North America’s smallest woodpecker

I’m learning quite a lot as I have been working with my new Tamron lens and watching the birds in my back yard.  This is one of the visitors that I have been trying to get a good image of recently.  This is a female Downy Woodpecker (the male has a red patch on the back of the head) that I was watching for a while.  They seem to be quite aware of my presence and often hide by circling around to the back of trees or fly off quickly when they see the slightest motion.

Fortunately for me, they seem to really like suet feeders and though they are easily spooked, they keep coming back.  I watched for a while and could see a pattern of how they usually approached the feeder the same way.  If I set up on the tree that they would land on before going to the feeder, I could catch a few shots before they jumped over there.

The other thing I learned is the mosquitoes will stay off of your arms and legs when you spray but they don’t mind biting you right through your shirt if you don’t spray that also.  Boy am I itchy!  Need to remember that for next time.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800


Foggy Day in Cades Cove

Our last morning of the Spring in the Smoky Mountains Workshop was a return to Cades Cove.  We were hoping that the sun might peek out after the rain showers had finally stopped but no such luck.  We did however get treated to a wonderful foggy morning which shrouded the mountains and gave the landscape a beautiful white backdrop.

I got this image on one of the many roads that are lined with split-rail barbed wire fencing.  The light was beautiful as the early morning sun broke through to warm things up but the fog was still covering everything in the distance.

We were a bit sad to leave the area as Sunday was turning out to be beautiful.  Wish I could have stayed longer and we had the chance to go up to Clingman’s Dome but the elevated roads were still iced over and there was snow at the top of the mountains the night before.

Have to get back up here more often!

Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
26mm @ f/10 – 1/30 sec – ISO 100

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you and your families enjoy the beauty of this season and give thanks for all the wonderful things that surround us.

Since the Bald eagles were not around the nest at Berry College when I arrived, it seemed to be an opportunity to wander the campus.  There are some absolutely gorgeous spots here and since it is Autumn, the colors are nice right now.  I went out to see the Old Mill but stopped off on the way at this lake.

There are two lakes, built by Berry College students, on the road toward the Mountain Campus.  This one is called Mirror Lake while the larger, Swan Lake is just slightly downhill from this point.  The lakes are frequented by geese, ducks and a beautiful white swan as you can see in this image.  The sunlight off the fall colors and the reflections off the lake made for a perfect composition.

Berry College
2277 Martha Berry Highway NW
Mount Berry, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
24mm @ f/16 – 1/20 sec – ISO 100

Sometimes the best place for photos is wherever you are

We can’t always be traveling to exotic locations but there are interesting things right in front of you if you keep your eyes open.

Well, I was working from home yesterday and looking out at the backyard early in the morning.  It has been kind of hot and dry lately so, I decided it was time to run the sprinkler a bit.  In the process, I noticed how nicely my hostas were doing in spite of the fact that I don’t pay them much attention.  With a bit of water sprinkled on the plants, it made a great scene and I had to take a couple of minutes and capture it.

If I had lots of time and had planned on this, I know I could have improved the composition or pulled out my extension tubes and done a real macro but at least I got out and captured a bit of nature’s glory on this last day of June.

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
100mm at 1/250 second  f/5.6  ISO 100

#Hosta #BlueHosta #nature #flower #flowers #botanical #summer #Georgia #south #southern #photography #WithMyTamron #Nikon

Krog Street Tunnel – Atlanta

As I said in my post yesterday, this was a busy weekend for me.  The first of my adventures was a photo walk sponsored by Showcase Photo & Video and Fujifilm to Krog Street and the Atlanta Beltline.  This was an amazing opportunity to go see a location that I have heard about over and over but as yet, had not seen.

Photo Walk Map
Link to Google Map

The group met up at the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar at Ponce City Market. Accompanied by a number of pro photographers including  Bob FitzGibbons from Showcase and Stacey Moore from Fujifilm, we were shuttled over to Krog Street the famous street-art covered tunnel that connects Cabbagetown and Inman Park.

At the tunnel, we did a model shoot (more on that later) and then made our way over toward Krog Street Market and the beltline.

The Krog Street tunnel is a constantly changing display of street-art (graffiti) mixed with miscellaneous posters and paintings advertising local destinations and events or just people making comments about what’s on their minds.

Beltline Walk_Jun 18 2016_0009
Part of the landscaping surrounding the entrance to the tunnel


This is not what you would typically expect of a graffiti covered area in most cities.  The area is heavily traveled and generally well-kept and the artwork is vivid and very interesting.  With the development of the beltline as a pedestrian greenway, Krog Street has become a hip area and a destination for photo shoots of all kinds.

There are many locations in the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown Atlanta area that are marked with spray-painted tags.  Some of those areas are pretty sketchy and I don’t think I would want to walk around them on my own.  Krog Street, on the other hand, is pretty nice and I felt totally safe here.  While we were shooting, there was a good amount of foot and bicycle traffic.  There was also a professional tour group guiding people through the area and describing points of interest.

People walking through the area were all upbeat and friendly.  Cars honked and waved as they passed by us and watched the crazy photographers and models wandering around.  I have to say, if you have not been here, you are missing something special.  It is a great place for colorful and interesting images of the art itself or as a backdrop for portraits or group events.

Here are a few shots of the tunnel and artwork there.

I will continue the saga of our photo walk on tomorrow’s post.

Nikon D7000
Tamron 16-300 zoom