Hello Spring . . .

Spring for me is a time of awakening. I love how nature dresses itself for the season, never shy in displaying its colorful flora. This image of wild Dogwood was captured during an overcast day near Nacogdoches, Texas. I often prefer the quieter narrative of an overcast sky when photographing nature’s flora. The softer, diffused light allows all the subtle colors to reveal themselves in a way that would not have been possible on a bright, sunlit day.  

Nesting Time . . .

A Great Blue Heron puts the final touches on her nest. This Great Blue Heron spent more than ten minutes placing, and then replacing this stick until she found the proper place. A mother’s work is never done!

Image captured during the ‘blue hour’ from ground level at a Texas lake with a Nikon Z9/Nikkor Z 100-400mm @400mm. There is such a soft and lovely quality of light that happens for a brief period after sunset. When conditions are just right, wonderous things happen, as seen in this photograph.         

Temporary Visitors . . .

It was great fun and challenging at times photographing a visiting flock of over fifty American White Pelicans that chose Lake Granbury, Texas last week for a short stopover. Challenging given the very gusty winds and cold weather, which made the rewards of nailing a good photograph all the better. I captured this image of two Pelicans flying in unison with a Nikon Z9/Nikkor Z 100-400mm @400, f8 1/3200sec, exposure compensation -0.7

Fading Light . . .

After a glorious day chasing the light at the Julian Alps in Slovenia, this scene on the way down the mountain brought it home for me. I took time to bathe in the serenity and quiet as I made this final capture. A time to linger and soak in the fading beauty. One cannot ask for more than that.

Snowfall . . .

Since today is the last day of January, I thought it appropriate to share a photograph of a Texas snowfall. Yes, we can get blanketed with the white stuff in north central Texas. And when it happens, I am out with my Nikon embracing the wonder! I did not have to go far for this capture, the road in front of our house provided an opportune focal point and design element.

Thoughts Behind the Camera: I could have chosen to capture the image in black & white mode in my camera, given the apparent lack of color within the scene. However, I much prefer to use the color setting in my camera. As a result, the photograph exhibits muted, soft color tones that appeals to me. Photographically, it is known as, No color – color. When you look closely, you will see very slight variations in color tone. The lack of color in a color photograph, can be just as exciting as vibrant color. It all depends on the scene and your narrative. Less and be more!

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!