Nature & Wildlife

Cormorant of La Jolla California bird photography

Cormorant of La Jolla California bird photography

Get the background and the bird right

In La Jolla, California I was pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to do bird photography. I knew there would be a chance for seal photos, but having birds also was great. I miss the bird photography I could do almost anywhere in Florida. Check out this anhinga for example. What makes a good bird photograph (or any photograph) assuming you have a good looking bird as the subject? Then for a bird photo to stand out it is a matter of having good light (it was only so-so in this shot) and having a good background. The latter made up for the former in the above shot with the creamy bokeh created by my Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 lens. The blue in the bokeh is the Pacific Ocean.

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Imperial Sand Dunes of California Drone Video Aerial Photos

Imperial Sand Dunes of California Drone Video Aerial Photos

Awestruck by it all

Entering California from the southern route along I-8 out of nowhere appears Imperial Sand Dunes. I was awestruck by this true desert landscape of sand and dunes. I did not know the U.S. had a desert like this with golden sand one could confuse for being out in the Sahara. It was pure coincidence that upon leaving California to return to New Mexico the dunes were passed by at sunset time. I flew my Mavic Pro drone for some cinematic drone video and aerial photos, with still some time to tote my Nikon up a dune for some HDR and long exposure still photos from the ground. What a landscape this was!

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Winter in Valencia County Belen New Mexico Rural Land Real Estate Photography

Winter in Valencia County Belen New Mexico Rural Land Real Estate Photography

Winter in the high desert

The past two weeks I have made three trips down to Belen, New Mexico in Valencia County, about 40 minutes south of Albuquerque for rural land photography shoots. The landscape and conditions out there changed dramatically in one week. Two weeks ago I could not even reach the property I made the top photo from. There was too much snow on the dirt road, so much I could not even see it and even my Jeep Renegade Trailhawk was starting to sink in it too much. I could not risk getting stuck some 4 miles off road with no help around. One week later the snow on the road was gone and the mud had dried up and I drove right to the property no problem.

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Joshua Tree National Park Color and Black & White

Joshua Tree National Park Color and Black & White

Named for trees, spectacular for rocks

For me, the phrase joshua tree has always been associated with the famous U2 album from 1987 and its iconic cover art. There is actually no joshua tree in the photo. I finally got a chance to visit Joshua Tree National Park and soon realized that the eponymous trees are not the stars of the park by a long shot. The real attraction are the rock formations. Some tower, some are piles, they are all sitting there challenging you to climb them. This photo story presents a set of black and white photos of a lone climber on a rock face and a series of color photos one of which is made up of silhouettes of me, Jessica, Kiki and Artie!

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Spectacular Belen New Mexico Rural Land Real Estate Sunset

Spectacular Belen New Mexico Rural Land Real Estate Sunset

Wide Open Belen, NM Sunset

I traveled down to Belen, New Mexico with my photography gear and Kiki for a rural land photography shoot. I have been to this exact area of Belen twice before, and know it so well I knew where to look for a cow skeleton, which was still there even though I have not been to this area for over a year! I got my daylight shots, then had time to walk around with Kiki in total silence save for the blowing wind. Then we settled in a spot and I setup my Nikon D750 on my Indoor carbon fiber tripod and waited for the sun to get into position. I decided to make the shot just as the sun peaked below the cloud cover while still above the distant mountain. Since the land itself was just desolate, I composed to show more of the spectacular clouds. I got paid to enjoy this view. Sometimes, being a photographer is not too bad, sometimes.

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Red Shouldered Hawk in New Mexico Bird Photography

Red Shouldered Hawk in New Mexico Bird Photography

See a Shot, Stop and Get the Shot

This photo of a red shouldered hawk perched on a dead tree limb was made after doing a rural land shoot in Torrance County, New Mexico. One of my photography philosophies is that a real photographer always makes the effort to get a photo they see. I was tired, had just been outside for 90 minutes in the desert, had another 45 minutes to drive back home, but I pulled over, got out my camera, and made the effort to get this shot of the hawk because as a photographer you just cannot pass up opportunities to get a shot. For me, especially one of a large bird as they are very hard to get in New Mexico. Back when I lived in Florida, photographing large birds was easy, they were all over the place. Birds and animals are rare to see in New Mexico, even in the remote places I often travel too.

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Fiery Rio Rancho Rural Land Real Estate Photography Sunsets

Fiery Rio Rancho Rural Land Real Estate Photography Sunsets

Fire in the Rio Rancho Sky

I am often out in remote Rio Rancho on weekday evenings in the midst of a 55+ property rural land real estate photography assignment for Hemingway Land Company. On a recent shoot clouds were heavy on the horizon and I was counting on the sun dropping below them, just above the horizon, and allowing me to get some of my signature HDR sunset photos. The sun did in fact reveal itself, but with a fiery wrath!

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