--->Tag: cormorants

Raging Sea of Cormorants

I saw this group of cormorants off the coast of Oregon, framed by the tumult of the Pacific. It struck me how nonchalant their poses were as they preened their plumage in the midst of raging sea. Where we might crumble under the power of these swells, the pelagic beings thrive here, in a sheen of feathered wet suits. We're tiny beings, really -- we humans who claim dominion. We're specks on a loom, where the feathered ones weave their patterns on waves ... and fling themselves [...]

2019-02-01T00:42:09+00:00August 4th, 2014|Blog|5 Comments

A Pelagic Housewarming Gift

I should stop making excuses for shooting in damp, dark conditions. It is, after all, the Pacific Northwest. But, well ... I was shooting in damp, dark conditions, standing on the car deck of a Washington State Ferry at Anacortes, in an ISO 5000 drizzle. Hugh -- who's become a better bird spotter than I am -- pointed to the air traffic around the nearby terminal pilings. It was Pelagic Cormorant mania -- a [...]

2019-02-01T06:17:02+00:00June 9th, 2013|Blog|3 Comments

It’s the Time of the Season … for Bird Noir

Without even a wisp of autumn air, Seattle dipped from summer to storm, from a prolonged swelter to a premature December gray, leaving me damp and unrequited. In eighty days without droplets and dew, the Emerald city turned topaz and so dry that even the pigeons, normally preening under nimbostratus showers, looked haggard for the heat. All I wanted was autumn -- and a crisp Washington apple and, maybe, a flight of leaves and a [...]

2012-11-04T01:18:50+00:00November 4th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Steam as Bird Backdrop

My affection for wildlife in urban and industrial settings brings me the subject of steam. There are obviously a lot of distracting elements in urban photography. Although I lean toward a photojournalistic style of realism when I encounter them, I also find it challenging to show the grit of these scenes while retaining some aesthetic and balance in the shot. That's when I'm shooting wider, contextual shots. For closeups, even in the city grind, I [...]

2012-09-08T15:24:49+00:00September 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Flying Into a Half Moon

It's thematically appropriate that our move to Seattle -- Jet City -- inspired my first aircraft-on-moon shots. I'd just photographed the Wolf Moon at the Space Needle ... layering two exposures to bring the moon into focus. On the ride into the city, I then noticed that this winter whopper of a moon tracked behind the flight path to SeaTac. I grabbed a few shots of the one plane that crossed over the [...]

2012-08-17T14:53:22+00:00August 17th, 2012|Moon, Urban, Weather|2 Comments

What We Are …

The post title derives from a Flickr friend who wrote this comment below my photo: "A sobering reminder of what we are . . ." I will add that what we are doesn't necessarily foretell what we become. :)   Against a scrim of Northwestern mist, the barge SeaLink Rigger chugs toward a scrap metal yard in the Port of Tacoma. I photographed from Marine View Drive, just past Browns Point, as the vessel headed toward [...]

2012-08-09T12:18:46+00:00August 9th, 2012|Pollution, Uncategorized, Urban|2 Comments

Bird Photography Outtakes

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) in Seattle, Washington. Okay, I'm pretty careful when I'm photographing around roosts. And, cormorants give you plenty of warning with all of the guano splatters below their perches. In fact, I can't think of the last time I got hit by a big bird ... so, it's funny that on the same day I photographed this display, my camera and I got a nice spray from a different cormorant -- filtered, [...]

2012-04-02T15:23:17+00:00April 2nd, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Say It’s Only a Cormorant Moon …

... sailing over a cardboard sea. The sun came out and I raced down to the locks where, just a few days before, I'd seen the most perfect light on alighting herons. There's a rookery that spans a ravine, the northern terminus of which is at the Ballard Locks. Several Great Blue Heron couples (Ardea herodias) took up residence there last month, as they do each year ... above the roar of the spillway, the [...]

2012-04-01T15:34:58+00:00April 1st, 2012|Moon, Uncategorized, Weather|6 Comments

Moon Roost

click for larger image Every night, they dart under the highway bridge, buzzing boaters as their wings slice the air above the channel. Cormorants, nature's flying and diving machines, are sleek and malleable to the point of being reptilian. Everything about the cormorant says speed ... everything except parking it at the roost. As branches fill up with rows of totipalmate feet, the available roosting spots get thicker into the tree, and the cormorants -- [...]

2012-02-07T00:41:10+00:00February 7th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|8 Comments

Pelagic Family, On the Rocks

We passed this Pelagic Cormorant family (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) on one of the few isolated nesting spots near Vancouver Island (British Columbia). We were told that in the 1990s, rampant shoreline development eliminated important habitat for the cormorants. This rock island was one of a few ecological reserves the B.C. government set aside for the cormorants' breeding and nesting needs. They share the rock with Double-crested Cormorants -- and, of course, gulls who can be significant [...]

2011-10-10T23:22:54+00:00October 10th, 2011|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Anatomy of a Cormorant Landing

Double-crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax auritus. Photographed with my Olympus E-3 and Zuiko 70-300mm. The birds were silhouetted in late afternoon light, high ISO 1000, some post-processing NR to compensate for the darker conditions.. I shot this series along the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle. If you've watched Double-crested Cormorants [literally] coming home to roost, you know that the process of securing a branch of one's own can be arduous. These cormorant wings are designed [...]

2011-03-25T22:56:58+00:00March 25th, 2011|Birds, Uncategorized|11 Comments

Cormorants at Work

First, a disclaimer. These are not tack-sharp photos. The IS (image stabilization) inside my Olympus is pretty darned good. And with the right shutter speeds, I can brace the camera to produce crisp images without a tripod or monopod -- which is super, because I'm often taking pictures in the context of a hike where carrying a tripod is cumbersome. I'm not so much a photographer as I am a hiker with a camera. I'm not so [...]

2009-11-08T13:48:24+00:00November 8th, 2009|Photography, Uncategorized|2 Comments
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