Light and time weaving together as they will, occasionally illuminate the ordinary or commonplace with an almost mystical beauty. Capturing those illusive moments became my challenges and delight – until I photographed my first Egret in flight.
Those early challenges soon became background to capturing the movement and emotions of my self-willed subjects. The birds continually surprise and delight me with their skillful grace in mastering flight and in their incredible beauty.
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I do not ‘Photoshop’ or manipulate my photos. I do, however, eliminate bits of trash from the scene and adjust color tone and density as well as softness or sharpness of the final print to achieve the effect I tried to capture – but no more so than any artist working in other mediums.
My interest in photography began when I was 16 or 17 and my first passion in life, flying, overtook me and I began photographing airplanes. After my second or third roll of Kodak film I recall one photo where I was struck by the quality of the light. A dabbled with photography off and on until I was about 26 when I got serious and dove into it headfirst.
All my early work was in black and white. I had decided that I needed to master that before trying color. My first camera was an Argus C-3, my first darkroom a blacked out bathroom. Over the years I progressed through Pentax and Olympus cameras eventually settling on Contax 35 mm. While I photographed most anything that caught my fancy, most of my best work was in landscape photography and informal portraits. For a time, life intervened and pushed my cameras aside as I was obliged to focus on other things. When I returned, digital was beginning to push out film and I felt it was time to make a choice.
At that point I purchased an Olympus E-20, not quite the single lens reflex I had become accustomed to but near enough to feel like I had a camera in my hands and not some toy. I liked their approach and when Olympus brought out the model E-1, I jumped on it. I am still with Olympus and awaiting their next professional body. Currently I use the following in my bird photography:
Olympus E-3 (2)
Zuiko ZD150 mm f2.0
Zuiko ZD300 mm f2.8
Zuiko ZD 90-250 mm f2.8
Zuiko ZD 50-200 mm f2.8-3.5
Zuiko 70-300 mm f4.09-f.63
(I have several others lenses as well but you won’t find their images on these pages.)
I plan to offer a few suggestions and tips on photographing wild birds in posts in this blog under the category Photographing Wilds Birds.