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.
I’ve been out of touch for a few days, mostly due to lack of connection to cell towers and the internet. I led a half-day workshop for the Wings Over the Hills nature festival based in Fredericksburg, Texas, and had a wonderful time. I stayed with wonderful hosts, Susan & Errol Candy, and thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with them. I’ll write more about my Hill Country experiences from where I am in Houston the next few days.
For now, I’d like to “virtually” return to the Jones Alta Vista Ranch in Jim Hogg County of south Texas and flaunt some of what’s there on the ranch. Over the past few weeks I’ve guided some photographers there, introducing them to the ranch and introducing the ranch to the photography world. Each photographer who has visited has said they want to return, and we already have reservations booked as far out as 2017! Contact me to schedule a visit there.
Here are two photos of male Northern Bobwhites, taken from a sequence of photos of a squabble over a hen (nearby, out of sight). I think you can really see the expressions of their faces reflecting the intensity of the feud.
Be sure to click on the photos to see the full images and let me know what you think!
Squabble Over a Hen
Winner Chases the Loser Away
I was photographing in misty, drizzly weather at the Laguna Seca Ranch Friday morning. A Long-billed Thrasher came along and, from below, eyed a cactus near the water hole. I aimed at the top of the pads, hoping I’d catch the right moment. As it leapt up I fired away. When I saw the results, the bird’s pose reminded me of Darth Vader but with the wrong color cape and eyes. Click on the image to see the entire photo.
Darth Vader, is that you?