David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Tag Archives: early morning

Moab, Utah

Landscape from Moab, Utah.  Certainly a target rich area for taking pictures.  Wish I would have had more hand warmers for my frozen fingers early in the mornings.  Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Nikon D800, 70-200 @ 70mm, 1/33, f/9, ISO 100

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Early Mornings

Here are a couple of reasons I like early mornings.  Taken at Smith Oaks Rookery, High Island, Texas.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/4.0, 1/200, ISO 1250

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Nikon D4, 500mm, f/8.0, 1/800, ISO 1000

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Black Skimmer

As in my last blog this is the 13th Anniversary of the Galveston FeatherFest and Nature PhotoFest. I am honored to have had my photo chosen as the third week’s winner.

Black Skimmer taken in Freeport, Texas.

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The Lift

This is the 13th Anniversary of the Galveston FeatherFest and Nature PhotoFest.  You are allowed to submit 2 pictures a week for four weeks.  There are three places per week with the winner being eligible for the grand overall winner.  It’s been a trying year for me and I haven’t been able to get out and take pictures like I usually do.  So I struggled to make my selections for each week.  It doesn’t help being your own worst critic.  I hesitated so much I missed the first week deadline.  I was definitely in a flux.

I had been sick for over a month and was slowly trying to get over it but just couldn’t shake a nagging cough.  I told my wife the tides were going to be perfect on Bolivar flats with a clear blue sky.  She said to go.  We were suppose to have already left for my mother in-law’s.  Mind you now it’s 04:00 Christmas eve morning and I’m struggling – cough, cough, cough.  I knew there was no way I could lay down in the watery muck with the temperatures in the low 30’sF.  I struggled again asking myself do I really need to get out.  It would be so much better to get back in bed because that is what I really needed.

Plan B goes into effect.  I was pulling myself all the way as I loaded up and set off for Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.  The geese, it was all about the geese.  I had seen some recent pictures and hoped they would still be there.  When I arrived it was pitch black with beautiful stars above.  Deciding to take a particular route I lowered my window and slowly made my way forward.  I was trying my best to listen to get some indication where they were.  The chill in the air was dang cold, cough, cough, cough.

Finally I could hear them but couldn’t see them.  I cranked up my ISO in my camera and took a blurred but viewable shot.  Bingo, I could see them and make out where I wanted to stop.  After stopping I slowly slipped out of my truck.  Took my equipment and set up in front of my truck hoping for a little warmth from the engine.  Didn’t happen.  Did I say it was cold?  Even though I had my heavy jacket on I was cold.  Cough, cough, cough, water, cough drop.

As darkness slowly faded away it was a sight to see.  The fields where full of geese into the distance.  Daylight was fast approaching when silence gave way to distant guns.  Seemed like hunters were everywhere just off the refuge.  Some geese in the distance where lifting but trying to find another landing area.  It sounded like roaring trains.  The ones in front of me were getting restless as the noise level started picking up.

I knew it was just a matter of time.  My mind was racing verifying my camera settings when I thought – whoa.  I quickly pulled my wide angle from the truck and rechecked settings.  As I laid the camera on the hood it started.  The roar, they were lifting in stages from the distance.  Then is was time for those in front of me.  I had so much adrenaline flowing I could have bottled it.

The Lift was in full effect.  The Roar sounded as if a train was coming down the road towards me.  Cough, what cough?  I was too busy to cough as natures wonder was unfolding right before my eyes.  I had seen National Geographic shows with geese lifting.  It didn’t compare to what I was witnessing.  I reached for my camera on the hood.  It was set to a fully wide angle view as I leaned against the truck for support.  Firing away as they continued to lift.

I was all alone experiencing what I would call a heavenly moment.  I praised and gave thanks to God.

I submitted this photo for the second weeks contest.  It was selected as the winner.  I’m honored.

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How Big

Most of my photo friends are Canon shooters with less than a handful of Nikon.  Recently read where Canon is coming out with two new 50+ megapixel cameras.  Whoa, how big can they get.  Got to love technology but also wonder how much is enough.

I was recently reviewing and cleaning up files when I came upon a few I thought would be worth a try.  When I completed the one below it was 40.56MB’s.  Several ranged from 40 to a little over 50MB’s.  I use SmugMug and they accepted everything below 50MB’s and rejected 50+ files.  Said file tooooo big.  So that got me thinking is the cart before the horse.

Nikon D800, Nikon 24-70mm, f/16, 1/100’s  View from La Sol Mountains, Utah.

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Northern Harrier

While at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge you never know what you might see.   I was about to pack it all in and leave when this Northern Harrier came flying by.  Since I was still getting some early morning light I waited as it made a couple of fly-bys.

Nikon D4, 500mm +1.7tc, f/6.7, 1/1000’s, ISO 640

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Early Morning Blurs

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture some early morning blurs as the light was change quickly.  It may not always work but there is no excuse for not trying.

Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.7tc, 1/5’s, ISO 2000

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Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.7tc, 1/4’s, ISO 2000

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Snow Geese Couple

Arrived about 45 minutes before sunrise at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Looking for Snow Geese and Snow Geese I found, thousands. Cold and crisp, what a beautiful morning. Saw several lifts as they filled the sky. Hard to hold a camera because I wanted to see it happen. Just wanted to hear the sound and feel the roar. Something so few will ever experience. Nature at it’s best.

Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.7tc, f/6.7, 1/800, ISO 2000

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Brazos Bend State Park – Treasure Hunt

Unlike past trips my goal was to hurry and cover other areas of the park that I rarely venture.  Not an easy task with so much to see and photograph.  I simply had to make myself stop and move on.  Just like being on a treasure hunt.

Nikon D800, 105mm, 0.6’s, f/11, Ev +0.67, ISO 200

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Nikon D800, 105mm, 0.6’s, f/11, Ev +0.67, ISO 200

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Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/60s, f/11, Ev +0.67, ISO 200, flash (I’ve posted this one before – taken that morning)

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Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/25’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200

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Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/40’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200

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Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/40’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200

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Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/40’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200

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Praying Mantis

Taken this morning at Brazos Bend State Park. This little guy was about 2″ long and blended in real good. I was bent over looking at something else when I must have made him nervous and saw the movement. If he hadn’t moved I most likely wouldn’t have seen this photo op.
Nikon D800, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/60 flash, Ev +0.67, ISO 200

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