Sunday, November 22, 2009


I was working at the computer and I happened to glance up and see a red tinge to the sky. I stood up to check out the sunrise and it looked pretty good so I grabbed my camera, threw on shoes and a jacket and ran down the back alley to the top of the hill overlooking the river.

The power line tower is a little annoying, but it was still a spectacular sunrise. And yes, the color was really like that, I didn't mess with it in the computer. We've had some good sunrise's and sunset's lately.

The annoying thing was that after the light show was over I looked at the display on the back of the camera and saw that the anti-shake / image stabilization was turned off!  I've been caught multiple times by not putting settings back to normal and I'd carefully checked the focus and iso and exposure adjustment etc. But I had forgotten to turn off the remote release after the previous bird pictures. And when you have the remote release turned on, it assumes you're using a tripod and turns off the anti-shake. I wish there was an easier way to reset all the settings. (There is a "green" mode that does that, but it only shoots JPEG not RAW so I don't use it.) Of course, some of the settings are actually physical knobs and levers (how quaint!) which a reset button couldn't handle. But it could still beep and flash and make it obvious so you'd know to manually reset those ones.

I hadn't thought to grab the tripod, even though it was right there. I guess I'm not a serious photographer yet! Luckily, I did sit down and brace my elbows on my knees so I was reasonably steady even without the anti-shake.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

There were a dozen of these little guys around the feeder so I got out the camera and tripod and remote.

They were pretty skittish, even using the remote they could obviously hear the shutter through the window and would fly away.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bird Book

There's a new coffee table book called "Bird" of amazing bird photographs by Andrew Zuckerman.

You can get see many of the photographs on his website: Don't miss the videos under Films, I really liked the Aviary and Behind the Scenes as well as the first Bird Film.

I see he had a previous book called Creatures that looks pretty cool too.

His main web site is I liked the video under Work > Films > Wisdom.

I also see some of his bird photos are in the latest issue of Audubon magazine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Killing Things

Saskatchewan has put a bounty on coyotes.

Trevor Herriot comments on this.

Basically, people complain that coyotes (or gophers or wolves or buffalo or ...) are a nuisance so we should kill them. Of course, because our god, money, is involved it's regarded as much more serious. But every business accepts restrictions (that cost money) for the good of everyone.

The logical conclusion of this attitude of our culture is to kill everything except our beloved, precious human beings and the things they eat.

Don't other living things have a right to the planet as well? And even if you don't believe that, do you really want to live on a planet with just us and our food? (If that's even possible, since we rely on the ecosystem a lot more than we realize.)

And for some extra craziness, if we did succeed in wiping out most of the coyotes, we would then list them as endangered and spend large amounts of time and effort trying to "save" them.