TAP TAP TAP.I HEAR YOU!


While on one of my many nature walks, I took particular notice of just how quickly our summer season had transformed into fall. It seems that just a few short weeks passed and we went from enjoying a rich treeline bursting with colors, to the baron look of winter minus the coming snow. One positive of this transition is the fact that without the foliage, your ability to see and hear the calls of specific bird species is greatly increased. As I slowly moved forward on my walk, I heard a distinctive tapping from behind me, and knew quite quickly that the subject I was hoping to capture was present in the woods behind me. So backtracking I went into hunt mode, and slowly went towards the direction of the tapping. With watchful eyes, I continued to listen for taping noise as I caught first sight of the source. It was in fact a pileated woodpecker, and this species is one that I have always had an affection for because of their distinctive look and the robust call that radiates through the woods.

While on the approach, I first spotted this downy as he searched for insects in the lower part of the tree line.

downy in search of insects

As I waited for the pileated to focus on a tree, I remained still until he moved from the lower part of the wood line and took to his next tree.

Pileated first spotted

After my subject flew, I made my final approach to an area that offered me the best shots, and from that point I enjoyed one spectacular show.

Pecking away

My best shot

Pileated Foraging

I have to admit, at first I wondered if this was a pileated due in part to the very light-colored bill. Some suggested it was a female but I have seen several mated pairs in the past, and I  personally have never seen one with a bill this light. I was wondering if this could have been the Ivory billed species that was once thought extinct. In recent years there have been several reported sightings of the Ivory billed, but to date no one has photographic evidence.

The shots, I used apertures between 5.6 and 8 with an iso of 400. The shutter was between 1/ 500 and 1/1000 and the spot metering option was employed to capture these images. The camera was a 7d and the canon 100 to 400 l series lens was used.

Hope you enjoyed the shots.

Mike

www.msargentphotography.com

The Store.

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Creating Some Awesomeness


Last night, plans were made to go out and do some night shots. Unfortunately we were subjected to heavy patches of fog and opted to try again in the morning. Being up early as always, I set out this morning to see if I could capture what may be left of the Leonid Meteor Shower. Well I didn’t see any meteors, but there is always something to shoot. Images from this morning.

Breaking Dawn

As the sun slowly meet the horizon I caught this image using my 7d and a Tamrom 10-24 wide-angle. I used an aperture of f-22, ISO 400, and a shutter speed of 20 seconds. The image has been reduced in file size for this post and this has caused some grain to appear in this post. In reality the image is tack sharp after printout.

Next shot:

SUNRISE

Using the Tamron 18-270 and the 7d I snapped this shot shortly after the sun broke the horizon. Using an aperture of f-8 I let the shutter stay open for 1/45 of a second.

My HDR

HDR Waterway

With the still air and calm water I decided to do a HDR. Although this image is still in post process I am kind of partial to this composition. Unsure at this point, If I decide to change my final output, I will repost to get feedback on the differences

ALL for now.

Mike

 

 

First Shot


Quick post today as I want to share with you an image. Very simply titled THE SUPERMOON meets the LIGHTHOUSE.

I want to hear from you, Tell me what you think and I will tell you how this composition came to be in my next post..

The Super moon meets the Lighthouse

Feedback please and thank you.

SHOOT 2 THRILL

Mike

Bird Ox a Pain in the Butt or One of Nature’s Wonders


Having some spare time on my hands today, and needing a little fresh air, not to mention a bit of exercise, I decided to go on a short walk. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter the conditions, there is always something to photograph. Today is no exception to this, as I take one of natures little burdens and attempt to make it look artistic in my composition. Lets face it, we all have experienced the trails of Bird Ox and some of us, present company included have gotten these things stuck in our hair. As kids we would seek out these tormenters and throw them at the hair or clothes of friends and young lasses that may have been the object of our affections. Well at least that is what we did when we were growing up. By todays standards this would be perceived as bullying, but as we gave we also received. This first shot was taken with a 7d and an aperture of 3.5 @ iso 400 with a shutter speed of 1/90th of a second.

Bird Ox

I used Light room to crop the image and added a light vignette to place the focus on the center pod .

This next image I went for a softer tone and used a slightly smaller aperture ( F-8) and employed a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second.

shot at f-8

While out on this shoot, I also ran across a gentleman who still practices in the lost art of trapping. As he gave me a lesson in the finer points of trapping, I watched as he worked his magic in and around the huts that the subject of his query had built. He explained to me that you have to find the runs they use to travel between their homes and where they feed. In addition you can generally spot a muskrat hole by the discovery of a mudline. Once you find the hole you can check to see if it is active by determining the hardness around the opening. Often times a rat will rub against the opening to keep its borders hard and from breaking away from the constant submersion in water.

A few shots for your enjoyment.

Pre trap scouting.

Checking out a hut

As I made my way out of the area, I was able to see the subject of his search. This shifty little rat made my capture quite difficult as he dove under water and made his escape from my lens.I did however capture this image as he swam away from me and my invading lens.

EXIT STAGE LEFT

Until we meet again my friends. Step outside and take a look around.

SHOOT 2 THRILL

Gets it to a TEEE


I have always tried to inspire passion in photography, and often times do fairly well at this. With upswing and downfalls you learn to take the good with the bad. Up until a year ago I always worked alone, but have always been willing to help anyone who aspires for better in their compositions. My oldest friend Jim and I began working together a year ago, and one of the greatest joys of this has been watching him mature and understand how much photography has meant to me and now us. Jim shares my passions, and he simply steps behind the lens and nails compositions.He also has a great deal of experience when it comes to the tech side of our world, and he is the guy that has put MSP on the web as well as made the suggestion to do this blog. I have said it many times how 2012 has been a great year and JIm’s involvement with MSP has been a huge part of this greatness.

I want to share with you some words composed by Jim that simply summarizes the drive and how we feel as shooters of light. Just like his compositions, his words nail the feelings and driving force behind what we do.

Thanks Jim, for everything. I am lucky to have you as a friend and a partner. Here is Jim’s post, I hope it touches you as it did me.

Like almost all people that have reached adulthood, I found myself rushing from one point to another. We label those points A and B, and with great impatience we leave A and scurry toward B wishing there was not all that crap to deal with in-between. We get to B only long enough to return to A like suddenly A is of greater value than B ever could be to our continued existence.

Photography has changed my point system. I now travel from A to D. I have found, much to my delight, that between the two points of A and D there is a place I should just B for a while, and even more incredible there is places to C as well !

That is not the most profound thing I have realized. I have also found that if while B-ing somewhere and C-ing things I use my time to take a picture, when I share it with other people, they take a few seconds pause from their race to admire the moment I have captured for them. If I am extremely lucky they will give me even more of their time to leave a comment before moving on. I cherish each and every one of those messages. They represent everything I am trying to accomplish while stopping at points B and C. I worry that many of you will start to take less and less time really looking into my pictures, and brush past them in haste. As that happens the effort I put into each shot will bring less and less joy to you, my observer, and by proxy bring less joy to me as well.

But all will not be lost. Remember that as you look at each snapshot in time I capture, I was actually there to experience it. My camera has made television useless in our house, we have found we no longer need the distraction. Did I mention that my wife and best friend Barb has discovered B-ing and C-ing as well? We are spending incredible time just sitting in the grass, watching everything around us with the eyes of a child. Many things we are C-ing for the first time, even though they have always been right in front of us.

DID HE NAIL IT OR WHAT?????? Spine Chills!

SHOOT 2 THRILL

Mike

BACK TO PICTURES


Yesterday I put up a post, more like a rant, about how I feel regarding the state of things. Well to be blunt screw all that. I mentioned that my resolve has never been greater, and in addition, my goal would be to do what I love and see just what path would present itself. I am not one to sit around and years of having to get up early for work, has enabled an internal alarm clock, that has me up most mornings by 4am. So sucking down a cup of coffee is always the start of the day, and it is out the door. I used to complain about the early rises, but here is the benefit. I get to see sites like this,

Early am

Yeah, the picture is not my best, but other than the washed out moon, I enjoy being able to see and capture images like this. They are the reason and benefit I have come to enjoy the early rises, and in time I will start to employ more filters to eliminate wash outs like this moon has so often times given me. Shot with a Canon 7d and Tamrom lens, I used the spot metering mode and employed the incredibly high ISO of 6400. Shot at an aperture of f 22 for 30 seconds, I expected the moon to wash out my shot. I used light room to tone it down a bit, and reduce some of the noise present using such a high ISO, but the goal of this shot was to see just how sharp I could capture the tree as a silhouette. In short… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!!!

MY BEST,

MIKE

SHOOT 2 THRILL

PS,,,

Hey wedding seekers we have started a new website just for you.

Check it at www.msargentphotography.com 

JIM IS KICKING ASS… MY BROTHER!