For better or for worse the Mustang population has been increasing in many areas of Nevada and across the west. Over the last few years I have seen several herds of Mustangs near my home in Washoe Valley, NV. I found this small band this morning feeding on small bunches of grass growing in between the sage. The horses were practically tame and they almost walked up to me, which makes me think that they are used to getting feed from people.

The hard part of photographing Mustangs is trying to make it so that they don’t look just like any other horse. Framing the horses with the landscape in mind was my goal this morning and I was happy to capture them with Slide Mountain in the background.


For more photos of this group of Mustangs please visit the 29-Jan-2011 Phlog post.


I’ve been spending the last few days photographing Mule Deer. Beautiful animals and they are in breeding season this time of year. The Bucks are active, gathering their harems of does together and trying to keep younger bucks away.

While early/late frontal lighting is my favorite light, large Mammals are often best photographed on cloudy days. The clouds filter the harsh sunlight, minimizing shadows and the direction of light is not as important. This can mean lower lighting which means increasing the ISO to keep shutter speeds up. With a cloudy day you also have more time to photograph since you don’t have to worry about the harsh mid day sun.

Below is a portrait of one of the bucks I’ve been spending time with. Please visit the following phlogs for more photos of him and other bucks.


Mule Deer


Fly Geyser

I visited Fly Geyser yesterday and spent the morning hours photographing this spectacular landmark. Fly Geyser is a thermal feature that developed in 1916 after a well was drilled near by. For a little more history on the Geyser see this Wikipedia Article.

The Geyser is on private property and permission must be obtained before visiting it.

Below is one of the photos I took of the Geyser, to see more photos of the Geyser please visit this Phlog Post.

Fly Geyser


The Tetons are possibly the most striking mountain range in North America. The range can be photographed from many vantage points and while the view from Oxbow Bend has been photographed thousands of times, it is still worth visiting and photographing. The photograph below was taken a couple weeks ago from Oxbow Bend. I was fortunate to have great light hitting the mountains with fall color and some clouds in the sky. I hope you enjoy the photo!

For a larger version and more landscapes from the Tetons please visit my Fall 2010 Teton Phlog.



I spent a couple days at the Kern River Preserve earlier this week. It is considered the hummingbird capital of the west coast. It is a very nice nature preserve and a great location to view Hummingbirds.

I used a four flash set up to shoot the hummers. Three on the bird on one on the background. The reason so many flashes are used is that the power on the flashes can be turned down providing for a very short flash duration. This enables the camera to freeze very fast action. Some photographers use as many as 6-8 flashes for this type of set up. The shutter speed on the camera is relatively slow ~ 1/250 of a second. However, the camera only captures the brief moment illuminated by the flashes.

Below is a male Black-chinned Hummingbird. To see a larger photo of this bird and other photos from my hummer shoot please visit this phlog post.



Our state bird and a bird I’ve been trying to get photographs of for several years. There are many nest boxes for this species that have been put up near the Truckee area. I’ve spent the last two mornings photographing this beautiful species. Below is a photo of an adult male, for more photos please visit yesterdays and today’s phlog posts.



The photo below is of a male Hairy Woodpecker bringing food back to his nest hole. When I found this nest hole I was excited to photograph it, but the background is in dappled lighting all day which makes for a terrible background. To solve this problem I put “fake” background up using a green colored cloth hanging on a stand. Since the nest hole is shaded in the morning and gets direct harsh sunlight the rest of the day I chose to shoot the nest in the morning with both the nest and the background shaded. I had to use two flashes – one on the bird and one on the background to get even lighting.

To see a larger photo and several others of this bird please visit today’s phlog post



There are several area’s in Nevada where Snowy Plover’s nest. I visited one of these areas yesterday and was happy to find at least 8 birds present. Challenging birds to photograph, they are constantly on the move and are very small, which means you have to be pretty close to get decent images.

Snowy Plover’s are considered endangered and their habitat is dwindling.

Below is a photo of one, for more photo’s please visit this phlog post.



The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest North American Hummingbird. They breed in several locations locally. I photographed this handsome fellow at Galena Creek Park. There are several different methods used to photograph hummers. This photo was taken with a relatively simple method using a single flash combined with a Better Beamer. The Better Beamer is basically a magnifying lens that doubles flash output. To get enough shutter speed to prevent motion blur the flash must be in High-speed sync mode.

To freeze the wings generally requires a multiple flash technique using between 3 to 6 flashes.


A larger photo of this bird can be viewed at today’s Phlog post


The photo below is of a male Dusky Grouse, displaying his colors hoping to attract a female. Several years ago the Blue Grouse was split into two different species, the Dusky Grouse and the Sooty Grouse. The Dusky Grouse is generally found north of the Sooty Grouse. I photographed this bird in Grand Teton National Park, while hiking around Grand Viewpoint. I didn’t find him till around noon, which of course meant the the light from the sun was terrible! Too harsh and too high of an angle to get a decent photo. Fortunately, there were some clouds in the sky, so I waited till the sun was covered by clouds and was able to get this photo.

For a larger photo and more photos please visit my May 15 Phlog post


Better Tag Cloud