Well, I have some very exciting news on the photography front. I just happen to be one of those people who prefer to work on a team so that the strengths of each individual may be pooled and produce excellent results. Over the past year, I was wrestling with what exactly my photography business would […]
As a young child, I was always fascinated by wildlife of any type and spent hours reading, watching and observing them whenever and wherever I could. My family would often take outings to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Zoo, and other state parks. My dad taught me how to listen for and spot wildlife, a skill that would prove most useful. My brother and I spent many hours wading in creeks and ponds catching turtles, fish, and snakes some were brought home and kept in aquariums for a while and then later released. In the summer of 1989, I took my mom's Canon A2E which had a broken meter and began to learn the basics of photography. I had to memorize the "sunny f/16 rule" and adapt. It forced me to learn some things I might not if the meter had worked properly. Later that summer, I was given a Canon 620 with a Canon 100-300 L lens which was a huge improvement from the broken A2E.
In August 1989, I went with my grandparents on a trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas where my passion for birds would be ignited. I photographed a large, drab, brown bird that seemed to me to be a sparrow on steroids. Having some familiarity with many bird families, I was perplexed by this particular bird. It was decided that if I were going to photograph subjects, I would like to know what species they were. Scanning the books at the Panther Junction headquarters in the park, I purchased a National Geographic Field Guide to Birds. The bird was a Canyon Towhee, probably one of the most plain birds in the United States; however, that bird started me on a journey that has led me some wonderful experiences across our great country.
The diversity of birds just in Big Bend was exciting and I began to photograph and identify a few. Most of my birding for the first few years was limited to what I could see through my camera and localities in and around my home as college kept me busy. In late 1990, I won a pair of binoculars in the Oklahoma City Zoo photography contest with a photo of a yawning cheetah! My first job out of college took me to Rapid City, South Dakota where I birded on my own, often spending quite a while observing a bird, taking in all the possible field marks, and then perusing a field guide until I could identify the bird. I spent a great deal of time photographing and birding in and around the Black Hills and Badlands National Park.
A new job opportunity in Austin, Texas found me relocating in April 1993 and it was here that my birding really began to take off. I traveled all around the state of Texas and the western United States. Unfortunately, my trusty Canon 620 broke and digital cameras were new and very expensive. My photography took a back seat to the joy of birding for many years. Four years in seminary and then starting a church really took a hit on my birding but eventually the time to get back into birding became available. In 2010, I realized that I had traveled to Alaska, Washington, California, Florida, New York, Arizona, and many other birding hotspots and that I had seen many amazing birds, animals and scenery all without a single photo.
It was in the summer of 2010 that I decided to acquire a digital camera (Canon T2i at the time) and pick up the trusty Canon 100-300 lens. It didn't take long for the passion for a great photo to return. In addition, a couple of friends are awesome photographers (Greg Lasley and Eric Isley) and they taught me a lot about macro photography. From there, I began to learn more and more until I realized that photographing birds, wildlife, macro and landscapes all bring me great joy. For this purpose, I have created this website in the hope of sharing some of what I have seen and captured with you.
When I am not photographing, I can be found at the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center in Langtry, Texas where I am blessed to be the Supervisor. I am usually enjoying time with my wonderful wife, Mel; my daughter Hannah and her husband, Jake; my son Luke; and my stepsons Tyler, Landry, and Joseph.
Entries by Lee
A few months back, while browsing through Cabela’s, I came across a pair of gloves that I knew would be right up my alley. Having a skin tone that is already having to have pre-skin cancer spots frozen off, I have become much better about protecting my skin. See, I have two shades of skin […]
Which Lighting is Best? When it comes to photographing birds, or any subject for that matter, learning to read light is THE most important thing the photographer can do. The word photography means “drawing with light.” You can have all the technical expertise in the world regarding exposure theory and your equipment, but if you […]
If you are like me, you are constantly on the lookout for specific information regarding your photography passion. Whether you enjoy landscape, night sky, bird, or macro photography, it is always helpful to find a resource that goes beyond the basics of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. In preparation for a Lightroom 5 (LR5) for […]
Knowing that I will be spending a lot of time in places where I won’t be to charge my laptop, camera batteries and the like easily, I went searching for a portable power source that could charge these and also run some lights and/or a fan when needed. My first “off the gird” trip is […]
Once again, I have been using Nik Software plug-in for LR5 called Silver Effex Pro 2.0 to convert some wildlife images to black and white. I have been wanting to see the difference when texture is the key communicator versus color. Here are the results: The buffalo images were lacking in color but after the […]
I took this shot of a large American Alligator (bull) in Brazos Bend State Park this past April. I have focused a bit more on editing images in Black & White to see how much more texture and light can impact an image versus color alone. I thought I would see which image you preferred? […]
This image of a Rufous-crowned Sparrow was taken at Transition Ranch northwest of Uvalde, Texas. Technical Information: Equipment: Canon 7D, Canon 600 f/4 L II, Canon 1.4 extender, Gitzo Tripod with Wimberly Head Exposure: 1/400 @ f/6.3, ISO 640, Processed in LR5
If you are like me, you love editing your images in Lightroom (LR) due to the brilliant organization tools in the Library Module, the intuitive editing functions in the Develop Module, and the other modules like Print, Slideshow, and Map. From time to time, I will share a tip/trick to help you make the most […]
This morning I went to a local park, Berry Springs, to shoot some macro images of dragonflies, butterflies and insects. Since I had sent the Canon 7D off to Canon Professional Services for a check and cleaning, that left me with the new Canon 5D Mark III to shoot with so I opted to go […]
I realize that there are a gazillion training tools out there for Adobe Photoshop (PS), but I wanted to share my experience with you in the event you found yourself in the same predicament as me. At this point, I feel I have pretty much mastered Adobe Lightroom 5 (LR5) as I have found some […]