Saturday, January 31, 2009

Old Friend, Black Phoebe

This is another old friend from California. The Black Phoebe is common around urban areas, parks and open spaces. They are friendly and best of all, eat bugs. This is one of my favorite Phoebes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Benefit postponed !!!!!

Since there is a street parking ban in effect in Gloucester because of the storm, we are forced to postpone tonights benefit until Feb 15th. Please check back and/or check Good Morning Gloucester.

Marbled Godwits

Back in California, we ran into these Marbled Godwits on the beach.

Does anyone remember "My Three Sons"? All of these long legs had that theme song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The calm before the storm.

There is still light out when I get home now. Tomorrow, we are supposed to get a mixed bag of nasty weather. Tonight, it is so calm and glassy. This is The Janaya and Joeseph steaming back in with a load of fish.

You can go up to GoodMorningGloucester and get a taste of tomorrow's presentation. I hope my local friends can make it.

Click for details.

Purple Sandpiper

A trip to Eastern Point and a walk out on the breakwater Saturday gave me an opportunity to photograph the Purple Sandpipers again. Enjoy.

Purple Sandpiper. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Purple Sandpiper. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Purple Sandpiper. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Purple Sandpiper. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Purple Sandpiper. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Purple Sandpiper. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Monday, January 26, 2009

Circumflatulating, Iceland Gull Study

Yesterday went down to Eastern Point for a little fresh air and sunshine. B had to write another paper for her class and this wouldn’t be a fun outing for her because I wanted to go photographing birds and the weather is cold and nasty. So now that I'm home and warm, I'm just circumflatulating while B finishes her paper.

Iceland Gull © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

I was walking back to the parking lot and this bird allowed me to get in pretty close. I actually kneeled down in the gull poo to get a better, lower angle. If it wasn’t winter and I wasn’t already shivering, never mind being about 10 pounds too heavy, I would have gotten lower on eye level with the subject.

Iceland Gull © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Iceland Gull © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Sunday, January 25, 2009

California Gull

This is a second winter California Gull taken on the 28th of December on the Pacific shore.

California Gull. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Come and meet Steve B! We will be opening the doors at 6:30 to do a meet and greet with the presenters. See you at the Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street in Gloucester.

Click for details.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Herring Gulls in snow

I shot these birds by the Essex River as an experiment. I was shooting towards the sun.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Forgotten Photo Friday, Song Sparrows

I shot these Song Sparrows feeding in the dead grass and twigs after a snow storm last December. As you can see, it was a lot of fun.

© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Little Chickadee

My community members will recognize this tree that I found in a San Jose' park where I photographed the Nuttall's Woodpecker and the Yellow-rumped Warblers. I was caught off guard with an unexpected life bird, the Chestnut-backed Chickadee. This was the only shot I was able to get off.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Great Egret

Great Egret.© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Great Egret.© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Great Egret.© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Come and meet Steve B!
Click for details.

Brown Pelicans of Monterey

Here are five images of Brown Pelicans taken in five different styles. Hope you enjoy!

Brown Pelican. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse
Here is the ambassador of Old Fisherman’s Pear, taken with deep depth of field. More of a scenic than a bird shot.

Brown Pelican. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse
This second image was taken off a beach and captures behavior. I think that he was contemplating whether he could deal with this fish.

Brown Pelican. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse
This is a portrait shot. I like to get as many field marks as possible. Notice the California sun-bleached hair! You will recognize this as my friend from the Good Morning Gloucester photo shoot. Be sure to get a model release before publishing.

Brown Pelican. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse
A photograph for setting a mood.

Brown Pelican. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse
Finally, the “fine art” shot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Benefit for the Family of Matteo Russo

Visit Good Morning Gloucester
On January 3, 2008 the Gloucester fishing boat Patriot burned and sank taking the lives of Matteo Russo and John Orlando. Matteo Russo, 36, leaves behind a pregnant wife and four year old son. To help the family Joe Ciaramitaro of and Robert Newton of Cape Ann Community Cinema are holding a fund-raiser on February 15th, 1:30 pm, at Gloucester Stage Company. A portion of the proceeds will be contributed to the family.

Gloucester Guerilla Art Project 2

Gloucester blogger and outdoor photographer Steve B will present his video, Walking about Gloucester, Images from America’s Oldest Seaport showing pictures of Gloucester and its wildlife set to music.

Ron Newton, manager and director at Cape Ann Community Cinema will be presenting a collection of his grandfather's vintage Gloucester Postcards on The Big Screen.

Rockport based photographer, surfer, and web designer John Hintlian is honored to share a slideshow of his pictures, "Never the Same Place Twice: the Many Moods of Cape Ann".

Sharon Lowe is a regular contributor to "Good Morning Gloucester", has a family-friendly Cape Ann blog, "Flapping like a Haddock", and a website, "Sharon Lowe Photography". Her video, "Wall St. Autumn" is a close-up look at the beauty of fall in East Gloucester.

Good Morning Gloucester has ordered t-shirts that Paul Frontiero has graciously agreed to silk screen for free and Beth Swan From Beth Swan Design is offering her winning GoodMorningGloucester Logo design and art skills to the project. The t-shirts will be available at the G-GAP #2 for $20. 100% of the money from the sale of the t-shirts will go to the family on top of the money from the gate.

It's not going to be a percentage of the money from the sale of the t-shirt minus the cost, but every cent donated for the t-shirt will go to help the family.

Please join us.

Snow on Tenpound Island and our Mockingbird

We got a touch of snow here Sunday Night. I've been a little behind on the photography, working hard on putting together a presentation for the Guerilla Art Show. Please accept this humble offering.

I have to say this Mockingbird has lots of moxie. Sunday, when the storm was raging, I saw it fly out of nowhere and hop on top of his bush. Then a flock of Starlings came in and he chased every one of them off his turf. Good of him.

He is tolerant of Song Sparrows, House Finches and House Sparrows but dislikes anything that will take his berries.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gloucester Guerilla Art Project

Steve B, the “Pelican Whisperer”.© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

I will be presenting a video at the next Gloucester Guerilla Art Project at The Cape Ann Community Cinema on January 28th. The last project was November 12 and was a lot of fun. Watch for details here and on Good Morning Gloucester.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Common Eider Photo Study, it isn't always "Black and White"

It was -2F when I got up yesterday morning. I really wasn’t up for going out to shoot. But after spending a couple of extra hours inside, couldn’t help but notice that the boats coming in were covered with ice and I had nothing to kvetch about. These Gloucestermen were out there all night bringing home dinner for America.

Foxy Lady with ice.© 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

I went over to the Maritime Heritage Center to look for some ducks. The tide was out so the angles were too steep to make real good water fowl shots, but my philosophy is never pass up a perfect bird picture opportunity, even if it’s just an air rat. I humbly tender this offering to prove that I practice what I preach. Yes, I took this Rock Dove portrait while waiting for a better picture to come swimming by.

Yes folks, I took this picture this morning waiting for a good gull or duck shot.

Common Eiders
We have lots of Common Eiders in Gloucester. They are peaceful ducks and except for the occasional breeding time squabble, they are very sociable birds. They swim together in rafts from a couple up to twenty or thirty birds. They do not take kindly to bipeds, and like Lyndsay Lohan trying to get out of a club dodging the paparazzi, they swim away, babbling something in Eiderspeak which I’m sure makes false accusations about the marital status of my parents. But I love Eiders and they have been a constant joy to have here in Gloucester Harbor.

Common Eider. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Common Eider. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Common Eider. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Common Eider. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse

I was out there with full frame matrix metering. (What was I thinking?) Usually, I try to narrow down the metering and try to get the camera to average over the highlights and the blacks. The trick is to not blow out the whites as I did above and get a good reflection off the eye that it can be discerned.

Spot metering on black and white birds produces disastrous results. Meter on the whites and black have no tonal interest. Meter off the blacks and the whites are blown out. A useful tip is to meter off of your hand. This works well, but you have to be able to shoot in manual mode. And today, I wasn't about to take my gloves off and diddle with knobs. (Reference the first picture!)

Well, when it is cold out and I’m moving fast on my feet, I don’t think, I just go into “the zone”. Male Common Eiders in breeding plumage are tough. They have the most subtle pastel greens in the face and neck and a pink wash in the breast, almost captured in the final frame above.

Below is a Common Eider taken in more diffuse light. The sun was back-lighting the duck and I spot metered on the white. Not my first choice, but how the camera was set for shooting the Purple Sandpipers when this Eider came in view. Note that the beautiful pastels were captured, but the details in the blacks are lost. I actually like all of these shots, they all have their plus points and minus points. Let’s just drop the technical analysis and just have fun.

Common Eider. © 2009 ShootingMyUniverse
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