As photography continues to grow in popularity and practice, more and more beginners are finding themselves spending lots of money on equipment and traveling to places to photograph. Unfortunately, all too often, a lack of exposure theory and understanding prevent them for making the most of their equipment and time. I have read many books […]
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
As the 2014 Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) spring meeting approaches, I wanted to share with those that will be going that my presentation on Thursday night (April 24th) will be “Bird Photography for Birders.” Photography has a lot of technical aspects to it that can be confusing or challenging for a birder and, when we […]
I have had some requests to do wedding photography of late and I figured I would do some exploration, learning, buy some equipment and try to find a workshop. Precision Camera University offered a one-day wedding workshop and the instructor was Dustin Meyer. Our location was the fabulous Chateau Bellevue and the setting couldn’t have […]
During the last ten (10) days, I was busy co-leading a birding tour of the Lower Rio Grande Valley with a total of 58 participants!! The tour was an Adventure Caravan Birding Tour and they were having a reunion of folks who had gone on previous tours such as Central America, Newfoundland, and Alaska to […]
As of late, I have been researching and learning as much as I can about night sky photography. There is something awe-inspiring about viewing amazing images taken at night where countless stars are visible along with amazing features of the landscape. This area of photography has seen a marked increase in the number of folks […]
For my birthday on Wednesday, I decided to go photograph at Hornsby Bend in Austin since I hadn’t had the opportunity to photograph many dragonflies lately. While species diversity were down and the cooler temperatures got things off to a later start, I still found a few nice subjects. The melanistic Red-Eared Sliders are my […]
Hello everyone and welcome to my website leehoyphotography.com! I want to take a minute and introduce you to the website/blog and let you know what you can expect from me. This website will be focused on introducing people to the world of wildlife photography, macro photography (specifically focusing on dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies), and landscape […]