PROJECT. RAPTOR STRIKE.

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As we enter a new season, I am proud to announce the start of the Raptor strike project. The intention of the project is to simply capture the moment when these majestic raptors swoop in for the final kill. The inspiration for the project is simply out of interest and my infatuations with these large hawks.

The scope of the project will include, Redtail hawks, Osprey’s, Falcons, Bald eagles,and possibly owls. Now it remains to be seen if we will be successful with capturing all thee species mentioned, but either way, it’s going to be fun. Wish us luck.

My Shot of the week:

My Favorite of the Week

My Favorite of the Week

Shot with a Canon camera and lens combination, I found the contrast interesting as the foreground was filled with tree branches,as the moon slowly gave way to the rising sun.

 

More details as they develop on Project Raptor Strike.

My Best,

Mike

 

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EXPSOURE

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Ducks returning to the swamplands

Ducks returning to the swamplands

Ok, with a photography related title, I am going to touch on a subject, that is somewhat related to life as much as it is in photography. Frankly, I am sick of the words PHOTOGRAPHY, and PASSION. The later is thrown around like the word love and honestly, in my humble opinion,  I have one clear opinion on all this terminology.

Having a passion for something is wonderful, but not having the dedication to do whatever needs to be done to fulfill that passion is simply a desire. We are human beings, and we have a tendency to covet what we see, but all to often we lack the dedication and fail to put forth the effort to realize the success of these so-called passions. This all leads to regrets. Woulda, coulda, shouda, is not something that is in my vocabulary and when you give it your best shot, you can walk away from something knowing you gave it your best shot with no regrets. We often times blame problems or issues in our lives that keep us from moving on with endeavours, and in most cases it is the right choice, although no matter the choice, these problems will still exist. Long thoughts and soul-searching is a part of everyday life and some choices are easier than others. This is all so obvious, but we all can see the finished product and think Wow! I would like to be able to do that, but what we don’t see is what went into that finished product. That’s the distinction, between desire and passion. Those who truly have it, do whatever they need to do to make it happen. Even with all the effort, you must also be prepared to walk away with nothing, because that is what can and does happen. The beauty of this, we can learn from every adventure we have, and instead of calling something a mistake we can learn from it. If we do this, Was it really a mistake?

THE SUMMARY:

Do these words inspire? Unlikely, but if anything life has taught me one thing. Having a shot, at something you love is a rare thing. To say that it was not meant to be because of life’s problems is a subject that will lead to regrets down the road. I feel regret is one of the worse things a person can carry around with them. Grumpy, bitter old people are made in this way,and I figure I can be grumpy enough without the regrets. Live your life, with no regrets, and although very hard, realize that problems exist no matter the choice’s you make. Changing paths can lead to either more problems or they may just change the current ones you face… Is this selfish thinking, or is it thinking outside the box?. You be the judge . Either way, you will never know unless you take that shot.

My best,

Mike

http://www.mrsargent.com

GOOD THINGS

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owl final comp-1Long roads and long walks have been a constant over the last six years, and as I continue to just simply do what I love, I am happy to be able to say that my dedication to photography is starting to pay off. I recently posted some photographs on this blog of the short eared owl. Well it seems that some notes have been taken, and recently I applied for membership to the National Geographic Society. Excited about this I was welcomed. I now have a profile and who knows, maybe I will be published… That’s the next step so to those of you that continue to read this and have shown me some blogging love, I want to thank you for you continued support.

FOR MSP it is time to step the game up. Thank you all again for inspiring me.

Humbled and ready for an adventure.

MIKE

WILDLIFE. The Rarely seen Short-Eared Owl

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In my previous post, I ranted a little about how I dislike the long winter. Belonging to a group on Facebook that share my feelings on this topic, I offered some input on how I combat this long grey and dingy season. In this case I was glad I followed my own advice.

Having a few large prints that needed frames, I took a trip to the town of Batavia, were I purchased some frames. Along the way I went to check out an area were it had been reported that we had some rare owls visiting. At first glance I saw nothing but brushy fields  and very little wildlife activity. Upon my return trip, that’s when the magic began. As I approached a fence post, I noticed my first sighting of a rarely seen Short-Eared Owl.

Studying the behavior, I felt quite confident that I would be able to approach these creatures, without disturbing them, as they seemed to be not very timid of human presence. Understanding my limitations, I began framing images.

Using a Canon 7d and a Sigma 500mm lens set in manual mode, I employed an aperture of 7.1 and an iso of 1600 to ensure shutter speeds of 1/2000 to 1/4000 of a second. In addition I also used the spot metering mode and the servo mode with a high-speed shutter setting. Using Lightroom for the edits, these are my final compositions.

Hope you enjoy:

Roost

Roost

Inflight

Inflight

Focused

Focused

I see You

I see You

Close up

Close up

My best,

Mike

 

 

 

 

Saying Good Bye to Winter

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Putting it bluntly, I AM SICK OF WINTER! These grey dingy days, have left me in a spring fever state of mind. So as March rolls in, I am counting the days till we see temps in the 40’s and 50’s with a chance of blue skies and morning coffee on the back deck. In fact as I become more seasoned, I am quickly realizing that winter is a nice place to visit but, I don’t really want to live here. With that out-of-the-way, lets just go all positive on the topic and say that, until I move away from the frigid temps, I will make the most of it.

This weeks shot, and more on topic of why this blog is here, the photograph. I found myself on the shore of Lake Ontario as I was trying to get in touch with my photographic eye. In fact I was looking for a bit of inspiration, as I snapped this image. That’s when I realized, what I was looking for was right in front of me the whole time. We often times just pass on things we see, because we feel that we have seen it all before. Here is the problem, and I will call it photographic complacency. We so often become just used to our surroundings that we fail to look at things from a framed perspective. This is common and to combat it, we simply must keep snapping. What may be the normal when looking with eyes, can be completely different, when we frame a scene or subject and press that shutter.

My shot, SUNSET ON THE LAKE SHORE:

Sunset on Lake Ontario

Sunset on Lake Ontario

Oddly enough, I shot out side the comfort zone in this image. Shot with the 7d and the Tamron 18-270mm lens. I employed an iso of 3200 and shutter speed of 1/80 of a second. Metering was set to partial, and an aperture of 7.1 was used. I made some slight adjustments in Lightroom to the contrast and clarity of this image.

Ok so this image is not a knock it out of the park display, but the colors and the calmness of the scene, are getting me pumped up for the spring. My whole take on winter reminds me of an old commercial for Florida Tourism… MOM……………………… I NEED IT BAD.

On a bright note, my travels this week had me near Binghamton, New york, were I witnessed a Great Blue Heron in flight over a recently thawed swamp area…. Spring is coming soon. Stay tuned for the rebirth of a season.

My Best,

Mike

 

ENGAGEMENT

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With several shoots this past weekend, I wanted to take a second and quickly share a composition that was edited with my post production script. Shooting low and wide angle, with a slight break in the clouds, I snapped this just as the sun light up the scene.

ENGAGEMENT

Engagement HDR

My Best

Mike

Sometimes You Just Get LUCKY!!!


Yep! It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Why? Well a lot of it has to do with that necessary evil know as work. Sixteen hour days does not leave much time for other activities, but taking advantage of free time, I offer you these images, taken last night. Cloudy, grey skies have dominated much of winter months and I for one am ready for the warmer weather.  While doing a long exposure shot, I captured this shot. Like I  said, sometimes you just get lucky.

TRAIL

TRAIL

Next shot, taken at sunset, The smoke stack located at the Somerset Power Project.

Smokestack

Smokestack

And my final shot for this post:

COLOR BURST

COLOR BURST

Hope you enjoy the shots.

Best,

MIKE