Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year from PhotoGraphic Expressions


 Highlights of 2011

As 2011 swiftly comes to an end, I would like to dedicate this week's blog to recapping some highlights over the past year.  There have been so many exciting adventures it would take an entire book, however the following are the most outstanding or unique.


The New Year was welcomed in with festivities in Reno, and to add to the fun, I spent some quality time at Idlewild and Wingfield Park getting photos along the Truckee River in the snow. 




Also in January, we had the weather phenomena called Pogonip or freezing fog.  Although it is very cold and even dangerous to breathe the cold air for long periods, I braved the cold at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and was rewarded with some intriguing photos. 



In March, I had the most amazing adventure in Death Valley, California with our Wildflower Photography Workshop.  We camped at Furnace Creek, enjoyed great gourmet cooking, photographed wildflowers in the early morning and explored Death Valley during the rest of the day.  The best part is, everyone is looking forward to doing it again this spring! If you would like to join us, please contact me via email.



Following the Death Valley trip in April, I was invited to exhibit my "Clouds, Sky and Moon" photos at the NeverEnder Gallery in Reno.  Thanks again NeverEnder for a great reception and thanks to everyone for coming out and showing support!  




 During the month of July in Reno, the entire area celebrates the arts with Artown.  I joined in the fun and action with the Purple Summer Festival held at Lavender Ridge.  Again, I want to thank everyone, it is great to make new acquaintances and see familiar faces.   






July was a busy and exciting month because the following week after the Purple Summer Festival, I was in Virginia City doing the still photography at the Americana Music Festival.  

What wonderful music and the best part was meeting great musicians like Darrell Scott,




And Kathy Boyd with Phoenix Rising





Two favorite and unusual photography events occurred at night.  In August, the Perseid Meteor Showers were due to peak at the same time as the full moon.  After careful planning, I went out on August 11th. at 2:30 am to catch the sky while the moon was setting.  




A total lunar eclipse occurred on December 10th. and again I braved the cold to be out at 5:00am to catch the eclipsed full moon just as it was setting over the Wassuk Mountains.  




2011 has been a wonderful year and would not have been possible without your interest, support and inspiration.  Thank you all for being along on the journey.  I look forward to new adventures and thrills in 2012 and wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

 Photographs Make Great Gifts





No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/






Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice Moon




Last Full Moon of the Twentieth Century
Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night is very special to me when there is a lunar event taking place at the same time.  As you have heard on numerous writings, I am known as "one who chases the moon”, well that is with my camera! 
One of my most special Winter Solstices was back in 1999 when the last full moon of the Twentieth Century fell on this special night.  During this time, I was living in Las Vegas, Nevada and spending a lot of time photographing in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area.  I knew if humanely possible, I wanted to photograph this special moon over the Calico Hills at Red Rock. 

No matter how well we prepare to photograph an event, there are always unforeseen challenges to deal with.  On this early evening, the sky was relatively clear, it was not too cold, but the winds were gusting around 40mph (64.37 kph).  In order to get a sharp image with the slower shutter speed in low light, I parked my truck and placed the tripod with camera between the front and back doors.  And then, I waited to click the shutter between gusts.  As luck would have it, I managed to get one clear photo before the clouds blew in and obscured the sky. 



Happy Winter Solstice everyone!  

For more on the Winter Solstice:


Photographs Make Great Gifts


No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rare Moments in Nature Photography

 Ready When the Scene Appears


Now that the Holiday Season has arrived and Christmas Day is fast approaching, in this week's blog I would like to take some time and reflect back on some very rare moments in photography that are very endearing to me.

The wonder of photography is, it puts you in the moment and when you're in that moment on rare occasions, the scene just happens to come to you. As with when I was trying to get macro photos of cacti in the snow and saw the trunk of a pine tree standing out in the distance, accented against the falling snow.



Sometimes those special moments show up after the photos have been processed and you find surprises that a fast shutter has captured. For example, a bee appears to be coming in for a landing right behind a Western Tiger Swallow-tailed butterfly.



On very rare occasions, you might be out looking for photos of Walker Lake in the snow and happen across a herd of 26 Desert Bighorn Sheep nestling in against the early morning cold.


 
 When tracking wildlife with the camera, you never know what to expect, so being focused and ready with the finger on the shutter catches an event that is so fast, you just get that one click.  I was following the sorrel stallion at Cold Creek, Nevada with my Nikon 500mm 4.0 lens when the black stallion came out and offered the challenge.  The two wild horses reared, and then it was over.



Then there are those intimate moments when you are made aware of a tiny Calliope Hummingbird sitting on her nest at Pine Creek in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area.



I made the transition to wildlife photography when I was spending so much time in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area looking for landscapes and I was always coming across wildlife.  One day the rangers told me to take a look on the patio of the visitor center where a Say's Phoebe had built a nest on top of the outside light.  The newly hatchlings were waiting for mama and didn't notice as I clicked the shutter.




On other rare occasions, you get a nice surprise when two hawks take off near a frozen stream at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge on a cold, foggy morning in January. 




The real beauty of photography is being out there and sharing in those awesome rare moments that just happen.  With nature, you never know what scenes might occur, even in a wildlife sanctuary like the Animal Ark in Reno there are rare moments when a cougar bends down to sniff a tiny sage plant.




Many times I feel that I am led to the scene so that I can share those intimate details to create an emotional bond and bring the viewer closer to the natural world.  



Photographs Make Great Gifts




No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011 Lunar Eclipse


Chasing the Moon


 In the early morning of Saturday, December 10, 2011 there was a total lunar eclipse that was visible from the west coast.  If you've been following my blogs, you know that I am effected by full moon madness and earned the title as "one who chases the moon".  After careful preparations, I set the alarm to be up at 4:30am and  brave the cold to go out and chase the lunar eclipse.  During this week, the temperatures had been getting very cold at night, dropping from 5° to 19°f  (-15° to -9.4°c) so I was prepared with my down jacket, ski pants and plenty of hot coffee.  I was somewhat relieved when I saw that it had only gotten as low as 20°f (-6.6°c) on my outdoor thermometer.






I decided to use my Nikon 80-200mm 2.8 lens for this lunar eclipse where I would normally use the longer 500mm 4.0 lens.  The reasons for going with the shorter lens are: the 80-200 is a faster lens, thus allowing for faster shutter speeds and it would give me the area to include more landscape in the scene if needed. 

On the night before the eclipse, I did a trial run with the moon to test for metering and found that it might be safest to bracket in the manual mode with the shutter speed at 1/800 seconds, f/8 aperture and ISO at 200.  Because the moon is so much brighter than the dark sky, I used spot metering.




I arose early in the morning and realized that the moon would be setting behind the tall mountain much sooner that I thought.  After taking the first exposure and checking for sharpness in the camera screen, I determined that my setting from the previous night was just right. 





As the eclipsing moon was just about to set behind the Wassuk Mountain, I wanted to get the mountain silhouetted against the setting moon.  I changed the metering from spot to matrix, opened my aperture to f/5.6 and began to bracket the shutter speed down to 1/400 seconds.




Just as a test, I changed from Manual  to Aperture mode and got an unusual result.  The image is overexposed, has lens flare but is interesting in an alien world effect. 


 


The last exposure, the eclipsed moon has dropped behind the Wassuk and the stars begin to shine, but the sky is still bright from the moon's glow.







Photographs Make Great Gifts



No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Friday, December 2, 2011

Tundra Swans at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge


Calls of the Wild Ones


The last Tuesday in November of 2011, while the weather was still nice, I made a visit out to the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge, near Fallon Nevada.   Stillwater, with its numerous isolated wetlands is an important area for migrating shorebirds and has been designated by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network as a site of international importance.





As I was approaching the Auto Tour, which takes you to several viewing areas, I noticed a number of large white birds on the water.  From a distance, they appeared to be the American white pelican that is very common to the lakes and streams in Northwestern Nevada.





After setting up my Nikon D90 with the 500mm lens on the tripod and getting out my bird identification book, I realized that these were Tundra swans.  





Tundra swans breed and summer in the coastal plains of Alaska and Canada.  As winter approaches, they fly south to areas where their food sources of aquatic plants, mollusks and arthropods are more readily available.




During breeding season, the Tundra swan sleeps mostly on land. However in the winter, it sleeps on the water where it is better protected from predators. 




Immature Tundra swans are duller in appearance with grey feathering mixed with the white.




Tundra swans are known to become very vocal when foraging in flocks and will make excited calls to those arriving or departing, sounding similar to the honking of the black goose.   On this day, it was very noisy at the quiet Stillwater Refuge.





What an interesting day to watch these large birds flying in for a landing and then running on the water to get airborne.




For more information:


Photographs Make Great Gifts




No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cedar Breaks, Utah

A Happy Thanksgiving With Fond Memories



With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I'm reminiscing about one the favorite places where I have enjoyed spending the Thanksgiving weekend and that is Cedar Breaks, Utah.  Cedar Breaks is located 23 miles (37.01 km) from Cedar City and standing at 10,000 feet (3048 m) elevation is known as a miniature Bryce Canyon.






During a mild autumn, when the short days are not too cold, Cedar Breaks can be one of the best places in the Southwestern U.S. to catch the splendor of fall colors.




Brilliant aspens growing throughout the landscape and along the roadside are accented against tall evergreens.





Getting off the main road on to any of the numerous dirt trails, an entire day can be spent  admiring the analogous colors of leaves that drape across the path. 
Looking out across the colorful canyon through a knot in the trunk of a Bristlecone Pine, one of the oldest living trees in North America.




After a long day's hike, it's fun to relax and have a picnic by one of numerous streams that flow throughout the area.





At this time of year, it's always wise to keep a careful watch on the weather. Sudden storms can move in with harsh winds, cold temperatures and even snow.





Just come prepared, for Cedar Breaks all covered in snow takes on a difference appearance as a winter wonderland.
 




 No trip to Cedar Breaks is complete without a visit to Navaho Lake. Formed by an ancient lava flow, it was originally named "Pa-Cu-Ay" by the Paiute which means Cloud Lake.  This high mountain lake was well named because it does appear to be in the clouds and on top of the world.





For more information:
http://www.scenicsouthernutah.com/recreation_areas/navajolake.shtml

http://www.utah.com/nationalsites/cedar_breaks.htm


Photographs Make Great Gifts



No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reno Elks Craft and Products Fair



 Shopping for the Holidays


To kick off the 2011 Holiday Season, I've been invited to participate and exhibit at the Reno Elks # 597 Craft and Products Fair this Saturday, November 12th. 

 The Craft and Products Fair is a fund raising project by The Elks, a national non profit organization that responds to community needs and events.  The funds from Saturday's event will go to benefit needy families, abused children and to finance Christmas food baskets.



 This should be a very nice event since it is also on Veteran’s Day weekend.  Reno Elks #597 Lodge is located on 597 Kumle Lane and the hours are from 10am till 4pm.




If you live in the Reno area, please come out and support this wonderful event and buy local!





For additional information on The Elks please visit:
http://www.elks.org/


 Photographs Make Great Gifts


No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/