The Heron Strut . . .

A stunning Great Blue Heron struts along the lakeshore reacting to my whistle. I was fortunate to be within twenty feet of this magnificent bird to capture this image. With this type of fleeting moment, timing and anticipation on my part was more important than frames-per-second.

Deer Crossing . . .

I was happy I had my Nikkor Z 100-400mm lens on my Z9 camera when this doe decided to saunter across the road in front of me. I quickly zoomed to 400mm and waited until she entered my compositional ‘hit zone’. It’s great when things all come together!

Reflecting on Reflections . . .

We have all seen untold waterfowl pictures with blue and green tones that dominate the color of water due to a blue sky or green forest, or the confluence of both. I prefer to step out and push the artistic envelope by including surrounding environmental structures and objects that add color pizzaz to the water, and as a result, add more visual impact and intrigue to my waterfowl images.

A red storage container with white lettering and a yellow building located across from a small cove, and a blue sky transformed the cove in to richly, saturated colors. Without their effect on the water, I would have quickly lost interest in capturing images at this location. No excitement, no photograph

If your waterfowl pictures aren’t visually exciting, next time try looking for a place where nearby colored structures and objects are creating colorful reflections on the water.

Technical Notes: Images were captured using a Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera and a Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Both are dynamite tools for capturing waterfowl, wildlife, nature, sports, or anything else you can imagine!

Happy Independence Day – July 2, 1776

Today, back on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress debated, unanimously voted, and ratified in to law our Independence. This day, and not July 4th, was the historic day we officially declared our Independence from Great Britain. As a result, for many decades Americans celebrated this momentous occasion on July the second. I love this quote from John Adams, our second president, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence on the milestone significance of this day, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

Historical note: It was not until 1870, when the U. S. Congress would decree July 4th as an official federal holiday.

Image Acquisition: This image was handheld using a Nikon Z9 camera/Nikkor 100-400mm S lens @400mm. The Z9’s awesome in-camera vibration reduction allowed me to shoot a shutter speed of 1/13sec., to obtain the desired effect. As an available light photographer, being able to shoot at such slow shutter speeds without a tripod, is a dream come true!

Celebrating Outstanding Service . . .

Today I’m thanking and celebrating Steve Anderson, Store Manager at West Photo, Minneapolis, MN, for his expert advice and amazing assistance during my recent purchase of the Nikon Z9 camera and Nikkor Z lenses. Over the past 30 plus years, I have purchased all of my pro Nikon gear from Steve and could not be happier with the truly outstanding customer service I have received! Steve is the standard by which all other store managers should aspire, no matter what business they are in! In my opinion, he wrote the book on customer service before and more importantly, after the sale. Cheers to you, Steve!

Fellow photographers, when you need to purchase photo equipment give my good friend Steve, a call at West Photo (612-379-2321). I promise, you will not be disappointed that you made the call!

Photos of the colorful balloons captured around twilight using a Nikon Z9 camera/Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 @400mm.

Summer Raindrops . . .

Sometimes, the best photos are in your own backyard. Our automatic sprinkler had just finished watering the grass and some of the plants near the edge of the patio. The soft, diffused light was perfect for accentuating the jeweled raindrops. After several different framing variations, this was the composition that brought it home for me. Sometimes we travel to remote places like the Sahara Desert to find one-of-a-kind photos, and other times they are right in our backyard.

Nikon Z9 Ticket . . .

I am having so much fun shooting with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera, I should have to buy a ticket! The Z9 makes for blissful image capture. I have been traveling and shooting an array of interesting things during the past weeks, and this camera just keeps on faithfully assisting my artful expressions. I think this is the most advanced and intuitive digital camera Nikon has ever produced.

A big plus for me is I rarely have to remove my eye from the viewfinder, as the buttons and dials are easily accessible with my right thumb and fingers. I can now keep my eye looking through the viewfinder capturing that next artful image. And with no mirror, there is no black-out during continuous frame capture like previous Nikon mirror digital cameras. I love it! Then throw in that cool, auto adjust bright electronic viewfinder, awesome in-camera vibration reduction (see you sometime, tripod), blazing fast autofocus acquisition, very low light metering capabilities, etc., etc., etc. I think you get my point . . . I’m lovin the Z9!

Become Curious . . .

This photo happened as a result of being curious during my ‘photo walkabouts’. Being curious about things and my surroundings has always led me to find unique, unseen images. Such was the case with the green vine and sheet metal wall. Workers were in the process of completely converting the former restaurant (which I had patronized several years ago) to a new, upscale eating establishment.

I suddenly remembered the former historic restaurant had a funky, colorful outdoor eating area. I was more than curious to see if it had already been demolished. Little was left, but enough remained to excite my visual acuity and frame the shot you see. This photo would never have happened without first being curious.

Image Acquisition: Captured with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera and a Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. The Z9 camera and Z lenses rock!

Nikon Z9 – Artistic Inspiration . . .

Nikon Z9 Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S

Well, I finally did it! I am all in with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera and Z lenses! Yes, I have to admit, I had some trepidation jumping ship and rowing out of the DSLR era. I suppose, I had similar feelings leaving behind my trusted Nikon F series film cameras for the digital format all those years ago. As professionals, we get use to what we know, what works. And that’s a good thing! But Nikon is not a company to rest on its laurels, always moving forward with technological advances in cameras and lenses, which inspire and bring out the best in us as photographers.

I have been shooting with the Nikon Z9 for a few weeks now, and I could not be happier! Transitioning from my beloved Nikon DSLR D850’s was smoother sailing than I would have imagined. While this camera is a dream come true for all types of fast action photography, it also sails right along with any subject of a more or less static nature.

Nikon Z9 Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S

It truly is a ‘camera for all seasons’! The Nikon Z9 has put everything in place to assist the artful photographer in creating images that are only limited by their imagination.

Nikon Z9 Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S

Personally, the window of my imagination has been flung open with the Z9. New, artful possibilities are presenting themselves.

Nikon Z9 Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Primarily, as a fine art and travel photographer I now have an amazingly advance tool that will allow me to explore new, creative pathways that had not been open to me before. My photographic ship as set sail for new, uncharted waters . . . and isn’t that wonderful!

In future posts, I will be extolling the tangible features of the Nikon Z9 camera and Z lenses during my shooting forays.