The American Bison, symbol of the Great Plains and one of the icons of North America. Thanks to YouTube, State Farm commercials, and the classic cowboy movies, these great beasts can conjure up some scary mental images.

American Bison at Nachusa Grasslands

My first thoughts of bison were always of stampedes, people being gored or trampled, and vehicles getting rammed. Not anymore though.

I had a recent opportunity to photograph a herd of 75 American Bison at Nachusa Grasslands, a prairie restoration project in northern Illinois owned by The Nature Conservancy. Riding along with Cody Considine, restoration ecologist and bison handler at Nachusa, we were able to pull the truck up fairly close to the herd.… More

Chasing the Light

I just finished reading one of Ian Plant’s new eBooks titled Chasing the Light: Essential Tips For Taking Great Photos. The book is nothing less than 240 pages of spectacular. Ian has knocked the ball out of the park once again.

Chasing the Light is an informational book full of photographic knowledge, image studies, and creative tips. Every page has something of value for the photographer to learn. What makes this book something special though, is how Ian has carefully balanced the information with gorgeous, inspirational wildlife and landscape photography that illustrates each topic being presented.

Broken into six sections, Ian discusses every aspect of light imaginable.… More

leopard cubWhat makes animal or any wildlife photography special? What makes someone want to linger over an image? Emotion or feelings provoked by the image are often responsible. Memories also induce our minds to wonder, while good composition leads the way.

Let’s review six key elements that I believe add to this magic: eyes, patterns, reflections, action, environment and/or the young.… More

Do you shoot with more than one digital camera? If so, when was the last time you checked the date and time on each camera?

Oh, how I can mess up!

JoJo, a western lowland gorilla at Brookfield ZooI recently went to the zoo with my family for a day of relaxation, and photography of course. When I’m out shooting, I typically carry two bodies with me, one body with a long zoom and one body with a short zoom. My day at the zoo was great, although tiring. I captured nearly 500 images and didn’t break anything, always a plus.

After getting home and downloading my memory cards into Adobe Lightroom, I quickly discovered that all of my images were out of order.… More

I have to apologize for my lack of posts over the past six weeks. The writing Muse has eluded my grasp lately. I’m going to do my best to get back to my personal goal of one or two posts per week. Feel free to fuss at me if I slip.

What am I working on?

Here’s a recent photo from a project I’m working on. Nachusa Grasslands in Illinois is restoring a cornfield back to it’s original state of prairie and wetlands. Over the next few years I will be documenting the progress of the Dewitt Holland Memorial Prairie. This photo was made during the last corn harvest this piece of land will ever see.… More

Steve Berardi over at PhotoNaturalist has given me the opportunity to be a guest blogger on his wonderful site, and my first article posted this evening. Please follow my link over to PhotoNauturalist and check it out. I hope that you, and all of Steve’s readers, find what I have to say interesting and informative. While you’re over at PhotoNaturalist, take some time and read over some of Steve’s articles.  I’ve learned a lot over the past couple of years reading his how-to articles on photographing dragonflies and wildflowers.… More

Some days, you just come back empty handed. I spent the afternoon at Rock Cut State Park in Loves Park, Illinois in search of a field of Thistle in full bloom and abundant with Monarch Butterflies. A field of Pale Purple Coneflowers would have been just as good.

Instead, I found a spattering of Prairie Milkweed in bloom throughout the park and one butterfly. This Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) gave me five minutes of it’s time to make some photos. Unfortunately, we had bald skies in northern Illinois today making the dynamic range higher than I like. And as you can see in this image, Mr.… More