On the hunt

The hunt!

I was in Waterton on the hunt for some birds. So far the day was pretty productive but there was still a lot of daylight remaining and I wanted to get some more pictures. I decided that I would stop at one of my favorite spots. Maskinonge is located just outside the Waterton Park gates and I find a lot of birds pass through here. I parked my van the White Turtle II in my favorite spot. I came across the usual birds as soon as I arrived, a mix of song birds, a Heron, a couple Trumpeter swans and a number of ducks.

I cam e across a couple Trumpeter Swans on my bird hunt
Trumpeter Swans

The hunter becomes the hunted

I was enjoying taking their pictures but the birds seemed nervous. I spotted a couple hawks and an eagle across the lake and even they seemed nervous. Then the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I heard a noise a ways away, but close enough that I turned towards the noise. It was like I was being watched. I reached down to make sure that the pepper spray was still on my belt and wondered if I needed it if it would still work. I looked around but could not see anything but I felt it, then I spotted it.

Hidden on the ground behind some trees it could survey the entire lake. It was not close enough to pounce on me but it wasn’t that far away. I tried to get a better angle to get a picture but it was well hidden in the trees. I did not want to approach to close as the closer I got the worse the angle would be to get a picture. Also the closer I got the more chance that I would get injured should it get spooked.

A good perch for the hunt!

I finally found a spot that I was in the open but a ways away. I watched it for a while but it did not seem like it was in any hurry. By its size I could only imagine what it was like when dinosaurs roamed this area. It was HUGE!!!! I also realized what it must have been like to be hunted by a Pterodactyl.

After watching it for several minutes I figured that it must be asleep as it had not moved since i spotted it. I then took some pictures of the birds in the area that were also confused by this massive invader in their wetlands. They would go about their routine but they were keeping a close eye on it.

It moves!!

After about 20 minutes of photographing the birds I heard another noise. It was getting ready to move. Before I could turn my body it was starting to rise behind the trees. Then without warning it put it’s nose down and started coming towards me. I had fortunately left enough space so that I had time to react. I swung my camera around and grabbed a few shots, not even thinking about the bear spay on my belt.

Before I knew it it was looming over me. As it went past I noticed that all the birds in the area were taking off and seeking cover. It headed west towards the river then it turned to the north. As fast as all that happened it was again quiet. The lake was now empty of birds but it would only be a short time till they came out from hiding and flew back from their hiding places.

I survived

Well they say that any time you survive an adventure it is a good one. I had survived!! I realized that I was now getting hungry and it was getting late so I decided that I would head to the campground for supper. A good day it was, a number of great images and an experience that I have not had in Waterton before!!

Mom & hungry baby
Heron on the hunt
Heron

Preparing for the hunt

Preparing for the hunt!
Hidden behind the trees
It rises, the hunt is on!!
Here it comes!!
On the hunt!
There it goes…….

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Adjust images in PhotoShop

Using layers to adjust images in Photoshop

I am often asked what is the best way to adjust images in Photoshop?  So I thought it deserved a post on the blog to help you get the best images when editing.

Question: How do you do color and density corrections in Photoshop?

Answer: I use adjustment layers whenever possible.  Why? If you use adjustment layers then save the file as a PSD you can go back and see what you have done. You can make small adjustments from the last place that you adjusted without starting over. And finally if you get one image looking great and you have a number of others that need the same adjusting then you can drag the adjustment layer to other images.

So how do I do this?

1 – Open your image

2 – Select Adjustment layer (see picture below)

Adjust images in PhotoShop
Adjust images in PhotoShop

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Canada Geese

Canada Geese on ice. Chilling out

There is always one trying strike up the band!!!

Reminds me of a conductor at the height of a major movement, unfortunately the band is asleep on this one.

A cold January morning finds the gees flocking to the last open ice on the lake. I would rather be someplace warmer but they seemed to like the cold water. A hot tub would have been my first choice!

Stafford Lake, Alberta

Canada Geese

#nature #wildlife #naturephotography #geese #canadageese #winter #canon #sigma #lethbridgephotographer #vanlife #birds

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle, out looking for lunch East of Lethbridge

A busy week at the studio with two big shoots and some teaching. This is from last weekend. I just managed to get the files downloaded and edited. Had the opportunity to see two magnificent Bald Eagles out enjoying the nice day. Years ago seeing a eagle in the summer in southern Alberta was rare but in the winter was unheard of. Now they are staying in large numbers all year. I am thinking that the reason for this is that the geese are staying and with so many geese the number of sick and dying birds is enough to sustain the eagles. In the river bottom I can tell when a eagle is flying nearby as the geese take off in huge numbers. Then a few seconds later a bald eagle comes flying down the river.

Bald Eagle

Canon 70D, Sigma 150-600 @ 600 400 ISO 1/2000 F9

#nature #wildlife #naturephotography #eagle #baldeagle #winter #canon #sigma #lethbridgephotographer #vanlife #birds

Boxing Day Brawl

Went out for boxing day and came across a major brawl, could not believe how these two fought. The special was half price on a really nice bush and they both wanted it!

Alexander Wilderness Park

Canon 70D
Sigma 150-600
1/2000
F9
1600 ISO

Boxing day brawl
I saw it first!

It has been a good winter so far, a few crazy windy days but overall very nice. It is funny how the animals react to the weather. On windy days it is like all the animals moved out of the province or went into hibernation. A couple cold days do not seem to effect the animals, in fact they seem to like a few cold days. After a few cold days they change again starting to slow down and stay hidden more. Then once it warms up it takes a few days for them to start moving around again.

Boxing day brawl #2
I was closer to it

I didn’t want to put up with the boxing day brawl at the mall so I thought that I would head out to the river bottom and see what was happening. Not a lot of animals around, saw few birds, but the deer were everywhere. I wonder how the wolves, coyote and foxes do during a winter that is overall very mild. The deer look to be in really good shape as their food sources are not covered up like they were last winter and the winter before. If this keeps up the deer will be in really good shape come spring.

Boxing day brawl big hit!
It is MINE!!!!

Even our backyard feeders are not being used like they have been in the past couple of winters. Sure there are birds but not in the devouring herd like they have been for the last two years.

See more nature fine art prints in my gallery

Lethbridge River Valley

Lethbridge River valley turkey lunch
Lethbridge River Bottom turkey lunch

The Lethbridge river valley is a place that holds a lot of history and a lot of wildlife.  There is a lot of wildlife that I never thought that I would see down there and one of them is wild turkey. Went down on Sunday and came across 7 turkeys enjoying the sun and a meal.  Not sure how wild they are but they were down there and were not too worried about people walking by or taking their picture.

Read moreLethbridge River Valley