Tag Archives: hawk

Hawk on a cold winter day

A Hawk flies over a field at the base of the Lemhi Mountains, an overcast mid winter day.

A Hawk hunts over a field on an overcast cold winter day.

This winter while I was visiting the Parents, Dad and I took a ride up the road a bit to photograph a few birds. That area has one of the highest concentrations of birds of prey I’ve ever seen. Much more than the Snake River Birds of Prey NCA in Southwest Idaho. I knew we’d get a few hawk photos and maybe a few bald eagles and a Golden or two.

The Idaho Mountains have four types of winter days. 1) Crystal clear and warm (i.e. almost UP to freezing temperature). 2) Overcast and warm, which means it is, has, or is about to snow. 3) Overcast and freakishly cold, which means it’ll be spitting snow all day. 4) My favorite, Crystal Clear and Freakishly Cold, the best days to be out playing in the snow. I’ll mention too, that its clear a lot more that is it overcast.

This day was Overcast and Freakishly cold. Most of the day was sub zero. Because of the light and lack of contrast, it was a tough day to shoot. But a few shots did work, one of the two best ones has been on my flickr account for a while: Rough-Legged Hawk. This photo however has been sitting in my todo folder since.

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Sometimes they’re just sitting in the road

Sometimes they're just sitting in the road

Hawk on a dirt road at sunset

Some of the crazy places I’ve been, crazy things I’ve done… for photography.

I’m not a big fan of “Zoo Shots” but hate people calling it wildlife photography. Spending time at the Zoo is a great way to spend a day and take some pictures in a no pressure environment. I’ve been meaning to go to the Zoo here in Boise for some time. But what I hate is seeing a photo by a wildlife photog and thinking, wow, how in the world… Then learning that it was on a ranch where the photog had paid several hundred dollars for a few hours of guaranteed time shooting this animal. And what I hate more is I didn’t come up with the idea to pin in a bunch of animals, call it a game ranch and let photogs come in by the van load to pay me to see them. I don’t have a problem with the shots themselves, I’ve seen some good photos from zoos and game ranches, but it’s not WILDlife. My problem is when a wildlife photographer fails to mention that he paid money to photograph the animal in a controlled environment.

I used to live next to the Smokeys, now live near Yellowstone & The Tetons and enjoy going up to Glacier. I love shooting wildlife in the National Parks but still don’t get the same excitement photographing an animal in a park as I do out in the sticks. It still takes skill and persistence to get good photos and see the best wildlife in a national park (unless we’re talking Mountain Goats at Glacier). I don’t know, maybe it’s all the other people, more likely just the large majority of people who go to a big box retail store buy an expensive camera, go to Yellowstone take a few pictures and call themselves a photographer. Continue reading »

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