Sunday, November 29, 2009


If you haven't worked the term "gourmandizer" into a sentence lately, Thanksgiving is a great time to break it out. Essentially it means the same thing as "trencherman." I did my best impressions of both over the long weekend. Many thanks to Mom for letting us fill her house with bird dogs and ravenous appetites, and happy birthday Kevin!

The pups always have a ball up there this time of year.

Prarie Pointer

Sadie Sepia

Kaiser on the Prarie

Best wishes and happy holidays!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wild Wings

If you've never tried to photograph waterfowl in flight it is likely that bliss, melodious laughter, and decadent high-living are far more common occurrences than facial spasms in daily life.

The objective this weekend was to capture a few airborne acrobatics. Execution is something of a symphony, requiring just-right lighting (not too much, not too little), planning, and a high degree of familiarity with your camera controls.

Even with all of the above, the likely result is still an Epic Fail. Still, once in a while, Ghostrider requests a fly-by.

Drake Flare


Hen Drop


Wings Extended

While keeping watch on the skies, don't forget to look down once in a while either. Marshes can produce outstanding reflections if you get low to the water and seek the right angles.

Hen Sunrise

Mirrored Drake


That's my swan song for the weekend. JayMorr rocked the D700 on the trip, so check his blog sometime soon for his newest uploads.

Swan Portrait

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Wild Canadian geese rank second all-time (behind only the chukar partridge) in their ability to confound the wives of men.

"You're going to wade through a festering marsh in temperatures cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey for the slim chance of seeing a goose?"

The question is not entirely unreasonable. Incidentally eye rolling so extreme that whiplash becomes likely is highly unbecoming of a lady.

This morning a short window of gorgeous light opened up for a moment, and I captured the portrait I was looking for.

Canadian Goose Portrait

JayMorr got some shots of the inbound birds in flight - drop in for a closer look.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fowl Intentions

If boredom ever sets in before dawn when temperatures hover around 15 degrees, I recommend finding a metal cylinder and clutching it with blue fingers to stave off the tedium.

Finding wild wood ducks in Utah is a little like looking for Manhattan-style chowder in Boston. This weekend I decided to scout a timber patch up North where I have seen a few previously, and asked JayMorr if he was interested in loss of feeling in his extremities.

It took a lot of patience but a few opportunities presented themselves. We found mallards in great supply, and got lenses on a few drake woodies.

Drake Woodie Headon

Wrong Hen!

Drake Wood Duck

Mallards, while common, are beautiful birds when you get a close look.

Drake Profile


Troubled Waters

Conditions were right for some nice reflections. I thought the tones in this hen mallard's plumage made for great contrast:


Check out Jay's Blog for more images, including some shots of a drake wood duck in flight.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blue Water Copperworks

Anyone who has not seen the work of R. Hanes Hoffman, Jr. is missing out. I've had the opportunity recently to chat a little with Hanes and also check out some of his sculptures. He is expanding his business and is continuing to seek audiences out West, especially for his trout-related heavy metal.

Stop by his site BLUE WATER COPPERWORKS and gawk at the goods. If you, or the local fly shop, may be interested in getting your hands on some of his original work just drop a line.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Two photographers in the same drift boat is rarely a good idea. The result is far too much right-brained activity in a confined space, listing the boat and dooming the occupants to row in tiny circles for the duration of the trip.

Wisdom being the better part of lint flicking, I decided to set aside the lens in favor of a thick fly stick on yesterday’s pursuit of rainbows afflicted with gigantism.

Most of the excitement came in the pitch blackness of night on a long, deserted road during the drive home. It was here that Morrison explained his deep and abiding distrust of Howie Long, stemming from a series of Chevrolet commercials that make outrageous fuel economy claims.

Driven by an unrelenting inner fire to burn down Howie’s mythology, Jay set out on a quest to drive a 100-mile stretch of remote highway in a V8 pickup while basking in the cheerful holiday glow of the LOW FUEL indicator light.

It is my firm belief that we coasted into the Last Chance in Hell gas station only as a direct result of the hybrid energy technology which I invented during the drive. The traditional gasoline engine was supplemented with electric power derived from organic profanity, which I was flickering about the crew cab like sheet lightning. High CO2 emissions were the only possible downside of this technique, for which I hope to secure patent protection in the near future.

Check out JAYMORR’s blog for more of his excellent imagery of the trip.