Alpine Wonders . . .

The thin, windy road in this image is known as the Vrsic Mountain Pass (the highest mountain pass in Slovenia) will eventually lead you to some of the most breathtaking views in the eastern Julian Alps. That is after some 50 harpin turns along the way skirting the very edge of the mountain at times. Few roads in the world can match its sheer driving thrill and majestic, mountain views along the way. There are several small pull-outs along the route that will allow you to capture unforgettable vistas with your camera. Plan to spend an entire day on the pass to catch the ever-changing light and atmospheric conditions.

Thoughts Behind the Lens: I made several images from this vantage point, but it was this view with the light coming behind the mountains that brought it home for me! The sunlight striking the foreground created a warm tone, which contrasted nicely against the bluish mountains in shadow. Backlighting can be a wonderful way to add pizzazz and layered depth to your photograph. I liked the narrow, ribbon of road that disappears encapsulating the scene with a bit of intrigue and mystery as to where it might lead.  

Basking in the Sun . . .

Seagulls enjoying the warmth of the sun on a cool, Texas afternoon.

Camera Talk: Nikon Z9/Nikkor Z 100-400mm @400mm, f/11 1/2500Sec., exposure bias -0.7 step. Love the 100-400mm for waterfowl and wildlife photography! Very useful zoom range!

Repose . . .

Lichen covered boulders resting peacefully atop Mount Scott (second highest peak in the refuge) at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. The granite, rhyolite, and gabbro boulders in the refuge date back between 330 to 290 million years ago. After photographing these ancient boulders, I took time to savor the opportunity to be up-close and personal with these magnificent, wonders of nature!

Camera talk: Nikon Z9 camera/Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 @24mm, f/11 1/500sec, exposure bias -0.7 step. The more I use the 24-120mm, the more I fall in love with it! An incredibly sharp lens with a well-balanced focal range for photographing a wide variety of subjects.

Happy New Year . . .

Thank you to all my faithful followers who have connected with me on my photography site ~ Randy Ziegler Photography! Wishing you all much joy and peace, and great photography adventures throughout the coming year, and beyond!

In-flight . . .

A flock of birds soar overhead for an unknown destination. A few minutes before I made this image with my Nikon Z9, I was observing them circling a distant tree, beyond the reach of my Nikkor Z 100-400mm lens. But as the saying goes, “Have a little patience.” So true! Within a few minutes, they flew my direction and circled over my head for a couple of seconds. Enough time for me, with camera-ready, to capture a series of images. Had I decided to leave early, no photo, no reward! Sometimes it all comes down to a little patience and preparedness.

Sauntering . . .

A Rocky Mountain elk saunters toward higher elevation at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Reserve in southwestern Oklahoma. This elk was photographed during the final day, and last two hours during our recent visit to the park. It was my observant wife who first spotted the elusive elk hidden in the trees. Great to have an extra pair of eyes!

Image capture: Nikon Z9/Z Nikkor 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 @400mm, f8/1000sec. The Z Nikkor 100-400mm rocks for wildlife photography! A great tool when the subject is on the move and you are limited as a photographer to move, as was the case.

Twilight Interlude . . .

This photo was my final capture of the day during a recent sojourn wandering the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Oklahoma. A grand place to photograph with many rugged and serene settings, and a variety of wildlife. This is a haven for the nature and wildlife photographer! I highly recommend!  

The Chase . . .

Two seagulls with the hope that one will have a tasty lunch! I shot a motor drive sequence with my Nikon Z9 and a Nikkor Z 100-400mm @400m (DX crop factor 600mm). A great combination for active waterfowl photography! The Nikon Z9’s awesome ‘eye detect autofocus’ provided sharp zonal focus, which allowed me to concentrate on precise framing of this ‘it remains to be seen’ moment!