Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finally... some time behind the camera...

I had the good fortune to make it out to the bird blind at San Angelo State Park this morning. I say good fortune because my ability to make it out been very limited. The Hunnadew list was longer than anticipated, weather has been uncooperative, and I've had a small health issue or two that made it uncomfortable to get out and make images.

But I was able to get out today and it was really nice to be back in the park. Light was horrible--it was perfect at about 7am when I was out walking the puppy. But by the time the park opened at 8am the light was very bright and shadows were significant. The weather conditions of course were made that much worse by the orientation of the blind. It is very workable in the summer but during the winter the angles are not at all good for making images. Hopefully when the new blind is put in this will be evaluated and taken into account.

Likely the images from the morning will be of limited use, but it was a very relaxing morning. Due to other commitments, I had to leave by about 9:15, but it was good to get in a little over an hour in the blind.

Species spread was better than expected. Most of the usual suspects were around: Northern Cardinals, House Finches, House Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Curve-billed Thrashers, White-winged Doves, Mourning Doves, and Black-crested Titmice were all out in abundance. No woodpeckers or Northern Bobwhites this morning, but there was a Meadowlark that ventured into the area.

No images right now--I travel very light these days and my netbook is not capable of running any respectable form of image processing software. If anything worked I'll have the images up in the next week or so.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm still breathing...

...but there are days I really question whether I am or not.

Life has been awful busy in this neck of the woods, but unfortunately it has not been with a camera in my hand. But it is as it should be--a graduate degree is not supposed to be easy and I can assure you this has been anything but easy.

I did have the good fortune to get to listen to Arthur Morris (of Birds as Art fame) a few weeks back, but my studies kept me from being able to take in his full day workshop the following day.

The extent of my photography pursuits has been going through old images and posting them to my site over at SmugMug. Going through old images and reworking them is not nearly as fun as getting behind the camera and making new images. But a 30 minute sanity break away from my studies to work in Lightroom and Photoshop is easier to justify than 4-5 hours away from the house making new images.

This blog has been reasonably quiet because honestly there hasn't been a lot of news to report. San Angelo State Park's plans of putting up a second blind have been slow in coming, but that was to be expected. Bob Zeller has been making some good images out of the existing blind and I wholeheartedly recommend reading his piece of the web as often as possible. And yes, Bob, when I'm back in the area I will be dropping off my 20# bag of sunflower seeds, even though you guys decided to have the party without me ;)

I heard in the last couple of days from Sharron at Block Creek Natural Area with news about some great workshops coming up in the spring. I spoke in an earlier post that David Cardinal is coming out in late April to do a workshop. Also coming up in the new year will be workshops by Kathy Adams Clark in mid-January, and a Photographer's Alliance Workshop (PAW) run by Jeff Wendorff and David Middleton in early May. Great photographers with much to share.

As my academic term finishes up in the next few days I'm hoping to pull the camera off the shelf and make some images over the holidays. Time for you to go out and make some as well.

Image: Northern Cardinal (female), San Angelo State Park, ©2009 Jim Miller