photograph eagles (I did), I went to the zoo on Sunday.

I think I had much more success at the zoo, photo-wise.

But being up at 4am Saturday, and on the road by 5am, and at the location nearly 3 hours after I woke up, seeing the sunrise was worth it. :D For some reason I was just super motivated to get there early.

This was at the river as the sun came up over the trees, there's an eagle in the fog...

2006_1104_D200_31501

There were also some action and perched eagle chances, but I when I got to looking at the images, I hoped they would have been better.

(from jpg, raw not done, could have fixed some chromatic aberation around the head, but didn't bother...)

2006_1104_D200_31711

So, I went to the zoo and had fun.

I actually often prefer the results of the jpg vs. the raw + time and (often lacking)required skills. I tried shooting in just jpg (again) for part of the day Sunday, and combined that with exposure bracketing. I think that will be my new "plan"...

I'd heard a while back that Nick Nichols ONLY shoots while bracketing each shot. And he shoots FILM! (yes he shoots digital too, but I've read mostly for camera traps.) His web site is below, he's a famous National Geographic photographer, and covered the National Zoo's Panda cub, for the article titled "Panda Inc."

...

www.michaelnicknichols.com

-Jon
11/2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

2006 - Maryland Foliage



Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon].
So shots from the past couple days in Maryland.



Autumn Colors in MD

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

US National Zoo 2005 - 2006

After about a year of going to the zoo, I've got this collage to show off...

I've taken thousands if not tens of thousands of photos, so it's hard to choose from the keepers, but these are all ones I like a lot.

-Jon

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bald Eagle with a fish @ Conowingo Dam, Maryland


"Catch of the Day"
Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon].
"Catch of the Day"

I am so looking forward to more chances to see Eagles at this location. I've only been there once so far.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Eagle Injury and Rescue @ Conowingo Dam - 10/15/2006 - 6 of 6

Once on dry land, we took a look, he was exhausted for sure, and barely moved



Today was my first trip to Conowingo Dam, in Maryland, and it was quite a place. So many eagles, and some really great chances to photograph them

However, this particular drama was not so fun to see. This adult eagle must have hit the power lines, and spiraled down in to the water. It must have broken a wing or something. It couldn't get back out. It made many attempts to fly, but just couldn't.

Eagle Injury and Rescue @ Conowingo Dam - 10/15/2006 - 2 of 6

It was floating down the river, and eventually made it out of the water on to some rocks probably 1,000 or more yards from where it hit the water.

He was joined by some other eagles, and they guarded him I supposed. But after a while, they left him, and I thought he was a goner.

But he held on.

DNR was called and some hours later they showed up with a boat and the eagle was rescued!

About a dozen people helped launch the boat due to the low water levels, and also assisted recovering the boat. I chipped in too.

It was sad to see, watching the eagle struggle so much, but in the end he was saved, and could even one day return to the river (depending on the extent of his injuries, I really don't know.)

2006_1015_D70_46565

See my "photo essay" in Voice in the Wilderness, with the above text and a little more, with the images inserted.
www.flickr.com/groups/voices/discuss/72157594330137698/

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Red Fox @ Mason Neck, Va

The bay was still pretty socked in with Fog, and this little fella was cruising the beach.

Within about 10 minutes of my arrival at Mason Neck, I'd already seen: Red Fox, 2 Adult Bald Eagles, 1 Juv Bald Eagle, a Beaver, and a Great Egret. :D Was a great day.

Also from this morning, 10/14/2006:
Yellowlegs @ Mason Neck, Va 1 [2]

Yellowlegs @ Mason Neck, Va [1] 2

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bald Eagle takes a drink @ Great Falls, Maryland

I've update my blogger logo, and added some links....

Great Falls is such a great location, in my top 4 for sure. The blogged photo is from June 2006.

I've been back to Great Falls a few times in the past month and I think that this particular Eagle Family has moved on for the year. I've seen another single adult Bald Eagle, but the markings didn't match up the first time, and the second time the eagle I saw was alone and didn't appear to be 'like the others'...

If I had to guess, the resident pair (and juv) took off around 9/20/2006. I guess I can check, but that's roughly when I think I saw the pair in a single tree for the last time this year.

-Jon

Monday, September 25, 2006

Great Falls - Summer 2006

A photographic look back at my visits to Great Falls National Park during the Summer of 2006.

Here are some others:

Bald Eagle gets a drink:
Bald Eagle Gets a Drink @ Great Falls (2 of 2)

The Tavern:


Bathing Eagle, one of my favorite sights of the entire summer:
Splish-Splash - Eagles take a bath in the Potomac @ Great Falls Maryland - 1 2 3 [4]

"Doggie Bag":


Bald Eagle with his Prey:
Bald Eagle with his Prey!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

World Trade Center - 1970's

5 years after the towers came down I post this image, from roughly 1970... I have the slide in my boxes of family stuff, and rescanned it today.

So sad...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mugged!


Mugged!
Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon].
One of the Sumatran Tiger Cubs mugged their mom! :p

Shot taken at the US National Zoo in Washington DC. The cubs are abotu 3 1/2 months old here (September 2006).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My First Year On Flickr! Some photos...

I've been flickr just over a year now.

I meant to post something for my one year flickr anniversary, but I missed it. My earlest photos are from August 31st 2005. Flickr has been 99% great, and I am truely thankful for all it has offered. Knowledge, feedback, growth, friends, inspiration, motivation, and on and on...

The above are some of my favorite images, not my most popular, some are, but I tried to pick some from a variety of locations, each of which were really good from that place, be it the National Zoo, Mason Neck State Park in Va, or Centennial Lake in MD, or Great Falls in MD, or an Airport (DCA, BWI), etc....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Return of the Red-Shouldered Hawks - 8/24/2006

full size

So, I used to spot a Red-Shouldered Hawk Family (2 adults, and 1 Juv I think) near my work in Maryland. About 4 months ago they vanished. Around that time I switched buildings where i worked so at first I wasn't sure if I stopped seeing them because of that or not. But, I only moved a 1,000 yards, and their nest was nearer to my new location, I think... Well, about 4 months passed without seeing them until today!

The above is one bird, the first one I saw. I ran to my car, got my camera and snapped off a few as this one was gaining altitude. Later I saw as many as 3 or 4 possibly. And still later I distinctly heard a RSH call.

They must have migrated or moved, and just came back, possibly TODAY. I'm outside enough that I'd have seen or heard them if they were already back. At one point today I may have seen 4 of them. But at a distance it isn't easy to for me to tell them apart from the other birds in the area.

(200_7303-RSH_08242006_01)

Lately I'd not post images of this quality, because I know I can take better ones, but the occasion of them returning I think TODAY requires me to document the day...

Here are a few of my previous photos of the family, err, at least the family I previously used to spot outside my work...

Red-Shouldered Hawk in Maryland
Red-Shouldered Hawk (3 shot merge)
Hawktacular!

Daffys Bath!


Daffys Bath!
Originally uploaded by bluemist57.
This just cracks me up!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Soyono takes a break from her cubs! - Washington DC / National Zoo 7/30/2006

Soyono takes a break from her cubs!

Soyono (Soy) - Sumatran Tiger @ Washington DC / National Zoo 7/30/2006

bigger

Soy walking down the steps towards the door and the location closest to the cubs that are inside. Here she shows her intense urge to be near them, in her eyes and her stride.

She walked to the bottom of the steps a few times and called out to the cubs. After a few minutes she would walk through the outdoor exhibit for a while, only to return here.

She wasn't stuck on calling out to them, she had a bunch of moments when she surely was enjoying her time away from the cubs... But she also seemed at times to want nothing more than to be inside with them again. She was outside (and away from the cubs) for about an hour on Sunday 7/30/2006.

(2006_0730_D200_23131)

Thanks for all the visits! (100,000 Views)

Thanks for all the visits!

BTW, I hit 50,000 on April 24th, 2006.

Here are a few of the tags that I've got some "interesting" photos for:
Zoo, Washington DC, D70, D70s, National Zoo, D200, Maryland, Osprey, Hawk, Animals, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR.

(100K_Fireworks1)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Shooting RAW+JPG or JPG - and considering space constraints


Cruisin
Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon].
When I first got a dSLR I shot in JPG, then did some RAW, and probably shot mostly in JPG with that camera.

In March 2006 I sent my D70 in for repair and a few days later got a D200. With that I shot a lot of RAW+JPG. Occassionally I'd shoot just jpg. I got stuck on a location and time that didn't offer much good light, and was almost always shooting at long distance (Eagles at Great Falls, MD in the evening). It was very hard to get a good image here. I went over 20 times afer June 11th 2005 (and before July 22nd) but a single day stands out, June 18th, 200. The light was great, I was there mid-day, not just later, and I saw some great action. I shot almost all of these trips in RAW+JPG, maybe 30 or 40 GBs of pix/files.

In regards to shooting in JPG only, I shot the above Osprey in JPG, and shot that day in JUST JPG all day. The light was perfect, and the encounters kept on coming.

RAW can help, but there is no making up for conditions and encounters. I've also learned to tweak my camera and adjust for a lot, some of which the RAW format allows for after the shooting, like exposure comp. With these Osprey and good light I lowered my ISO a good bit. When I was on the boat I raised it some to avoid having the motion of the boat blurring every image. Half way through that boat ride, it was so good, I switched to RAW+JPG.

After nearly a year of shooting, almost 70,000 pictures between my D70 and D200, space has become a problem on my computer and DVDs that I make backups to. I think I've got about 300+GBs of pix. I've made about 100 DVDs of backup copies and keep two copies on HDDs when I am caught up in all my steps for backups.

Disk space being what it is, and the curve I've been on for learning, I think it might be time to start deleting at least some copies of images I've taken. I don't need 3 copies of the 20 pix it took to get the one good shot, or the 100 it took to get the 1 good shot.

To put it bluntly, the quality of an image is not determined by the format it is recorded in, be it JPG or RAW. Sure you can crop and enhance much better from a RAW file, but if the light is poor, subjects far off, is it worth it to take tens or hundreds of pix at RAW+JPG and keep buying DVDs and HDDs to protect this data?

I'm currently of the mind that I can now shoot 90% of the time in JPG only and get the best (or nearly the best) results I can and still keep my storage loads to a modest amount. When a spot is rockin' I will switch to RAW+JPG, but otherwise I don't think I will.

-Jon/Nikographer...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mentos and Diet Coke

Try #2 - The best it got

Lol, we tried it and it worked!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Photography and Flickr

I've been reading the writings of some famous photographers lately.

One article I read recently was by Galen Rowell. He worked for National Geographic, and is a wealth of information. His articles are here: Galen Rowell's Articles.

In his "Grand Illusions" article he talks about how an image should inspire a mental response, and how analyzing a photo on its technical merits can break the spell or vision the photo created.

I've recently been trying to find the best way to present an image on flickr, and, when it is one that I think tells its own story I need to lay off the long commentary and let the image do the talking...

This osprey photo is one of those photos I think, and I just made a title: "Happy to meet you OR happy to eat you?"

-Jon