My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

This is what it’s all about

I’ve started two draft posts about the fact that because of the level of detail and color reproduction that I’m seeing in the prints that I’ve been making with the new printer, that I have decided that I don’t need a better camera than the 7D Mk II that I’m using now. Those drafts are full of technical reasons why, but before I get started down that road again, this is why I’ve been working so hard to improve my photography. You can click on any of these photos to see a larger version of them.

Bald eagle

And, that’s not even the good shot, but it’s the one that will fit in the header of my blog the best, here are the good shots.

Bald eagle

Look at those eyes!

Bald eagle

Those show the details that I’m getting in my images these days, I think that this next one is all about the colors.

Great blue heron

Look at the beautiful shades of blue-grey tinged in brown in places that show on the heron’s wing.

This next one puts everything all together in one dramatic statement of what’s possible in photography these days.

Cedar waxwing

You can see how smooth and svelte the waxwing looks, but you can also make out the textures of its feathers, and for the first time, I captured the subtle barring that they have on their wings. Such beautiful birds deserve to be photographed well.

For me, it’s always been about showing others the beauty that I see in nature, and it’s finally showing up in my images.

Great blue heron in flight

You can see that many of the heron’s feathers are edged in another color, and how the feathers overlap to create the patterns you can see in these images.

Great blue heron in flight

It isn’t just birds, it is other subjects also.


I shot all of these on Sunday, and I’ve already put the insect photos that I shot on Saturday in another post, but here’s one from Saturday that I’ll also put in this post.

Monarch butterfly

I never knew that a monarch’s eyes had a hint of blue, or that a bumblebee’s eyes had stripes. I’m learning that the things seen in nature are even more beautiful than I had thought that they were.

I have a knack for catching birds striking a humorous pose…

Eastern Phoebe

…and now, I can make them appear even more life-like in my images.

Eastern Phoebe

I can also show every one when I find a red-tailed hawk that decided to go blonde.

Juvenile red-tailed hawk

I don’t know if that hawk is leucitic, or if it’s a juvenile that hasn’t grown the brown feathers on its head the way most red-tailed hawks do. Either way, it looks a bit odd with a white head, as if it was trying to impersonate an eagle.

To prove that I still shoot bad photos, and that I’m not just doing this post to brag, here’s an odd sight, a turkey in flight.

Juvenile turkey in flight

I saw the turkey on the right edge of the road that I was driving on, and assumed that it would turn around and dive into the tall grass to hide as turkeys usually do 99.9% of the time. It didn’t though, as you can see, it flew across the road ahead of me so that I could shoot its butt with the camera pointed towards the sun.

While I do shoot a bad image from time to time, I am getting my ducks all in a row.

This year’s young are almost as big as their mother.

Here are the rest of the images that I saved from today.

Turkey vulture in flight


Turkey vulture in flight


Dickcissel with a grasshopper


Bald eagle shot at 800 mm and live view focusing

I had the wrong camera and lens with me when this juvenile bald eagle flew past me, so I had to make do with what I had. They were shot just seconds after the bumblebee from earlier in this post.

Juvenile bald eagle in flight


Juvenile bald eagle in flight

Here’s something that you don’t see everyday, three great blue herons in a small area together. They’re normally solitary birds that will drive others of their species away, or be driven away by a more dominant one.

Great blue herons hanging out

As I’ve been driving for work each day the past week, I saw a large flock of great egrets in a small pond next to the expressway. I saw 12 egrets there on Friday, I went to that pond both Saturday and Sunday, and only this egret remained. I decided for a wider shot to show the habitat they prefer. I would have loved to have gotten the flock of egrets together though.

Great egret

I’ve already decided that I should do more of the wider photos to show the habitat that the birds prefer, but as you can see, I need more practice on them.

The next post will contain more of the insects that I shot Saturday, as well as other subjects, and my long discussion about how I decided that I don’t need to purchase a better camera. By the way, the adjustment that I made to the focusing of the 100-400 mm lens with the tele-converter attached seems to have worked. I had no trouble getting near macro photos of the insects as you will see.

It may have sounded like I was bragging (maybe just a little) but mostly, I’m excited that I’m able to show the subjects that I shoot as near to the way that they look in real life to me as I photograph them. And in the case of insects, I’m getting more in my images than I can see in real life. My goal has always been to show others the beautiful things that I see in nature, and I’m finally getting to the point where I can.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!


22 responses

  1. It’s no wonder so many people look at your blogs, you take such detailed wonderful photographs., those ones of the bald eagle were my favourite.

    August 21, 2017 at 3:31 am

    • Thank you very much Susan! I’m trying to present the things that I see as close to the way that they appear in real life, and Im getting closer all the time.

      August 21, 2017 at 7:45 am

  2. SunFreeStar

    Your great photos really express the beauty of Nature in all its tiny details, you are doing such an amazing work to achieve that. It is not easy at all. Thank you so much!💕

    August 21, 2017 at 5:07 am

    • Thank you very much! All the research and testing that I’ve done to improve my photos are beginning to pay off.

      August 21, 2017 at 7:47 am

  3. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ says the quote and I can’t find enough superlatives to praise these photos. Viewing them in full screen the detail is remarkable and the image is 3D …amazing! The cute pose of the Eastern Phoebe is lovely but the Bald Eagle and the Great Blue Heron photos are my favourites.

    August 21, 2017 at 6:05 am

    • Thank you very much Marianne! Most people do prefer images of the larger, more magnificent birds, but I have a soft spot in my heart for capturing the personality of the smaller birds also. I loved the way that the Phoebe had its head tilted much as a dog does when it’s listening to a person.

      August 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

  4. Love the eagle shots. I’d say in terms of image quality your pics are about a good as I’ve seen.

    August 21, 2017 at 6:56 am

    • Thank you very much Bob! I keep plugging away at it, I’ll get better photos in the future.

      August 21, 2017 at 7:52 am

  5. Going back through email, I see that I’ve missed a couple of your recent posts. We were camping at Nordhouse Dunes where there is no signal of any kind. It’s easy to miss things.

    Leucitic? What does that mean in terms of the hawk? It sure does look odd.

    (Going back to a previous post), we saw cardinal flowers everywhere along the roadside up north. What a great blast of color they are. And all the juvenile barn swallows were adorable. Would this be a second hatching? Wouldn’t they generally have been hatched in the spring?

    Great batch of photos.

    August 21, 2017 at 7:16 am

    • Thank you very much Judy! I hope that you were able to escape the heat and enjoy your time at Nordhouse Dunes.

      Leucitic is the fancy new scientific word for what people used to call partially albino or pie-bald. From genetic research, they’ve discovered that while the appearance may be similar, the cause is different, and a leucitic will never have the red eyes or other characteristics of a true albino, even if the animal is all white.

      Cardinal flowers are one of my favorites, they’re such a vivid red that it’s hard to miss them. I don’t know if the swallows were from a second brood or not, I forgot to ask them. They were too cute to think of anything other than shooting their picture.

      August 21, 2017 at 7:59 am

  6. Jerry, some of these are positively majestic photos of magestic beings.

    August 21, 2017 at 8:16 am

    • Thank you very much Cynthia!

      August 21, 2017 at 11:10 am

  7. Well I don’t know….perhaps a little boasting is in order. You have worked so hard to get your improved results that a pat on your own back is well deserved.
    The waxwing was really good.

    August 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    • Thank you very much Tom! I was going to shoot a wider shot of the waxwing, but once I saw it the viewfinder, I had to zoom in on it.

      August 21, 2017 at 8:15 pm

  8. Beautiful shots, Jerry! I love the fine details you have been able to capture – those you’ve pointed out and others too. I can look at these shots for ages and keep seeing something new.

    August 21, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    • Thank you very much Clare! I like that you can look at one of my photos and find more details all the time, that’s what I’m trying for.

      August 21, 2017 at 9:50 pm

  9. Always great when a plan comes together! 🙂 Lovely pics!

    August 22, 2017 at 4:11 am

    • Thank you very much! I do love it when a plan comes together, although it seldom happens for me.

      August 22, 2017 at 7:43 am

  10. I think you’ve always shown the beauty of nature here Jerry, but I have to agree that your photos get better all the time.
    You’re certainly getting some detail. It looks like the cedar waxwing has been banded and the wings of the monarch butterfly look like they’re made of fabric.
    I like that little phoebe but the bald hawk is pretty strange. I hope the poor thing will grow some feathers.
    Great shots of the eagle and herons!

    August 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    • Thank you very much Allen! At least to me, the more of the small details of any subject I photograph that I can show, the more the beauty of the subject shows in the images. Like the waxwing and the butterfly, most people seldom see those things.

      The hawk has feathers, but they’re mostly white, which isn’t normal for a red-tailed hawk. And, it helps when any birds pose so well for me.

      August 22, 2017 at 10:18 pm

  11. You are right. These photos are excellent, especially when view them on a 4K monitor. By the way, you may want to wait for the 7D Mark III to come out.

    August 26, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    • Thank you very much Hien! I’ve already seen fake on-line reviews of the 7D Mk III, even though it doesn’t exist yet. I’ll be in no hurry to upgrade when it does come out.

      August 26, 2017 at 9:40 pm