Practicing for wildlife photography with dogs!

 

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Rapid focusing and composition takes practice. Getting good opportunities to hone these skills in rapidly-changing conditions is important, if you want to capture that awesome shot of, say, wolves bringing down a deer. I don’t have any wolves (or deer), but I do have Rex (a.k.a. the Rexaroo. my friend Bekka Brodie‘s dog). This fast little guy provides a great opportunity to practice these skills, and makes an engaging and photogenic subject in his own right. Check out the shots I got of him yesterday afternoon!

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Rex makes a friend.

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Rex tries a romantic maneuver.

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A bit of a rebuff.

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Here Rex seems to sense impending doom.

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good intuition Rex!

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Here is a graceful pose during a rapid turn.

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They were both super speedy!

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Yikes!

Camas in bloom!

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The camas is blooming, so it is the real deal…Springtime in Victoria, and the arthropods are becoming very abundant!

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Phidippus, looking marvelous as usual!

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Selatosomus edwardsi, a very elegant elaterid.

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A cicada nymph! So cool to find a live one!

Down to one owlet

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This morning I went back to see the Great Horned Owl nest, after an absence of more than a week. Worryingly, there only seems to be one owlet in the nest. I am unsure where the other one might be. It may have succumbed to predation, or possibly is out of the nest nearby. I recorded a bit of video yesterday evening, and in it the mother owl feeds the chick in the nest, then carries a headless rat out to the west of the nest. It could be that the the other chick is out there and the parents are still feeding it. This is probably the last year this nest will be in use, as the snag is very nearly rotted through, and will not likely last another winter. You can see the whole nest move as the adult takes off or lands.

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The female did some “allopreening” of the chick.

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Yesterday morning the female was actually driven off the nest by a guy yelling at his dog. This is the first time I have seen the owls disturbed by people nearby.

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Last evening, about 20 minutes after the female disappeared with the headless rat, she re-appeared without it. This gives me some hope the other chick is still out there being fed.

Weekend expedition 46: A few shots from Vancouver

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Catherine and I have been in Vancouver for a few days, catching up on some school-related business at SFU, and saying hello to our friends. We made a special trip on Sunday to say hello to Stanley Park with our friend Samantha Vibert, and here is what we saw!

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Samantha with a juvenile Araneus diadematus. Shortly after this shot was taken, the spider ballooned right off her finger!

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A Golden-crowned Sparrow.

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A bright eyed and eager-looking Towhee!

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This long-jawed orbweaver was tricky to capture with a non-black background, as I had forgotten to charge my second speedlight’s batteries.

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A red velvet mite looking red and velvety, which they like to do.

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Ensatina! ensatina! (That is how you spell it right?)

 

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This brown Green Lacewing (Nothochrysa californica) was freshly emerged, and looking rather wonderful. Thanks to v belov for the ID!

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A mystery egg sac. Any ideas what it could be?

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Amaurobiids are extremely abundant in the old firs and cedars of Stanley Park (and everywhere on the coast).

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This one has a cool-looking carapace.

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Catherine doing some knitting on a gorgeous spring day.

 

Of Gulls and GoPros

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I have written about gulls before, and exploiting their love of potato-based baits to get close up photos, and I have written about using a GoPro. This time, I combine the two, for a 120 fps free-for all, slowed down to 1/4 speed for your edification.

 

 

Along the way, I also managed to snap a few other cool shots.

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This is a still from the GoPro. Note the extreme distortion and the off yellowish cast.

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And here is a shot from my Canon 60D.

 

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A Pigeon Guillemot on a oddly pleasing background.

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When the sea looks like this, it is almost like a woodcut.