Archive for March, 2012


Buck From a Doe

It is very difficult to tell a buck from a doe this time of year.  The bucks have lost their antlers and they won’t start to grow for another month or so.


The buck is on the left.  His size is about the only way to tell him from the does.  I can’t tell yet which of the females pictured are pregnant.


I have always been amazed by the curiosity of this particular herd.  About twenty deer live in Lake Kegonsa State Park, and over the last five years I’ve gone there to photograph these deer.  When they gather around to look at me looking at them, I wonder how they manage to control their fear and not run away.  They’ve been taught their whole lives to fear humans, yet this group will actually approach me.  I’ve never fed them or watered them.  I’ve only taken pictures.


For all I know, when the big fellow steps away from the ladies like this, it might be some kind of challenge.  He has a slight scar on his nose, he got four years ago, which is barely noticeable anymore.  This was the last good shot I got that day.  It would have been nice to have the 300mm f4 lens, but I had the 100x400mm f4.5-5.6 lens.  I like the versatility of the 100×400, but at 400mm the lens can only drop down to f5.6, so when the light fades I quickly go from photographer to spectator.  The deer approached to within thirty feet of me before they got spooked and ran away.  Even then they only ran thirty or forty yards.


A critic

I’ll be Simon Cowell today and hope you’re paying attention.

If I’ve taken the time to press the follow button WordPress has provided me, then I read your posts.  I can actually envision a day where I’ll have hundreds of posts to sift through and will have to develop a criteria for the ones I read and don’t read.  How about the first sentence?  If the first sentence is well written that would probably compel me to read further.   So write those first sentences well.

I love it when you get personal.  Lets me know who you are and what you do.  What life is like in the Philippines, or in Australia.  But not too personal.  I really don’t want to read any crap about that new sex-toy you’ve just bought.  I think there is plenty of porn on the internet without inducing me to read yours.   I don’t care for poetry either, and I’m a published poet so I doubt I’ll read your poems.  I think it’s a dead art anyway.

Is, Are, Was and Were:  I don’t ever want to see these passive verbs.   You may only use these words in a statement of fact.  The sun is shining.  Randy was a young man.  Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith.

You might be asking yourself by now, what’s going on here?

What’s going on is one of you has tricked me into reading your blog and attempted to make me read something that was poorly written and you attempted to pass it off as a taste of your writing.  Well, I had a taste and I spit it out.

The very first sentence caused me to yell, “Seriously?”

Here it is:

Jordan opened the door to his room as quietly as he could, it was three o’clock in the morning after all and he didn’t want to wake Rachel from her sleep.

This sentence is wordy and redundant and there are other issues as well.

First of all, if you are going to write about a couple then you have to be a couple.  The door to his room, should be the door to their room and since they are a couple the bed takes on heightened meaning making it the door to their bedroom.

The part that caused me to ask my computer screen, “Seriously?” was he didn’t want to wake Rachel from her sleep.  Do we really have to wake Rachel for her sleep?   Can’t we just wake Rachel?

So I would rewrite the opening sentence.

Jordan quietly opened the bedroom door because it was three o’clock in the morning and he didn’t want to wake Rachel.

Better, but I still don’t like this sentence because it tells me the time rather than shows me the time.

Jordan quietly opened the bedroom door because he didn’t want to wake Rachel.  He looked at the alarm clock on the nightstand next to their bed.  Oh no, he thought.  Three o’clock.

Showing creates action which engages your readers.  So there you have it, some basic instruction on creative writing.

Remember to ask yourself, Do I really need this word and is it the right word?  Am I using passive verbs, is, are, was and were?  And by all means, be personal.

I’m sorry if I bruised your ego.  I guess I should have had more than decaf for breakfast.





Blogging has Changed

I’ve had various blogs for many years now.  I blog for awhile because I’m meeting new people and learning about where they live, which is always fun, and then work and vacations set in and time gets crunched and I disappear for awhile.  Mostly, now, I just share my photos.  This time I’ve noticed WordPress has made some changes that make it easier to track and follow other folks as they share their experiences.  I’ve also noticed basic types of photo-blogs.  There are those like mine that share the good and the bad photos and what I learned from that photo experience.  There are blogs that share the daily events in their lives like who has some very good photos in my opinion and worth a look.  Then there are the showcase photo-blogs where professional, semi-professional and other photographers will feature what they consider their best work and even attempt to teach us about how to take better photos, which leads me to this second link which is from a new photo-blogger who has some extremely well done photos  Click the links and enjoy.


Manufacturing Light and Working on Your Craft

In this wonderful age of electronic anything and everything, from laptop computers to cell phones we carry in our pockets, one thing remains true for outdoor photography.  You cannot manufacture light.   I’ve learned that when the object of my photographic intent is lit from the side the photos turnout better.  Afternoon light tends to be harsh and causes the photos to look flat, while taking pictures on overcast days tends to make the photos look dull or even colorless.  So I wait for the light.  Either early morning light when the sun first rises, or late afternoon light when the sun sets.  I have also got places that I visit when I know the light will work the way I want it to work.  While the routine I follow is not carved in stone, with the state parks I frequent I try to be in certain places at certain times, which allows me to work on the craft side of taking photos.


When the light is right, then all you need is something to shoot, which is why I look for places to shoot when the light is right.



They’re in There

You’ll walk right passed them, without even knowing.  The funny part for me is the leaves haven’t even started to grow yet.


With so many whitetail deer in Wisconsin, you cannot walk into the woods without walking passed them.  While this view with the tangled brush and colors that match the deer makes it nearly impossible to spot them.  Walking around the tangle and taking a closer look reveals their position.


Same with other wild animals, like the Canadian Geese.


Easy to spot when landing.


Not so easy to see when hidden on their nests.

March 2012

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