A Bald-Faced Wasp Nest (Four Photographs)

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We parked the car where we normally do and as I was setting up my camera I noticed this incredible nest hanging high on a branch over the road. The nest was itself amazing, and it was maintained up until the colony died in late September. While I was interested in the patterns of the nest, the bald-faced wasps (I hope I have the name right) were also interesting and I focused on them coming and going from the nest. Over three or four days I took as many shots as my arm holding the heavy camera and lens could take. I picked these four because they had the best detail. As the nest was high up it was hard to get shots of the relatively tiny insects but then one does not want to get too close to a nest like this, as the wasps will defend it to the death.




American Wigeons (Two Photographs)

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In the fall everything looks great. Ducks like these American Wigeons are a relative rarity where I live. When they are in residence, the wood ducks take second place to these more richly endowed and colorful birds. The canvas-like backgrounds created by reflected light compliment the birds. Very little if any retouching was required in post processing.


Intimate Landscape (Four Photographs)

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If asked about the learning curve in photography, I would say that after you master the technology, the “rules” and the software to create photographs, the next step would be to explore. While the technology, “rules” and software can be daunting and a constant learning curve, figuring out what you want to shoot and how to present your work is just as big a step. A number of photographers told me early on to look at the work of others, photographers, painters, designers, not just to get ideas, but also to learn how they find their niche, their style, their areas of expertise. I like nature, street and landscape photography. I would like to do more portraits, visit a farm for a few days; the list of areas I want to explore is long. We all start by saying we want to photograph one thing, birds, concerts etc. When you look into the work of the pros that do those sorts of thing you will find their work extends well beyond what they are known for and this helps learn new approaches and skills. The photos in this post are windows into larger things, a definition of intimate landscape.intimate-landscape




A Merlin (Nine Photographs)

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We along with a few other people were surprised to see this bird so close to shore and to passersby. At first we thought it was hurt but when it eventually flew off it was clear it had just been taking a break. It’s age may explain why is came so close to a bunch of ogling spectators. Regardless he gave us quite a show!










Westmount Square, Montreal (Six Photographs)

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Westmount Square was built in 1967; the architect was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It’s an iconic compound of commercial and residential towers, with a mall underneath. Walking through it holds memories for me from years ago but this time it was the minimalist modernism that struck me. The few people and odd color (the balloons in the last photo) seemed out-of-place. I am not critical, it is unique, but depending on how you approach it your impressions can change.






Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk (Three Photographs)

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I was walking along when another photographer pointed out this hawk. I took a quick shot then turned to see if I could get the attention of my wife who was behind me down the path, which did not work out. I turned back for three more shots, before the bird flew out of range. The yellow eyes and the brown on its chest indicates it’s a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk. Given the circumstances, the results are more than I expected.



Nothing is Perfect (Three Photographs)

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Taken with my Fuji XT-2 with the 18mm F2, these may end up as a triptych. Every camera is subject to criticism, it’s not always a matter of taste. Sometimes it’s the little things that seem like flaws, or things that change the way things get done, or the ergonomics of the camera. You either adapt to change, or you reject it. I’ve run into issues with cameras and lenses I have researched thoroughly, I have to decide if I can live them or not. The Fuji is staying in my arsenal. I have heard criticism of how some software programs sharpen the files and I am pleased to say, I am not having that problem. I am sure if I printed a poster of one of these shots I would see flaws and have to go back to the drawing board (as I would with some of Nikon files) and I will cross that path when I need to. The point is it pays to read up on the kind of issues you may face and take a reasonable approach as to whether you think they will affect you. My only issue with the Fuji camera is that it has a tendency to under expose which can be fixed with exposure compensation.



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