Sharpie Munches & Crunches

I love it when the zoo’s workers put out food for the two porcupines. It forces them out in the open so that I can get an opportunity to photograph these shy creatures. Sharpie & Nodine prefer to stay out of sight but have no choice but to come out in front of the visitors to the zoo when their food is placed in visible areas.

Sharpie Nibbles & Munches

Developing A Photographic Style

I’ve never assigned a name to my style of photography. There are some processes I use in my workflow that give my pictures a certain “look” & “feel”. I tend to expose for the highlight values which generally means I’m underexposing every shot by about 2 F/stops. This adds detail to the brightest areas of a scene but still allows me a wide latitude to bring out what I want to see in the darkest shadows. The results are sometimes misinterpreted as HDR or High Dynamic Range images.

I use Photoshop 6.1 for Mac as my graphic software along with 3 complete filter suites from OnOne, NIK & Topaz Software. There isn’t much I can’t accomplish with that much firepower. I teach my students that at least half of photography is knowing how to use graphic software in post processing. That knowledge allows me to “see” my subjects differently before taking the shot. My backgrounds are always darker rather that backlit. Shooting & post processing as I do gives images a three dimensional appearance. You can almost smell the rose, touch the animal and feel the breeze in a landscape picture. That’s my “style”.

Flower 2992

Lion Photos Fit To Enlarge & Frame

I take a lot of photos. I put them into categories that range from snapshots to portfolio keepers. The last category contains my best work, tack sharp and worthy to be enlarged to at least 24″ x 36″ on a canvas gallery print and hung for display on a wall. I have about 25 such portfolio prints saved to a separate folder. Here are a few of my lion collection of top photographs.

The King & Queen

Zawadi In Cave

Kitty Dreams Small

Photo 4

Which Is The Prettiest?

There has been some discussion on the most beautiful duck so I’ve put together a random listing of my favorites. Let me know if you have a favorite of your own.



Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail


Red Headed Pochard

Red Headed Pochard

Wood Duck

Wood Duck

Fulvous Whistler

Fulvous Whistler

White Faced Whistler

White-Face Whistling Duck


White Mallard

Whitey 2

Becoming A Lioness

You can see it in their eyes. You can tell by the way they walk. You can sense the confidence and determination at a glance. The cubs at the Oregon Zoo are becoming lions.

Becoming A Lion



Back To Life

After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

This question was asked by Marilyn over on My response is that I take a nap! :)


A Rose Is A Rose…

Yea, I actually know this flower is a rose! Duh! These are actually tea roses, tiny by any standard. They are a beautiful deep pink shade that screams to be photographed.

Pretty In Pink

The Scooter Is Down

2009 Piaggio BV250 ScooterI made a scooter trip to Camp 18 yesterday that wound up leaving me stranded along side highway 26. I was half the way home in the middle of nowhere when my scooter sputtered as if it was running out of gas. I looked down to a half tank on the gauge so I had no idea what was going on. Soon I was coasting on the shoulder looking for a nice place to stop. The engine had cut out but I managed to bring it to a safe stop in a shaded area. It was 90 yesterday and quite hot. Once safely stopped I attempted to restart the bike and it started right up. The problem was when I gave the automatic transmission a twist of the throttle the bike wouldn’t move. It turns out my drive belt had shredded itself and was hanging out of the transmission casing. Oops!

I made a call to my best friend and roommate, Warren, for help. Fortunately he was off from work and at home. I gave him the mile marker that told him he had a 20 mile drive to get to me. When he arrived we literally lifted the scooter into his cargo van after taking off the windscreen and mirrors. We did this one end of the bike at a time since it was hundreds of pound. That being accomplished Warren tied down the bike securely in the back and off we went to a dealership. I had the phone number on my Nexus 7 tablet and cellphone.

Turns out our analysis of the issue was right on the money. I was 200 miles shy of 20,000 on that scooter. The shop owner said the belt should have been replaced at 10,000. Oops! Sure got my money out of that belt. I am having a major 20,000 mile service that will replace the belt, oil & filter and a few other items that need attention. The bike should be good to go and in top shape in about 3 weeks. This is a very busy time for bike shops and I’m lucky to get it done that quickly. Thank you Warren and thank you bike dealership.

Northern Pintail

It’s funny how I’m able to identify waterfowl species so easily yet stumble naming flowers. It has something to do with the zoo putting signs up in the bird’s exhibit giving their named species and a brief description. LOL I wish the groundskeepers were as thorough with the flowers they plant. I suppose that task would take an enormous effort considering how often plants are changed.

I am particularly fond of the Northern pintails in our Northwest exhibit. I simply think they are beautiful birds.

Northern Pintail 05

Shooting Between The Cracks

Although in an ideal world you fill your camera’s frame with the perfect picture, the perfect composition, you sometimes must pluck a keeper from less than an ideal situation. The photograph shown below is a classic example. It’s an extreme crop shot through tree leaves and fencing that shows a small portion of the captured original. It turns out to be an interesting snippet that’s quite dramatic in its own right, certainly worth saving.

Eagle 12