As I continue to improve my photography, I think about what that means. It’s all about the light – dawn & dusk, we are so often told.
It’s complicated though. Light is bright and shadows are dark, how does one even them out and still add emotion, mood, and interest?
Light is the master of depth. We need light to make our ‘hero’ shine, or our supporting cast fade into the background. In this way we can isolate our subject so we know what (or who) it is.
Fog and smoke provide a fantastic mood factor, allowing us to separate the foreground from the background. While our controlled burns up north can be dreary to look at… they can also make for some very moody exciting pix.
Light rays illuminate and become visible through the smoke or fog in the air, distinguishing different elements of the life in the forest.
The fog creates a diffusion through the harsh light, from which comes clarity.
I wrote about the ‘Late Arrival’ of a small fawn with spots, our first we have seen of the year, back here… https://kritterspaw.com/2019/09/12/late-arrival/
That was month ago. Fast forward to this past week, first week of October, and we were entertained by these fantastic little cuties.
At first, I was delighted to see just one little spotted gem… then, came another; the spots along their back almost identical.
This precious couple laid down beside each other and cuddled and ‘fawned’ over one another like baby new borns.
They rested as their momma grazed, and relished in their environment and their natural surrounds.
It was such a tremendous joy and gift to see this special sight.
What a treat!
People often ask me, “what kind of camera do you have?” Or my favorite statement, “you must have a good camera!”
It reminds me of a story I heard some time ago, about the photographer who goes to a gourmet chef’s house for dinner.
The well known published photographer shows up at the woman’s house for dinner. The home owner & chef goes on about how beautiful his photographs are and as she invites him in she adds, ” I love you photographs. You must have a great camera.”
After a lovely evening and an amazing gourmet meal, as the photographer is leaving, he tells the woman how wonderful the meal was, and in parting “you must have a great oven!”
The right camera gear is essential, skill… is priceless.
Further to my ‘Lake’ collection, we visited a number of blue smears on the map.
Admittedly they had some verbiage that indicated that there was water there… like Mexican Hay Lake and Lee Valley Reservoir, I was quickly reminded that this is Arizona.
The ‘Lakes’ that we made our way to for photos were in fact, nothing by dry holes! So much for that idea! Maybe Spring after snowfall is a better time to do the Lake trek.
The good news was we found water in abundance at Hawley Lake outside of Pinetop-Lakeside. Even better news was that on our loop around looking for actual water in those fictitious lakes was that we did manage to encounter a variety of willing animals to photograph.
Like this blue heron that seemed like he wanted to say something to me. Or the chipmunk that posed for me.
I caught these antelope running through the fields of yellow flowers along the road outside of Greer.
One thing the trip made clear… winter is coming. The overnight lows were chilly. I’m not sure how many more lakes we will be about to get in, as snow will be soon following, along with closed roads.
Hard to imagine.. but Christmas is just around the corner. Get your winter woolies out!
This time a year, when you walk through the forest, the squirrel will ‘hawk’ at you… squawking incessantly. You are in their territory after all. This is their busy time. They are scurrying around ‘squirreling’ away nuts for the winter, filling crevices and holes throughout the forest – stuffed full of pinecones.
It seems every one in the forest is fattening up for the winter, readying themselves for those long cold winter months where food is scarce for these forest animals.
Including these hawks who were looking for those squirrels!
Everybody’s gotta eat!
There is something magical about sunrises and sunsets, and when combined with the soothing comfort of water – it makes for stunning scenery.
It was a full moon the other day, so we decided to get some pix of Blue Ridge Reservoir at night… and in the morning. The light cast by the full moon lit up the daisies growing through the patchwork rock that lines the ridges above the lake.
The forest and it’s trees come right down to the waters edge at Blue Ridge.
A brisk calm morning greeted us with gorgeous clouds and fantastic reflections in her still waters. It doesn’t get any more relaxing than waking up to gorgeous scenery and the serenity of a calm sea and her comforting embrace of the beauty that surrounds her.
As everyone of us knows, we all have moments that we might have done differently, if we had the chance. Perhaps in the way we reacted to something, or something we should have done – but didn’t. You know, that ‘if only’ kind of time.
In terms of our passions or hobbies, and in my case (and this blog), I am referring to a photographic moment. That shot I wish I had gotten. Maybe because I neglected to change my setting, or wasn’t quick enough to get the shot. I have been known to get excited and go off taking pix, and forget to change the aperture, or ISO. Sometimes I shoot into the sun – but sometimes that’s where the action is, and no way around it. One can guess how those shots come out… but not always.
There was this time… I wrote about it here https://kritterspaw.com/2019/01/01/a-whoosh-and-a-tale/, when I saw my first mountain lion. it was crazy… and quick, 1/100th of a second quick. My camera was set on a tripod and was taking a photo of this sweet deer, in portrait format.. when all of a sudden, out of nowhere…..
And I got this shot! Note the tail of the deer in the front left… and yes, that’s the mountain lion leaping into action from behind… or at least half a mountain lion.
I lie awake nights wishing I had moved the camera to the right… if only.
If only I had been in landscape format instead of portrait format.
It happened so quick it was over before it started. It would have been that National Geographic kinda shot… or at least AZ Highways! If only…
Arggghhh! If only…