Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Comfort.

ThIs is my contribution to the Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Comfort.

My initial idea was a selection of comfortable looking bird and wildlife subjects. Then I got thinking about some of the close encounters I have had. When birds and wildlife have been comfortable enough to ignore me and carry on doing what they were doing before a photographer pointed a lens at them.

Lying in the yard in Ontario, Canada I was trying to get shots of an uncooperative male Cardinal when this Eastern Chipmunk started posing for the camera.

An Eastern Chipmunk posing for a photo.

I was in the yard photographing Sparrow species one spring when this American Red Squirrel started feeding on seed under the bird feeders. Ontario, Canada.

American Red Squirrel feeding.

I had gone down to the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton for the sunrise when I found a couple of juvenile Red Knot on the shoreline. I spent some time with them, they fed, bathed, preened and even slept in front of me. Ontario, Canada.

having a nap

I was sitting on a bench at Dominion Lookout on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton when this Red Fox came trotting along the shoreline and continued on past me. Ontario, Canada.

Trotting Red Fox.

I was lying in a mix of sand and wildfowl poop photographing American White Pelicans when a small flock of Wilson’s Phalarope landed on the shoreline and proceeded to feed around me. This female posed for a portrait before walking so close to me that the lens couldn’t focus on her. Saskatchewan, Canada.

Female Wilson's Phalarope.

I was in the yard photographing birds when this Racoon appeared and started eyeing up the bird feeders. Ontario, Canada.

Raccoon with spiky wet fur.

I was photographing a plant in a ditch when this male Common Blackbird came over to investigate the strange behaviour of the human. Cheshire, England.

Male European Blackbird.

Squirrel in monochrome.

Monochrome Monday travels back two days to Saturday morning.

I had set up outside trying for shots of the birds and small mammals in the yard. The light was very uneven as the sun was shining through trees that are only now coming into leaf.

This American Red Squirrel was in the shade with sunlight illuminating the grass behind it. I liked the detail in the shot, especially the claws, but didn’t like the lighting in the colour version so did a monochrome conversion to tone down the background.

American Red Squirrel portrait.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favourite Things.

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favourite Things.

So here is a hodgepodge of some of my favourite things.

My favourite Squirrel species, an American Red Squirrel on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

Sunlit Squirrel.

One of my favourite sunrise locations, Colpoy’s Bay and the Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada.

Layers of cloud at sunrise.

One of my favourite North American shorebirds, two American Avocets feeding on a slough in Saskatchewan, Canada.

A pair of American Avocets.

My favourite North American Sparrow species, a diminutive Chipping Sparrow on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

Chipping Sparrow.

One of my favourite European birds, a European Robin given a selective colour treatment.

Robin on lens, Cheshire, England

My favourite lens. The Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm. I purchased it used nearly a quarter of a century ago and it’s still my go to lens for birds and wildlife. The set up in the photo was used to photograph the American Red Squirrel at the start of this post. It’s also been used for quite a few landscape, sunrise and sunset images over the years.

Olympus E-410.

My favourite camera bag. The Domke F-2 RuggedWear, a waxed cotton canvas bag. I decided to try a canvas Domke F-6 bag a few years ago. I wanted a smaller, lighter shoulder bag for my retro kit of three (now four) manual focus prime lenses. I discovered that the soft canvas bag stayed on my hip without swinging and bouncing around and seemed easier on my shoulder. I needed a bigger bag than the F-6 for my regular kit of zoom lenses so I swapped the Tenba bag I had been using for decades for the Domke F-2.

Domke F-2 in brown RuggedWear.

Smiles, grins, laughs.

My contribution to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smiles and the A Photo a Week Challenge: Smile.

I know that I’m not supposed to anthropomorphize wildlife but I thought this could be a light hearted post with a bit of anthropomorphizing.

An American Red Squirrel with a hint of a smile. Ontario, Canada.

Eyeing up the photographer.

A relaxed Dunnock grinning while sunbathing. Cheshire, England.

Sunbathing Dunnock.

A wet Racoon grins as it surveys the bird feeders, Ontario, Canada.

Raccoon with spiky wet fur.

A Common Frog grins in a garden pond, Cheshire, England.

Eye of the frog.

A portrait of a Mourning Dove that gives the impression of smiling. Ontario, Canada.

Portrait of a Mourning Dove.

A hidden Great Blue Heron laughing at a No Fishing Sign, Ontario, Canada.

No Fishing Sign.

A Pine Siskin that appears to be laughing. Ontario, Canada.

A spring Pine Siskin

 

Friendly Friday: Design.

My contribution to the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Design.

After a couple of false starts I decided to go with some nature photos where I had an idea for a shot. I then worked out how to get the effect I had in my head.

A young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the rain. I set up in the rain wanting to photograph birds with rain falling past them.

In the rain.

An American Red Squirrel in dappled sunlight. I took note of the time of day when the light was suitable for the dappled light effect I wanted.

Sunlit Squirrel.

A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The bird is in the shade with sunlight illuminating the background.

Archaic bird photography of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

A Black-capped Chickadee feeding in the grass. I used my ground pod as I wanted to get as close to eye level with the bird as possible.

Black-capped Chickadee in the grass.

Hands.

My contribution to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Hands.

I decided that a sideways look at the challenge was in order and ignored my photos featuring human hands. Instead I decided that the front paws of some mammal species are used in a similar way to human hands.

A Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel eating whatever it can find in the spring having just emerged from hibernation in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Feeding Ground Squirrel.

An American Red Squirrel using its front paws to eat bird seed under the feeders in Ontario, Canada.

American Red Squirrel feeding.

An Eastern Chipmunk displaying an impressive set of claws in Ontario, Canada.

Checking out the photographer.

A Racoon that wandered into the yard one afternoon eating the dog food in Ontario, Canada. I focused on the animal’s paws.

Hands.

An Eastern Gray Squirrel eating a berry at -30°C in Saskatchewan, Canada. There’s frost on the tips of some of the tail hairs.

Eastern Gray Squirrel with frost on its tail.

A Grey Squirrel eating an Acorn in Cheshire, England. A North American species introduced to the U.K. where it has driven the native Red Squirrel in to small, isolated groups.

Grey Squirrel eating an Acorn.