Monday, May 31, 2010

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker
Originally uploaded by zackojones

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)
Taken with my Canon 7D and EF-400 f/5.6L Lens.
Another bird shot from this past weekend while Donna and I were out Geocaching. It's pretty amazing now that we're into birding we are constantly trying to spot and identify each bird call we here or bird that we see. We are planning on heading back to this state park again in the future as they have all kinds of birds there and we only saw a handful of different ones. Too bad it's a 2+ hour drive to get there though :(

Wood Stork

Wood Stork
Originally uploaded by zackojones

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

Over the long weekend Donna and I spent Saturday morning in the Dungannon Heritage Preserve which is home to the 2nd largest Wood Stork Rookery in the state of South Carolina. This was our second trip to the rookery and we wanted to see if any of the nesting Storks had any new additions to their nests.

Say, since storks delivery babies to humans who delivers babies to storks? Hopefully anyone reading this is old enough to remember the cartoons where storks would fly with a baby wrapped in a towel and then would deliver the baby to the expecting parents.

I'm happy to report that we did see some new baby Storks in the nests. We will be going back at the end of the month to check up on them again. The Storks will live the rookery some time in July and we want to see some of the new baby storks flying if possible.

This is most likely a mature male. He was sitting on a branch not far from where we were shooting and didn't seem to mind my presence at all as I moved into different positions to get the shot. This shot was taken with my Canon 7D and EF-400 f/5.6L lens 1/750 @ f/5.6, ISO 200.

On our way out we crossed paths with two feral pigs. This one stopped log enough for us to get a shot of it.

Feral Pig
Originally uploaded by zackojones

Black Vulture

Black Vulture
Originally uploaded by zackojones

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). Donna took this photo as we were about to get onto I-95 North. We had spent the day Geocaching in and around the Savannah, GA area and were heading home. We had seen some Black Vultures on the side of the road earlier but there was too much traffic for us to try and stop and get a shot. Fortunately traffic was light and she was able to get the shot using her Rebel T2i and Canon 70-200 f/4L lens.


Originally uploaded by zackojones

Six little words brought a flood of tears to my eyes. I didn't know SSG Taylor but I saw his grave marker today while photographing the grave markers for Veterans from each branch of service that I could find.

As the saying goes "All gave some and some gave all." It is truly an honor to share a few moments with you today, SSG Taylor who's life was lost as part of Operation Induring Freedom. Everyday should be memorial day for our brave men and woman serving our great nation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I took this picture last night while shooting a baseball game for a coworker who's son was playing in the game. As I was going through the pictures I saw this one and almost deleted it right away after all you can't see the faces of either player or anything like that so it's not a keeper or is it?

Spend a little time looking at the photo and you may start to notice little things that make the photo interesting. Here's what I found:

- The dust cloud. Yes it's faint but there's just enough that it gives the photo a sense of motion.

- The little specs of dirt on the 3rd baseman's arm. Obviously these were kicked up by the sliding runner but I think they're kind of cool.

- The sun light on the base.

- The little bit of baseball sticking out of the glove as the player was tying to apply the tag.

Lesson learned here: Don't be so fast with the delete key. What may appear to be a throw away just may be a keeper after all. I realize this photo may mean a little more to me than you because I played baseball for a number of years as a kid.

Photo Info: This was taken with my Canon 7D and EF 400 f/5.6L lens, 1/1000th at f/5.6, ISO 200.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Photography Idea - Picture Of The Week (POTW)

Donna and I are approaching the end of our 365 Project. Unfortunately we missed a few days along the way and some days I just took a picture of anything so that I could have a photo for that particular day. This morning I had this idea pop into mind so I had to write it down before it slipped away and was forgotten. Our 365 Project ends on 12 June 2010 which is the day before our wedding anniversary.

So here's the idea. Starting 13 June 2010 I'm going to start doing a Photo Of The Week (POTW) challenge. The rules are very simple. Take all the photos you want during the week and at the end of the week select one photo from all that you took and make it your POTW. The challenge will run for a year and at the end of the year Donna and I will take all of the POTW photos and have them published in a book that we'll proudly display on the coffee table.

So what do you think? Anyone care to join me?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Turkey Vulture

(Click image to see a larger version)
Taken in Red Bank Landing, South Carolina (Goose Creek), Canon EOS 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L lens. Exposure was 1/500 @ f/8 ISO 100

Turkey Vulture (Catharties aura)

Yes they are terribly ugly birds when you see one up close but they are so awesome to watch when they soar overhead. I shot this particular Turkey Vulture on the base where I work. There's a park that has several ponds and nature trails for you to explore and I saw this guy circling overhead. When I saw him get a little closer I was able to get this shot.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I've Finally Found my Niche

For several months I've floundered around the photographic wasteland trying to decide what kind of photographer I'd like to be when I grow up. Prior to moving from Georgia to South Carolina the answer was simple: Sports Photographer. I was shooting pictures for the local high school and loving it. I even managed to sell some prints without really trying which made things even better. After moving to South Carolina I lost my connection with a local high school (having a kid at the school helped a great deal with getting free access to all sporting events) so I started exploring other types of photography. I dabbled a bit in landscapes, a little bit of macro, bought a flash and tried some strobist stuff none of which really fulfilled me as a photographer.

After we sold our house in Georgia and Donna moved out here with me we started spending our weekends exploring Charleston and the surrounding area and we almost always had at least one camera with us. One of our favorite places to visit is the Cypress Gardens swamp. This swamp was used in the filming of the Patriot and at least one scene from The Notebook, which, even though it's a chic flick I love that movie, but I digress. While visiting Cypress Gardens we began migrating towards subjects that interest us. For Donna it's wildflowers and for me it's alligators and birds. As time marched on I continued to get more and more interested in shooting these subjects. I think having at least three alligators that live in neighborhood ponds helps. We also have a bird feeder and house in our little back yard so I've taken up watching the feeder for visitors so I can photograph them. We've bought a couple of guides to help us identify the birds we see and I hopefully get a picture of and so far it's been a blast trying to find birds to shoot.

So what's the point of all of this babbling? Well I'm going to start sharing my bird photos here on the blog. Whenever I shoot a new species I plan to post at least one picture of it along with some additional information about the shot. One of my goals from earlier this year was to blog more and now I think I've finally found something I'd like to talk about :).