Monday, November 14, 2016

Dinner at LeHardy Rapids

 The immature bald eagle was feeding on the bison carcass at LeHardy Rapids in Yellowstone.  When he saw the grizzly bear approaching he knew he was going to have to leave his place at the dinner table.   As the bear approached, the eagle left the carcass.

In this picture, if you look closely, you can see the eagle flying towards the grizzly bear.   In the next picture you can see the eagle flying directly in front of the grizzly bear.  Although it looks like the eagle is only a few inches away from the bear, in reality it is probably about 1 or 2 feet from it.

As the eagle leaves, the bear, a six year old male, takes steps towards the bison carcass.  Take a look at those claws!
 Look at the eagle as it flies away from its meal.  It's such a majestic bird, even as a youngster.  I believe this is one of this year's chicks.  They certainly grow up quickly, but they have to in order to survive in the wilds of Yellowstone.  The eagle continues to fly away from the carcass and the grizzly bear.

 The grizzly bear watches the eagle as it flies away.
Left alone on the carcass, the grizzly bear begins to enjoy his meal.  From what I was told, this carcass laid in the Yellowstone River for 7-10 days before any animals started feeding on it.  We had seen a large black grizzly bear on the carcass the day before, but this was the first day that we'd seen this bear on it.  I believe this is bear #688, which our daughter Keri named Monty a couple of years ago.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What to Photograph?

Sometimes I wonder what I want to take pictures of, especially when I'm in a location that I've been in for a long time.  Things seem too familiar, even boring and I become uninspired.  When I feel like that I just don't want to take pictures and often I don't.  I've thought about doing a 365 day project, and I applaud those who have done it, but I never have.  If you really think about it,  there are always things around us that are beautiful and deserve our time and attention, whether they be outside, in nature, or things that are just sitting around our house.  We just have to take the time to look and find them.   Here are a few things that are easily over-looked and could be considered boring subjects.  I decided to shoot them and see if I could take semi-boring subjects and make them interesting.  Maybe I succeeded, maybe I didn't, but it's always fun to try.  t challenge you to take some time and see what you can find to shoot today.  Have fun!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ten Tip for Better Photography

I was asked to come up with a list of 10 things that I think people can do to improve their photography and that list will be published in a magazine later this year. There are many lists out there and many different opinions, and I'm not saying these are the top ten, but here's what I came up with, right or wrong.

                                                 10 Tips for Better Photography

1.  Decide on your Center of Attention
2.  Capture Moments
3.  Compose in  thirds & use leading lines
4.  Avoid camera shake
5.  Check camera settings before you shoot
6.  Check the available light sources
7.  Select the right shutter speed, aperture, ISO &/or shooting mode, depending on your camera
8.  Create a sense of depth by using an object in the foreground for landscapes
9.  Use a simple background
10.Practice, practice & practice

Friday, January 29, 2016


Photography isn’t just snapping pictures of beautiful scenes, loved ones or animals.  It’s preserving memories of things you treasure. Through photography you can bring a person from their spot in the world to yours.  You can show them things they’ll never see and open worlds to them that they’ll never experience.  They can stand with you among the geological wonders of Yellowstone or watch as a grizzly bear nurses her cubs.  That’s how powerful a photograph can be if the subject is captured correctly. 

Photographs are created by making choices and making the right choices depends on the knowledge of the photographer.  A photographer friend of mine says that you don’t “take” a picture; you “make” a picture.  He’s absolutely correct, because YOU decide on the subject, the lighting, what’s to be included in the picture, the time of day, etc.  and that’s what “makes” a picture.
Great photographs are not necessarily the result of having the best equipment in the world.  It’s how you use what you have.  Anyone can “make” an incredible photograph by following some basic principles. 

One thing that is absolutely crucial is knowing how to use your camera correctly, whether it’s an iPhone or an expensive camera. The time to figure that out is before you get to your destination, not when you’re trying to get that once in a lifetime photograph.  Read your manual, take some practice shots and always check your camera settings before taking a picture.  Make sure you’re using the correct shutter speed, aperture, ISO or Mode.

Decide on your subject.  What do your want your viewer to see?  What’s your story?  Every picture should tell a story. 

You’ll have a more interesting picture if you compose in thirds, placing your subject to the side of the frame and leaving some space in front of your subject, especially if the subject is a person or an animal. Placing the subject in the center normally creates a more static picture and that’s not what you want.  Lines that lead towards your subject will help the viewer see what you want them to see and feel what you felt when you created the picture. 

Try to take pictures in the early morning or in the evening when the light is nice instead of in the middle of the day when the sun is bright and the shadows harsh.  Don’t put the camera away when it’s foggy.  Those days are great for environmental and surreal pictures.

Make sure your shutter speed is fast enough and that you have enough light. Hold your camera steady and use a tripod if possible.  Raise your ISO if needed.  A little noise is better than a blurry picture.  Capture moments!

Think about what story you want to tell, how you want to tell it and what you want the viewer to “see” when they view the image that you’ve created.

To see more of my pictures visit and enjoy Yellowstone!