Wings Up

Stephen Fisher Photography, American White Pelican, Aransas Bay, Rockport TX, These guys are HUGE!

You don’t really realize how big until they get out of the water and start stretching. The American White Pelican is an amazing bird…

These pelicans are relatively easy birds to photography. They just gracefully glide through the water slowly…usually in small groups.

Once they get out of the water and climb up on something, you can fully appreciate the size of this species. They like to spread their wings and allow the sun to warm their core temperature…

Well, this is the shot I wanted to make. I saw all of these seawall rocks covered with vegetation and knew it would offer a lot of texture and interest to the image. I didn’t have to wait too long for this bird to start posing for me…

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Busman’s Holiday

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bait Company, Fulton Harbor Marina, Rockport TX, Fulton TX, Bait StandsThat’s EXACTLY what I’m going to have…

A “busman’s holiday” is a vacation or a trip where you do what you normally do…somewhere else! I’ll be driving from Houston to Hot Springs Village, AR next Tuesday to see my family for Thanksgiving. I’m driving for several reasons…

First…Sharon’s pack of Italian Greyhounds will be with us…all three of them! Fun…

Second…The Fisher men have an annual golf game…regardless of weather…on Thanksgiving Day. I’ll throw my golf clubs in the back of my truck and hope the cobwebs and dust on them don’t get everything dirty.

Third…Air travel for me anymore is just about NOT worth the hassles.

And MOST importantly…I can bring just about EVERY piece of camera gear I own with me!

Hot Springs Village is located in the Ouachita Mountains and has lots of wooded land and beautiful mountain vistas, and I’m going to do some shooting there. I’ve got a few shots mapped out in my head. We’ll see what happens…

This image has NOTHING to do with this trip. It’s the Aransas Bait Co. stand at Fulton Harbor. I made this image about a week ago and decided to share it today! Cool place…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

American White Pelicans

Stephen Fisher Photography, American White Pelican, Whooping Crane, Rockport TX, Migratory, Whooping Cranes get most of the buzz here in Rockport and along the Coastal Bend! But…If there was ANY other species of bird that excites people ALMOST as much as the Whoopers, it’s the American White Pelican…

These guys are HUGE… They can weigh up to 30 pounds! Most of the time they’re found in large “squadrons” swimming, eating, and resting together.

Their migratory habits are very similar to the Whooping Cranes. They come here in November and usually leave by April. This gives the locals and tourists PLENTY of time to enjoy and photograph these majestic birds…

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Bird Mode

Stephen Fisher Photography, Brown Pelican, Texas Photo Ranch, BirdsWell…I just got flat out skunked this morning!

I was hoping for some real drama over Aransas Bay this morning. I knew there was some weather coming in, and thought I could get a good “scape” in before it got wet. It started to rain just after I set-up, so I made it to the Jeep before ruining some gear…

I need to start getting into “Bird Mode” again anyway! I haven’t used Canon 1Dx or my 400mm glass in a while. While I haven’t been SHOOTING birds, I’ve been thinking about them a lot.

I made some real mistakes in the 2013 Wildlife In Focus Photo Contest…rookie mistakes! I’ve got some things up my sleeve that just might work out for me this time.  We’ll see…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Cabin Fever

Stephen Fisher Photography, Fog, Piers, Docks, Marina, Boats, Rockport TXOK…It’s been pretty cold and rainy here in Rockport for a few days. The rain is ALWAYS welcomed, but cold weather is NOT one of the reasons I love living in the Coastal Bend.

I haven’t been able to get out and shoot during this cold snap. While I don’t really mind COOLER weather, being cold and wet just doesn’t motivate me to go hunting…

I woke this morning early…even early for me! I was making a cup of coffee at 4:00 AM. While the coffee was brewing, I went out on the deck and was pleasantly surprised to find it slightly warmer…but still drizzling and foggy.

I wanted to shoot SOMETHING today! I needed to get out there and find some light some where…now. I threw my gear in the back of my Jeep and drove to a new place for me. I had PLENTY of time to get set up…it was still dark and foggy.

This small marina generated just enough light for me to make this image. It was tough to eek a keeper out of this shoot, but theres something about this image that made me want to work it up.

Theres actually a lot going on in the image. I like the marina still engulfed in fog. The residual rain puddling on the walkway adds the texture I needed.

I’m glad I went out and tried this morning! This image probably will NEVER make it to canvas, but I worked pretty hard to make it happen. I feel better now…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

It’s Never Too Early…

Stephen Fisher Photography, Wildlife In Focus, Texas Photo Ranch, Nature Photography, The Wildlife In Focus Photo Contest (WIFPC) starts at 12:01 AM on January 15, 2015. I have exactly 61 days to get EVERYTHING ready…

Wade Grassedonio is a very special friend of mine. His family has owned the 3000 acres that is home to the Texas Photo Ranch for almost 150 years. As I did in 2013, I’ll be representing the TPR in the 2015 WIFPC. Without rehashing the past, we’re going to do a LOT of things differently this time.

What do you mean “getting everything ready”? Don’t you just show up at this beautiful ranch and shoot? How hard can this be?

I’ll tell you how hard it is! It’s GRIND it out for the next 5 months HARD. It’s trying to make 100 of the VERY best images you’ve EVER made in 59 different categories hard. Birds…Mammals…Invertabrates…Reptiles & Amphibians…and  Special are the Divisions. Just in the Birds Division, there are 26 different Categories of that represent the various species.

Oh yeah…Did I mention that there are probably close to 100 OTHER photographers trying to do the very same thing! And a LOT of these “others” are Good. Not just good…VERY GOOD. Not just very good…ROCK STAR GOOD!

Wade is not only the Landowner…He’s also a competitor in the WIFPC. This is an image I made of him during the 2013 contest. He’s up in an old Live Oak tree trying to photograph a Barred Owl. I’ll let him let you know how THIS strategy worked out…

I can’t wait to start…

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Happy Boy

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Rockport TX, Fishing Boats, Shrimpers, Oyster BoatsIt’s cold…It’s windy…It’s raining…

So why am I just like this seasoned working boat Happy Boy?

We’re BOTH in a safe harbor! Happy Boy is tied up in Fulton Marina, and I’m sitting here in my studio/office working on images and writing…

It’s just too foul out there for me to be “down range” this morning. The ONLY light I’m searching for this morning is coming from my desk lamp!  So…I’m posting this image of Happy Boy that I made several days ago. He/she is a real veteran of the fishing wars…

These boats fascinate me. While cosmetically they aren’t ready for any concours d’elegance, these boats get out there every day…do the work…and get back home safely! And the owners don’t have to worry about them getting “dinged up”…

I’m becoming really interested in doing low light photography. Not only do I like the images I can produce using EVERY photon of available light, I’m really learning how to work my gear. I feel it’s making me a better photographer…and a HAPPY BOY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Wildlife In Focus – 2015

Stephen Fisher Photography, Wildlife In Focus Photo Contest, Cows, Steers, Cattle Pen, EyesOK…I’m going back in…

So soon? It’s ONLY been 411 days since I took that BIG drink of humility and dejection!

On September 28, 2013, my life as a photographer changed. That was the date of the 2013 Wildlife in Focus Photo Contest Awards Banquet in Robstown, Texas. I had spent MOST days from February 15 to June 1, 2013, shooting at the Texas Photo Ranch in Refugio County. It is a GRIND IT OUT process!

There are over 50 different categories in the WIF competition. The photographer is able to submit up to three images in a category, but with a total submission limit of 100 images. Sounds easy…right?

The competition in this contest is FIERCE! These photographers are good…very good. I thought that I had produced 100 pretty darn good images for my contest portfolio. I even reviewed my entries with some other photographers I respect, and they all gave me the “Thumbs Up”. I was on my way…

Well…the judges didn’t see things my way! Actually thats an understatement. Out of my 100 images, I received 2 fourth places. I was crushed, pissed, humbled, and many more wasted emotions. They picked the images they though were the best…and after 411 days…I guess I’m OK with that now. Hmmmm…

In spite of my performance in the 2013 contest, I’m shooting again. I learned SO much about me and my photography in this completion. I also think I learned what it takes to compete at this level. I’ve grown professionally over the last two years. I’m a better shooter. And, most importantly…I’m smarter now!

This image did win 4th place in the Land Operations category! I liked it way back then, and I still like it.

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Original Thoughts And Shots…

Stephen Fisher Photography, Boats, Rockport TX, Bait Stands, Sunrise, MarinasOriginal thoughts or ideas…They don’t exist! Original photography scenes…Ditto! Not gonna happen…

Every place you go theres an iconic scene or two that EVERYONE photographs.  For example, everyone likes to make Ansel Adams-type images of Yosemite. Everyone visiting New York does the Times Square…Statue of Liberty…Central Park shots. Bay Area…Golden Gate Bridge. I think you get where I’m going…

If you come to Rockport, Texas…and you own ANY type of camera…you will make an image of the bait stands at the two major marinas. If this photographer is at the Rockport Marina, chances are Mom’s Bait Shop is the subject. Guaranteed…positively…has to happen…

I’ve challenged myself to take on these VERY familiar scenes here on the Coastal Bend. I not only want to memorialize  some of these iconic images myself…I want them to be good enough to put my name on them.  I want the viewer to think “Thats different”or “Never saw that before”. Can it happen…I don’t know…

This is my version of the FAMOUS Mom’s Bait Shop. Conservatively…thousands of snapshots have been punched off at Mom’s. Some VERY good…and some less flattering. I wanted something different…something unique while still capturing the essence of these bait stands.

Is this risky..yep! If you’ve seen something hundreds of times, you want to do something different.  You may or may not like this image…but I don’t think you’ve seen it before! Thats what I wanted…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Short and Sweet

Stephen Fisher Photography, Rockport TX, Aransas Bay, Sunrise, CloudsOK…I’m VERY thankful for all of the rain we had here in Rockport yesterday! But it did leave me with a bit of cabin fever…

I hit Water Street very early this morning. Not being able to get out shooting yesterday left me with a real sense of urgency to try and find some light this morning. I was hoping that the sunrise might be something- something…and it was!

It was pretty cold out there this morning…and the wind was blowing in from the northeast. I knew I didn’t have too much time to make it happen. It was even sprinkling off and on…

This is Aransas Bay…looking to the northeast. The lights of Rockport are there on the left side of this scene. I liked the narrow band of dawn peeking out on the horizon. These storm clouds promise more rain!

I feel better now…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography
UA-23881038-2