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1030

September 24, 2020
© Jim Miller – Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)

Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)
Boulder County, Colorado – June 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 300mm f4 L w/1.4x teleconverter
Tripod
ISO 400, 1/250 sec at f/18 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #1030
Image Size in Portfolio: 3986×3189

Rest in Peace, Bob

September 16, 2020

My long absence from the blog is interrupted by a few words about my friend, Bob Zeller.

Bob passed away yesterday just a few weeks short of his 86th birthday. His health had been failing for a short period of time, complicated I’m sure by his lifelong struggles with Marfan Syndrome.

Bob was many things.

He was an Airman, having served in the Air Force from 1955-1962, when he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. That diagnosis prompted a medical discharge from the Air Force after seven years of service. It also planted him firmly in San Angelo, Texas, where he spent most of his post-Air Force life.

He was a musician. A great saxophonist, he was inducted both in the West Texas Music Hall of Fame in the Pioneers & Sidemen category and as a member of the Cavaliers in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The Cavaliers are best known for their hit “Last Kiss”–later covered by Pearl Jam in 2000.

To me, he was all of those things. But he was also a mentor and a friend.

I met Bob and his bride, Ann, in the bird blind at San Angelo State Park, probably in 2007. His images coated the inside of the blind, giving new birders an idea of what they might find while sitting in what was nothing more than a converted shed with big windows.

As a bird photographer, I was very, very raw. My bird photography had been limited to some shooting in Iceland where I’d had some nice shots of puffins.

I spent many a morning in the blind with Bob and Ann. Without trying to teach or formally instruct, Bob taught me a ton about photography in general and bird photography in particular.

I am forever grateful to him for those informal lessons. I am the photographer I am today because of Bob.

In the years that followed, we continued our friendship. He’d always help with identification help or whatever else I needed.

Bob was a great photographer. He was an even better man.

Bob, it was a privilege and an honor to have known you. Rest in peace, my friend. Rest in peace.

Busy with Other Things…

May 17, 2020
© Jim Miller – Feeding Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

I’ve been taking a break from the blog. I wish it were good things. I’m glad it wasn’t for bad things. It has just been things.

I have been working in earnest at reducing my backlog with some significant success. As I wrote this post this Sunday morning I have now gone through and harvest images from 97 of my photo shoots. Leaving a mere 165 left to go.

I found in some cases I had previously finished harvesting the shoot, meaning it was just bad bookkeeping on my part. In some cases I had started to work on them at some point and then stopped, meaning that there wasn’t that much work to do. In other cases I had not touched the shoot, meaning that I had much work to do.

My goal for the year was getting my 1,000th image into the portfolio. I cleared that hurdle earlier this month. Which sounds like it is time to set a new goal.

I still have not been back in the field to shoot. Covid-19 restrictions have kept me at home for the most part. I’m hoping maybe next weekend I will go out for at least a little while. Colorado’s current Safer at Home restrictions end after next weekend and word is that Rocky Mountain National Park may be open for business the following week. I really need to get back into the field.

I hope that you remain safe and well.

About the image:
Clouded Skipper butterfly (Lerema accius)
Bexar County, Texas – December 2012
Canon 60D, Canon 300mm f4 L w/1.4x teleconverter
Tripod
ISO 400, 1/160 sec at f/11 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0159
Image Size in Portfolio: 2624×3280

Burning Down the Backlog…

March 19, 2020
© Jim Miller – Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus)

In my day-to-day job we talk about burning down the backlog. Effectively, we have identified things that need to get done, but are not the highest priority when we discovered them. So they go into the backlog. Those items still have to be done. When things slow down we can go back and fix those issues. And in doing that we say we were successful in burning down the backlog.

Effectively I’ve created a huge backlog of processing to do over the years. For me, a day of shooting is a wonderful stress reliever. A bad day of shooting is better than a good day doing just about anything else.

And when I got those images home, I’d look at them. I’d share a few on Facebook. I’d edit a few and make them part of a blog post. I might even process a couple and put them in my portfolio. But the rest would sit on the virtual shelf in my hard drive, collecting virtual dust. They became my backlog.

Winter is still very much a reality here in Colorado. Some medical concerns keep me from traipsing out in the snow to do some shooting. And COVID-19 looms as its own threat.

I have completed processing my first three shoots of the year. So I am burning down my backlog of previous shoots and am being very productive at it.

Right now I am in one Lightroom library of shots from early 2016. It consists of five different days of shooting.
– One very productive day at the Rocking R6 Ranch near Laredo in Webb County, Texas.
– Three quick visits to Crescent Bend Nature park in Cibolo, Texas.
– And a day trip out to South Llano River State Park near Junction, Texas.

And when I get those five done, I will only have 215 additional shoots to harvest images from (out of a total of 262 total shoots from my Canon 60D and my Canon 7D Mark II).

I really need to do something about my backlog…

About the image:
Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus)
Kimble County, Texas – February 2016
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/500 sec at f/10 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0856
Image Size in Portfolio: 3198×2558

0850

March 17, 2020
© Jim Miller – Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata)

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata)
Webb County, Texas – February 2016
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1) at 500mm
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/640 sec at f/10 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0850
Image Size in Portfolio: 3451×2761

Larger Size Posted At FlickrExplored March 15, 2020

0815

March 15, 2020
© Jim Miller – Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas)

Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/400 sec at f/9.0 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0815
Image Size in Portfolio: 3904×3123

0827

March 13, 2020
© Jim Miller – Audubon’s Oriole (Icterus graduacauda)

Audubon’s Oriole (Icterus graduacauda)
Webb County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1) at 300mm
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/160 sec at f/7.1 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0827
Image Size in Portfolio: 3379×4424

0806

March 11, 2020
© Jim Miller – Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus)

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/320 sec at f/14 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0806
Image Size in Portfolio: 3006×3757

0786

March 5, 2020
© Jim Miller – Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus)

Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus)
Uvalde County, Texas – May 2018
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1) at 500mm
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/320 sec at f/13 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0786
Image Size in Portfolio: 4560×3648

Larger Size Posted At Flickr

0798

March 3, 2020
© Jim Miller – Long-Billed Thrasher (Toxostoma longirostre)

Long-Billed Thrasher (Toxostoma longirostre)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/800 sec at f/11 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0798
Image Size in Portfolio: 2622×3278

Larger Size Posted at Flickr

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