Water Street

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Rockport TX, Water Street, Piers, SunriseI’m glad that I went out yesterday morning. I’ve been having some back issues the last week or so, and just haven’t been able to get shooting. Yesterday morning was special…

I got all my gear set up in the dark, sat on my folding stool, and waited. I had my Canon 5Ds R, a 17-40mm lens, and a Lee Filters polarizer with me. There were a lot of clouds, so I was pretty sure something interesting might just happen. I started clicking before the sun broke over the horizon. Finally the sun made it up…but I decided to wait until it was obscured by the clouds. Click…click…click…

This file is a three exposure bracketed composite. I took a 1/5 second, 1/10 second, and a 4/10 second file all at f/18 with an ISO of 50. Back in my studio I blended these three files and finished it up in Lightroom 5. I’m pretty happy with this one…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Flycatchers

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Scissor-tailed FlycatcherShow me a fence on a Texas ranch and I’ll show you a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher!

A11-3-013While this species is easy to see, they’re hard to photograph. And even harder to photograph well. In the 2013 Wildlife In Focus contest I didn’t have a single image of this species to submit. For the 2015 contest, I submitted all three of these flycatchers.

These birds are so much fun to watch! They’re always busy. Ranchers like them because they eat a lot of grasshoppers, mosquitos, and other insects harmful to crops.

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Scissor-tailed FlycatcherSo I just don’t know if any of these three images will make the book. I’d like to think so, but I’ve been disappointed in the past. Maybe this time I’ll do something in this category…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Be Different

Stephen Fisher Photography, Rockport TX, Rockport Harbor, Boats, CloudsRockport is a small community located on the Coastal Bend of Texas. It’s beautiful here on the coast, and the opportunities for photography are limitless.

I know of at least 5 or 6 places here in town that EVERY photographer…local or tourist…always shoots. And rightfully so! Every town, park, highway, and marina has iconic spots that attract the crowds.

These iconic spots are usually easy to get to. They’re convenient. It really doesn’t take much effort to stand where 1000’s of people have stood. That certainly doesn’t mean the spot isn’t scenic. And I would encourage everyone to shoot every one of them…

The problem with shooting iconic spots is that LOTS of people have made that shot. If you’re going to do this, you had better bring your “A” game if you want your image noted. Your photo is going to be compared to everyone else’s photo…

So…why not break out of being imitative and be creative? Move your feet…turnaround…find a different angle…shoot the scenic backlit! Make it yours.

Be different…

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Gators

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Alligators, MossHaving access to the Texas Photo Ranch for almost 4 years now has allowed me the opportunity to see a lot of alligators! Being around these guys so much has allowed a lot of the fear I originally had of them to change to Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Alligators, Mossrespect. I still give them my complete attention when I’m around these guys…

One of the categories in the Wildlife In Focus contest is alligators. We’ve seen some real monsters out on the ranch. Some 12+ footers make the Texas Photo Ranch their home.

These are the 3 files I entered in the 2015 WIF contest. I really tried to get something different this year, I wanted a lot more than just an alligator looking like a log in the water.

 

 

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Alligators, MossThese are some “up close and personal” images of this magnificent species. Win or not, I’m proud and happy with them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

What To Do

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Cow, Cattle, Cattle Egret, FlowersFrom the very first time I saw this image I’ve been smitten with it! The problem for me was I didn’t know what to do with it…

I was driving on the Texas Photo Ranch one afternoon and saw this Cattle Egret riding on this cow’s back. By it’s self, this isn’t really that unusual. There are LOTS of cattle and Cattle Egrets on the ranch. And it’s not unusual to see then engaged in this symbiotic relationship. The cows stir up insects as they graze and the egrets eat those insects. It’s not a complicated relationship.

I had a Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached in the front seat of my Jeep. The cow and egret were in a field on the right side of the unpaved road. I knew I had to hurry, so I just leaned over the passenger side and made the image through the open window. One shot…that’s all I was able to make.

Of course the bird IMMEDIATELY flew away and the cow raised her head. It was over. I didn’t know if I made the shot or not. I didn’t even chimp (sneak a look on the LCD screen on the back of the camera) the file right then. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about the engagement…

That evening as I was processing my day’s production, I found this! It was EXACTLY what I wanted to capture…and it was a single exposure.I really didn’t know what to do with it. Which category? Does it work?

I entered this image in the Land Operations category for the 2015 Wildlife In Focus. I’m hopeful…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

The Photo Bomb

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Red-winged Blackbird, PerchI haven’t the slightest idea how the judges in the 2015 Wildlife In Focus contest will like this image of 2 Red-winged Blackbirds. I love it…

This image was made at the Cactus Blind on the Texas Photo Ranch. We had a LOT of “blackbirds” of various species working the feeders at this blind. Blackbirds are a favorite of mine. I like their somewhat “sinister” look!

I chose a perch I thought would compliment these species. Weesatch (or huisache) trees have branches with character…twisted with BIG thorns. They’re strong, so a rather small branch could easily provide enough support for these birds.

Satisfied with my setup, I climbed down into the blind and got my Canon 1Dx body and 400mm lens placed on my Gitzo tripod. It didn’t take long for the birds to start entering the scene. I thought the bird on the perch would make a nice portrait, so I started clicking away. It was a very active session…

I returned to Rockport later that afternoon and started to process the day’s files. I can’t even begin to tell you how I felt when I first saw this image! My first thoughts were “please please please please be in focus”! It was…and it made my contest portfolio. If the judges are looking for something different, I may be on to something with this one…

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Humor

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Cow, PasteurAnother of the 59 different categories in the 2015 Wildlife In Focus contest was humor. As if photography isn’t subjective enough on it’s own, try to pick something you think three other people will consider funny!

About a month or so ago I did a post I called Number 2.  Number 2 is one of the bulls Charlie Kocurek keeps at the Texas Photo Ranch to do what bulls do. Not growing up on a ranch, I early on asked Charlie if his bulls would be a problem for me while I was out making images. He said “no problem…except for Number 2″!  Long story short, I was out in one of the fields in a flimsy pop up blind. I hear some snorting, sneak a peek out to my right, and see Number 2 checking me out.  Follow the Number 2 link above to read what happened…

Well, this is a cow I was photographing when Number 2 scared me to death. I got back to my studio and was processing the files when this one came up. The look on her face probably matched mine when we both saw Number 2. Now I think it’s”kinda sorta” funny…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Texas State Bird

Stephen Fisher Photography, Northern Mockingbird, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Moss, Lichen, WingsI’d like Northern Mockingbirds even if they weren’t the State Bird of Texas! But that fact just makes them even more special…

This handsome…even if I do say so myself…image of a mockingbird made my final portfolio for the 2015 Wildlife In Focus Photography Contest. I’m really hoping that it gets noticed by the judges. I like it a LOT…

I usually shoot birds at one of the pit blinds at the Texas Photo Ranch. And why not! The blinds at the ranch are really effective. There’s food, water, and cover available there for the birds…and they love it.

This time was different. I set my pop up blind in the middle of a cluster of weesatch brush. It had been raining for days and the ground was holding several inches of rain. I set up this perch in a small opening in the brush and waited. I could hear mockingbirds working this area, so I played a very short mockingbird call on my iPhone. This guy immediately came in…and I made this image.

I’d sure like this one to go deep in this category…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

The Birth

Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, Wildlife In Focus, Cow, Calf, BlackbirdsOne of the categories in the Wildlife In Focus Photography Contest is called Land Operations. It’s one that really allows the photographer a lot of latitude. Anything that portrays the day to day activities of a Texas ranch is a potential subject…

I was driving down the ranch road coming back from the resaca and saw this cow standing in one of the upper fields. All I could see at first was a cow with a lot of blackbirds flying around. As I got a little closer, I could see her brand new calf laying on some hay. This calf was still pretty wet, so I ‘m positive that it had just been born.

I jumped out of my Jeep and grabbed my Canon 1Dx with a 400mm lens. I didn’t take time to grab a tripod, so I supported the lens foot on the Jeep hood. The blackbirds cooperated by making repeated passes.

I watched this scene for almost an hour. I saw this calf stagger to it’s feet for the first time. It immediately headed back and started to nurse. The blackbirds were still all over the place. Finally Mom started to walk away leaving the calf standing alone and looking at these birds. It realized that she was left by itself and ran to catch up.

This was just awesome to see. I hope the judges like this one as much as I do…

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Just Beachy

Stephen Fisher Photography, Rockport Beach Park, Rockport TX, Sunrise, Sand, Palapa, BridgeI spent the very BEST part of the day at the beach today…

This morning I made the short drive over to the Rockport Beach Park. I wanted to frame the sunrise with some of the iconic features of this GREAT beach. The wooden bridges over the dunes and the palapas on the sand are one of the most photographed features on this beach. I wanted to combine both and put my spin on this scene.

I placed the sea grasses on this dune prominently in the foreground of this scene. There wasn’t too much wind, so I was hoping the moving stalks of grass wouldn’t be distracting. I wanted the bridge to help guide you onto the beach and see the new day come alive behind the palapa.

I’m happy with it! Enjoy…

 

 

 

Posted in Photography
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