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Archive for June, 2010

I have been away for a few days doing some shooting around my cottage on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario. The weather was less than cooperative as it was raining most of the time. During one downpour I noticed a pair of Common Loons feeding two chicks out in the bay in front of the cottage. The only sign of life on the lake during this storm. When it looked like the storm was letting up, I jumped in the canoe and headed out onto the lake for a few photographs. My approach was very cautious – not wanting to stress the adult pair. I positioned my canoe well ahead of the direction they were heading in, letting the Loons decide how much they would tolerate my presence. It was a treat that they came close for several family portraits with no sign of being agitated. Had they showed any signs of being stressed I would have packed away my gear, left immediately, with no photos. No photograph is worth adding stress to the lives of our wildlife, especially wildlife with babies.

Considering the BP oil spill, I wonder what fate awaits these two chicks when they migrate south for the winter. Common Loons generally migrate along Atlantic and Pacific coasts and follow the Mississippi River to their winter homes along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coast waters. I hope these two little fellas aren’t headed for the Gulf of Mexico.

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Here’s a recently published image that is being featured as the “Hot Shot” photograph in the Summer 2010 issue of Outdoor Photography Canada. This is a captive bird, photographed during a controlled birds of prey in flight workshop with Raymond Barlow . The falconer was flying the bird from one perch to another. I decided to position myself where the hawk was going to land and tracked it as it approached. Once the wings were opened for landing I fired a sequence of images. I was pleased to see this image on my LCD screen later in the day.

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As photographers, I find it interesting that we have arrived here from many different walks of life. While I have always been fascinated with nature, initially I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I would spend countless hours composing songs and recording demos. I would travel to Nashville, Tennessee on numerous occasions while chasing my dream and was pleased to meet three fine songwriters; Townes van Zandt, Guy Clark and Steve Earle in the process. A fellow songwriter from those days, Stacey Earle, regularly performs around North America and Europe and has produced several inspirational albums.

Eventually, I decided to shift gears in pursuit of photographing all that inspires me in nature. The photographs (adjusted with Nik Software plugins) in this post are of my 1970’s Gibson J200 that was purchased from Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. Anyone interested in great vintage instruments should check out Gruhn Guitars

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