Wednesday, January 28, 2015

01/14/15 A Winter Sunrise & Hoar Frost

A spectacular winter sunrise providing a winter scene at Charter Oak Park in Peoria, IL

On January 14th, I ventured out shortly before sunrise to analyze whether we received any hoar frost in the local area. Overnight, sub-zero temperatures with dew points near the actual air temperature allowed for some fog to form which led to some freezing fog across much of central and northern Illinois. It was quite a chilly morning for photography for myself which meant I had to once again photograph in harsh conditions. Winter photography can be quite challenging since you are photographing usually in harsh conditions which takes some of the enjoyment out of it in all honesty. Plus, the cold can really take a toll on your camera gear in negative ways as well. With that being said, all you have to do is persevere through the conditions and usually you'll find some winter scenes. On this morning, I was greeted with an amazing sunrise while I was out snapping photos of the hoar frost clinging to the tree branches. I was hoping the clouds would stay away, but they quickly moved-in due to an upper-level weather disturbance moving across the state. That disturbance provided me with a nice sunrise to photograph, but also meant I wouldn't get some blue skies as a backdrop for the hoar frost I was photographing. Oh well, I made the best of it and still snapped a few photos on the northwest-side of Peoria, IL. I've added photos from the early morning shortly after sunrise below:

Quite a colorful start to the day!
"Red sky in the morning"
I really like this shot as the footprints in the snow trail off into the rising sun!
This is one of my favorites from the morning as well!
Another shot of the beautiful sunrise!
Hoar frost stuck to all the tree branches overnight providing winter scenes like this across the area!
Another angle...
If only the clouds would have broke...
On the road again photographing hoar frost!
Another cool shot!
One more shot of the winter coating on all the trees...

That's all for now. It was still a productive morning of photography despite the pesky cloud-cover that moved-in. I have a couple more posts I'm working on so I'll be posting those at a later date.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

01/06/15 Winter Wildlife

A red-tailed hawk perched in a tree on a January morning in Edwards, IL 

Earlier this month, I shot several photos of wildlife in the local area. I wanted to capture several different types of birds which I haven't had much experience photographing over the years. Anyhow, I spent several hours this month trying to capture some good shots of the winter wildlife that you can observe in your backyard on a daily basis. I shot all of these photos with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon EF 70-300mm f4.0-5.6 IS lens. I've added several photos from many hours of photographing wildlife below:

 A blue jay getting ready to have a snack on a winter morning!
 A photogenic cardinal
 A close-up of a blue jay!
 A northern flicker
A blue jay grasping to a tree branch...
The hawk!
A vibrant red cardinal amidst the snowy landscape!
A great spot to get a "bird's eye view" I'd say!
Time to fly...
"Watching like a hawk"
One of my favorite blue jay shots!
"Time for a snack"
The northern flicker again!
"Striking a pose"
Gotta love the detail!
A cardinal trying to play hide-n'-seek, but highly ineffective...
I shot this photo before the winter storm...
 And this one as well of a red-bellied woodpecker
Pretty cool to have them both together in one shot!
"Staying warm"
"Playing in the snow"
"Hanging on"
A red-headed woodpecker joins the group!
Time to eat!
This is a perfect spot for photographing these birds...
This cardinal is just "hanging out"...
Another neat close-up!
"Feeding time"

That's all for this post. I have some more posts I'm working on and I'll be posting those in the coming days as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

01/06/15 Winter Storm & Snowfall

The sun begins to rise after a significant winter storm creates some photogenic winter scenes in Edwards, IL

On January 5th, a winter storm produced a fairly significant snowfall across central Illinois including Peoria, IL. This storm produced a 6" inch snowfall which meant the next morning I ventured out to snap some photos of the freshly fallen snow in the area. It was a cold morning for photography, but I was able to find some photogenic winter scenes despite the harsh conditions. I've added photos from this winter storm that I shot with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 7D below:

Old Man Winter providing a substantial blanket of snow overnight!
 This stone was covered with snow so I brushed it off which led to this nice photo-op...
 No takers in this bird bath!
 Snow-covered trees tend to make for great photos!
 My Davis weather station amidst the snow...
A perfect spot to measure the snowfall!
Pretty cool what you can do with a blurred background!
I found this bridge along a small snow-covered creek...
I really like this shot!
A wide-angle winter landscape!
Moses, covered in snow...
More good stuff!
A beautiful winter landscape!
Later in the evening, a majestic sunset provided some excellent colors!
One of the best sunset's I've seen in quite some time in this area...
A wide-angle shot!
An absolutely beautiful winter sunset!
One last photo as the sun sets along the winter landscape...

It was quite a productive day of photography. I was quite pleased with my first winter photos of the season. I also found some time for some wildlife photography on this day and in days prior and I'll be posting those photos in a separate post soon.