I spent several days guiding photographers this week, two days on the Jones Alta Vista Ranch and two at the Laguna Seca Ranch. I’ll be sharing what I think are unusual photos from both places, but today I’m starting with two photos I took of a Green Jay at the Laguna Seca.
I clipped and set up a native vegetation perch I thought would attract Green Jays and other local birds. As the sun sank lower into the sky, the grassy field in the far background behind the perch glowed shades of light gold and green.
The bird appeared out of the brush and jumped down onto the perch, facing away from us. Excited about the photo opportunity but not thrilled with the bird facing away, I made a few images. Suddenly, the jay seemed to notice the sound of the shutters and it cast a glance our way. The magic happened and the composition came to life.
My only real challenge is deciding which photos I liked best. Here are my two favorites; let me know which you like best and why. Remember to click on the images to see the full version of the photos!
A Green Jay looks back over its shoulder toward the photographers.
A Green Jay faces away from the photographers, showing the color of its head.
Mothers are special for so many reasons. I hope they all have the best Mother’s Day ever! Photo taken recently in the back yard of Susan & Errol Candy while visiting and teaching photography in Hill County, Texas. Be sure to click on the photo to see the full image and let me know what you think!
Springtime Wildflowers of Hill Country, Texas
Prior to my arrival in Texas, I worked mainly on micro/macro photography. Here in Texas I discovered that a constant breeze or wind was the “norm,” a challenge for close-up photographers. I continued what I was doing, but people who were heavily involved in activities involving birds came into my life and my photography took a turn.
Nowadays I love taking the opportunity to return to my tiny world when the opportunity presents itself, and that’s what I’ve chosen to share with you today.
I was out wandering the beautiful Jones Alta Vista Ranch in Jim Hogg County, Texas, looking for potential perches for birds, when I spied a vine loaded with yellow aphids. I had to stop, pull out my tripod and macro lens and take some time to photograph these tiny creatures.
Please be sure to click on the image to reveal the entire image and caption.
Yellow Aphids on Trailing Vine
I was thrilled to capture a series of images of a Green Jay while photographing on the Laguna Seca Ranch this evening. The jay was calmly perched on a dead tree limb, but suddenly it noticed a Summer Tanager in the brush and fluffed itself out as much as possible. I assume this behavior was to create an illusion of being larger than what it actually was. The jay relaxed slightly a couple of times but then re-fluffed, which gave me plenty of chances to test my camera’s frame rate and buffer! (Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 300mm f/2.8 lens + 1.4x extender, ISO 1600, 1/4oo sec @ f/5.0)
A Green Jay fluffs out to make itself appear larger.