Archive by Author

Terns in Love

Ah…. Spring is in the air.  Single men are polishing their sports cars, buying new tires for their “I got one too” BMW 3 series, and laying down some cash for a few new spring shirts, all in the hope of attracting a nice girl.  Yeah, right… wrong bait for that.  Want a sure fire way of snagging a mate?  Try a plump fish.

That is how a romantically inspired Forster’s Tern will tell a hot, curvy female tern that he is worthy of her attention.  He entices here with a nice, plump, slimy, fish.

Click here to see how a suave Tern bribes one babe of a bird.

Solitary Pipers, Cropping, and Megapixels

You do need Megapixels:   Some bloggers will say more megapixels don’t matter and are more about marketing and sales gimmicks; for the most part, they are absolutely correct.  If you are shooting JPGs and not doing much tweaking, you are wasting your money thinking you need a new camera with more megapixels.  However, if you are shooting birds like I do, then you will be doing a ton of cropping to turn a smudge in a frame into a picture of a bird.

Click here for Solitary Pipers and some before and after heavy crops.

Flowers, Backlighting, & Exposure Compensation

Wanna make art?  I gave a sure-fire tip for doing this in my blog about depth of field (DOF) here, but there are more little tricks to turning a typical photo into something special.  Besides shallow DOF, another trick is backlighting.  Backlighting is where your light source, say the sun, is actually in front of you and therefore behind your subject.  This is tricky to pull off, but I will try and walk you through some tips so you can get started.

Click here to see some cool flower pics and learn how to do backlighting.

Harlequin Ducks & Sitting in Bird Poop

These guys are the big attraction every winter at the Barnegat Light NJ, jetty.  These daredevils bob up and down in the crashing water along the jetty.  Why they are not pressed duck on the rocks from the angry surf is beyond me.  I guess Darwin was on to something here.

Click here to read about how I snapped these pics and why I sat in bird poop.

Canon 500mm Lens Review & Buying Used

My intent here is not to provide a detailed lens review, there are plenty of good ones out there, but describe what it meant to me, an amateur, how I purchased this used, and provide you with some real life information.  Not all was smooth buying this lens used.


Click Here to read about this lens and my not-so-smooth used buying experience.

Get Off Automatic! – Beginner’s Instructions – My Secret Magic Settings

This is it.  The Rosetta Stone.  These are the instructions to get yourself off of Automatic mode.  The purpose of this article is to give you a starting point for taking your camera off of Automatic, and getting you on your way to taking purposeful, artful pictures.  You can’t do this on Automatic; you must take control of your camera.  The good news is it is not difficult and if you use my approach, you will have a base for learning and framework to approach most situations.

Click here to be enlightened!

Ewww! Bugs – Closeup Bug Tips

Here is collection of stupid bugs.  I shot them with a variety of lenses and settings, but here are a few tips for getting good shots of buggage.

Click here for Bug Land

Barred Owl, Bloody Beak, Dead Vole

Can you believe this?!  I came across this Barred Owl tearing into a vole!!!  Whoa! Maximum cool.

Click here to see the gory details… er entrails.

Bird Olympics: Diving Terns

So there I am, sitting on an embankment along a New Jersey salt marsh, watching a group of Forster’s Terns diving non-stop for worms. So what’s wrong with my equipment? 

Read here for more of the story and diving Terns.

Beer, Making Art, and Courage

Every day, I get asked, “How do you do it?  How do you get such inspirational results with just that blunt instrument called a camera?”  Well!!!!  Ahemm…First I… Then I…  well awright……., nobody ever asked me that.  But if they did, I would tell them……. it’s all in the beer!!!

Click here to learn the mother of all secrets.

Ratty Looking Loons

Boy, I spent all this money on equipment, risked life and limb out on the Jetty at Barnegat Light New Jersey, and the Loons showed up looking pretty ratty.  These Loons looked simply like hell.  Kinda like they broke into my beer fridge the night before and partied like there was no tomorrow.

Click here to see and read about Ratty Loons.

Making Art and not Taking Pictures – Try Depth of Field

Well for a screaming amateur like me, talking about art is a bit of a stretch.  Heck talking about photography is a stretch for me too but after a few beers, I’ll talk about anything.  Ok, now that I have a few Pilsner Urquells in me, let’s talk about taking pictures and making art.  The secrets of Depth of Field.

Read about Art and DOF here.

Risking it all on a Moth! – Macro Close Ups

Now this was just stupid.  I risked over 6 grand in equipment to take a dopey macro picture of a moth.

You don’t need to buy an expensive macro lens to do macro photography, you just need an extension tube.

Click here to read about being dopey and using extension tubes.

Turnstones! Purple Pipers! Barnegat Jetty!! Basic Shooting Tips!!

I braved poopy rocks, salt spray on my mega-buck equipment, and the possibility of a broken leg to get these snaps of a buncha dumb birds.  Actually they were kinda cute and just maybe a little dumb.

Click here to see the birds, decorated rocks, and pick up a few basic shooting tips.

Sunsets, Composition, and The Rule of Thirds

OK, sunsets.  Big deal.  We all take them; your mother loves them; so I put a few up here. But using “The Rule of Thirds”, you can really make them better.

Click here to make a jaw-dropping sunset.  We’ll maybe not, but you will learn something about composition.