“Out of the Past”
Sandhill Crane – Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
I’ve posted a couple of images that I made during a trip to Bosque that Lori and I made this past December. I really hope you like them. However, right now I want to tell you about my new camera that I purchased this past October .
It’s a Nikon D500. To say that I like it, would be an understatement. The features are mind-boggling. I can make pictures on a moonlit night and they come out looking like they were made in the middle of the day. For years, I’ve shot high resolution JPEG images because the larger RAW files filled the 31-frame buffer on my Nikon D2xs, causing me to miss opportunities as I waited for files to download to my memory card. That’s all history. The D500 has a 200-frame buffer and that’s not all . . . when it gets to the 200th frame, all I have to do is momentarily release the shutter and continue shooting another 200 frames.
Talk about spoiling a wildlife photographer, Nikons new D500 will do just that. I’ve certainly done my part giving it a workout. Mid-September found Lori and I in Denver’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR during the peak white-tail and mule deer rut. A month later, we were photographing wild horses in western Colorado, and in during the three and a half days we were in Bosque, I shot almost of 10,000 images – 9,973 to be exact.
In my opinion, there’s no better camera on the market for the wildlife photographer.
Pied-billed Grebe – Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
What’s going through this grebe’s mind as he stares at me? Could it be because I’m flat on the ground next to the pond and less than 20 feet away? Do we really know?
On one hand, I would say “no.” How can we, since our reasoning comes from a human point of view. This is also why I say it’s impossible for us to measure the intelligence of other species, which I believe equals, if not surpasses, that of humans. After all, the only reference point we have is based on the intelligence of homo sapiens. Some will offer that it’s all about instinct. Perhaps, but is not instinct also a form of intelligence?
At this point I’m reminded that we all share the same basic needs . . . food, water, shelter, and space. However, I also believe their thoughts, like those of humans, go beyond these basic needs . . . and this brings me back to my original question: “What’s going through his mind? . . . and, this provides me with a name for this photograph, “Unanswered Questions.”
“Save the Last Dance for Me”
Sandhill Cranes – Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Art is a topic that’s been consuming me ever since I received a newsletter from my good friend Tin Man Lee. No, we’re not related. Tin Man’s from China and I hail from Texas.
I want to begin by saying that I am an artist. I’ve worked in watercolor. I’ve worked in oil. I’ve created all manner of jewelry. But as I look back, I realize that photography has been the medium of choice most of my life. It began when I was in the third grade and received my very first camera.
Either you like what I do, or you don’t. That’s up to you and I respect your decision. But whatever you do, please don’t hand me the “manipulated” or “Photoshopped” crap. This kind of thinking diminishes the work of the photographer as an artist, to say nothing of its effect on entire genera of art.
No one says it better than Guy Tal in his book More Than A Rock, “There is more at stake than minor prejudice here. The very future of photography as a legitimate form of art hangs in the balance. All art involves manipulation of materials, and lumping all products of a camera into a single category, to be judged by a single criterion, is as silly as bundling together Impressionistic masterpieces with engineering drafts or comic strips.”
Post processing the digital images that come out of my camera in Photoshop, DxO, ON1 Photo RAW, and Topaz are an important element in what I do. Through this process, I hope to portray what I see and feel in my spirit when I press the shutter. When someone looks at one of my photographs, I want them to have that same feeling and emotion that flowed through me when I made the image. I want my photographs to speak to the viewer and share the stories they have to tell. The story will be different for each viewer, but it’s important that they all here it.
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Thank you, and have a wonderful and joyful New Year!