Diversity in my photography

After posting those scenics photographs in my blog yesterday, I decieded to show you some more of my non-nature photography.  I love to shoot anything and everything that appeals to my eye.  I love color, I love action.  All of that besides my wildlife photography.  So I hope you enjoy the folowing images that shows my diversity.

Ths first is one of  what I call one of my “artsy” photos.  I was at a balloon festival a few years back.  It was a very windy day, with winds too strong for balloon flying.  I was trying to salvage some images, not wanting to go home without something.  The balloon were anchored to the ground for static showing.  I saw these three swaying to and fro in the wind, and I was taken by the similarities in the stitched panels.  I just aimed right into the middle of the grouping and got this result.


For the following shot I was at an air show at Midland, Texas.  It was the annual Confederate Air Force show.  (for political reasons, it is now called Commemmorative Air Force).  Anyway, the Air Force Thunderbirds were the headliners.  I shot seven 36-exposure rolls of film and this was one of the better results.

U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds

Here’s another one of my “artsy” photos, and it is one of my best sellers.  It is another one from my film shooting days.  As a matter of fact, it goes way back to 1962.  I was near Istanbul, Turkey at the time, and I and my wife were walking along the water front.  We spotted this old fishing boat sitting near an old dock.  I call it simply “Abana”.  I have no idea what it means except it may be the boat owners wife or girl friend.  Photographed on the old Kodachrome ASA 10 (would you believe it?) slide film.  Oh, the camera was a Kodak Retina 3s.


We were vacationing in Michigan a couple of years ago and ventured out near the seashore.  Actually, the lake shore, but it is mis-leading.  Those Great Lakes are actually inland seas.  You need to be there when the violent storms are splashing waves to the top of the light house in the following picture.

Lake Michigan Seascape

Another photo from Northern Michigan.  This is Fishtown.  An actual name for this old fishing village.  In the old days it was very active with commercial fishing boats.  Now, it is more of a tourist attraction.  But those old buildings captivated me, and I loved the green row boat.  I facetiously named the photo “Yacht Club”.

"Yacht Club"

Back home in San Angelo.  Some of the big happenings around here are the rodeo events.  In February we have one of the largest rodeos in the United States.  Enough entrants that it takes nine days to complete the competion.  However, we also occassionly have one of the Professional Bull Riders events held here and that was here I shot this photo.


I hope you have enjoyed these photos.  If so leave a comment.  When you do, if you click on the little box at the bottom, my posts will be automatically sent to you e-mail.  Click on any image for an enlargement.

New Photoshop Elements

I recently upgraded to Photoshop Elements 8.  Since I wanted to get into it a little bit more than what the “help” menu shows, I opted to order the book “Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows: the missing manual”, by Barbara Brundage.  She says this is the book that should have been in the “box”.  I agree with her, it seems that you can spend hundreds of dollars now for software, but hardly ever get any instructional material with it.  Anyway, this book is a 624 page tome, but very informative.  I just received it yesterday, and with just browsing a few pages, I have picked some new knowledge.  It cost 29.69 from Amazon, but worth every penny.

I would like to point out that I still try to keep my photographs as original and realistic as I can.  I use this photo editing software, but I absolutely do not do anything to an image that I wouldn’t do when I used a chemical darkroom.  The only difference is that I now keep my hands cleaner.  I adjust color, lighting, and sharpness.  I darken highlights and lighten shadows.  If there is an unwanted item in a picture, such as a beer can, cigarette butt, or one time there was a “cow patty”,  I do remove such things.  I also crop the images if necessary to improve the composition.  Of course, in the old days with a chemical darkroom I would have done the same thing.

The great photographer Ansel Adams was a master in the darkroom.  He would love the digital age, I am sure.  He spent countless hours in the darkroom, sometimes in a tent, producing his utterly magnificent black and white photographs.  He, himself, was quoted as saying that people would be surprised if they could have seen the orignal scene, then his finished photo.  If you haven’t seen any of his work, make a point to do so.  His images are fantastic.

I recently had a disappointing experience.  I was eating breakfast the the Village Cafe where I have a few of my photographs hanging on display.  An individualGreat Blue Heron with fish - original saw my picture of the Heron trying to swallow the catfish.  I happened to catch the action just as the catfish appeared between the heron’s jaws.  He immediately accused me of “faking it”.  Actually, he said that I “photoshopped it”, meaning that I somehow placed the catfish in the mouth from another picture.  I was offended, but said nothing as that is the way with some people in this digital age, to assume that since it was done with a computer, it can’t be real.

What they don’t realize is that I work with state of the art Canon equipment that enables me to get fantastic results.  The original picture is to the right


Great Blue Heron with fish – edited

with my cropped and edited version below it.  I had my camera with a 500mm super telephoto lens set up on a tripod.  I saw the heron fishing along this little pond.  I focused on the heron, set the shutter for high-speed shooting.  As the heron dove his head in the water, I pressed and held the shutter.  At 6.5 frames per second, I got a series of images from the time he lifted his head from the water with the fish until he was swallowing, or trying to.

Anyway, comparing the original shot with the finished photo, you can see that I cropped it so I had a good close-up.  I know that I don’t have to defend myself against such allegations as described above, but I felt that I wanted to describe how I did this anyway.

Now having said all of that, it wouldn’t have been hard to falsify the photograph with Photoshop, but it also wouldn’t have been hard to do with the chemical darkroom either.  But it is a matter of ethics.  If a person does fake a photo and admits it that he does it for the fun of it, that’s different.  However if a photographer does it and mis-represents it as genuine, then shame on him.

Happy Birding!!

San Angelo Water Lily Collection

San Angelo is home to one of the largest water lily collections in the world   It has over 300 international specimens.  It is one of my favorite haunts to photograph water lilies.  What does this have to do with birding, you may


Green Heron with minno

 ask.  Well, it is also a favorite place for Green Herons to come and fish for minnows, etc.  You can see one of my photos of one to the right.  This one was one of two that were stealing the show at the Lily Fest in 2008.  They were hopping from lily pad to lily pad, much to the enjoyment of the spectators.

But since I am on the subject of water lilies, allow me to show off a few of my other images.  All of them were taken at the International Water Lily Collection in downtown San Angelo.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you are interested in purchasing prints, just contact me at zellerphotoart@suddenlink.net.

Happy Birding!!




"Aquatic Beauty"


"Lady in Red"


"Magnificent Ballerina"

Lake Ivie Report

I got an e-mail this morning forwarded by Terry Richmond, written by Sue Oliver.  It seems that Sue and Mary Creel made a trip to Lake Ivie to do some birding.  I would say that they were successful as they counted 61 species for the trip, 49 which were at Lake Ivie itself, and 12 more on the road enroute.  It is enough to convince me that I must make the trip, maybe tomorrow.  If so, I will report back on this blog how well I and Ann did.  I don’t expect to do as well, as we aren’t as experienced as those ladies are.

Lake Ivie, for you readers not from this area, is about 55 miles east of San Angelo, Texas.  It was impounded with a dam in 1990, by the Colorado River Municipal Water District.  It was filled by the waters of the Concho River and the Colorado River.  It covers 19,149 acres, and has maximum depth of 119 feet.  Not only is the birding great, but is also a favored fishing lake.

I must relate this experience of a previous birding trip.  Several months ago Suzanne and Sid Johnson, Ann and I, decided that we were going to Lake Ivie to bird.  For some reason that I can’t remember, we changed our mind and decided to go north to Cedar Gap Farm. We left San Angelo at around 8:30 in the morning.  It seems that the birding was pretty good along the way.  We arrived in Ballinger around noon.  The kicker is that Ballinger is only about 30 miles away. Three hours and a half to get to Ballinger, would you believe??  Anyway, we ate lunch there, and decided to return to San Angelo by way of Bronte and Robert Lee.  That took us another three hours or so.  Why do you ask??  Birding along the way, of course.  All in all, I think we scored 47 species for the trip.  Not bad for not making it to our original destination of Cedar Gap Farm..

If anyone else has anything else to report, e-mail me and I’ll pass the word.

Happy Birding!!

visit www.zellertexasphotos.com

San Angelo State Park

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Since I do a large percent of my birding and photography at San Angelo State Park, I feel compelled to tell a little bit about it.  I imagine a large percentage of you readers have never heard of it, let alone visit it.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

It was created in 1952 when O. C. Fisher Dam and Reservoir were completed for flood control.  In 1995 it was officially opened as San Angelo State Park.  It is comprised of 7,677 acres, mostly undeveloped land.  But the developed part is a gem. 


Picnic site

There you can find wildlife of all types, white-tailed deer,  rattlesnake, javelina, bobcat, porcupine, jackrabbits, prairie dogs, and many more than I have space to list.  There is a herd of bison, and part of the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd  resides there. 

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Did I mention that there many types of birds in the park.  There are 356 species of birds in the Concho Valley and you can see most of them in the park at various times of the year.

Also available are many campsites, some dry camps, other full-featured hook-ups.  Picnic tables abound for the day-trippers.  Air-conditioned cabins are for rent for visitors who don’t happen to own an RV or other camping gear.

Air-conditioned Cabin

Air-conditioned Cabin

Kurt Kemp and his staff do a wonderful and efficient job of maintaining the numerous areas of the park.  At the South Entrance gate-house you can find maps, souvenirs, and get park information.

Plans for the future include additional bird-blinds for the birding enthusiast and bird photographers.  An amphitheater is under construction, and when completed, it will be available for outdoor events, including weddings.

So all in all, I would say that the future of San Angelo State Park looks rosy indeed.  Now if only we could get a little more rain on the North Concho River water-shed, the level of the lake would rise.  Then we could make use of the many boat ramps that are currently hundreds of yards from the shoreline.  At that time, boating can truly be added to the already long list of activities for park visitors.

In birding news, I and Gary Lindahl, saw our first Purple Finch this morning.

Happy Birding!!

For more photos visit www.zellertesasphotos.com