A New Found Love for Photography

Personally I have been a landscape/portrait photographer for years, but recently have developed a passion for wildlife, especially birds.  Probably this interest became prominent because of getting older and the appreciation for the simpler things in life.   

I have been taking pictures that go back to film days.  Going digital in the nineties was quite a change.  It started very simple and has advanced significantly since inception.  Canon, Nikon, and Sony were the pioneers with DSLRs.  Now we have mirrorless cameras and Sony led the way with that technology.

Post processing applications lately have become simpler and more exciting.  Adobe's Photoshop was the go to program for a long time, but has a very steep learning curve.  Adobe's Lightroom also has been popular, but in the last couple of years there have been new editing software programs that are much simpler and easier to use.  An example is the ON1 Raw Photo Editor. It is inexpensive and a great program!  If you love taking photos and want to make them look even better, then you should download the full version free trial! 
ON1 – Photo Editing  (Click on photos 
for a larger view, then click off to continue reading.)

Here's a recent photo that exemplifies being ready for the moment.  I saw a female falcon sitting atop of a tree behind our house.  Pretty soon a male flew in and landed on a branch above her.  I noticed he was continually pumping his tail and knew something would happen soon, and it did.  I got lucky with this shot!

Here’s another similar situation a couple of days later. Same scenario but a different result.  On this shot I held the camera extended in my arms for many minutes before he moved.  Yes, bird photography requires patience, but oh what fun!  "Love is in the Air."

Recently I discovered that Owls were hanging out not too far from our house.  They sat high in trees next to a small lake and I was able to get some shots.  I've learned there are many species of owls, so I'm looking forward to finding more. As a newcomer to bird photography on my bucket list is catching one in flight, as they have a very long wing span.

We're lucky to have lots of hummers in our back yard.  They are so interesting to study as they are the ultimate flying machine!  They are very territorial as one will guard the feeder and chase away others. It's a constant combat zone.

Recently this huge hawk landed on our fence after he spotted a rabbit in our backyard.  I know he has to eat, but my wife was pleased that he didn't get his meal as she loves the bunnies.  We're lucky to have Woodpeckers, Blackbirds, Hummers, Hawks, Falcons, Doves, Quail, Starlings, Sparrows, and Finches to keep us company, and I'll keep clicking my camera.
Other than birds, we have seen bobcats, and lots of coyotes!  They roam the golf course behind us most of the year.  They are no threat to humans but people have to be careful with their small dogs as they have been known to jump tall fences to catch one.  I do that too with enough coffee!

This is just the beginning of a new photo adventure for me shooting wildlife.  I truly believe that people who take pictures are happier souls because they appreciate and enjoy the beauty that surrounds them on a daily basis!

If you have a few extra minutes I'd love for you to watch a video by DeWitt Jones.  He spent most of his life photographing for National Geographic.  Retired and living in Hawaii, he now gives talks around the world on "Celebrating What's Right with the World."  If you like being inspired, you'll love watching this!