>Day 045 – 02142011

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Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone who celebrates a day like today! Mother Nature has given us (in Northern California) the gift of rain on this beautiful Monday.

This male great blue heron (Ardea herodias) stopped by to check the land and wasn’t very thrilled that we wanted to take his picture. He promptly flew away as I got closer. His mate, on the other hand, actually stayed and roamed around the area on foot for a while.

Technical data: f/5.0 at 1/500th sec, ISO 100.

Day 021 – 01212011

The sun has returned to our side of the world and the days are gorgeous and warm during the day. At night, well, let’s say winter is still here…

I took this photo during our hike into Annadel State Park near Santa Rosa, California. On our way to visit Lake Ilsanjo I spotted this view of a semi-dry creek beautifully reflecting the early morning sun. Some of the rocks in the creek look like they’re floating in space.

Corrections to the White Balance and Color Saturation were performed in Adobe Camera Raw. Detail Sharpening was done in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Technical data: aperture f/4.0, exposure 1/80th sec, ISO 500.

Day 012 – 01122011

I photographed this double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) at the shores of the Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, California.

The name double-crested is applied to it due to the large white feather tufts the males sport during mating season, which occurs in late spring and during the summer. It is my understanding that this bird is quite common along rivers and lakes and we’ve seen them quite often here, I just never had the chance to get this close to one to photograph well.

Sharpening and contrast were increased in Adobe Camera Raw, and I digitally cleaned out most of the do-do on the bird’s rock using the Spot Healing Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Technical data: aperture f/3.5, exposure 1/250th sec, ISO 100.