Saturday, February 22, 2014

What have we been up to?

It has been a long time since posting to the blog, and I will admit it is a bit of an excuse, but we have been really busy. I know that we make some beautiful photographs, but, we are fiscally conservative enough that we are not going to leave our engineering jobs at this time to pursue photography full time. 

Along those lines, we have been busy though. 2013 saw us ending our 3 year project of landscaping our property. We have set up some very nice natural areas within our yard, including a small pond, and several automatic filling water features, as well as some nice perches and boulders. We will be bringing you a series in the near future about the birds in our backyard. 

 Say's Phoebe perched on a Staghorn Cholla

My professional career has seen me traveling to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand in the last year. I spent almost 2 months in Asia in 2013, so if I can, I take my camera with me and try to get out and see some of these areas. 

We use a company called Smugmug to actually host our photography website, but we host our blog on Google's Blogger system. Unfortunately or fortunately, however you may look at it, Smugmug unveiled a new design method for developing our website. We loved the new look of the system and how it is easier to work with, but unfortunately, trying to get the blog to match with the website was more of a headache and continues to be a work in progress. This is the first blog post on the newly unveiled blog, so we would love your feedback. To return to the home page for the website, simply click on the Western Skies Photography logo at the top of the page to return to the main site. 

We continued to offer photography classes at Usery Mountain Park. Dori is now offering a class on wildflower photography in the spring. (Hint, it is coming up on 1 March 2013 at the park.) I am still hosting the desert photography walk a couple of times, plus we now have a beginner, intermediate, and a more intermediate photography (I really do not feel qualified to call it advanced).  

Saguaro Cactus Blooms

I also decided that I wanted to become Marlin Perkin's (you youngsters who do not know who he is should look him up, and you older folks know what I am talking about) replacement. Wild Kingdom announced a contest to search for their next web host. This was a great experience in learning about videography and video editing. Much more trying than straight photography, because you have to worry about sights and sounds and actually telling an interesting story. Needless to say, I am not the next host, but the young lady that was chosen, Stephanie Arne has done a great job. Check her videos out at . Here is my video, I am still proud of it, but it took six weeks to produce this 2 minute video. 

Steven's Wild Guide Entry
On the photography front, we were not that active. We had a trip to Mesa Verde, documenting the Anasazi cliff dwellings. We were fortunate to also see some wild horses in the area. We also spent time on Mt. Evans in Colorado looking for mountain goats and pikas. Near the end of the year, our big adventure was a trip to Thailand. I had to go on business, but Dori was able to come along. She toured Bangkok and saw many of the sights, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Red Cross Snake Palace, and the sleeping Buddha. We hired Tontan Travel to arrange a private guided tour of Khao Yai National Park, where the highlights included seeing a Binturong and the top of the trip, a wild Asiatic Elephant Cow and month old calf. 

Longhouse Ruins in Mesa Verde, NP

Binturong in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Temple of the Emerald Buddha,  Bangkok, Thailand

So in closing, we hope you continue to check out our website and blog. Here are a few of the things we intend to talk about in the coming weeks. Khao Yai, a wolf hunt, Great Horned Owls, Mesa Verde, Mount Evans, Pika, Curve Billed Thrashers, Cactus Wrens, Gambel's Quail, and more, including some discussions about photography equipment, techniques, and digital darkroom items. 

 Asiatic Elephant and calf, Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

So get out there and shoot. 

I hope to see YOU, under the Western Skies.

No comments:

Post a Comment