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June 2008 "Follow The Leader"
Follow The Leader

After a winters worth of dark days and cold temperatures, the caribou are on the move towards summer feeding grounds. Gone are the days of massive migrations, at least in Interior Alaska, replaced by smaller bands wandering in the same general direction. This group of predominantly males is being lead by a female, which is usually the case.

This band was crossing one of the small lakes on Broad Pass in the Cantwell area, adjacent to Denali National Park. Since this is south of the Alaska Range Mountains, they are most likely part of the Nelchina herd.

Canon 5D camera, EF 100-400 f4.5L lens at 300mm, handheld with Image Stabilization. Exposure of 1/500 second at f8.

MAY 2008 "The 38th Frame"
The 38th Frame

During the days of film cameras, the photographer would usually continue shooting until the end of the film roll was reached--usually resulting in 37 full frames and a partial 38th frame. This partial frame usually wasn't usable, unless you made a special cropped slide mount, and was usually scratched during processing.

But in this digital age, anything is possible. I ran across this saved film end (along with other scratched full frame slides, also easily digitally correctable) and decided to digitally resurrect the image with a film scan and Photoshop.

So from somewhere in Africa, in the Age of Kodachrome 64 (I expect the early 1990's), I present a rare split-eared Black Rhino. The cameras was probably a Nikon F3, with a 500 f4 ED IF lens, since I switched to Canon in the mid-90s (which automatically rewinds the film after the 36th frame).

APRIL 2008 "Bunny Underpass"
Bunny Underpass

Big, open spaces are fraught with danger for small mammals such as the Snowshoe Hare--the resident Great Horned Owl or a migratory Rough-legged Hawk could swoop down from the sky with distrastous results. So who can blame the bunnies for using a culvert to cross under the road?

Canon PowerShot 710 IS camera, exposure of 1/1250 second at f4.5 (not the best combination, but what the Auto setting on a Point and Shoot camera can select for you).

MARCH 2008 "Reason To Run"
Crossing The Mara River

At first glance, this looks to be another photo of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River during the great migration. A second glance will show the reason for the hurry -- the migrants have just passed a wildebeest that has been caught by one of the many resident crocodiles. With memories of such sights, all river crossings are treated with great mistrust and even greater speed.

Canon 1D Mark II camera, EF 100-400 f4.5L lens, handheld with Image Stabilization. Exposure of 1/400 second at f5.6.

February 2008 "My What Big Feet You Have"
African Jacana
African Jacana, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

"My, what big feet you have." "All the better to stay afloat on these pond lettuce leaves so I can chase these little critters with an invitation to lunch" (apologies to the Brothers Grimm). The African Jacana is a common resident of vegetation covered ponds, and can be seen skittering around in search of insects and small invertebrates. The huge feet help distribute the weight of the bird over many leaves to prevent sinking into the water.

Canon 1D Mark II camera, EF 100-400 f4.5L lens, handheld with Image Stabilization. Exposure of 1/250 second at f10.

January 2008 "Photo To Movie"
Flying Flamingos
Flying Flamingos, Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Anyone who has watched a historical documentary on television is familiar with the "Ken Burns Effect", where the camera pans across the photograph to simulate a movie from an era where only still pictures recorded an event.

I'm experimenting with a computer program called "Photo To Movie" which does the same thing with a digital image; many different effects are possible, but for my example , I've only zoomed out from a partial crop to give the viewer a wider perspective.

Since the actual web movie is smaller visually in size than a normal image, and the quality suffers from compression to a smaller sized file, it is an imperfect solution. But since it is an experiment, I'll continue to work to improve the image quality....