ImageSpotlight: Mexican Ground Squirrel

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything on the blog but it feels longer than that to me. In case you are wondering, I have been extremely busy working on my dissertation, trying to get people who have committed to completing a survey to actually honor that commitment. Executives have obvious priorities in their organizations and a survey is not one of them so I have to stay on top of things, which unfortunately pulls me away from photography at times. The good news though, I think I will have enough data by the end of August to begin the data analysis. If I am lucky, I might be able to graduate with my doctorate in December. If not…..hello May. 🙂 Now, back to photography….

The image highlighted here is an older file that I captured when I used to frequently shoot  at Santa Clara Ranch. In one respect, I have violated the rule of not allowing the perch to be so dominant in the image. Yet, this composition still works in my opinion because of the way the squirrel is using the perch to sit and enjoy a free meal in soft warm light. The perch here has a lot of character and interest and together, the image comes together.


Mexican Ground Squirrel. Canon 1DMkII | 500/4.5 | ISO 400.

I have not completely been away from photography. I have been working on materials for a workshop I am trying to finalize. I have also been getting outdoors with my children, teaching them more about photography as they compete in the VLF youth photo contest. Finally, I have finished writing another post on “Places to Photograph” which I will be posting here in about two weeks.

Until next time…. KEVIN

Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, & Yosemite National Park – Galleries

Earlier last month my family and I traveled to Lake Tahoe, Nevada for a much anticipated summer vacation. I posted one of those pictures in an ImageSpotlight section of my blog and promised to follow-up with a gallery of images from that trip. Well, here are the images, along with some that were captured at Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park. Hey, we were only 3 hours away from one of our nation’s finest parks so we couldn’t pass up a day and a half exploring the area. I saw and photographed two of Yosemite’s icons and will be back another day, fully dedicating my time to photograph this awesome area.

All images were shot with a Canon 1DsMkII, 24-70/2.8, and/or 70-200/2.8. The Stellar Jay images were shot with a 1.4x added to the 70-200mm lens.  Enjoy the pics.

Until next time, get outdoors and keep shooting. — KEVIN

ImageSpotlight: Scissor Tailed Flycatcher

The scissor tailed flycatcher is the official State Bird of Oklahoma, and is easily identifiable by its forked tails and beautiful salmon colored flanks (the latter found on adults). Found in North and Central America, these birds spend their summer months breeding in Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Louisiana, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Kansas.  They spend the winter months in their non-breeding grounds located in Southern Mexico/Central America. The scissor-tailed flycatcher is an insectivore, feeding primarily on insects that they snatch in flight.

On this particular HOT summer Texas morning at Santa Clara Ranch, this adult specimen visited the water hole in search of a cool drink. Activity at the ranch this morning was particularly slow so when this bird showed up, he was the highlight of the morning. His visit was brief but it was just long enough to capture the image below. I was careful with the composition to assure that I captured the entire tail, along with the entire reflection of the bird. I was very pleased with the final shot.


Scissor Tailed Flycatcher. Canon 1DsMkII | 500/4.5 | ISO 200

Until next time, keep shooting. — KEVIN