Moving Into Night – Badlands

Today’s post features the magnificent nighttime skies that are prevalent over the Badlands of South Dakota. Immediately after the sun began setting, I moved to another location and captured the transitioning skies:

Sunset begins, over the Badlands:

Sunset over the Badlands NP

As the sun sets, the clouds above took on the hues of the sunset:

Transitioning into Night at the Badlands NP

Transitioning into Night at the Badlands

Transitioning into Night at the Badlands

A short time later, the northern sky began to twinkle above me:

Early night sky over the Badlands

When it became a bit darker, I captured a series of 5-minute exposures and combined them together to get this star trails image, with Polaris (the North Star) in the center of the trails:

Star Trails of the night sky at the Badlands

Looking to the south, a glimpse of the fading Milky Way stretched out over the southern skies:

Milky Way in the Badlands

Night photography has become one of my passions over the past couple of years and I enjoy not only the peacefulness of the heavens above, but the beauty of our universe.  Coming up … a few more Badlands images.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, with IS “Off” (top photos) and Rokinon 14mm, f/2.8 manual lens (night skies)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod
  • ISO variable, ISO 200 to ISO 800
  • Aperture f/16 (top photos) and f/2.8 (night skies)
  • Shutter variable

 

 

Posted in 2019, Astrophotography, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Colorful Badlands Sunset

Today’s post features a couple of sunset images as the sun dropped towards the western horizon, over the Badlands NP of South Dakota.  I have never seen a “bad” sunset here … ok, if it is really cloudy it might not be good sunset material.  But typically, I can always count on some really nice sunsets here. Here are a couple of images I captured in September, during my visit to the park:

Sunset over the Badlands NP

Sunset over the Badlands NP

The bottom image is an HDR image (combining 3 different images of differing exposures, into one image).

Coming up, more Badlands images, including some more wildlife and some night sky images of this incredible and open area.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, with IS “Off”
  • Bogen 3221 tripod
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter: Variable speeds to get varying exposures

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, HDR, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Down From the High Country

Today’s post comes from my recent trip to the Badlands National Park (South Dakota). I was hoping to see some Bighorn Sheep rams, but I wasn’t sure if it was too early for them in the “lower country”. The rams live as a group of rams, away from the ewes and lambs … that is, until the rut nears. At that time, they travel out of the high country, in search of love.

Here are a few of my favorite images I captured on my first encounter with them:

Bighorn Sheep Ram

It’s so interesting how these guys can stand and travel on a nearly vertical surface:

Bighorn Sheep ram

Bighorn Sheep ram

Bighorn Sheep ram

Below the above ram, a small group of rams were busy grazing:

Bighorn Sheep rams

Coming up … a little action from one of the rams.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/5 to f/8
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. to 1/1600 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Visiting the Badlands

Just back from an exciting week of travel. One of the highlights of the trip was a 3-day stop in the Badlands NP (South Dakota). I will be posting several blog posts featuring this incredible place … today’s post features a look at some of the landscapes withing the park:

Badlands NP

Badlands NP

Badlands NP

Badlands NP

Badlands NP

Coming up … some of the Badland’s wildlife and unusual geography.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200 to ISO 400
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/8 sec. to 1/125 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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One of My ‘Tenants’

Today’s post comes from my rural Missouri home. While working around my back deck the other day, this brilliantly-colored Five-lined Skink was moving about, sunning on the exterior wall of my basement:

Five-lined Skink

Five-lined Skink

I’ve seen a lot of these beautiful lizards this summer. Always a treat to see the summer sun glistening off their colorful tails!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/14
  • Shutter 1/1,000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Nature Photography, Reptiles and Amphibians | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Swallowtails in the Garden

Today’s post features a few of the many Swallowtail butterflies that have been busy in the Monarch butterfly garden I designed this spring at the Lake of the Ozarks:

Swallowtail butterfly on Tropical Milkweed

Swallowtail butterfly on Tropical Milkweed

Swallowtail butterfly on Tropical Milkweed

Swallowtail butterfly and Tropical Milkweed

Swallowtail butterfly on Tropical Milkweed

Although this butterfly garden is new, and small, it has been very successful this first year.  With more plantings planned for fall and again next spring, this should be a “butterfly haven” soon!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 200 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5 (all)
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. to 1/6000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Keeping the Species Alive

As you may know, Monarch butterfly numbers have been declining the past few years. In the new butterfly garden that I put in at the Lake of the Ozarks this spring is flourishing with Monarchs.  Here are a few of my favorite images captured recently in this garden.

Monarchs busy laying eggs:

Monarch butterfly laying eggs

Monarch butterfly laying eggs

Monarch butterfly laying an egg

Monarch butterfly eggs on Tropical Milkweed:

Monarch butterfly egg

Monarch butterfly egg

Monarch butterfly egg

I haven’t been at this garden for a little while, but am planning a return trip soon.   It will be interesting to see what’s happening now, and if there are Monarch caterpillars busy chewing up the milkweed and readying themselves to transition into a beautiful Monarch butterfly!

Coming up … another common visitor to this butterfly garden.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 1/125 sec. to 1/6000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: “Squid” Spider

Caution, Acracnoids … Spider Ahead!!!

Today’s blog post features an unidentified species of spider I found on a Tropical Milkweed leaf, while photographing butterflies at the new butterfly garden at the Lake of the Ozarks (MO).  My first reaction was it looked like a very small, land-based squid!

Spider on a Tropical Milkweed plant

If you are an entomologist, or know what this is, please send me it’s name!

Coming up … Monarch butterflies laying eggs.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 1/30 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Fun Friday post, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Tropical Monarchs

Today’s post features some images I captured this past week at a new butterfly garden on the Lake of the Ozarks (MO). When this butterfly garden was set up earlier this year, several species of milkweed were grown/planted, to attract the Monarch butterfly. It is rare to walk through this garden and not see any Monarchs!

Here are a few of my favorite images from last week’s photo shoot in the garden:

Monarch butterfly on a Tropical Milkweed

Monarch butterfly on a Tropical Milkweed

Monarch butterfly on a Tropical Milkweed

Monarch butterfly on Tropical Milkweed

Additionally, I was able to capture some images of some of the Monarchs as they laid eggs on the Tropical Milkweed plants … those images will be shared in my next blog post.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 200 (top image) and ISO 400 (all other images)
  • Aperture f/3.5 (all images)
  • Shutter 1/3000 sec. and 1/4000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: Bird Games

Today’s “Fun Friday” post comes from my spring trip to Magee Marsh (Ohio) to photograph migrating warblers. During my 3 days at the wildlife area, I saw several male and female Scarlet Tanagers.

This image really stuck out at me as it appears this male Scarlet Tanager is playing “Peek-a-Boo” with me:

Male Scarlet Tanager

I will be sharing more Scarlet Tanager images in subsequent posts.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/320 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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