Grand Canyon and Sedona Arizona Trip

Lisa and I recently got home from 1 week out west which was a terrific trip.  We flew non-stop from Newark airport into Phoenix and I was able to secure tickets at $300 after some diligent research.  Our first accommodations  were Forest Houses Resort in Oak Creek Canyon (just outside of Sedona).  For the 2nd leg of our trip we stayed at the Yavapai Lodge within Grand Canyon National Park.  We found the rates at both to be reasonable and the rooms were more than adequate.  I also booked a rental car from Phoenix at $16/day thanks to hotwire.

red rock country sedona

Sedona, Arizona. This photo was taken from Red Rock Crossing. Image by Dave Blinder, please contact me for licensing or prints.

For photography equipment I brought along my Canon 5DsR dslr as well as my Canon SL2.  I brought three lenses with me, the Tamron SP 24-70mm VC G1, Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2, and the Tamron SP 90mm VC G1 macro lens.  I did not use my macro lens much as I was often on the go, and did not want to swap lenses in dusty environments.

elk wildlife picture

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Image by Dave Blinder, please contact me for licensing or prints.

For the sake of brevity I am not posting pictures from each and every park we visited, however I am happy to answer any travel questions that I can help with.  Some of the many attractions we enjoyed include: Slide Rock State Park, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Red Rock State Park, Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge, Palatki Heritage Site, Tuzigoot National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Little Colorado River Gorge, and of course Grand Canyon National Park.

south rim grand canyon art print

Early morning view of Grand Canyon National Park Arizona. Image by Dave Blinder, please contact me for licensing or prints.

I found the lighting conditions around Sedona to be challenging during my trip, yet I really enjoyed my time spent in the area.  Photographic momentum picked up for me when we made it to the Grand Canyon.  It would be difficult to take a bad sunrise or sunset picture when standing in front one of the natural wonders of the world.  I also found the Navajo tribal land (just beyond desert view) to be very peaceful and a very immersive nature study area.  Do yourself and check out the Little Colorado River Gorge when in the area.

arizona ground squirrel picture

Rock Squirrel at Little Colorado River Gorge. Image by Dave Blinder, please contact me for licensing or prints.

Now that it is finally springtime here in New Jersey, I look forward to photographing the regularly scheduled birds and bees.  Let me know if you have any questions about my Arizona pictures or any of my travel accommodations.

Arizona yellow bird id picture

Lesser Goldfinch Female with Fledgling at the Verde River in Cottonwood Arizona. Image by Dave Blinder, please contact me for licensing or prints.

Advertisements

Common Lizards of the Florida Everglades

Only 2 days until my return to Everglades National Park in Florida

Here is a look at two common lizards I photographed at ENP in 2013. Main Park Road in Homestead is teeming with wildlife if you slow down to appreciate the biodiversity.

The Green Anole is a native lizard to the area, whereas the Brown Anole is an introduced animal originating in Cuba.

Photography equipment used for the pictures:

Tamron Lenses USA SP 90mm Macro Lens + Canon T2i + Canon Speedlight 90EXII

 

florida green lizard picture

A common lizard of Everglades National Park. Green Anole photographed off of Main Park Road in Homestead by Dave Blinder in December of 2013. Tamron SP 90mm VC Macro Lens + Canon T2i

small brown lizard florida picture

A common non-native lizard of Everglades National Park. Brown Anole photographed off of Main Park Road in Homestead by Dave Blinder in December of 2013. Tamron SP 90mm VC Macro Lens + Canon T2i

 

Two locations I have done well with for macro wildlife photography within Everglades National Park are Paurotis Pond and the parking area near Pa-Hay-Okee.

Do you have any questions on the photography techniques or finding wildlife within Everglades National Park?  If so, leave a comment here on WordPress and I will gladly try to help.

 

​Nature photography with a purpose

New Jersey Lizard

Five-lined Skinks are the only wild native lizard found in Northern New Jersey. I came across the large stunning male basking on a tree. Quite a peaceful moment we shared together in May of 2009. Photographed with the Tamron SP 180mm macro lens.

 

I always strive to get beyond the “pretty picture” with my nature photography and videography. I feel that being outdoors with my camera has been a continuous adventure and I hope that many others will have the same outdoor opportunities I have had.

When exhibiting a photograph in a gallery, be it brick & mortar or on the internet I provide as much context as I can. I hope to document natural history while doing my best to be a steward both to the visual arts and to the environment.

I have shared many personal encounters with native wildlife and find immense value in all plant and animal life be it great or small in size. My view is that a nature photographer must be a voice for the voiceless. We should strive to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. Empower yourself to make a difference by planting trees, joining a non-profit, documenting illegal dumping, submitting wildlife observations to your state. Every person can make a difference.

Not sure how you can contribute to the environmentalism movement? Send me an e-mail and I will give you more tips – dave@daveblinder.com

New Jersey Wildlife Photography: White-tailed Deer in Meadow

IMG_8426 copy

White-tailed Deer in Meadow
 
Mercer Meadows, New Jersey
 
Taken on a recent nature photography excursion, this frame is one of my favorite wildlife shots of the year. The soft light, swaying vegetation, and mostly concealed animal gave me an opportunity for a strong image. Photography and art are more about feel, emotion, and mood. Subject is not always paramount.
 
How would you describe the feeling of this image?

Purchasing any of the equipment below through my Amazon Affiliate Links will help support my blog.

 

“For The Love Of Wildlife” NJ Photo Contest

I am excited and honored to be one of the judges for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s 2016 wildlife photography exhibit.  As a longtime nature artist, I find it very important to support the local nonprofits and conservation groups that protect New Jersey’s natural resources.

I am quite sure that many inspirational wildlife images will be in the running.  Picking a winner is going to a challenge.

CWFNJ.jpeg

 

Please visit http://www.conservewildlifenj.com/contest for info on how to participate.

 

Do you need assistance with your juried photography contest?  I can help, contact me at daveblinderphotography@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Photographing wildlife in harsh lighting: an Eastern Fence Lizard

Below we have a photo of a small, harmless, and downright cute Eastern Fence Lizard.  A native reptile of New Jersey that is widespread within its habitat, but generally not familiar to residents of Northern New Jersey.

Sceloporus undulatus

A closeup photograph of a wild New Jersey reptile taken with a Tamron macro lens and a Canon DSLR.

Photo taken with the Tamron SP 90mm VC F/2.8 Macro Lens and the Canon EOS 7D.  Camera settings: Shutter at 1/100 Aperture at F/3.2 and an ISO speed of 200.  One Shot focus mode, camera handheld, VC On, RAW image format, manual exposure mode, auto white balance.

F/3.2 is not the punchiest aperture of my lens, but it does yield acceptable sharpness.  Shallow depth of field was very important to me in the making of this photo.  My “go to aperture” for macro of F/5.6 brought a lot more detail in the foreground AND the background.  The impact of this photo is in its simplicity and having prominent background shapes and textures strongly detracts from this type of “mid-day silhouette capture”.

Clearly with the sun high in the sky and without cloud cover, the natural illumination of the subject is going to be uneven with a large contrast between the shadows and the highlights.  Many established photographers would call this “bad light” or “problematic light”.  This is not necessarily the easiest condition to create impactful photos in but by manually exposing for the subject’s mid-tones and shooting into an uncluttered background I’ve created a minimalistic photo that evokes thoughts of desert climates.

Julia

We do get a decent variety of butterflies in the warmer months here in New Jersey, but I always get jealous of the vivid tropical butterflies that I see from the warmer states and tropical countries.  I was fairly successful in shooting some of my target species in Florida, and so here is a Julia, one of them:

 

Florida butterfly photograph

Julia

 

Photo taken handheld with the Tamron 90mm VC macro lens mounted on a Canon T2i Rebel camera.  An aperture of F/8 yielded very high sharpness, and acceptable depth of field for a fairly flat subject.

 

 

 

Quack!

As winter quickly approaches, my mind always drifts towards the migrant ducks that congregate near Long Beach Island in New Jersey. Some of the challenges include isolating a single bird amongst their groupings, trying to predict where the diving ducks are actually going surface, and dealing with the very slippery jetty you have to walk out on.

Harlequin Duck

Quack!

I like this intimate view of the Harlequin Drake because you get a nice view of his intricate patterns, and the very comedic value of a cute duck with his mouth agape!