JHP Newsletter - 2017, No. 3, 1 July
Greetings from Jasper National Park, Canada, and happy Canada Day, eh! It's a big one as the country celebrates the 150th anniversary of its confederation.
Travel: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
I spent the second half of May in Yellowstone National Park. I had planned to be there the whole month, but an unexpected RV repair delayed my arrival. Shooting was much slower this year than previous years, and part of that was because I was much more selective of what I photographed in order to make images that were better or different than I've made before.
I had a nice time with a Bison (Bison bison) cow and her just-born calf one morning (below left). I was also able to get a nice image of a Black Bear (Ursus americanus) sow with her two chocolate cubs-of-the-year when they made a brief appearance out in the open (below right).
1/1000 sec, f5.6, ISO 800
1/1500 sec, f5.6, ISO 640
I photographed this Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) yearling cub and its collared mother several times (below left). And I photographed two different black bear sows with two yearling cubs each several times (below right), but the cubs weren't as cute as they were last year.
1/350 sec, f5.6, ISO 1600
1/125 sec, f5.6, ISO 1600
When I saw this bison with its breath visible one morning, I knew I had a winner (below left). One of the last images I made was of this bison calf as is crested a small rise with some nice golden light (below right).
1/750 sec, f5.6, ISO 500
1/750 sec, f4, ISO 2125
Travel: Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
I met up with Jan and we went to Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada, for about three weeks in the middle of June to photograph the Common Loons (Gavia immer). The loons nested late this year, so we got there in plenty of time to see them shortly after they hatched.
Loon chicks ride on their parents' backs when they're young for protection from predators and the elements. In the image below left, one of the three- or four-day-old chicks is watching me under its parent's beak. In the image below-right, the one of the six- or seven-day-old chicks is sitting up fully alert while its parent is lying low as another bird flies overhead.
1/1500 sec, f8, ISO 800
1/1500 sec, f11, ISO 1250
I didn't photograph many feeding sessions this time, but did get some nicer images than last time including this one of an adult feeding a six- or seven-day-old chick (below left). The more animals there are in an image, the harder it is to get all of them looking good, so I was thrilled when the seven- and eight-day-old chicks lined up with one of their parents (below right).
1/1500 sec, f11, ISO 1600
1/1500 sec, f11, ISO 1000
Sometimes when the chicks are really young, they ride on their parent's back under a wing for additional protection, and I photographed the eight- or nine-day-old chick peeking out from under a wing early one morning with light fog. Later that morning, I photographed a chick out in full view with it, and its parent, in profile (below right).
1/750 sec, f9.5, ISO 1250
1/750 sec, f11, ISO 1000
Sometimes, one chick rides on its parent's back while the other swims nearby like in this image (below left) with the nine- and ten-day-old chicks. On the last good day of photography, one of the parents swam really close to me as it was ending a feeding session with the chicks and heading out towards the center of the lake (below right).
1/350 sec, f8, ISO 1600
1/1000 sec, f11, ISO 800
Before we started photographing the loon chicks, I photographed some other birds like this Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris, below left) and Sora (Porzana carolina, below right). It was the first time I had ever seen a Sora, and it was fairly cooperative.
1/3000 sec, f8, ISO 1000
1/500 sec, f8, ISO 800
Take care and happy shooting.
James Hager Photography :: www.jameshagerphoto.com