Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nature's Best 2012

I am happy to announce that my image of Texas Leafcutter Ants (Atta texana) received a Highly Honored in this Year's Windland Smith Rice International Awards from Nature's Best Photography.

Texas Leafcutter Ants

While photographing in New Braunfels in central Texas, I noticed a trail of leaf cutter ants. I knew Texas had these ants native but I had never seen them here; yet alone in such a great photography location. I soon learned all about Texas Leaf Cutter ants by watching them and reading about them. The ants targeted an evergreen Cherry Laurel tree since it was one of the only source of food during February when this image was taken.  I was amused watching these tiny creatures in all types of weather carrying different shapes and sizes while working amazing well together.

Camera Specs: Nikon D3; AF Nikkor 200mm f/4D ED-IF macro lens; 1/250s at f/16; ISO 400; 3x Nikon SB-800 Flash full flash; Gitzo Tripod; Arca Swiss Ball head.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Texas Parks and Wildlife Covers

I have been very fortunate this year to have twice made the cover of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. The most recent issue in July featured my Bobwhite image. I was still using film when I took the image near Raymondville in South Texas. The slide film was Sensia 100.  The days of film  seem so long ago. I do miss several  aspects of shooting film, mostly not having to adjust/correct your images.  I also waited with eager anticipation to see how my film developed.  On the other hand, with digital, you have instant gratification and the luxury to shoot many more frames.

Below is the original image.


In April my Texas Horned Lizard was featured. Texans are always happy to see my Horned Lizard images.  It takes them back to their childhood when they were a bit more abundant. This image was taken in Starr County in the Rio Grande Valley in 2002; It was the first Horny Toad I ever photographed.

Below is the original.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Natural Bridge Caverns Workshops

I am proud to partner with Natural Bridge Caverns to offer two exciting workshops during the 2012 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

Natural Bridge Caverns Photography Workshops
In Association with the 2012 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo
Natural Bridge Caverns is a wondrous area, both above and below ground. Situated in the beautiful Hill country of Texas, Natural Bridge Caverns has many fantastic photo opportunities.
Two unique 4hr workshops will be offered.  Limited Entry, Only 6 people per workshop

Friday, February 24, 2012:

"In the Field Bird Photography" from 8 a.m. to 12 noon for $95

In this session you will learn how to take great bird images especially in your own backyard. Tips and techniques will be taught on how to attract wildlife, how to approach birds, ensuring pleasing backgrounds, using natural perches, learning to use various angles and utilizing the best light. We will shoot at an existing bird feeder. A tripod and long telephoto lens (300mm or more) will be needed. A flash and teleconverter are recommended.
Saturday, February 25, 2012:

"In the Caverns" from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. $115 (includes entrance fee to caverns)

This session offers a unique opportunity to shoot in one of the most beautiful pristine caves in the world.  How to shoot artistic landscapes will be the main focus. You will also learn how to use flashes for less than optimal light conditions. (LED lighting will be provided). One flash (an in-camera flash will suffice) and a tripod will be needed. A wide angle lens and short zoom lens are recommended.
Both workshops include at least an hour of classroom type training to include a photo presentation, various photography instructions on equipment and techniques, and basic Photoshop work flow.
Participants will meet at the visitor center for Natural Bridge Caverns which is located 30 minutes north of downtown San Antonio, eight miles west of I-35 at exit #175, Natural Bridge Caverns Road/F.M.3009. 
A snack bar with food and drinks is available at the caverns.

To save a spot call Natural Bridge Caverns at : 210 651 6101

Sunday, December 11, 2011

National Wildlife contest award

The National Wildlife Federation held their annual photo contest this year and I won the ”Other Wildlife, professional” category. My image along with the other winning photos is published in the December/January 2012 issue of National Wildlife magazine. Images can also be viewed on their website click here  .  Congratulations to all the winners. The NWF main focus is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

Cane Toad

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And the Winners are...

The Coastal Bend Wildlife Photo contest announced the winners for the 2010/2011 photo contest on November 5, 2011.  I was fortunate to win First Grand prize. With this win, I was glad to honor my ranch owner from the Twin Oaks,  Lon Cartwright who will be turning 90 very soon. He is a fascinating gentleman who truly loves his land and family (Claire Vaughn and Loncito Cartwright).  My good friends Bill and Sharon Draker were a very close second. I was very unsure who was going to take the top prize when I saw all the images. The Drakers shot on the Welder Wildlife Refuge, a wonderful ranch with great diversity.  Hector Astorga took third on the Fennessy Ranch with some amazing images.  Sally Crofutt and Mog were there from the Fennessy.  I shot on the Fennessy Ranch for the Images for Conservation Pro Tour back in 2008. They are wonderful people and do a magnificent job of manging their ranch. If you are ever in the area, you should check them out. Rounding out the top five were James Fuller on his family's ranch and Dean Johnstone on his family ranch.  I was quite impressed with their images. The judge's favorite was a pair of fighting rattlers shot by Charlie Spiekerman. It was quite spectacular.  Overall I thought all the images were fabulous and wish some of them were mine!  The event was wonderful as well.  I think there must have been between 250 to 300 people there.  The Coastal Bend did a great job organizing the whole event.  This year's book will be dedicated to Luther Young who recently passed away unexpectedly this year.  He was the husband of Patti Young who is the director of the Coastal Bend Wildlife Contest.
I posted my 1st place category winners here. To see my whole entry please check out my portfolio here.

Barn Owls

Barn Swallow

Audubon's Oriole

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Northern Mockingbird and Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Black-necked Stilts

Green Jay

Grey Fox


Red Wasp

Running Spider

Robber Fly

Eastern Amberwing

Rain Lilies

Texas Dandelion


Monday, October 31, 2011

Nature's Best Award

I am proud to announce that my image of the jumping Cane Toad received a Highly Honored in this Year's Windland Smith Rice International Awards from Nature's Best Photography.

Cane Toad Jumping

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Coast Trip

I was in Port Aransas the beginning of October. I wanted to take advantage of the warm gulf waters, the latter part of bird migration and attend the "Meet the Judges" event for the Coastal Bend Wildlife Photo Contest. I was fortunate to enjoy all 3. My daughter Anna and wife Karen joined me for my little excursion.  We stayed on the beach and each morning I rose with the sun to take pictures.  One morning, a lone Long-billed Curlew was working the sandy beach areas for crabs; the curlew used its long bill to retrieve the crabs out of their holes.  The tide was generally low in the morning; unfortunately midday was the true low tide and the light was harsh. However, birdwatching was spectacular at that time because all the schools of little fish were concentrated between the sandbars making the birds go wild. Brown pelicans, terns, and seagulls were diving like crazy.  If you can, plan your trip when low tide is around daybreak or sunset to take advantage of the light.

At both Paradise Pond and the Birding Center, migrating birds were flocking because a cold front with violent storms blew through . The migrants included Wilson's Warblers and Nashville Warblers which both are more common at the coast during fall migration.

On Saturday night, we went to the Welder Wildlife Refuge to meet the judges for the 2011 Coastal Bend Wildlife Photo Contest. This year's judges were Larry Ditto, Karine Aigner and Mike Sloat. I teamed up the the Cartwright / Vaughn families on the Twin Oaks Ranch. The outside event was quite nice with cool weather, great company, beer and Texas Bar-B-Que. The judges apparently worked long hours to place all the images with lots of debates occurring. We will have to wait until November 5 to see the winning images. For more info about the judges or the contest click here. I will post my contest portfolio after the awards ceremony.

Long-billed Curlew
Snowy Egret in surf

Brown Pelicans

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelicans