David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Category Archives: Landscaape

Eagles – Stirring The Pot

The eagles were doing a good job of stirring the pot on several occasions during my morning visit.  Thousands of cranes , geese, ducks and the list goes on and on.  Of course I enjoyed watching the eagles in action stirring and causing every bird to lift.  The sky became thick with birds flying in every direction.  The following are just a few to share.

Nikon D4, 500mm

Looking to be mischievous.


Did someone say Eagle!  You just have to be faster than the next duck.


“If we stay behind him we will be ok.  Right?  Anyone….Right?”


He had enough fun stirring the flock and decides to come in for a landing.


One of the eagles came to check on their young.  They were behaving so it decided to make an exit flying overhead.


Selective Memory

Do you ever wonder what happens to your brain’s memories.  While thinning out some pictures (nice way of saying deleting) I came across this one.  As soon as I saw it I was overloaded with a memory.  I remember all the details from arrival to departure at this location.  I stood there just absorbing the beauty.  There were people everywhere and no hope of getting any type of shot.  So I walked past the rock wall and turned right.  Had to stop and think for a second.  It was narrow and Very steep as in trip and you would become the bowling ball knocking everyone down.  I slowly started down the 1 1/2 body wide path.  Half way down I had a decision to make.  Either stay on a level high plane with no place to extend my tripod or choose the steeeeeppppeeerrrr one foot in front of the other half body path made only for serious photographers.  It was a no brainer, or lack of brains that I took this path.  This was a very slow descent to the waters edge.  I did a marvelous job considering my center of gravity has changed over the last umpteen years.  I set up and took a few pictures.  Ugh! After reviewing, it wasn’t what I expected.

I took a look back up the trail.  Had to ask myself what was I thinking when I made the decision to come down.  After reviewing in my mind the best way to go back up, I picked up my tripod with camera and started up the trail.  It was very slow but progressing.  Half way up my right foot forgot the progressing part of the plan.  It failed to lift high enough and hooked on a rock.  Kind of like trying to step over a branch but your foot catches it and your body goes forward with or without your foot.  It happened in a flash.  I was down, hard and solid.  Did my camera/lens pick some soft dirt to land on.  Noooo!  It found a nice hard rock.  So there I am laying on this incline looking at my camera/lens.   I stayed calm, kept all words that wanted out in cheek.  After breathing in and out in and out several times I started back up the path.  Finally got off the lack of brains trail and back to the top.  My wife asked if my foot was ok.  Sure, ask about my foot, don’t ask about me.

My Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 lens no longer would zoom.  With my lips sealed I walked back to the car and took out my back up lens.  I attached it to my D300s and set it on a tripod.  Took some random photos and all checked out good.  Before I took the last photo all the people had miraculously moved out of the view.  This is how I got the shot.

I can vividly remember all the details including the Nikon repair bill for $750, but for the life of me I can’t remember the name and location of the lake.

Nikon D300s, 17-55mm, f/16, 1/80, EV -1.33, ISO 200


Nikon D4 – Checking it out

This weekend I had a chance to give the D4 a try.  Took some pictures Friday in really bad dark overcast and I was impressed.  Took a few more Saturday and Sunday which were beautiful clear days.  Also impressed. 

These two were taken early this morning (Sunday).  I wanted to see how it handled early light but still fairly dark.  For the first one the sun was just starting to rise but way below the tree line so I was still in a lot of darkness.  I set the camera to auto ISO with shutter set at minimum 1/500 and a high ISO 6400.  It worked like a charm.  The second one was taken about 15 minutes before sun rise.  Some light present but still dark. 

I couldn’t have made these shots with my last set up.  The noise would have been horrible.  I might add, a slight noise reduction was made on the first one but really didn’t need it.  I would have been happy without it.

Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 2000


Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 1600


Mission San Jose’ – Old Man In The Window

This was taken at the Mission San Jose’, San Antonio Mission National Historical Park.  It was taken for one reason – the old man sitting in the middle.  It had to be close to 100oF outside as we walked through the mission.  When I saw him …in the distance it brought back a lot of memories of my childhood.  It was common to see men sitting as the days passed away.  I stood there for the longest time wondering what he was thinking.  The past, present and future.  What were his thoughts, was he trying to relive them or was he content and just waiting for the future to unfold.

Mission Concepcion – San Antonio, Texas

Mission Concepcion was more than a church.  It was also a village, fort, school, farm and ranch.

The Franciscans gathered the native people together, converted them to Catholicism, taught them Spanish culture, and sought to establish Spanish control of the Texas Frontier.

If you’re ever in San Antonio take time to visit the missions.

D300s, f/8.0, 1/320, ISO 200


Schwabacher’s Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Schwabacher’s Landing, one of America’s favorite places for a picture perfect capture.  I was told out of all the people that go to capture Schwabacher’s Landing only about 10% make it to this spot. 

It’s beautiful starting from the parking lot.  As you follow the trail it’s just breath-taking as your camera begs to take another picture.  Most will get to a certain point and think it can’t get any better but, it does.  They give up where a few travel the trail a little farther.  Having done so, well you just can’t give up so easily.  I still haven’t processed all the beautiful views taken on this trail.  I would like to do it again.

Nikon D300s, HDR @ f/16


Oxybow Bend – Wyoming

These were taken early morning but on different days.  The Grand Teton National Park offers beautiful landscapes and wildlife.  The air was crisp and the reflections great during our July mornings.  Light quickly changes as it shines on Mount Moran.

Each picture is a combination of 5-shots ranging from exposure -2 to +2 making a great HDR photo.  The first color shot was at f/16 and ISO 200 and the B&W at f/11.  I was just looking for a suttle difference but didn’t see any.