Waterton Park – Prince of Wales

I love Waterton Park!!! Get me started on the management of the park and you will not be able to stop me as I truly want Waterton protected for the future!. I think Waterton is perfect in so many ways. Now ask me what I think in the dead of winter when the wind will not stop blowing and the snow keeps drifting and I may say something else but that is all part of Waterton.

On amazing days there is no place any better than Waterton! Saturday morning was one of those times. I was suppose to teach a class in Waterton on Saturday morning. Just before they confirmed the class I agreed to head out to Yoho for a shoot. Then the Yoho shoot got postponed as the parkway was not open yet. So I headed to Waterton on Saturday to see what was out and about. It started raining sometime in the early morning on Sunday and got harder and harder all night. Sometime around 4 I got up for a drink and I realized that I had a window open and the rain had been hitting that window. Closed the window and went back to sleep and listened to the rain on the roof. Around 6 I woke up to still more rain. I thought if it was raining I may as well stay in bed. Woke up again at 7 and the rain had stopped and some sun had started to peak out. Got up and headed out to shoot! WOW what a morning!!! No wind, the clouds were breaking up and the sun was starting to poke through.

Where to go???

The only problem with a morning like this is where to go, there are SOOOOO many places that you want to go to when it is perfect out. After a drive up to the lookout just before the border on Chief Mountain Highway I headed back towards the town site. I passed a number of good photo opportunities as I had some ideas in my mind what I wanted to shoot. As I got closer to the town site I made up my mind. I turned off the road to a lookout over the valley that I have always wanted to use. Today was that day!!! Got up to the lookout only to run into a couple bears. So much for getting out here. A few pictures of them then to location two, Driftwood beach.

The weather was still perfect so I got a amazing shot of the POW. Some days it is just a perfect place to work at!!!

Waterton Park

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RCMP Coaldale

RCMP Coaldale Sod Turning

Sod Turning Coaldale Royal Canadian Mounted Police . So often when I am shooting I don’t get to share my shoots. I post lots of nature and wildlife but other shoots are private for various reasons. Yesterday I was shooting a public event – the sod turning at the new Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Coaldale so I can share these.

RCMP

It is a major time in the history of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in southern Alberta. In a couple years the department will be pulling out of Lethbridge and moving to #Coaldale. One of the reasons that Lethbridge became what it is is because of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Having them move to Coaldale brings that history to Coaldale.

RCMP Coaldale
RCMP

Town of Coaldale Lethbridge RCMP #history Lethbridge Historical Society

I am a Lethbridge based photographer who can help you get the best possible image for your family or business. Or the best print from your negative or digital file. Service and quality is what I am all about. No matter what your photography needs Paterson Photography is here to help. Lethbridge photographer since 1985 with a full service one hour and a custom photo lab. A large professional photography studio. Photo restorations and photography courses in Lethbridge and around southern Alberta.

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American Goldfinch – Break Time

When I am trying to do some work on the van and a Goldfinch shows up I have to take a break and take some pictures. I have seen Goldfinches in the river bottom in Lethbridge. This one must have heard about the amazing food that we have and decided to do a road trip for lunch. Of course I had to sneak into the house to take some pictures. I always have the 150 – 600 Sigma ready to go on the 70D body. So I grabbed that set-up and shot off a few pictures before I had to get back to work.

He was a very cooperative subject and I got some great images. One question that I am asked about shooting birds in your backyard is how do I do it?

Do I have windows without screens on them?

Do I open windows to shoot?

Well it is yes and no. I try and remove the screen from the window and quietly open the window. But many times if I do that I scare the birds away. If they are at the back of the yard I will try and open the window. If they are close to the window I will shoot through the window. All these pictures are shot through the closed window. I do not shoot through the screen part of the window. Fortunately for me half of the window is screen. The rest is glass. So I can shoot from any window and use the non glass part.

Goldfinch and House Finch
House Finch and GoldFinch
Why is there a Goldfinch on my branch??
Why is there a Goldfinch on my branch??
Those seeds look good
Those seeds look good

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External Hard Drives – WARNING

I am a BIG advocate of using external hard drives to store your images and data. This is of course in addition to other back-up sources. Things such as DVD’s, extra external hard drives and additional computers.

External Hard Drives

New Drive

Recently I went out and bought another external hard drive. Picked up a Lacie to transfer all my nature pictures to. That way I would have them in one place and be able to take it with me when I am on the road without taking other files. Spent a Saturday night and part of Sunday transferring and organizing the new drive. I have several other Lacie drives as back-ups and have had no problems to date. Then I took the to the studio to download the files there.

I plugged the drive into one of the studio computers and watched as it said “New Drive Detected”, “Installing Hardware”, “New Device is now ready to use”. Then I clicked on My Computer to find that the device is not there. Tried a second computer then a third, all with the same results.

External Hard Drive
External Hard Drive

That not good

I was finally able to locate the drive through a couple of backdoor routes and found that the drive was running. But after a lot of research I found that even with the computer recognizing the drive it was not accessible. After looking into it I found out that it is the way the drive was set-up from the factory.

So a word of warning, if you have an external drive that you are using make sure that it is readable on other computers! You should do this ASAP!!! I would actually try several computers to make sure if your computer should die, or be upgraded, that the external drive is accessible.

Check your drives NOW!!!

Again as a word of warning, if you have an external drive check it on another computer ASAP to make sure that it can be read, before you need the drive to work and it doesn’t. This is one of those issues that if you find out when you have a computer problem it is too late!!!

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Equipment for the wildlife photographer

What equipment do I need?

One of the most common questions that I am asked is – “I would like to get more serious with my photography, what equipment should I buy to get better pictures?”

Well it is not an easy question to answer as a lot depends on the type of photography that you want to do.  I will address this post from the nature / wildlife photographers area.

Camera

A DSLR camera, one that will take interchangeable lenses. Yes you can use other cameras and I know some great photographers that do. A DSLR allows you to switch out lenses and do upgrades using the same camera body. Also a camera that is at least 8 megapixels is a good place.  If your camera meets the above specifications then I would upgrade other equipment first.

Lenses

A good wide angle lens for landscape and a good telephoto lens for wildlife is a must. You do not need to go with the $14000.00 lens but small improvements in your lens quality and range will help you to properly frame your pictures better. I have a amazing Sigma 150-600 that I LOVE for my wildlife. Well worth every penny!!!

Flash

For nature and wildlife I would stay away from spending on any flashes.  In my opinion more important areas should be updated first.

Tripod / Monopod

If you do not have a good tripod this is an area that you should look at. The cheaper tripods are fine as a platform to hold your camera in bright light but nothing less. A good tripod will hold your camera still and allow you to pan with your lens.  You can use your tripod for long night exposures and also to hold your larger lenses. Monopods are a great option if you like to hike or just need some extra support for a big lens in bright light.  They are cheaper than a tripod and a lot lighter. These are designed to add some additional support when hand holding.

Carrying bag

A good carrying bag is a must to keep things organized and safe.  If you do a lot of hiking get a good backpack and you will never regret it.

Equipment Paterson Photography Lethbridge Eye cup
I bought a larger eye piece for shooting wildlife so it is easier to see through the viewfinder in bright sun

Batteries

Extra batteries are relatively cheap and a great idea.  Nothing is worse than getting out to a location and running out of power.  A in-vehicle charger is also a good idea to charge your batteries if you are going to be on location for a number of days.

Accessories

Other items like filters, remotes, etc can also help improve your photography. My way of telling if I need something or not is if I have needed it at least a couple times I will put it on my list to buy. I NEVER buy something if I don’t need it for some type of shooting.

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Waterton Spring Visit

Waterton Spring Trip

Waterton Spring
If I stand really still the photographer will not see me!!
Waterton April 20, 2019. This fox came for a visit. He headed to a field to hunt some ground squirrels then would head back to his den He was so wet but this shot does not show it.

Read moreWaterton Spring Visit

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