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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Computer Down

The computer is currently down and will be for the foreseeable future until such time as we are able to get it repaired.

This also means my ability to edit photos and process images for sale is greatly curtailed. As far as what this will mean for FalconRose Photography, it means that the business will be on hiatus until the repairs and backup procedures are put into place and implemented in a regular regimen.

Undoubtedly this is a blow to the progress of the business but not as severe as it could have been. FalconRose Photography will be back and better for the experience. And we will be able to recover much quicker from hard drive failures in the future!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Boundary Bay Airport Bald Eagles Part 2 - January 11, 2013

Part II of Boundary Bay Airport Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle hunting for food.

"Just what exactly is THAT supposed to be?"

Dancing In the Skies

Gorgeous Wing Spread on this eagle.

More eagle pictures forthcoming, but haven't been edited yet. These are the ones that have been so far. This is a prime location for bald eagles especially with the dump across Hwy 99.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Boundary Bay Airport Bald Eagles - January 11, 2013

Was planning on dropping by the 72nd Street Boundary Bay location to spot some snowy owls, however, my wife wanted to do some photography herself and asked if we could go to Boundary Bay Airport area first. I decided to hang out with her and her instincts didn't fail. And boy did she find some good photo opportunities for me. I have to say that this was probably one the best experiences that I have had so far in photography. And I owe my beloved wife big for this.

Seven Baldies Sittin' In A Tree

These images were all done with the bare-bones 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. Proving once and for all, that you can get relatively good shots with a minimal range lens without having to spend too much money if you know just where to look. This location is going to be a repeat trip when I want to improve my portfolio of eagle shots. I'm looking forward to coming back to this location again.

Snowies are next on the agenda. Perhaps sometime this coming week. Until then, Happy Shooting (with a camera, that is)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Trip Of The Year to Iona Beach - January 9, 2013

Went to Iona Beach Park today close to the time that the park closes. Missed the sunset, caught the "twilight's last gleaming" on the water. Quite the day today. Two trips into Richmond. One to drop off a power cable for my wife's laptop, and then the other trip to pick my wife up from Kwantlen - Richmond Campus. It was worth the trip because I managed to get some decent shots over at Iona Beach while waiting on my wife to get out of her class.

I also saw a Great Blue Heron, however the shutter speed was too low to grab it as it was getting too dark.

This one should be titled "Leaving On A Jet Plane". It fits.

Silhouette of a Duck against the twilight reflecting off the water.

The branches were illuminated by the streetlamp.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Disturbing Youtube Video of Photographer Flushing a Snowy Owl

There is a plan this Friday to go photograph "snowy owls" in Boundary Bay. This year has a larger migration of snowy owls than last. And the problem therein lies in the fact that the snowy owls are starving when they reach Boundary Bay Regional Park. They have very little energy to be spared and that has to be conserved if they want to maintain enough strength to hunt.

On YouTube I observed a very disturbing video of a photographer who disregarded all signs that the bird was getting stressed and proceeded to crawl up uncomfortably close, eventually resulting in flushing the owl. That kind of behavior is wrong and seeing such behavior is infuriating. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. No photograph is worth the life of a creature.

The photographer in this video has a 300mm f/2.8 lens and presumeably teleconverters to go along with it. There was no excuse for him to go crawling up to the snowy owl who visibly was stressed (you can see its outspread wings in warning, the arched back and the apparent opening of the owls' beak in a warning hiss partway through the video). There are signs posted all along Boundary Bay Regional Park stating to stay away from the snowy owls and to not stress them out. To watch them from a distance. Yet birders and other conscientious bird photographers say that they observe idiots walking onto the flats when they have been warned by the sign to stay on the dykes.

If you plan to go down to Boundary Bay at any point, please don't approach the snowy owls. Watch them with respect from a distance. If you want to photograph them, then buy yourself a supertelephoto lens. There are affordable options out there as you can see in this post. Less Pricey Options for Wildlife Photography. There are no excuses for this kind of behavior even under the best of conditions which this certainly isn't considering the health of the owls. These are the idiots that give wildlife photographers a bad name.

Stay on the trail or on the dykes, don't approach the snowy owls, learn your subject, respect your subject. Understand that to you this may be a photo opportunity, but to the owl, conserving their strength is a matter of life and death. It's not worth a photo opportunity to deny the owl a chance at survival.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hockey's Back Again (And I Don't Mean The NHL)!

Power Play Hockey starts again, with tryouts this coming Saturday the 12 of January. As always, I will be photographing the entirety of his hockey season for this particular season as I'm slated to be the chauffeur, as I was last season.

This year is going to be filled with hockey and bird photography. The schedule is packed with photography pretty much 7 days a week in order to build up my portfolio. Looking forward to a fun-packed year, along with a 365 project in the works as well. It's going fine so far with my having shot 6 images so far with the seventh to come later on today.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New TV

Our small 13" TV that we had been using since 2006 finally broke down. We had to get a replacement as my wife does not like being without a TV. Since she works at London Drugs we were able to get a good deal on a very nice Panasonic TC-P50X5 50 inch plasma HDTV

The TV has a SD card slot so that I'm able to use the TV as an over-sized photo-display screen when necessary to use it as such.

Also picked up today was a Laserjet Pro CP1025nw color Laserjet printer. My wife also picked up an iPad and a Panasonic Blu-Ray player.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Can I Use Your Photograph For Free"?

"Can I take your image and put it on my website? It's really good" The old "I like your image, but i don't have the money to pay for it" gambit. There is an impression in the general public that "wildlife and nature photographers" are not as good as "portrait/wedding photographers". That anyone with a point and shoot camera can go out and shoot a sunset and make it look good or that anyone can whip out a superzoom camera (like the Pentax X5 - what we photographers call a "bridge camera" - meaning it has the sensor of a compact but the superzoom capability of a supertelephoto lens) and take a photo of a wild animal. Talk to any image stock agency. They will not take an image from a "bridge camera". If they see Nikon P800 in your EXIF data file, they will not take your image. Why? Because they have a standard and to them, the gold standard is a DSLR body with a lens. A good wildlife photographer costs just as much as a good portrait photographer.

Why? Namely because of the knowledge that we have learned in dealing with wild animals or knowing our environment and how to create a compelling photo out of an environment where the factors are constantly changing, most often not in your favor. Animals don't hold still and we have to often compensate for the sudden movement of an animal by using the photography knowledge that we have gained from years of shooting images. We often have equipment at higher costs than the average portrait/wedding photographer. Have you seen just exactly how much a decent super-telephoto lens costs these days? In May of 2014, I will be making a $10,500 investment in my career just on a single lens that will allow me to photograph raptors from far enough distance away that I will not stress them. That is how committed I am to the quality of my images.

Any wildlife photographer will tell you that technique and equipment matters.

In the business world and I spent 6 years in real estate (a career I have no interest in going back into) selling businesses: Knowledge costs money and assets cost money. As a creative, the same holds true. Our knowledge gleaned from years and years of photography experience should hold the same standard as a MBA who has completed a 4 year baccalaureate business degree and gone on to pursue and obtain his Masters degree. Our equipment and our photographic output is equivalent to the assets of any business and thus subject to COGS as would any business. The ultimate upshot of any request to submit our consent for the usage of our photography for free is the "respect factor". We are not accorded the same respect as any other business person. Because we are creative, we get the old "pat on the back and a 'good work, ol'chum'." and then they ask us if they can make a print out of our hard work "for free". I don't think that would fly with a CMA accountant"Hey, how about you do my books for me, and if I like the job you do for me, I'll see about referring more people to you." More than likely, he would tell me where to go and how to get there.

Photography is an art-form and those of us who are striving to make a business out of it are paying our bills with the money that we earn. I wouldn't go to my friend who owns a landscaping business and ask him to do my front yard for free. Instead of trees, a back hoe and nursery assets, we use photography to put food on the table. And that should be respected as much as any other occupation. We don't work for free and We shouldn't be expected to work for free.