Dan Kehlenbach Photography: Blog https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Dan Kehlenbach Photography (Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Fri, 08 Oct 2021 14:11:00 GMT Fri, 08 Oct 2021 14:11:00 GMT https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-12/u122910686-o492538875-50.jpg Dan Kehlenbach Photography: Blog https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog 101 120 Photographing cliches: lighthouses https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/10/photographing-cliches Lighthouses are one of my favorite subjects to photograph.  I also enjoy reading about lighthouse history, the keeper's stories, and the wonderful work of preservation societies to keep these treasures alive and accessible to the public.  I must have 30 books house in a replica lighthouse keeper's library case:

 

 

There are often cliche-type photographs associated with lighthouses.  I live near Portland Head Lighthouse, and it's advertised as being the most photographed lighthouse in the US.  This is the typical vantage point that visitors often photograph the lighthouse:

There is no doubt that this is a beautiful and majestic scene that portrays the typical environment of lighthouses along the Maine coast.  Since I live close to this lighthouse, I enjoy visiting the area throughout the year to explore different vantage points and portraits of the lighthouse in different weather conditions.

Even though lighthouses may often be cliche-type images, they bring me joy and I look forward to other opportunities at Portland Head.  Here are a few images:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Lighthouses Maine Portland Head Light Projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/10/photographing-cliches Tue, 12 Oct 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Behind the image: Dall Sheep at Turnagain Arm https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/10/behind-the-image-dall-sheep-at-turnagain-arm One of my favorite places to photograph while living in Alaska was the Turnagain Arm.  The Turnagain Arm is a tributary of Cook inlet and was supposedly named after one of Cook's explorers had to "turn again" after another unsuccessful search for the Northwest Passage.

 

Today the Seward Highway runs along the Turnagain Arm and is a wonderful location for nature photography, particularly wildflowers since the south-facing slopes are the first to see the sun after the long winter.

 

One day in November I decided to take a drive along the highway to see what was happening.  The light was beautiful and it was past tourist season, so I practically had the highway to myself.  I stopped at a rest stop near Beluga Point, one of my normal stops, and decided to hike around a bit.  A few minutes after starting my hike I came across a group of ram and ewe Dall Sheep grazing along a ridge probably 50 feet or so above the highway.  I sat down as to minimize disrupting their behavior and within a few minutes they went about their normal business feeding along the ridge.  

 

I was fortunate to capture several photographs of the group and here is one of my favorites.  While photographing the sheep, there were Bald Eagles soaring overhead, and Beluga Whales in Turnagain Arm.  Good stuff.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska dall sheep turnagain arm wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/10/behind-the-image-dall-sheep-at-turnagain-arm Tue, 05 Oct 2021 11:30:00 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Big Cypress Preserve and Everglades National Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/favorite-photography-destinations-big-cypress-preserve-and-everglades-national-park Just outside of Miami is one of the world's most unique ecosystems - the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.  With its open sawgrass fields and towering cumulonimbus clouds, it felt like we were driving through an African Landscape.

 

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Clyde Butcher's gallery and viewing his large-format black-and-white prints.  Some of these prints were over 8 feet long and contained incredible detail.  Inspired by Clyde's work, I decided to try converting my images into black and white.

 

Here are a few of my memorable images: 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) big cypress clyde butcher everglades florida https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/favorite-photography-destinations-big-cypress-preserve-and-everglades-national-park Wed, 29 Sep 2021 10:13:49 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Caribbean Islands https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/favorite-photography-destinations-caribbean-islands There's something magical about being on a ship and approaching a Caribbean Island, particularly around sunrise.  After being at sea, the sights and smells of the land are certainly a welcome, and makes me eager to explore.  Here are a couple of my memorable photos around the Caribbean.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) caribbean destinations puerto rico virgin islands national park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/favorite-photography-destinations-caribbean-islands Tue, 21 Sep 2021 11:00:00 GMT
A Memorable Project https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/a-memorable-project In going through my photography books, I came across a book I put together a few years back called “Hidden in Plain Sight”.  This was a film project, and looking through the book brought back all sorts of memories that are much more powerful than scrolling through my Lightroom library.  I can remember what the weather was like, what other compositions I considered, and my thoughts leading up to these compositions.

This project was inspired by Jim Brandenburg’s Chased by the Light, and I decided to set some limitations similar to what he did with his.  My limitations were:

-One roll of film (Portra 400, 36 exposures)

-One camera (Nikon F65)

-One lens (Nikon 28-70mm zoom)

-One picture per day - one click of the shutter

-One location (Greensprings nature trail in Williamsburg Virginia)

There was no second chance and no instant feedback that I had become so reliant on with digital technology.  It didn’t take long to discover the incredible element of mystery that would accompany me on this journey.

With this project, I hoped to go deeper - beyond the predictable and aesthetically “pretty” picture to slow down and serve as a reminder to take a closer look at the natural world and what is hidden in plain sight.

Going through this book has inspired me to start thinking about another film project.  Stay tuned.

Here are all the photos from the project:

 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) film hidden in plain sight Projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/a-memorable-project Tue, 14 Sep 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Seeing in Sixes - Quiet Landscapes https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/seeing-in-sixes---quiet-landscapes For some time now, Lenswork magazine has published various Seeing in Sixes projects that have caught my attention.  These small bodies of work have made me think more about the subject I enjoy photographing.  The past few years, I have become more interested in the more intimate landscapes as opposed to the grand, spectacular vistas that I would emphasize in my earlier year of photography.

One of my most influential photographers, Eliot Porter, has devoted many books to the subject, and I particularly admire how he took the time and attention to emphasize these quiet scenes that can be found virtually everywhere.  I decided to look back at all the places we have been stationed and put together six images of some of the more subtle aspects of the natural world.  To me, they are no less fascinating and inspiring than some of the iconic scenes so commonly photographed.  Here are six images from New Jersey, Maine, Virginia, Alaska, Connecticut, and Puerto Rico.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Intimate Landscapes Seeing in Sixes https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/seeing-in-sixes---quiet-landscapes Tue, 07 Sep 2021 11:00:00 GMT
My nature wandering kit https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/my-nature-wandering-kit Lately, I've been hiking and wandering with a small amount of camera gear.  My current choice of gear is a Panasonic FZ300 and a Sony RX100.  I keep the FZ300 around my neck for wildlife opportunities and the RX100 in a LowePro Inverse 200 hip bag.  I'm quite surprised that LowePro discontinued this series of camera bag.

The FZ300 is a very enjoyable camera to use and excels at macro photography, especially if paired with my Raynox 150 macro lens.  If I encounter any landscapes that are beyond the capability of the FZ300, I have the RX100 in my hip bag.  Sony came up with a gem of a camera with the RX100 series.  The Zeiss lens and 1" sensor in a pocketable camera produce some wonderful photos.

In the hip pack, I carry a small notebook, a bug net, a water bottle, filters (polarizers and Raynox), and spare batteries.  There's plenty of room for a few snacks or a small lunch.  Sometimes traveling light is more liberating and shifts the emphasis from photography to enjoying time spent in nature.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/my-nature-wandering-kit Fri, 03 Sep 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Signs of Fall https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/signs-of-fall It's been a fairly warm summer here in Maine and it's nice to see some signs of fall.  We've had quite a few days in the 90s (with three days in a row of 95+ degrees) and I read that Portland set a record high dewpoint of 78 this summer.  That's more typical of the Caribbean than that of New England.  In fact, on some of my morning hikes this summer, temperatures, and dewpoints were in the low to mid-70s, which was common when I went on hikes in El Yunque.

This summer has been quite the rainy summer too, so hopefully, all that moisture will translate to vibrant fall colors!

 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Fall Maine https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/signs-of-fall Wed, 01 Sep 2021 11:00:19 GMT
Blending In - updated https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/blending-in---updated Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey or become prey themselves.

 

 Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 8/31/21 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/blending-in---updated Tue, 31 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Trip Report: Sawgrass Lake Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/trip-report-sawgrass-lake-park Every once in a while I come across places in nature that captivate my sense of wonder and brings me peace and happiness.  Sawgrass Lake Park in Saint Petersburg, Florida turns out to be one of those places.  Located a stone's throw from I-275 in one of the most populated areas in the state of Florida, 400-acre Sawgrass Lake Park features a mile-long boardwalk over a maple swamp that is home to many species of wildlife.  The boardwalk leads to a 1/2 mile trail through an oak hammock populated by live oaks and water oaks with an understory of saw palmettos and ferns (from the Parks of Pinellas website).

 

Habitat

When I am out in search of wildlife, I always try to photograph each area's unique habitat.  After all, without suitable habitat, wildlife simply cannot survive.  Here are some photographs of different habitats throughout the park:

 

Birds

According to the guide from the Great Florida Birding Trail, 211 species of birds have been identified in the park.  The most common birds I came across were Great Blue Herons, Limpkins, Tricolor Herons, Green Herons, Anhingas, Catbirds, Cardinals, Common Moorhens, Redwing Blackbirds, and White Ibises.  It appears as the birds were accustomed to human presence, making it somewhat easy for photography.  Here are some bird images:

 

Reptiles

When people want to come along with me on a photographic wander, I usually advise against it.  Usually they think that I may hike too quickly, leaving them behind.  In fact, it's the exact opposite.  When I have a camera in hand, I slow way down.  Too slowly for most people.  I'll take a couple of steps, stop and listen for several minutes, and if I find a spot that looks like it will be conducive for a wildlife encounter, I'll find a spot and sit - sometimes for several hours.  Moving slowly and observing closely are key to finding certain species of wildlife - reptiles in particular.  The nice thing about reptile photography is that if the animal is comfortable with your presence, they usually will stay quite still, especially in the morning hours while they are trying to absorb the sun's energy.  Reptiles and amphibians are often overlooked when it comes to nature photography, and it's unfortunate - they make wonderful subjects and are quite interesting.

Sawgrass Lake Park is home to several Gopher Tortoises, a threatened species.  I was looking all over the interior of the park for some with no luck.  When I came back to the car to grab my lunch, there one was - right in the picnic area!  Here are some of the reptiles I came across:

 

Insects

Like reptiles, insects are often overlooked.  When I lived in Connecticut, I became very interested in photographing Dragonflies.  Dragonflies are usually most active when the sun is out, and that will allow plenty of light for photography, which is quite helpful considering the long focal lengths often needed to avoid scaring them off.  Here are some dragonflies:

 

This park truly fascinated me.  I spent four consecutive mornings and afternoons there and barely scratched the surface of discovering the natural wonders within its boundaries.  I came across several spots that would be fun to spend an entire morning just sitting and observing.  If you ever find yourself in the Tampa area and want a little peace and quiet, head on over to the park and enjoy experiencing what Florida must have looked like hundreds of years ago.

 

For more photos of Sawgrass Lake and some shorebirds in Fort DeSoto Park, click on my Recent Work page.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) florida trip report wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/trip-report-sawgrass-lake-park Fri, 27 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Getting the most out of a compact digital camera https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/getting-the-most-out-of-a-compact-digital-camera In the last post, I talked about how much I’ve enjoyed the so-called “superzoom” cameras and thought I would share some tips with regular compact digital cameras.  Over the years I have enjoyed using Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic compact cameras.  Compact digital cameras have much smaller sensors than mirrorless, APS-C, or full-frame sensor digital cameras and need some special handling to get the best possible image quality from them.  Here are some things I have discovered that work well for my photography:

 

Shoot in RAW format, if possible

RAW images provide more flexibility in post-processing than JPEG images allowing for enhanced dynamic range, changeable white balance settings, and more flexibility with noise reduction.  Being larger files, they will take up more space on your memory card and may limit things like burst rate capability, creative mode settings, and enhanced zoom settings.  If your camera does not support RAW, don’t worry, you may just have to do some experimenting to find out your camera’s ideal settings.  For example, many Panasonic compact camera users have mentioned that the default noise reduction is too aggressive resulting in smeared details, and dialing it back in the Photo Style menu produces more pleasing results.  Some compact cameras default JPEGs boost saturation and contrast, so reducing them in-camera may give you more latitude in post-processing.

Keep the camera at base ISO whenever possible

Although compact digital cameras are getting better and better, try not to boost ISO beyond its base setting.  This may pose a challenge for wildlife photography in low lighting conditions, so do some experimenting to see how your camera performs in real-world conditions with different ISOs.  With my Panasonic FZ300, I prefer to keep it below ISO 800 for best results.  Keeping your camera at its base ISO may require using a tripod in certain situations, which although may be less convenient, will produce higher-quality images than hand-holding the camera at higher ISOs.

 

Beware of reduced dynamic range

Cameras with smaller sensors do not have the dynamic range (range of lights to darks) that larger sensor cameras do.  There are a few things that may help with this:

-Dial in a small amount of exposure compensation.  I typically have -1/3 exposure compensation for my normal photo setting to protect the highlights from being blown out.  My FZ300 has a ‘Zebra’ setting that allows me to see the areas that are blown out, and I can dial back the exposure even more if necessary.

-Use a polarizer. A polarizer filter is traditionally used to cut down on glare and reflections in a scene and to increase saturation, particularly in the sky.  They can also help with taming the contrast in high dynamic range scenes.  Polarizers can be adjusted, so by rotating the filer you can achieve the effect you desire.

-Merge exposures.  Many post-processing software programs feature an exposure merge or HDR feature.  I have found that bracketing exposures of -2/3, 0, and +2/3 can help increase the overall dynamic range of your scene.

Post Processing Strategies

Images from a small sensor camera might need additional care with post-processing software.  The following has helped me tremendously:

Selective noise reduction and/or sharpening

If your editing software has the ability to ‘brush on’ noise reduction or sharpening, this can help improve the ultimate quality of the image.  Very often noise is most visible in skies, so applying noise reduction only in the sky area can help.  There’s no real need to sharpen a sky either, so by limiting the sharpening to other areas (either with sharpening masks or sharpening brushes) you can improve the image.

 

Low light images

Shooting RAW I set my ISO limit to 1600.  I prefer to keep it below 800 but found that by using RAW I can get away with images as high as 1600.  This is very helpful in low light conditions, but they need some special treatment.  I have found that Lightroom’s default ‘Indoors and Low Light Sharpening’ setting is a good starting point. 

 

Learn from Others

Check the web for resources available for your specific camera.  There are many sites dedicated to Sony’s RX100 series of cameras, and Graham Houghton and my friend Bob Armstrong have published numerous resources and videos on the Panasonic FZ series of cameras.

 

Evaluate the Print, not Pixels

When viewed on a computer monitor at 100%, images from a compact digital camera will not look nearly as good compared to larger sensor cameras.  However, when prints are made and viewed at normal viewing distances, compact cameras can make some wonderful prints.  I’ve made 16x20-inch prints from a 10 megapixel Canon S95 that look fantastic.

 

Compact digital cameras have many advantages including enhanced depth of field (ideal for scenic and close-up photography), lightweight, silent shutters, and versatile zoom ranges.  Some cameras can shoot 4K video and 4K photo bursts of 30 frames per second at any shutter speed.  For what is asked of some of these cameras, they do a respectable job and are often my choice when wandering around in nature.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Bob Armstrong compact digital cameras tips https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/getting-the-most-out-of-a-compact-digital-camera Mon, 23 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Fun With Super-zoom Cameras - updated https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/fun-with-super-zoom-cameras---updated Over the years I have really enjoyed using prosumer super-zoom cameras by Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic.  Super-zoom cameras feature focal lengths that almost defy belief.  My current super-zoom camera, the Panasonic FZ-300 has a 25-600mm f/2.8 Leica lens that can be expanded to 1200mm.  Lugging around let alone affording equivalent lenses in the D-SLR world is completely out of the question.  Here is a practical example of the focal lengths:

 

Can you spot the alligator?

24 mm equivalent

 

Here he is!!

1200 mm equivalent

 

While no camera system is perfect, I find myself grabbing my super-zoom camera when out photographing in nature.  They have several distinct advantages:

 

  • They are extremely light

I can hike all day long through challenging terrain and conditions and hardly notice my 21-ounce camera.  All of its accessories fit in a small camera bag and I can place that bag along with lunch, my rain jacket, etc. in a small backpack.

 

  • Extensive depth of field

The small 1/2.3" sensor allows for great depths of field making close-up and macro photography much easier.  Often I like to depict elements of nature within their natural habitat and environment.  The small sensor cameras make it ideal - here's an example:

This mushroom is only a couple of inches tall.  Photographing this with a D-SLR would have rendered the background completely out of focus.

 

  • Impressive stabilization

These little cameras have very good image stabilization systems.  Here is an example of a handheld shot at 1000 mm equivalent at 1/60 second.  Not too shabby!

 

  • Easy to maneuver 

When I lived in Connecticut, I had a favorite bird photography spot along the edge of a salt marsh.  Getting to this spot was quite an undertaking.  I had to thread myself through patches of thorn bushes and overhanging brush.  Once there, I didn't have much room to work with and maneuver around.  Having a small camera on a small tripod made it much easier to negotiate a smaller area.

 

  • Silent shutter

I really enjoy photographing birds on a feeder.  With my previous setup, the feeder was about ten feet away from the open window in which I photographed.  A loud shutter would have certainly scared many birds away.

 

  • Working distance

Having a large working distance from your subject is important.  Many times if you try and approach an animal be it a bird, mammal, or insect, it will usually flee.  Perhaps even more important is avoiding altering the animal's natural behavior.  Many animals have a hard time merely surviving, so giving them space is important.

Using a super-zoom allowed me plenty of working distance with this resting Plover.  These little guys expend so much energy during migration and refueling, and being able to photograph it from a distance allowed it to rest.

 

 

All-in-all, super-zoom cameras are a lot of fun to use.  Here are some of my memorable photographs taken with super-zooms:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) super zoom cameras wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/fun-with-super-zoom-cameras---updated Wed, 18 Aug 2021 12:13:14 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 8/15/21 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/ongoing-project-blending-in Sun, 15 Aug 2021 16:29:57 GMT
Wildlife Photography: Lessons Learned https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/wildlife-photography-lessons-learned Wildlife photography is one of my passions.  Whether I am photographing two giant bull moose sparring during rutting season or a chipmunk storing seeds for the winter, it is an honor to be in the presence of wildlife.  Approached correctly, you can even be accepted among the species that you are photographing.

 

There are many books, articles and tutorials about wildlife photography.  Here are a few tips I have learned - many of them were taught to me by Alaskan naturalist and photographer Bob Armstrong.  You can check out his wonderful website here.  

 

  • Learn behavior and biology

Put down the camera, forget photography websites/forums, and pick up a book on animals, thumb through a field guide, watch a nature documentary, or talk with others about wildlife.  Take the time to learn about the species you'd like to photograph - behavior, feeding patterns, habitat, mating rituals, migratory patterns, etc.  The more knowledge you acquire, the more successful your photographic efforts will be and, perhaps more importantly, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for wildlife.  This relates directly to the next point:

 

  • Focus on environment and habitat

All animals need food, water, shelter, and a safe place to rear their young.  Many times, locating the species of wildlife you want to photograph is largely a matter of identifying the right habitat, and spending time there observing and waiting at different times of day to become familiar with wildlife activity.

Freshwater PondFreshwater pond

Freshwater Pond

 

Salt Marsh

Salt Marsh

 

  • Stalking vs. waiting

In order to survive, all species of wildlife has, over time, developed very keen senses (hearing, vision, smell, etc.).  When you are out photographing, chances are very high that wildlife will see, hear or smell you first, and might even let out a warning call to others that there is potential danger.  I've had much better luck sitting and waiting in a particular area rather than wandering around trying to spot wildlife.  This relates directly to the above two points - if you know behavior, biology, environment, and habitat, you can put yourself in the most likely spot for a wildlife encounter.  One of my favorite places to photograph are salt marshes.  I've been to several that have viewing platforms and boardwalks and I've had much greater success waiting and observing as opposed to walking around the marsh trying to sneak up on wildlife.  

 

Waiting for beach marmots with Bob Armstrong

Waiting for beach marmots with Bob Armstrong in Juneau, Alaska.

 

  • Time of day

​I can't tell you how many times I have read that you should only photograph wildlife in the so-called "golden light" around sunrise and sunset.  If I had listened to that, I'd probably would have missed 90% of my most memorable wildlife encounters and photographs.  Wildlife activity can occur at any time of the day, and when I am out in nature, I try to be ready at all times.

Sparring Bulls

Photograph captured just before noon.

 

  • Know when not to take the photograph

​I think it's important to learn when it's not appropriate to take a photograph of wildlife.  I try and use good judgement when contemplating photographing wildlife during certain situations (feeding, mating, with young, while sleeping, etc.).  Many animals have a hard time merely surviving, and sometimes the memory in your mind is better than an image produced by your camera.  

Giving this Grebe plenty of room while she's on her nest

Giving this Grebe plenty of room while she's on her nest.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) bob armstrong lessons learned wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/wildlife-photography-lessons-learned Wed, 30 Jun 2021 15:41:53 GMT
I turn to birds https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/i-turn-to-birds When confronted with challenges or troubling situations, I often turn to birds.  I’m not looking to ignore the issue(s), it’s just that I find spending time observing and photographing birds a way to calm my mind and soul that helps me confront the challenges.  Whether in the backyard, in the forest, on the beach, or in the marsh, birds continue to inspire and amaze me.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/i-turn-to-birds Tue, 22 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Haiku 6/18 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/haiku-6/18

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/haiku-6/18 Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: El Yunque National Forest https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/favorite-photography-destinations-el-yunque-national-forest From the USDA website:

 

"Located on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico in the Greater Antilles group, the El Yunque National Forest is the sole tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The forest’s relatively small 28, 000 acre size belies its importance. It differs significantly from all the other U.S. National Forests because of its year-round tropical climate and immense biodiversity.

The rugged Luquillo Mountains that rise to 3,533 ft. above sea level comprise most of the forest land. Their steep slopes can sometimes receive rainfall of over 200 inches (508 centimeters) per year at higher elevations. Caressed by gentle easterly winds the forest has an average temperature of 73° F (21° C), and seasonal changes are almost imperceptible. It is the ideal climate for exuberant tropical vegetation. The rain forest is noted for its biodiversity; it is “home” to thousands of native plants including 150 fern species, 240 tree species (88 of these are endemic or rare and 23 are exclusively found in this forest). The El Yunque National Forest has no large wildlife species, but hundreds of smaller animals abound in this gentle forest, many of which exist nowhere else on the planet."

 

A visit to Puerto Rico is not complete without a visit to the forest.  Located approximately one hour from the San Juan, El Yunque offers many hiking, birdwatching, and swimming opportunities.  One of my favorite trails is the El Yunque Trail which starts from the Palo Colorado visitors center and climbs over 1500 feet to the summit of El Yunque peak, the highest point of the park.  The summit is usually shrouded in mist that feels quite refreshing after an uphill hike.

 

El Yunque can get very crowded, particularly during the main tourist season from November through March.  Arriving early is a must to secure a parking spot and avoiding the theme-park like crowds that occur on the more popular trails.

 

Here are a few of my memorable photographs of El Yunque National Forest:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) destinations el yunque puerto rico https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/favorite-photography-destinations-el-yunque-national-forest Tue, 15 Jun 2021 11:09:40 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/5/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 5/15/21 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/5/ongoing-project-blending-in Sat, 15 May 2021 17:22:07 GMT
Ongoing project: Harbors https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/5/harbors Every so often, I enjoy going through my photo library to look for common themes throughout my travels.  Although I tend to concentrate on nature photography, there are other subjects I enjoy photographing.  One of these subjects is nautical scenes.  In an earlier blog post, I wrote about lighthouses, but I've also enjoyed photographing harbors.  Going through my nautical folder, I realized that I have quite a few photographs of harbors.

 

Photographing harbors is just like photographing landscapes - light, lines, colors, textures, and patterns can all come together to make interesting photographs.  Here are some harbors in the Caribbean, Alaska, Connecticut, and Texas.

 

St. Thomas

 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Harbors Nautical Projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/5/harbors Fri, 07 May 2021 13:28:37 GMT
Backyard Bird Photography Tutorial https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/4/backyard-bird-photography-tutorial Your backyard is a great place to photograph.  With a simple setup, birds (and sometimes small mammals) will come to you providing wonderful photo opportunities from the comfort of your own home.  Before setting up your station, here are a couple of considerations:

 

What kind of background do you want?  Do you want it to look natural or are you solely interested in documenting species?

 

How does the light change throughout the day on your setup?

 

Where are you going to photograph from?  If you can’t photograph from inside your house, you may be able to set up a backyard blind.

 

When you are constructing your station, you can make it as elaborate or as simple as you’d like.  Here is one example of what I have used in the past:

The food is placed in a small container in between the two big logs I used for bases.  I also had spread “Bark Butter” (a suet-based mixture of nuts and seeds) in a couple of locations, and it worked quite well.  At this setup, I had cardinals, sparrows, chickadees, tufted titmouse, blue jays, wrens, woodpeckers, grey catbirds, and of course, squirrels and chipmunks (more on this in a bit).  

It took a couple of weeks for the birds to get used to and become comfortable with the setup.  I had already been using regular feeders in my backyard, so perhaps that was an advantage.  During those couple of weeks I just observed the birds’ behavior instead of immediately trying to photograph them.  I found that the birds would often land on one of the higher branches, pause for a second or two, drop down to the food, pick up some food and either fly away or return to one of the top branches and eat.  So, when setting up to photograph them, I would prefocus on one of the top branches and wait.  Eventually I got rid of the vertical branch, which limited even further the possible landing areas, and that increased my success tremendously.

I photographed from inside my house (my bathroom) and was quite close to the station.  To minimize the chance of scaring the birds, I kept the lights in the bathroom out and turned off all camera sounds (shutter, focus lock, and the beep that occurred when pressing any of the buttons).  I used a tripod and had the camera positioned where I wanted to photograph.  Initially, I was ‘chasing’ the birds with my camera, but it wasn’t until I concentrated on a particular area that my success rate increased.  There can be a flurry of activity at your feeder and sometimes you’re better off concentrating your photographic efforts on one location.

Pretty soon you’ll have to face the fact that you are going to have other visitors to your setup besides your new feathered friends.  Squirrels and chipmunks can wipe out the food at your station surprisingly fast.  You have a couple of options - you can just deal with it and keep replenishing the seed, or you can put out a dedicated squirrel and chipmunk feeder.  I decided on the latter and it was a lot of fun.  I used dried corn and peanuts and it did a nice job in keeping them away from the bird seed (Although the blue jays took a liking to the peanuts).  These guys have to eat too and you can often get nice portrait photographs while they are feeding.

If you live near a store that specializes in selling bird seed and feeders, it’s worth it to pay them a visit.  They can provide you with information on local species and give you tips on what types of seed or other foods to use.  If you don’t have one near you, check out your local park - naturalists are usually on hand and can be a great help.

 

Feeders are great because you can photograph anytime you want and is the perfect place to test out new equipment or techniques.  They are also a source of entertainment; sometimes its fun to watch the interactions of birds at the feeder and observe the different species that visit as the seasons change.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects tutorials wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/4/backyard-bird-photography-tutorial Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:31:13 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Virgin Islands National Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/favorite-photography-destinations-virgin-islands-national-park Virgin Islands National Park is located on the island of St. John in the Caribbean.  Encompassing 7,000 acres (about 60% of the island's landmass), the park also features 5,650 acres of pristine underwater habitat.  Although relatively small in size, there are many activities available including hiking, snorkeling/diving, birdwatching, and boating.

 

When we visited the park in the summer of 2013, we stayed at a resort in Caneel Bay - the only facility allowed within the boundaries of the park.  The resort's grounds were home to a wide variety of wildflowers, deer, birds, and donkeys.  The donkeys were brought to the island to help with the sugar cane industry.

 

A snorkeler's paradise, Virgin Islands National Park is home to many coral reefs, tropical fish and sea turtles.  When we were snorkeling, it was not uncommon to see a dozen or so feeding in the bay.

 

Here are a few of my memorable photographs of the park:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Caribbean Destinations Virgin Islands National Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/favorite-photography-destinations-virgin-islands-national-park Fri, 26 Feb 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Haiku 2/25 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/25

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/25 Thu, 25 Feb 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Haiku 2/22 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/22

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/22 Mon, 22 Feb 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Memorable Moments: Shooter Iceberg https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/memorable-moments-shooter-iceberg When we are in Juneau, we usually make it a point to take a day cruise to the Tracy Arm Fjord.  The Tracy Arm Fjord is located about 45 miles south of Juneau, and the highlight of the cruise is a visit to Sawyer Glacier.  The captain turns off the boat's engines and drifts around while listening to the sounds of the glacier.

Glaciers are always in motion.  Every few minutes, you'll hear a thunderous boom and witness chunks of the glacier (some the size of cars, others the size of large ships) calve off and plunge into the water.

One of the most impressive sights is to witness a shooter iceberg.  A shooter is when a piece of ice breaks off underwater and comes shooting up to the surface, much like a surfacing submarine.  A shooter sounds different - it's almost like a guttural sound emanating from the glacier, and then you see a wave appear as the iceberg nears the surface.  Here is a photo of one - this particular shooter probably rose over 200 feet in the air before settling to the surface.  It was a truly awesome spectacle.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska memorable moments tongass national forest https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/memorable-moments-shooter-iceberg Thu, 18 Feb 2021 14:29:36 GMT
Haiku 2/18 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/18

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/18 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Haiku 2/15 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/15

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-2/15 Mon, 15 Feb 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Haiku and photography https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-and-photography For the past couple of years, I have been enjoying learning about and writing haiku and thought it might be a valuable addition to my photography.  I plan on posting some of my efforts twice per week here on the journal site.

By its nature, photography forces one to slow down and observe, and I believe the integration of writing and imagery will prove to deepen the experience of nature.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/haiku-and-photography Fri, 12 Feb 2021 18:29:20 GMT
The Inside Passage https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/the-inside-passage I've always dreamed about getting a 26' Nordic Tug and exploring the Inside Passage with my kayak strapped to the top and camera in hand.  The Inside Passage is full of glaciers, fjords, wildlife, and lies within the heart of the Tongass National Forest.

 

One of the most enjoyable trips we have done was taking the Alaska State Ferry from Haines, Alaska to Bellingham, Washington.  The Alaska State Ferry system travels throughout coastal Alaska and can access areas that larger cruise ships cannot safely navigate.  We lucked out and were able to obtain a cabin, but more adventurous travelers can camp out underneath the heated solarium or pitch a tent on deck (with a lot of duct tape!).

 

However, a cruise is also a wonderful way to travel.  There's nothing quite like getting up before sunset, grabbing a cup of coffee and wandering the decks in search of scenics to photograph.  Here are a few of my memorable photographs of Alaska's Inside Passage:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska destinations tongass national forest https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/the-inside-passage Thu, 11 Feb 2021 15:51:35 GMT
Favorite Photography destinations: Dutch Harbor https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/favorite-photography-destinations-dutch-harbor Dutch Harbor is located along the Aleutian Island chain and is one of the biggest fishing ports in the world.  In recent years it has been made famous by the Discovery Channel with its Deadliest Catch reality show.

 

We had the opportunity to spend a long weekend there while we were living in Anchorage.  Getting to Dutch Harbor is interesting - our flight had to stop at Cold Bay (a town on Alaska's mainland) to pick up more fuel in case of fog at Dutch Harbor.  The extra fuel is needed to be able to return to Anchorage.

 

Once on the ground and settled in, Dutch Harbor was a wonderful place to explore and photograph.  One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area.  From the website:

 

"During World War II the remote Aleutian Islands, home to the Unangan (Aleut) people for over 8,000 years, became a fiercely contested battleground in the Pacific. This thousand-mile-long archipelago saw invasion by Japanese forces, the only American soil occupied in the war; a mass internment of American civilians; a 15-month air war; and one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific Theater."

 

At the Historic Area there were plenty of photographic opportunities - wildlife, wildflowers and scenics.  We were quite lucky - there were only a few showers.  In a land dubbed "The Birthplace of Storms", it was perfect.  Here are a few of my memorable photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska dutch harbor https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/favorite-photography-destinations-dutch-harbor Mon, 25 Jan 2021 15:17:59 GMT
Lenswork's Our Magnificent Planet https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/lensworks-our-magnificent-planet

 

It was an honor having one of my images selected for Lenswork Magazine's Our Magnificent Planet.  Here is the story behind the image:

El Yunque Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest in the US Forest System.  Located about one hour east of San Juan, El Yunque is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

I was hiking the El Yunque trail heading up to the summit of El Yunque peak.  It’s a 2-mile trail with about 1500 ft of elevation gain.  It was a cloudy morning, but as I approached the halfway point to the summit, the clouds parted and these remarkable sunbeams came shining through the forest.

I had my pocket camera attached to my backpack, and I immediately took it out and captured a couple of photos.  I’m glad it was easily accessible – the light show only lasted about a minute.

Even if I have a ‘serious’ camera with me, I’ll always bring my pocket camera for moments like this.  If my other camera was buried in my pack, there’s no way I would have captured this moment.

Always be ready – you never know what nature has in store for you.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Behind the image El Yunque Pocket camera https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/lensworks-our-magnificent-planet Wed, 18 Nov 2020 12:15:54 GMT
To know a place.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/to-know-a-place Taking advice from world-renowned photographer Jim Brandenburg, I simply needed to look in my own neighborhood to find nature's splendor.  The Greensprings Nature Trail in Williamsburg, Virginia is home to many species of wildlife, several ponds, and a wide variety of plant life.  Taking time and exploring the trails on a regular basis has allowed the ordinary to become extraordinary.  Here are a few of my memorable photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/to-know-a-place Mon, 02 Nov 2020 15:19:08 GMT
A dear friend.. https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/a-dear-friend "One does not have to be alone to enjoy silence.  It has often been said that the ability to enjoy it with others is the mark of friendship and understanding"

-Sig Olson

Photo by A. Hangar

Many of my most memorable photographic outings in Alaska have been with a dear friend Bob Armstrong.  Bob has written and photographed all aspects of nature in Alaska since 1960.  Click here for his wonderful website.  He has worked as a fisheries biologist and research supervisor for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and as an associate professor for the University of Alaska where he taught courses in fisheries and ornithology.

 

I met Bob in the summer of 2007 when I moved to Alaska.  My wife and I were visiting Juneau and I was wandering around Steep Creek photographing a bear family.  We struck up a conversation and he graciously offered to show me some other photographic locations.  We met up each day that week and spent several hours photographing birds, plant life, and the bear family.

 

Bob is always willing to share his vast knowledge of natural history and I have learned so much from him, and I am truly grateful.  Thanks Bob, for everything.

 

Here are a few memorable photographs that I have made with Bob's help:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska bob armstrong sig olson wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/a-dear-friend Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:45:57 GMT
Alaska's Winter's Magic https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/alaskas-winter-s-magic From the first snows in September to the break-up period in May, winter in Alaska offers many photographic opportunities.  The Anchorage area receives roughly six hours of golden sunlight at the winter solstice, bathing the landscape with marvelous colors and textures.

 

There's nothing quite like waking up to fresh snowfall, grabbing a coffee from Kaladi and heading out to the trails to photograph the natural wonders of winter in Alaska.  Now that we are in Maine, I am looking forward to more winter outings.  Here are a few of my memorable winter photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska winter https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/alaskas-winter-s-magic Tue, 29 Sep 2020 11:15:00 GMT
Strolling through the seasons at Colonial Williamsburg - Autumn https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/strolling-through-the-seasons-at-colonial-williamsburg One of the highlights of living in Williamsburg Virginia was the easy access to the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg.  Every week we would visit the historic area and go through one or two buildings, taking our time since we had an annual pass (only $10/year for residents).

Colonial Williamsburg is a photographer's paradise with unlimited subjects - the animals, people in period costumes, the architecture, colonial trades, but what inspired me was photographing the area throughout the seasons.  This was an on-going project for me and hope to develop it further.

Celebrating the arrival of autumn, here are some images strolling through Colonial Williamsburg in fall.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Colonial Williamsburg Destinations Projects Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/strolling-through-the-seasons-at-colonial-williamsburg Wed, 23 Sep 2020 10:59:02 GMT
Images of Maine - Morning Fog https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/images-of-maine---morning-fog Fog is a common sight along the coast and always makes for some memorable photographs.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Maine https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/images-of-maine---morning-fog Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:36:30 GMT
Ongoing project: Lighthouses https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/ongoing-project-lighthouses "The lighthouse is an icon of rugged reliability, probably more so than any other structure built by mankind.  Lighthouses have been beacons, homes, and refuges and today remain symbolic of the world's maritime heritage."  
 
  -From Beacon on the Rock, by Peter Williams
 

In addition to nature photography, I really enjoy photographing lighthouses.  For generations, lighthouses have guided mariners towards safe harbors or warned of dangerous shores, and keepers of the lights have saved countless lives from shipwrecks and other tragedies.  Ida Lewis, the keeper of Lime Rock in Rhode Island, is credited for saving 18 lives over a 39-year period.  Every lighthouse and its keepers can tell tales of courage, reliability, and heroism.  

 

My favorite time to photograph lighthouses is during storms or periods of inclement weather.  It was during this type of weather that lighthouses became beacons of salvation for the mariners in need.  When the weather turned foul, the keeper's steadfast dedication to duty in keeping the light shining hour after hour kept many ships safe and away from harm.

 

Here are a few of my favorite lighthouse photographs:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) lighthouses projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/ongoing-project-lighthouses Tue, 08 Sep 2020 11:08:47 GMT
Memorable Moments: Bears at Steep Creek https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/memorable-moments-bears-at-steep-creek I had the pleasure of spending four days in Juneau Alaska one summer observing several different black bears at Steep Creek, located near the Mendenhall Glacier. Although some of these bears are cinnamon in color, they still belong to the black bear species. According to the local people, there are approximately seven or eight bears that frequent the area feeding on sockeye salmon as they migrate upstream to spawn each summer. 
 
It was a wonderful opportunity to witness their behavior and interaction, particularly the sow with her cubs. It was clear that she placed the welfare of her cubs above her own, providing them with plenty of fresh salmon and watching out for their safety. I will remember this for many years to come.  Here are some of my memorable photographs:
 
 
 
 
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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska bears memorable moments wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/memorable-moments-bears-at-steep-creek Fri, 21 Aug 2020 16:33:57 GMT
Back to Maine!!!! https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/back-to-maine This week we begin our preparations to head back to Maine.  We lived there from 2003-2004, so it'll be fun to go back and explore some more.  This was the time that I was making the transition from film to digital photography and I am looking forward to revisiting old favorites and discovering new ones!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) maine https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/back-to-maine Sun, 12 Jul 2020 13:27:19 GMT
Bait Shack Sketches https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/bait-shack-sketches Sometimes it's fun to explore different ways to render images via software.  I've had these images of bait shacks in Rockport Texas for a while and thought they might look interesting with a unique treatment.  

The harbors of Rockport and Fulton are wonderful to stroll around.  In addition to the bait shacks, the harbors are home to the local commercial fishing fleets and the whooping crane tours.

These images were intially edited in Lightroom, then exported to PhotoSketcher, which renders them as seen here.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Bait shacks Texas https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/bait-shack-sketches Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:03:38 GMT
Moose! https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/moose One of the best places in the world to photograph moose is Anchorage Alaska.  We were fortunate to live there for three years and photographing moose never got old.  They can be found nearly everywhere – parks, roadsides, wandering the streets, and (as you’ll see) right in your yard.  Photographing moose in Anchorage is much easier than in other parts of the world, and in my opinion, it is probably because they are quite habituated to human presence.

 

Moose certainly deserve respect however.  Imagine driving down the street or riding your bike on a trail and encountering a horse right up close.  That’s pretty much the size of them and the males (or bulls) with their enormous antlers appear much larger.  Also, the bulls get kind of cranky around mating time and females (or cows) get extremely protective of their young in the spring.

 

Nevertheless, it’s a lot of fun to photograph these majestic animals.  In our three years in Anchorage, I was very fortunate to be able to photograph moose in their natural habitat, their behavior, and just enjoy their presence.

 

If you are interested in photographing moose in Anchorage, here are my favorite spots, all easily accessible within the city limits:

 

Kincaid Park

Far North Bicentennial Park

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Chugach State Park

 

Here are some of my memorable moose photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska anchorage moose wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/moose Tue, 30 Jun 2020 18:05:26 GMT
Hand Color Project - Magnolia Gardens https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/hand-color-project---magnolia-gardens Going through my image library, I decided to try hand coloring some of my images from Magnolia Gardens in South Carolina.  I first converted them to black and white, then experimented with different warm tones.  For the actually coloring, I used CarboThello pastel pencils.

It's been fun trying different renditions of the image and different papers.  Each image is unique, and recently I started printing them on 5x7 greeting cards to send to people.  Here are a few of my results:

Magnolia GardensMagnolia Gardens Magnolia GardensMagnolia Gardens Magnolia GardensMagnolia Gardens Magnolia GardensMagnolia Gardens

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Hand Colored Projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/hand-color-project---magnolia-gardens Fri, 26 Jun 2020 14:15:07 GMT
Behind the image: Black Bear at Steep Creek https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/behind-the-image-black-bear-at-steep-creek The past couple of years I have been trying to concentrate on photographing wildlife within their natural habitat as opposed to portraits.  Not that I dislike portraits – portraits of animals are often very challenging and when everything comes together, the results can be quite magical.

 

I find it a bit more challenging to photograph wildlife this way.  Basically you have to combine all the challenges of wildlife photography with the challenges of landscape photography.  Often times, the animal is a relatively small part of a bigger picture, and can be enjoyable composing the photograph.

 

I was in Juneau in July of 2009 and was out photographing with Bob Armstrong, a dear friend and a wonderful photographer and naturalist.  Bob has spent over 50 years photographing and documenting Alaska’s natural history and is a wealth of information.  You can find his website here, and be prepared to be amazed! 

 

I mentioned to him that I would really enjoy photographing a black bear with Mendenhall Glacier in the background.  He took me to one of his favorite spots and within the hour a bear appeared and began fishing.  Even though this bear is brownish in color, it is still a black bear (Ursus americanus).  Black bears can be black, brown, cinnamon, or on rare occasions white or cream colored known as a Kermode or Spirit Bear.

 

We observed and photographed this bear for 15 or 20 minutes before it wandered down the creek in search of more salmon.  It was a wonderful experience and photographing wildlife within their natural habitat has become one of my favorite aspects of enjoying our beautiful natural world.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Bears Juneau Mendenhall Glacier Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/behind-the-image-black-bear-at-steep-creek Tue, 23 Jun 2020 20:28:50 GMT
Hand Colored Project https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/handcolored-project In the late 1800s and early 1900s before the advent of stable color films, artists would manually add color to black and white photographs to enhance its realism or to express a specific creative visions.

Recently, I started using pastels and pastel pencils to hand color some of my photographs, and it has been an enjoyable connection to the history of photography and I find joy in creating unique images to share.

Handcolor ProcessHandcolor Process

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Handcoloring Projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/handcolored-project Mon, 15 Jun 2020 13:49:12 GMT
Five Life Lessons from a Brownie Camera https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/five-life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera

 

Introduced in 1900, the Kodak Brownie was aimed at getting people interested in photography and sold for $1.00, which included film and processing.  Essentially a cardboard box with a plastic lens, this simple design revolutionized photography and allowed people from all walks of life to enjoy taking pictures.

My Brownie, the Hawkeye Flash Model, was introduced in the 1950s.  Retaining the same simplicity as its earlier design, the Hawkeye Flash features a Bakelite plastic body, a rudimentary viewfinder, and the ability to use a flash.

Using this camera in the age of digital technology has been somewhat of a breath of fresh air, and taps into a creative spark that I find quite enjoyable.  Along the way it has reinforced some life lessons that continue to have an impact on my photography and day-to-day life.

 

Life Lesson #1 - Simplicity

Kodak Brownie cameras couldn’t be simpler - to take a picture, just compose your subject and press the shutter button, which is the only control on the camera.  No need to worry about complex electronic or mechanical elements.

In life the simple moments are the things to be treasured.  A walk on the beach, a dog wagging its tail, time spent with friends and loved ones.  The simple joys of life, often overlooked, are what’s truly important. 



 

Life Lesson #2 - Limitations

There is no zoom, no settings dial, the image seen in the viewfinder doesn’t exactly line up with the lens, and no focus control whatsoever.  Not too many options with this camera.  However, these limitations can enhance creativity since creative projects often thrive on constraints.

We all have limits to what we can or cannot do, but that shouldn’t prevent us from pursuing whatever it is that speaks to our soul.  As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Do the best you can with what you have where you are.”


 

Life Lesson #3 - Blemishes

With today’s technology even the simplest of cameras deliver image quality only dreamed of decades ago.  Photos from the Brownie often have out of focus elements, lens flare, and light leaks that, depending on your perspective, either ruin a picture or give it something unique.  I like to think of them as having character and being perfectly imperfect.

Wabi-sabi, a traditional Japanese aesthetic, is a beauty described as “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.  A well-worn jacket or a pair of jeans, an old wooden boat, or a dog-eared copy of a favorite book cannot compare to pristine new versions, and lack that “special something," which often grabs our hearts.


 

Life Lesson #4 - Acceptance

I do not have the element of control with this camera like I do with my other cameras.  Given all the unique elements to the Brownie camera and its resulting photographs, it has been a welcome feeling to accept its limitations and be genuinely happy about the final results.

Accepting the fact that there are things that are beyond your control can help deal with challenging circumstances.  Instead, we can focus on what we can control and how we react to those elements beyond our control.

 

Life Lesson #5 - Process, not outcome

Using the Brownie on several photographic projects has reinforced that it is the photographic process, not the resulting photographs that I value most.  The wanderings, the time spent with friends and family, and enjoying the natural world is what brings me joy.

As the proverb states, it is the journey, not the destination that is important.  Henry David Thoreau’s poignant quote sums it up nicely: “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish that they are after.”

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Brownie Projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/five-life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera Thu, 28 May 2020 19:43:55 GMT
Memorable Moments: American Dipper https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/memorable-moments-american-dipper "Among all the mountain birds, none has cheered me so much in my lonely wanderings, none so unfailingly.  For both winter and summer he sings, sweetly, cheerily, independent alike of sunshine and love, requiring no other inspiration than the stream on which he dwells."

-John Muir

 

Alaska has some pretty impressive wildlife and visitors may encounter moose, bear, Dall sheep, wolves, and if on the water, seals, sea lions and several different species of whales.  Encounters with these dramatic species of wildlife can provide lifelong memories that inspire awe and splendor.

 

Less known but certainly no less impressive is the American Dipper, North America's only true aquatic songbird.  A little smaller than the Robin, the Dipper has always amazed me in its ability to thrive in challenging environments.  

 

In the winter, I would frequently grab my camera and explore local trails along Campbell Creek in Anchorage.  Many times I would encounter these little birds darting around underwater in search of food.  Their call can brighten up the gloomiest of winter days and bring back memories of spring.  Ten, fifteen, or twenty below, the American Dipper would always add warmth and brightness to my day.

 

If you have never heard its melodious song, click here.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska american dipper anchorage memorable moments wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/memorable-moments-american-dipper Wed, 27 May 2020 11:40:30 GMT
Doors of Old San Juan https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/doors-of-old-san-juan It was wonderful strolling around Old San Juan while we lived there.  I realized that I had photographed many of the doors of the buildings and arranged them into a collage.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/doors-of-old-san-juan Tue, 19 May 2020 14:52:49 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Colonial Parkway https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/favorite-photography-destinations-colonial-parkway The Colonial Parkway in southeast Virginia is a 23-mile road that connects the historic cities of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.  With sweeping views of the James and York rivers, it is a very pleasant drive or bike ride, particularly early mornings or late afternoons.

 

Throughout the seasons there are always interesting photographic opportunities.  In springtime, flowering dogwoods resembling popcorn speckle the roadsides, summer brings out the wildflowers in all their glory, autumn colors rival New England's and winter sunrises and sunsets make you forget about the cold.

 

Here are a few of my memorable photographs along the Colonial Parkway:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects virginia wildflowers https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/favorite-photography-destinations-colonial-parkway Fri, 15 May 2020 12:30:00 GMT
Projects: Summer Wildflowers https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/projects-summer-wildflowers In 2008, there was not much of a summer in south central Alaska.  Most days were cloudy, rainy, windy, and we only had two days that it reached the 70-degree mark.  However, the silver lining in these clouds came in the form of spectacular wildflowers.  It seemed that everywhere you went, wildflowers were exploding with beautiful colors that made for a great photo project.

 

It was more difficult that I expected.  Photographing flowers is certainly a test of patience.  Every little breath of wind resembled a hurricane when looking at the flowers through the viewfinder.  Portable reflectors and strategically placed ball caps come in handy as a temporary wind blocks, but inevitably I would have to wait for quite some time for the wind to calm down.  It was also a time to reflect on how lucky I was to experience the wilderness of Alaska.  

 

To keep things simple, I used one lens - a macro lens.  It was a lot of fun experimenting with different depths-of-field.  Stopped down and every detail of the flower comes to life, and shot wide open, a lovely rose is turned into an impressionistic painting. 

 

This was a great project and opened my eyes to a beautiful world right at my feet.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Anchorage Projects Wildflowers https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/projects-summer-wildflowers Mon, 11 May 2020 10:00:00 GMT
First paddle of the season https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/first-paddle-of-the-season

"It's a magic kind of medicine no doctor can prescribe."

-Jimmy Buffett

Took my first paddle of the season yesterday, and in light of all that's going on, worked wonders on my soul.  Looking forward to many more.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/first-paddle-of-the-season Thu, 07 May 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Life Lessons from a Brownie Camera - Process, Not Outcome https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---process-not-outcome

Life Lesson #5 - Process, Not Outcome

 

Using the Brownie on several photographic projects has reinforced that it is the photographic process, not the resulting photographs that I value most.  The wanderings, the time spent with friends and family, and enjoying the natural world is what brings me joy.

 

As the proverb states, it is the journey, not the destination that is important.  Henry David Thoreau’s poignant quote sums it up nicely: “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish that they are after.”

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Brownie Life Lessons https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---process-not-outcome Wed, 06 May 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Life Lessons from a Brownie Camera - Acceptance https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---acceptance

Life Lesson #4 - Acceptance

 

I do not have the element of control with this camera like I do with my other cameras.  Given all the unique elements to the Brownie camera and its resulting photographs, it has been a welcome feeling to accept its limitations and be genuinely happy about the final results.

 

Accepting the fact that there are things that are beyond your control can help deal with challenging circumstances.  Instead, we can focus on what we can control and how we react to those elements beyond our control.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Brownie Life Lessons https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---acceptance Mon, 04 May 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Life Lessons from a Brownie Camera - Blemishes https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---blemishes

Life Lesson #3 - Blemishes

 

With today’s technology even the simplest of cameras deliver image quality only dreamed of decades ago.  Photos from the Brownie often have out of focus elements, lens flare, and light leaks that, depending on your perspective, either ruin a picture or give it something unique.  I like to think of them as having character and being perfectly imperfect.

 

Wabi-sabi, a traditional Japanese aesthetic, is a beauty described as “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.  A well-worn jacket or a pair of jeans, an old wooden boat, or a dog-eared copy of a favorite book cannot compare to pristine new versions, and lack that “special something," which often grabs our hearts.

 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Brownie Life Lessons https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---blemishes Fri, 01 May 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Life Lessons from a Brownie Camera - Limitations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---limitations

Life Lesson #2 - Limitations

 

There is no zoom, no settings dial, the image seen in the viewfinder doesn’t exactly line up with the lens, and no focus control whatsoever.  Not too many options with this camera.  However, these limitations can enhance creativity since creative projects often thrive on constraints.

 

We all have limits to what we can or cannot do, but that shouldn’t prevent us from pursuing whatever it is that speaks to our soul.  As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Do the best you can with what you have where you are.”

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Brownie Life Lessons https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---limitations Wed, 29 Apr 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Life Lessons from a Brownie Camera - Simplicity https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---simplicity

Life Lesson #1 - Simplicity

 

Kodak Brownie cameras couldn’t be simpler - to take a picture, just compose your subject and press the shutter button, which is the only control on the camera.  No need to worry about complex electronic or mechanical elements.

 

In life the simple moments are the things to be treasured.  A walk on the beach, a dog wagging its tail, time spent with friends and loved ones.  The simple joys of life, often overlooked, are what’s  truly important. 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Brownie Life Lessons https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---simplicity Mon, 27 Apr 2020 10:39:17 GMT
Life Lessons From a Brownie Camera - Introduction https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---introduction The Kodak Brownie

Introduced in 1900, the Kodak Brownie was aimed at getting people interested in photography and sold for $1.00, which included film and processing.  Essentially a cardboard box with a plastic lens, this simple design revolutionized photography and allowed people from all walks of life to enjoy taking pictures.

 

My Brownie, the Hawkeye Flash Model, was introduced in the 1950s.  Retaining the same simplicity as its earlier design, the Hawkeye Flash features a Bakelite plastic body, a rudimentary viewfinder, and the ability to use a flash.

Using this camera in the age of digital technology has been somewhat of a breath of fresh air, and taps into a creative spark that I find quite enjoyable.  Along the way it has reinforced some life lessons that continue to have an impact on my photography and day-to-day life.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Brownie Life Lessons https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/life-lessons-from-a-brownie-camera---introduction Fri, 24 Apr 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Memorable Moments: Whooping Cranes https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/memorable-moments-whooping-cranes Four hundred and thirty seven. 

That, according to the latest survey, is the number of Whooping Cranes living in the wild.  Recovering from a low of twenty-one in the 1940s, Whooping Cranes are North America’s tallest bird standing up to five feet tall and sporting a wingspan that can reach seven and one-half feet.

Two separate migratory populations summer in northwestern Canada and central Wisconsin and spend their winters along Texas’ Gulf Coast and other parts of southeastern U.S.

It was in the Gulf Coast of Texas that I had one of my most memorable wildlife encounters, and practically in the comfort of home.  My wife and I were visiting her parents in Rockport Texas, and one day while sitting on the back porch, we heard the telltale rusty door-like trumpet of a Whooping Crane.  Thinking it was going to pass overhead, I was astonished that they landed in the marsh area that is practically in their back yard.  I rushed to grab my camera and was even more amazed when it wasn’t just one, but a trio – two adults and a juvenile!  They quickly discovered and ate a couple of snakes each and spent about thirty minutes in the marsh before flying off.

It was challenging photography to say the least.  The light was low, they were far off, I didn’t have a tripod, and the images technically weren’t all that great.  But that’s ok.  A clear picture in the mind and in the heart is far better than any photograph.

 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) memorable moments whooping cranes https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/memorable-moments-whooping-cranes Mon, 20 Apr 2020 10:47:28 GMT
Inspirations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/inspirations I read this quote by Sig Olson and immediately thought of Bird Creek, just outside of Anchorage, Alaska.  Autumn is a fickle time in south-central Alaska; sometimes the land is full of color for a few magical weeks, other times a storm will come through and prematurely end nature's colors.

We would frequently drive the Seward Highway in the fall to enjoy the scenery.  By this time, the tourists have made their way down south making travel on the highway more enjoyable.  Bird Creek is a popular fishing location, but on this day we were the only ones there.  Aside from the occasional passing car, it felt as though we were deep in the wilderness.

Autumn is my favorite time to photograph.  It is a time of preparation, for the winter is quickly approaching.  But more importantly, for me, it is a time to slow down and enjoy the art of Mother Nature.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Literature Sig Olson https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/inspirations Fri, 10 Apr 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 4.8.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/daily-dose-of-nature---4-8-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/daily-dose-of-nature---4-8-20 Wed, 08 Apr 2020 11:20:06 GMT
Wetlands: The Beauty and Mystery https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/wetlands-the-beauty-and-mystery “The creeks overflow: a thousand rivulets run

‘Twixt the roots of the sod, the blades of marshgrass stir;

Passeth, and all is still; and the currents cease to run;

And the sea and marsh are one.”

The Marshes of Glynn, Sidney Lanier

 

Mentioning wetlands often conjures up images of dank, insect-ridden areas that serve no useful purpose.  However, the more time you spend in wetlands, the more you’ll notice the magic and wonder of one of nature’s most valuable ecosystems.

From the Everglades to Alaska, wetlands in the form of marshes, bogs, swamps, and floodplain forests are home to a tremendous variety of birds, reptiles, insects, fish, mammals, plants and trees, making it the most biologically diverse ecosystem on earth.  Forty three percent of endangered wildlife species rely on wetlands either directly or indirectly for their survival.

Wetlands are a wonderful place to spend time with a camera.  Whether you are interested in wildlife or landscape photography, you will surely never tire of the opportunities that present themselves.

Here are some photographs of some of the memorable wetland experiences I have been fortunate to witness. 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) wetlands wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/wetlands-the-beauty-and-mystery Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:04:57 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 4.3.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/daily-dose-of-nature---4-3-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/daily-dose-of-nature---4-3-20 Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:47:23 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 4.1.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/daily-dose-of-nature---4-1-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/4/daily-dose-of-nature---4-1-20 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:50:37 GMT
Memorable Moments: Moose Family https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/memorable-moments-moose-family One of the highlights of my three years living in Anchorage was the ability to photograph moose on a regular basis.  Anchorage is quite unique in that moose can be found literally everywhere, including strolling the city streets downtown.

They are impressive animals, with males reaching 6 feet tall and weighing up to 1,600 pounds.  Every spring, cows give birth to calves, and when out and about, one must be aware at all times.  Cows can become very aggressive in protecting their young, and deserve enormous respect.

I was out photographing at a local park in Anchorage, when out in the distance saw a cow moose with her calves.  I was in an open area and stopped to allow plenty of distance in between us.  She noticed me, but continued about her business. 

After about an hour, they moved closer to me.  I was continually looking around, making sure that I had an exit in case she became upset.  The calves continued to play with each other, and Mom decided it was time for a nap.  About 50 yards in front of me, she laid down and took a short snooze.

A short while later, she stood up and moved closer.  I was getting concerned.  She definitely knew I was there – they would glance in my direction every couple of minutes.  After coming within 25 yards (that felt like 25 feet!), the calves decided they were hungry and nursed.  It was a tremendous experience witnessing everything.  After the calves had their share, the family wandered off leaving me with wonderful memories.

I have often thought of why she wasn’t bothered with my presence.  Perhaps being a busy park, the moose there are used to human encounters and didn’t feel threatened with me.  One of the most important things I’ve learned about wildlife photography, along with patience, is to resist the urge to approach your subject.  I’ve had much greater success of staying in one spot and let the animal continue with its natural behavior. 

Here are a few images from that outing:  

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska anchorage memorable moments moose wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/memorable-moments-moose-family Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 3.30.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-30-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-30-20 Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:02:24 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 3.28.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-28-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-28-20 Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:47:20 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 3.27.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-27-20 Literature is a tremendous source of inspiration for my photography.  Writers like Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Sigurd Olson, and John Burroughs have tremendously eloquent and poetic observations of the natural world.  Sometimes I’ll read a passage and become inspired to seek out a photograph; other times it will remind me of one of my older photographs.

To me, photography is much more than creating images – it’s about opening up all of my senses and becoming receptive to the beauty of the natural world.

This is a quote from Sig Olson.  I was on a trip through the Tracy Arm in southeast Alaska.  One of the stops was South Sawyer Glacier.  When we got somewhat close to the glacier (you have to keep your distance in case of a calving), the captain shut down the engine so we could observe and listen to the glacier. 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Literature Sawyer Glacier Sig Olson https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-27-20 Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:33:06 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature 3.26.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature-3-26-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature-3-26-20 Thu, 26 Mar 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 3.25.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-25-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-25-20 Wed, 25 Mar 2020 10:00:00 GMT
Daily Dose of Nature - 3.24.20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-24-20 I've always enjoyed pairing my photographs with inspiring quotes from others.  This one seems particularly important in these trying times.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/daily-dose-of-nature---3-24-20 Tue, 24 Mar 2020 11:31:01 GMT
Behind the image: El Yunque https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/behind-the-image-el-yunque

 

Behind the image: El Yunque Rainforest

 

El Yunque Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest in the US Forest system.  Located about one hour east of San Juan, El Yunque is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

I was hiking the El Yunque trail heading up to the summit of El Yunque peak.  It’s a 2-mile trail with about 1500 ft of elevation gain.  It was a cloudy morning, but as I approached the halfway point to the summit, the clouds parted and these remarkable sunbeams came shining through the forest.

I had my pocket camera attached to my backpack, and I immediately took it out and captured a couple of photos.  I’m glad it was easily accessible – the lightshow only lasted about a minute.

Even if I have a ‘serious’ camera with me, I’ll always bring my pocket camera for moments like this.  If my other camera was buried in my pack, there’s no way I would have captured this moment.

Always be ready – you never know what nature has in store for you.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) behind the image el yunque pocket camera https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/behind-the-image-el-yunque Thu, 19 Mar 2020 19:46:37 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: The Tongass National Forest https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/favorite-photography-destinations-the-tongass-national-forest “Rain is falling.  But this is not a passing thunderstorm, with its dramatic rolling and rumbling.  Water falls from the sky slowly, gently, and ceaselessly, as if it could go on for days, or years.  Rain soaks deep into the forest floor, making moss squish beneath hiking boots.  It drips, drips, drips off the tips of leaves, nodding the blossoms of wildflowers with the weight of each drop.  Waterfalls are singing.  The world, it seems, has turned to water.”

 

-Treasures of Alaska, National Geographic

 

The Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska stretches from Yakutat in the north to Portland Canal, just outside of Ketchikan encompassing 17 million acres making it the largest national forest in the United States, and the largest remaining temperate rainforest left on earth.

 

Gathering moisture in the Gulf of Alaska encounters warm, moist air from southern latitudes, and, moving onshore, the moisture rises and condenses resulting in a nearly ever-present rain that ranges from 29 inches per year in Skagway to over 160 inches in Ketchikan.

 

However, you wouldn’t believe that by looking at tourist brochures.  Instead, you’ll inevitably find crystal clear blue skies with puffy white clouds and sun-sparkled waters resembling a vacation paradise.

 

While those days do occur from time to time, this is a land made of rain.  It is this rain that feeds the salmon streams, forms glaciers and created one of the most mysterious and beautiful places in the world.

 

 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/3/favorite-photography-destinations-the-tongass-national-forest Fri, 13 Mar 2020 21:21:36 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/10/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 5/15/21 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/10/ongoing-project-blending-in Tue, 08 Oct 2019 14:44:12 GMT
Hillsboro Lighthouse https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/6/hillsboro-lighthouse A few images from Hillsboro Lighthouse.  It was a wonderful experience being able to stay in the keeper's quarters and enjoy the scenery at the lighthouse.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Lighthouses https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/6/hillsboro-lighthouse Wed, 12 Jun 2019 10:40:58 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/5/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 5/12/19 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/5/ongoing-project-blending-in Sun, 12 May 2019 19:42:31 GMT
A Brownie at the Shore: A Lesson in Letting Go and Acceptance https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/4/a-brownie-at-the-shore-a-lesson-in-letting-go-and-acceptance A couple of months ago I received a 1959 Brownie Hawkeye camera as a gift.  I ran a test roll of film through it to make sure it functioned properly and then decided to use it as my primary camera on a recent trip to Assateague and Chincoteague Islands.

 

There are no controls on a Brownie (including focus) and the lens is an uncoated piece of plastic that is very sensitive to stray light producing flares and vignettes.  It was quite liberating to forget about all the technicalities of making a photograph and simply engage with the subject and accept the final result, regardless of the inevitable imperfections and flaws.

 

With this kind of project, I am reminded of Thoreau's quote on fishing:

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."  

I believe that this applies equally to pursuing photography.

 

Here are twelve images straight from the scans (crooked horizons corrected, however).  I look forward to exploring more projects with this camera as a reminder that the important thing is not the end result, but the enjoyment of the entire process and engaging with the natural world.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/4/a-brownie-at-the-shore-a-lesson-in-letting-go-and-acceptance Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:38:33 GMT
Assateague Island https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/4/assateague-island A few images from our trip last week to Assateague Island

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/4/assateague-island Tue, 09 Apr 2019 14:19:17 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/3/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 3/15/19 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/3/ongoing-project-blending-in Fri, 15 Mar 2019 14:09:42 GMT
To know a place... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/3/to-know-a-place Taking advice from world-renowned photographer Jim Brandenburg, I simply needed to look in my own neighborhood to find nature's splendor.  The Greensprings Nature Trail in Williamsburg, Virginia is home to many species of wildlife, several ponds, and a wide variety of plant life.  Taking time and exploring the trails on a regular basis has allowed the ordinary to become extraordinary.  Here are a few of my memorable photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/3/to-know-a-place Tue, 12 Mar 2019 19:55:10 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/2/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 2/22/19 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/2/ongoing-project-blending-in Fri, 22 Feb 2019 12:49:02 GMT
Strolling Through the Seasons at Colonial Williamsburg - Winter https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/12/strolling-through-the-seasons-at-colonial-williamsburg---winter

Getting to know Adobe Spark.  Here's a slideshow of winter at Colonial Williamsburg.

Strolling Through the Seasons at Colonial Williamsburg

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/12/strolling-through-the-seasons-at-colonial-williamsburg---winter Fri, 21 Dec 2018 13:10:51 GMT
Snow Day! https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/12/snow-day We don't get much snow here, so it's fun strolling through Colonial Williamsburg in the snow, particularly when it's all decked out for Christmas!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/12/snow-day Mon, 10 Dec 2018 14:10:29 GMT
Coffee on the Creek https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/coffee-on-the-creek A few photos from enjoying my morning coffee on Morris Creek in the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/coffee-on-the-creek Thu, 25 Oct 2018 20:50:08 GMT
Interesting 'mistake' https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/interesting-mistake This morning I took my kayak down to Powhatan Creek to enjoy a beautiful autumn morning.  I've been photographing with a small pocket camera lately and wanted to test out a feature that I didn't know the camera had.  I thought I had configured it correctly, but when reviewing the images discovered that I had inadvertently set the picture effect to watercolor.  The photographs have an interesting effect and has given me some inspiration to try some of the other effects in camera.  Sometimes mistakes can lead to enjoyable discoveries!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/interesting-mistake Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:55:43 GMT
My Seven Wonders.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/my-seven-wonders After some pondering, I came up with a list of my personal seven wonders of the world.  In no particular order, they are:

1.  Love

2.  Inspiration

3.  Gratitude

4.  Tranquility

5.  Compassion

6.  Humility

7.  Wonder

Our first assignment was to make a photograph that expresses each of our personal seven wonders - quite a tall order!!  Instead, I will be keeping this list in my pocket notebook and making this an ongoing personal quest.

What a great first assignment, and perhaps the most challenging photographic task that I have been assigned!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/my-seven-wonders Mon, 01 Oct 2018 13:46:29 GMT
Seven Wonders of the World.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/seven-wonders-of-the-world Not the classic seven wonders of the world, but what are your personal seven wonders of the world?  Like I mentioned in my last post, this is quite a profound first assignment, and I look forward to pondering this in the days to come....

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/seven-wonders-of-the-world Thu, 27 Sep 2018 19:59:32 GMT
New photography course.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/new-photography-course Well, I recently enrolled in a new photography course.  This one is quite unique in that the camera and photographs are somewhat secondary to the overall objectives of the course.  The first assignment is quite profound, and I’ll enjoy looking through my past photographs as well as creating new ones.  Looking through the course, I see a lifetime of new opportunities to express my thoughts and feelings through photographs.  Should be fun!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/new-photography-course Wed, 26 Sep 2018 19:54:50 GMT
Inspirations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/inspirations Literature is a tremendous source of inspiration for my photography.  Writers like Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Sigurd Olson, and John Burroughs have tremendously eloquent and poetic observations of the natural world.  Sometimes I’ll read a passage and become inspired to seek out a photograph; other times it will remind me of one of my older photographs.

To me, photography is much more than creating images – it’s about opening up all of my senses and becoming receptive to the beauty of the natural world.

This is a quote from Sig Olson.  I was on a trip through the Tracy Arm in southeast Alaska.  One of the stops was South Sawyer Glacier.  When we got somewhat close to the glacier (you have to keep your distance in case of a calving), the captain shut down the engine so we could observe and listen to the glacier. 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska literature sawyer glacier sig olson https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/inspirations Wed, 19 Sep 2018 17:03:37 GMT
After the rain.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/after-the-rain It's always refreshing wandering around the woods after a rain.  Here are a few from Waller Mill Reservoir Park in Williamsburg:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/after-the-rain Sat, 15 Sep 2018 14:00:31 GMT
Powhatan Creek Morning https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/powhatan-creek-morning A morning mist with a high tide made for a peaceful paddle on the northern end of Powhatan Creek

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) powhatan creek virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/powhatan-creek-morning Wed, 20 Jun 2018 19:51:37 GMT
Postcards from Spring in Williamsburg https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/postcards-from-spring-in-williamsburg Just a few images from spring here in Williamsburg, Virginia:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) colonial parkway colonial williamsburg spring virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/postcards-from-spring-in-williamsburg Fri, 27 Apr 2018 11:18:59 GMT
Colonial Kitchen https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/colonial-kitchen With temperatures near 80 degrees and the daffodils blooming, we decided to take a stroll around Colonial Williamsburg.  We have season passes, and it's fun to visit throughout the year and witness the changing of the seasons.  It is also nice to not be pressured and try to see everything in a few visits.  We usually pick on building or trade per visit.  Today we went into the kitchen of the Governor's palace.  They were just finishing up a meal cooked over a traditional fire.  It smelled delicious!  Here are a few images:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) colonial williamsburg https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/colonial-kitchen Sat, 24 Feb 2018 19:30:56 GMT
Pocket sketches https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/pocket-sketches Many times I like to head out with a small pocket camera.  These days it's my iPhone or an older Canon S95.  Sometimes I tend to take photography too seriously and having these small cameras fosters a sense of play that is quite enjoyable.  I also enjoy not looking like a 'serious' photographer to be able to blend into the crowd more easily.

Here, in no particular order are some images I captured with my small pocketable cameras.  Some are black and white, some are cropped, but they were all enjoyable to photograph.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) destinations projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/pocket-sketches Tue, 20 Feb 2018 15:43:01 GMT
Fun With Super-zoom Cameras https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/fun-with-super-zoom-cameras Over the years I have really enjoyed using prosumer super-zoom cameras by Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic.  Super-zoom cameras feature focal lengths that almost defy belief.  My current super-zoom camera, the Panasonic FZ-300 has a 25-600mm f/2.8 Leica lens that can be expanded to 1200mm.  Lugging around let alone affording equivalent lenses in the D-SLR world is completely out of the question.  Here is a practical example of the focal lengths:

 

Can you spot the alligator?

24 mm equivalent

 

Here he is!!

1200 mm equivalent

 

While no camera system is perfect, I find myself grabbing my super-zoom camera when out photographing in nature.  They have several distinct advantages:

 

  • They are extremely light

I can hike all day long through challenging terrain and conditions and hardly notice my 21-ounce camera.  All of its accessories fit in a small camera bag and I can place that bag along with lunch, my rain jacket, etc. in a small backpack.

 

  • Extensive depth of field

The small 1/2.3" sensor allows for great depths of field making close-up and macro photography much easier.  Often I like to depict elements of nature within their natural habitat and environment.  The small sensor cameras make it ideal - here's an example:

This mushroom is only a couple of inches tall.  Photographing this with a D-SLR would have rendered the background completely out of focus.

 

  • Impressive stabilization

These little cameras have very good image stabilization systems.  Here is an example of a handheld shot at 1000 mm equivalent at 1/60 second.  Not too shabby!

 

  • Easy to maneuver 

When I lived in Connecticut, I had a favorite bird photography spot along the edge of a salt marsh.  Getting to this spot was quite an undertaking.  I had to thread myself through patches of thorn bushes and overhanging brush.  Once there, I didn't have much room to work with and maneuver around.  Having a small camera on a small tripod made it much easier to negotiate a smaller area.

 

  • Silent shutter

I really enjoy photographing birds on a feeder.  With my previous setup, the feeder was about ten feet away from the open window in which I photographed.  A loud shutter would have certainly scared many birds away.

 

  • Working distance

Having a large working distance from your subject is important.  Many times if you try and approach an animal be it a bird, mammal, or insect, it will usually flee.  Perhaps even more important is avoiding altering the animal's natural behavior.  Many animals have a hard time merely surviving, so giving them space is important.

Using a super-zoom allowed me plenty of working distance with this resting Plover.  These little guys expend so much energy during migration and refueling, and being able to photograph it from a distance allowed it to rest.

 

 

All-in-all, super-zoom cameras are a lot of fun to use.  Here are some of my memorable photographs taken with super-zooms:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) super zoom cameras wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/fun-with-super-zoom-cameras Wed, 24 Jan 2018 21:14:05 GMT
Winter Beach https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/winter-beach The Ocean is mesmerizing.  When we were visiting Cape May for the holidays, I decided to put together a mini-project focusing on the beach in winter.  We've always enjoyed walk along the beach during the quiet winter season, and this trip we experienced calms, gales, snow squalls, and frigid windchills.  Couldn't ask for better conditions!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) destinations projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/winter-beach Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:33:58 GMT
Learning from Leonardo https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/learning-from-lenardo This year I’d like to read more biographies.  Wandering through the bookstore a couple of weeks ago, I happened to pick up a copy of Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci and glance at the inside book jacket.  Isaacson wrote, in part, “Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted on fantasy.”  With those words, I purchased the book and was extremely glad that I made this book my first biography of 2018. 

Leonardo da Vinci was a man far ahead of his time and his contributions to art and science are incredible.  Isaacson concluded the book with a list of life’s lessons from Leonardo.  They are:

  1. Be curious, relentlessly curious
  2. Seek knowledge for its own sake
  3. Retain a childlike sense of wonder
  4. Observe
  5. Start with the details
  6. See things unseen
  7. Go down rabbit holes
  8. Get distracted
  9. Respect facts
  10. Procrastinate
  11. Let the perfect be the enemy of the good
  12. Think visually
  13. Avoid silos
  14. Let your reach exceed your grasps
  15. Indulge fantasy
  16. Create for yourself, not just for your patrons
  17. Collaborate
  18. Make lists
  19. Take notes, on paper
  20. Be open to mystery

 

I can’t help but notice how applicable this is to photography.  Even #10, procrastinate (which is often perceived negatively), when viewed in Leonardo’s perspective, can serve to enhance creativity.  Looking through the contact sheet of my latest self-project Hidden in Plain Sight, I can certainly identify with at least 10 of these lessons.

Each year I start off with a new Moleskine notebook to carry with me to jot down notes, ideas, and ramblings.  This list is on the first page, and I intend to refer to it often.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/learning-from-lenardo Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:00:00 GMT
Hulls https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hulls I was listening to an interesting podcast by Lenswork magazine that explained different ways to identify personal projects.  One of their tips was to go through your Lightroom collections and see if you can identify any commonalities.  I enjoy photographing nautical subjects, and discovered that I had a couple dozen pictures of hull close-ups.  I thought this might be a fun mini-project.  They are interesting to photograph and full of textures, patterns, and if they could talk, could surely share some stories.  Here are a few:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) nautical projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hulls Mon, 08 Jan 2018 13:45:00 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal (or animals)?

*Updated 2/22/19 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/ongoing-project-blending-in Sat, 06 Jan 2018 12:30:00 GMT
Snowy Owl - Cape May, NJ https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/snowy-owl---cape-may-nj Last week LuAnn and I decided to visit Cape May for the holidays.  We were stationed there for back-to-back tours from 1996-2002.  Known primarily as a summer resort, we’ve come to enjoy the seaside town during the slower months.

There are several parks and trails around town that are nice to explore.  We made it a point to go down to Cape May Point State Park and stroll the beaches (when the temperatures climbed out of the 20s and the winds were less than 40mph!).  One of those strolls we came across a Snowy Owl on the beach and were able to get several photographs from a respectable distance, but I was concerned.  It was sitting on the beach with its wings splayed out.  Since this was on state park property, we went to talk to the park ranger.  They were going to contact the Audubon society, but she seemed to think that it was covering its prey.  Bob Armstrong, a good friend of mine, and a biologist/naturalist based in Alaska indicated that these owls often head south when their normal food in the Arctic is not as plentiful.

Seeing such a beautiful bird is always a rewarding experience.  Here are a couple of photos:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) cape may wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/snowy-owl---cape-may-nj Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:12:43 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 36: Last Day https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-36-last-day

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-36-last-day Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:48:51 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 35 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-35

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-35 Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:47:46 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 34 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-34

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-34 Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:47:14 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 33 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-33

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-33 Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:46:37 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 32 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-32

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-32 Sun, 31 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 31 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-31

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-31 Sat, 30 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 30 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-30

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-30 Fri, 29 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 29 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-29

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-29 Thu, 28 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 28 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-28

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-28 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 27 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-27

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-27 Tue, 26 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 26 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/h

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/h Mon, 25 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 25 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-25

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-25 Sun, 24 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 24 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-24

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-24 Sat, 23 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 23 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-23

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-23 Fri, 22 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 22 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-22

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-22 Thu, 21 Dec 2017 12:30:00 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 21 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-21

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-21 Wed, 20 Dec 2017 12:18:27 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 20 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-20

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-20 Tue, 19 Dec 2017 15:29:53 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 19 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-19

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-19 Mon, 18 Dec 2017 16:06:43 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 18 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-18

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-18 Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:22:51 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 17 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-17

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-17 Sat, 16 Dec 2017 20:25:54 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 16 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-16

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-16 Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:43:56 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 15 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-15

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-15 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:04:34 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 14 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-14

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-14 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:13:36 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 13 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-13

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-13 Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:50:01 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 12 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-12

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-12 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:01:33 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 11 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-11

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-11 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 19:42:18 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 10 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-10

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-10 Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:46:37 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 9 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-9

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-9 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:44:23 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 8 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-8

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-8 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:32:12 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 7 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-7

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-7 Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:27:12 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 6 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-6

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-6 Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:27:45 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 5 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-5

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-5 Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:36:14 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 4 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-4

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-4 Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:35:36 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 3 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-3

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-3 Sat, 02 Dec 2017 22:08:52 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 2 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-2

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-2 Fri, 01 Dec 2017 16:44:24 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - Day 1 https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-1

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/hidden-in-plain-sight---day-1 Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:11:03 GMT
Hidden in Plain Sight - A Film Project https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/hidden-in-plain-sight---a-film-project Hidden in Plain Sight – A 36-day quest to discover the daily miracle of nature’s quiet moments.

Taking inspiration from Jim Brandenburg’s Chased by the Light project, I set out to make one photograph per day – one click of the shutter for 36 days beginning October 1 with one roll of film at a local nature trail.  

There would be no second chance and no instant feedback that I had become so reliant upon with digital technology.  It didn’t take long to discover the incredible element of mystery that would accompany me on this journey.

With this project, I hoped to go deeper – beyond the predictable and aesthetically “pretty” picture to slow down and to serve as a reminder to take a closer look at the natural world and what is hidden in plain sight.

Each day, I will post one image from the project.  My results are for you to judge.

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

-William Dyer

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) hidden in plain sight https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/hidden-in-plain-sight---a-film-project Wed, 29 Nov 2017 23:29:39 GMT
Learning from Limitations: B&W Within Camera https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/learning-from-limitations-b-w-within-camera Lately I have been drawn to self-imposed limitations after reading David duChemin's advice about how to foster creativity.  This is an idea I plan on exploring further.  A couple of years ago during a trip to Maine, I decided to only use my iPhone.  It was quite liberating and it made me look at the subject a little differently.  To view those images, click here.

Today we took a walk through Colonial Williamsburg and I had my camera set on its black & white mode.  Normally when I decide to publish or print a black and white image, I'll shoot a color image in RAW and then convert the image in either Lightroom or Silver-Efex Pro.  This time, I simply used the black and white JPEG setting in the camera.  My camera has two black and white modes - standard and dynamic.  Here are some images all with the standard black and white setting:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) limitations projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/learning-from-limitations-b-w-within-camera Sun, 12 Nov 2017 20:01:37 GMT
Mountain Mist https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/mountain-mist Clouds, fog, and rain are all very typical in south-central Alaska.  I'm always mesmerized by the way the landscape changes minute-by-minute, and this trip I decided to pay closer attention to the subtle nuances of the landscape.  Here are a few images.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska destinations fog https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/mountain-mist Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:21:03 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/ongoing-project-blending-in Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal?

*Updated 8/15/17 with new images

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) projects wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/ongoing-project-blending-in Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:09:02 GMT
Postcards from Alaska https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/postcards-from-alaska It was so nice to be back in Alaska.  Here are a few images from our two-week trip:

 

Turnagain Arm Views

Turnagain Arm ViewTurnagain Arm View Windy PointWindy Point

Moose in pond near downtown Anchorage

Our picnic spot on our drive to Seward

Fog in Seward

Puffins at the Sea Life Center

Otter in boat harbor

Exit Glacier views - check out the hikers in the corner!

Seward boat harbor

Bears at the Alaska Conservation Center (these guys were orphaned a couple of years ago)

Eklutna Lake - not a bad place to kayak! 

Grouse on a local trail - we were about 3 feet away from this guy!

Floatplane at Lake Hood (busiest seaplane base in the world!)

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) alaska destinations wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/postcards-from-alaska Sun, 13 Aug 2017 14:58:45 GMT
Hulls https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/hulls I was listening to an interesting podcast by Lenswork magazine that explained different ways to identify personal projects.  One of their tips was to go through your Lightroom collections and see if you can identify any commonalities.  I enjoy photographing nautical subjects, and discovered that I had a couple dozen pictures of hull close-ups.  I thought this might be a fun mini-project.  They are interesting to photograph and full of textures, patterns, and if they could talk, could surely share some stories.  Here are a few:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Nautical projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/hulls Thu, 15 Jun 2017 18:46:33 GMT
Images of Franklin, NC https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/images-of-franklin-nc Images from a recent trip to Franklin, NC - wonderful area with plenty of hiking trails, gem mining, and a vibrant downtown area with a local outdoor store, restaurants, and museums.  Looking forward to returning!         

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/images-of-franklin-nc Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:49:10 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/ongoing-project-blending-in *Updated 6/2/17 with new images

 

Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal?

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/ongoing-project-blending-in Fri, 02 Jun 2017 20:09:10 GMT
Cloud formations on the York River https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/cloud-formations-on-the-york-river A few images of the interesting cloud formations on the York River yesterday.  Despite their ominous looks, there was only a little bit of drizzle.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/cloud-formations-on-the-york-river Sun, 07 May 2017 20:41:58 GMT
Persistance and struggle.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/persistance I enjoy going down to the James River along the Colonial Parkway in the mornings during sunrise.  Yesterday, it was breezy, there was quite a bit of cloud cover and things were fairly quiet.  I was walking along the river, and came across this little water snake trying to make its way along the bank of the river.  Perhaps it didn't want to encounter the sand, so it crawled along the water's edge getting utterly pounded by wave after wave after wave.  It was a good show of persistence and struggle and I came to admire this little guy.  Eventually he made it to a patch of grass where I'm sure he took a much deserved rest!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/persistance Wed, 03 May 2017 22:43:00 GMT
Tybee Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/lighthouse-keepers-quarters It was a nice surprise to see the keeper's quarters at Tybee Light open to the public and restored to the way it looked in the 1930s.  Normally when keeper's quarters are opened, access is quite restricted.  At Tybee, however, we were free to roam about and photograph.  It was nice to catch a glimpse of life for the Keeper's family.  Here are a few photos:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Lighthouses https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/lighthouse-keepers-quarters Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:05:53 GMT
Dawn at Tybee Light https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/dawn-at-tybee-light It was enjoyable watching the sunrise over Tybee Island.  Here are two photos from about an hour before sunrise at Tybee Island Lighthouse:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Lighthouses https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/dawn-at-tybee-light Mon, 17 Apr 2017 19:43:21 GMT
Spring colors https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/spring-colors After living in the Caribbean for the past couple of years, it's really nice to see some color appear in the landscape.  More and more color appears every day!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Colonial Parkway Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/spring-colors Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:18:46 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Colonial Parkway https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/favorite-photography-destinations-colonial-parkway *Updated 3/29 with new image

 

The Colonial Parkway in southeast Virginia is a 23-mile road that connects the historic cities of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.  With sweeping views of the James and York rivers, it is a very pleasant drive or bike ride, particularly early mornings or late afternoons.

 

Throughout the seasons there are always interesting photographic opportunities.  In springtime, flowering dogwoods resembling popcorn speckle the roadsides, summer brings out the wildflowers in all their glory, autumn colors rival New England's and winter sunrises and sunsets make you forget about the cold.

 

Here are a few of my memorable photographs along the Colonial Parkway:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects Virginia Wildflowers https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/favorite-photography-destinations-colonial-parkway Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:17:02 GMT
Morocco photos revisited https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/morocco-photos-revisited From time to time, I enjoy going back through my photo library and seeing if there was anything I missed in the initial edit, or if anything else catches my eye.  It's been a little over a year since the Morocco trip, and found some other photos that brought back memories.  Here are a few that caught my eye:

 

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Morocco https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/morocco-photos-revisited Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:31:56 GMT
Keeping an eye out... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/keeping-an-eye-out Updated 1/14/17

This is turning into a fun project!  While strolling along trails and throughout town, I often come upon a couple of trees with some interesting bark patterns.  They appeared to be staring back - almost like watchful eyes in the forest.  I'm glad I keep my camera with me, and will continue to keep an eye out for more eyes in the trees!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Virginia iPhone https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/keeping-an-eye-out Sat, 14 Jan 2017 20:33:35 GMT
To know a place https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/to-know-a-place (Updated 1/10/17)  Taking advice from world-renowned photographer Jim Brandenburg, I simply had to look in my own neighborhood to find nature's splendor.  The Greensprings Nature Trail in Williamsburg, Virginia is home to many species of wildlife, several ponds, and a wide variety of plant life.  Taking time and exploring the trails on a regular basis allowed the ordinary to become extraordinary.  Here are a few of my memorable photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/to-know-a-place Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:46:20 GMT
A rare treat.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/a-rare-treat After living in the Caribbean for 3 years, it was nice to see some snow.  Officially Williamsburg received 13 inches yesterday, which is quite a lot for this area and everything came to a standstill.  This morning we took a stroll around Colonial Williamsburg to enjoy the winter scenes.  It's not going to last, however, as it is forecasted to be in the 60s by midweek.  Here are a few images from this morning:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Colonial Virginia Williamsburg https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/a-rare-treat Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:59:01 GMT
Wreaths of Colonial Williamsburg https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/wreaths-of-colonial-williamsburg Colonial Williamsburg is a fun place to stroll around, especially during the holidays.  The colonial homes are adorned with traditional decorations and handcrafted wreaths.  Here are a few of the wreaths along Duke of Gloucester Street:

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/wreaths-of-colonial-williamsburg Sun, 18 Dec 2016 20:14:53 GMT
Postcards from The Outer Banks https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/postcards-from-the-outer-banks A few image from The Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Looking forward to more visits!!

Wright Memorial

View from the hill in which the Wright Brothers tested their gliders

Spot where first flight occurred

Marker of the first flight

Bronze Memorial

Bodie Lighthouse images

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/postcards-from-the-outer-banks Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:58:48 GMT
Keeping an eye out... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/keeping-an-eye-out This has turned into a fun project!  While strolling down a trail along the York River in Virginia, I came upon a couple of trees with some interesting bark patterns.  They appeared to be staring back - almost like watchful eyes in the forest.  I'm glad I had my camera with me, and will keep an eye out for more eyes in the trees!

*Updated with new images

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Virginia iPhone https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/keeping-an-eye-out Sun, 06 Nov 2016 13:45:33 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/ongoing-project-blending-in *Updated 9/9/16 with new images

 

Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal?

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/ongoing-project-blending-in Fri, 09 Sep 2016 22:33:34 GMT
Eastern Shore Seaside Towns https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/eastern-shore-seaside-towns The Chesapeake Bay area is crab country.  We just returned from a trip to Virginia's Eastern Shore.  Our ultimate destination was Chincoteague Island, but along the way we stopped at several seaside communities that have picturesque working harbors with crab boats, shacks, and all the equipment for catching Callinectes Sapidus, the blue crab.  Needless to say, the crab cake sandwiches were dynamite.  Here are a few pictures of the towns of Cape Charles, Oyster, Saxis in Virginia and Crisfield, in Maryland.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Nautical Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/eastern-shore-seaside-towns Mon, 05 Sep 2016 20:55:13 GMT
From one place..... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/from-one-place I recently finished reading The Forest Unseen by biologist David Haskell.  In this book, David observes one square meter of forest in Tennessee for an entire year.  With a biologist's eye and a poet's pen he reveals the hidden world of this little patch of forest, and is perhaps one of the best nature books I have come across.

 

Reading this book gave me the idea of trying something similar.  I frequently stroll through Greensprings trail and find myself drawn to one area in particular - a boardwalk area that traverses a beaver pond.  Regardless of what time of day I visit, there is usually some sort of wildlife activity.  So, I have decided to spend one year observing this little patch of nature.  I've always had much better luck photographing wildlife from a single location versus hiking around.  I've always been a firm believer in letting animals come to you.  Should be fun!

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/from-one-place Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:26:56 GMT
Experimenting https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/experimenting The past few days have been really hot here in Virginia (upper 90s and low 100s), so I have been getting out early and visiting my favorite spot at Greensprings trail.  Not much activity there - perhaps it's a bit warm for some of the wildlife as well.  Nevertheless, it's a great spot to sit and observe.  Dragonflies were out and about catching their morning meals, and the clouds rolled in and out causing some interesting shadows over the pond.

 

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed some vegetation growing out of the pond being lit almost like a spotlight by the morning light.  The surrounding water went quite dark, so I captured a few images before the light changed.  This particular image reminds me of a Japanese minimalistic aesthetic - sometimes less is more.  It was a nice surprise on an otherwise quiet morning.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Greensprings Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/experimenting Fri, 29 Jul 2016 18:41:19 GMT
Powhatan Creek https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/powhatan-creek Took a quick trip back to Powhatan Creek this morning.  I wanted to see how far north I could get - there's virtually no development in the area and it looks like a great area to continue my project on Wetlands.  This part of the creek is ideal for paddle-craft - there's no way powered boats can negotiate the shallow water and many obstacles in the water.  The water level was quite low, but I was surprised how far up the creek I could travel.  It should be really nice come high water or after some good rains.

 

On my way back down, I came across a dragonfly on the surface of the water.  I picked him up, let him dry off a bit and then set him on some vegetation to recover.  Lots of dragonflies in the area, and they are quite fun to observe and photograph.

 

I couldn't resist converting a scenic photograph to a toned black-and-white.  I really enjoy the timeless quality to the areas that I have been paddling.  Here are some photographs:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Kayaking Powhatan Creek Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/powhatan-creek Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:38:17 GMT
Symbols of Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/symbols-of-virginia It's always fun learning a bit about our new duty stations.  So far we have lived in New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and now we are back in Virginia.  In looking through my library of photos, I came across the different state symbols of Virginia:

 

State bird - Northern Cardinal

State insect - Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

State reptile - Garter Snake

State flower & tree - Dogwood

State boat - Chesapeake Deadrise

 

Now to try and get a photo of a Brook Trout, the state fish.......

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/symbols-of-virginia Tue, 19 Jul 2016 20:25:48 GMT
Waller Mill Reservoir https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/waller-mill-reservoir The Waller Mill Reservoir supplies drinking water to our area and paddle craft and electric motors are permitted.  Most of the reservoir is crystal-clear providing great viewing opportunities for fish, turtles (some enormous snapping turtles), and the plant life at the bottom.  This morning I paddled the north side of the reservoir, leisurely exploring some of the small coves.  While in one of the coves, an Osprey dove into the water about 30 yards ahead of me in search of fish.  

 

There are a couple of Wood Duck nesting boxes throughout the reservoir.  I've been trying to photograph one from my kayak (my kayak is a 12' Wood Duck from Chesapeake Light Craft).  No luck this time.

 

This will be a spectacular place to return to when the leaves turn this fall.  I'll be ready!  Maybe they'll be some Wood Ducks to keep my Wood Duck company.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Kayaking Virginia Waller Mill https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/waller-mill-reservoir Fri, 15 Jul 2016 16:47:50 GMT
Morris Creek - Revisited https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/morris-creek---revisited While paddling Morris Creek the other day, it struck me how timeless the area is.  It's probably not all that different looking when Captain John Smith explored the area in the early 1600s.  In going over my photographs again, they didn't particularly reflect that intent.  Revisiting them in Lightroom, I applied a toned black & white conversion to a few photographs that I believe more authentically represents that timeless element.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Kayaking Morris Creek Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/morris-creek---revisited Wed, 13 Jul 2016 21:02:44 GMT
Morris Creek https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/morris-creek Today was another day for paddling.  I forgot how much I have missed kayaking over the years.  I took a trip up Morris Creek which is part of the Chickahominy Wildlife Management area.  Once on the creek, the 21st century vanishes very quickly.  There are a couple of homes along the creek, but as you meander up the creek they quickly disappear.  This part of Virginia is where the 2006 film The New World was filmed.

 

There were many Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and Great Blue Herons looking for a meal.  Photographing birds is challenging enough - photographing from a kayak makes it even more tricky.  Drifting along, many songbirds can be observed in the trees and flying about.

 

The creek narrows considerably as you head north.  This is the perfect environment for paddle craft - I'd imagine that the power boats would have a very difficult time negotiating the many bends and shallow water.

 

I definitely plan on returning and exploring some of the tributaries of the creek.  Viewing the natural world from a kayak is a very special experience.  Here are a few images:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Kayaking Morris Creek Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/morris-creek Mon, 11 Jul 2016 20:02:54 GMT
A quick paddle... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/a-quick-paddle This morning I took my kayak over to Powhatan Creek and took a leisurely paddle down the creek.  I haven't been kayaking for nearly three years, so it was very refreshing to get back on the water.  Powhatan Creek is a tributary of the James River and is a great spot to paddle - hardly any currents and very sheltered.  There is some development along the creek but nature abounds here - lots of birds, fish (BIG catfish that can give you quite a startle!), turtles, and tranquil scenics.

 

I look forward to more paddling in the area.  A couple of miles from here is Morris Creek - a part of the Chickahominy Wildlife Management area.  The area is so untouched that parts of the film The New World was shot there - should be lots of fun!  Here are a few pictures from today:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Kayaking Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/a-quick-paddle Wed, 06 Jul 2016 15:55:36 GMT
Alaska Wildlife in Black & White https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/alaska-wildlife-in-black-white The past week I have been watching a Lightroom tutorial series by David duChemin, one of my favorite photographers.  Recently he produced a body of work in black and white of the Spirit Bears of British Columbia.  The images were beautiful and I decided to try some black and white treatments to some of my memorable wildlife images from Alaska.

 

Alaska is a very colorful place, particularly in the summer.  The forests are deep green, the glaciers are an almost unbelievable blue, and this sometimes can overpower the subject of the image, in this case, the animal.  Converting these images into black and white help bring out the animal yet still retains the classic Alaskan environment.  I need to keep experimenting with this as I go through the tutorial.  Here's what I came up with:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/alaska-wildlife-in-black-white Wed, 29 Jun 2016 20:28:47 GMT
People in the Landscape https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/people-in-the-landscape I recently came across an article on Artifact Uprising's website about the power of including people in landscape images.  Normally I like to have my landscape images free of people or anything manmade, but it can provide an interesting perspective or sense of scale.

 

After reading the article I went through my Lightroom catalog and made a collection called 'People in the Landscape'.  I'm going to make a conscious effort to try and pursue more of these types of compositions - they certainly add an interesting dimension to the image.  Here are some:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Landscapes People https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/people-in-the-landscape Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
"Rules" of Wildlife Photography https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/-rules-of-wildlife-photography Pick up a book on wildlife photography and you'll likely come across several "rules", one of which is to only photograph during the early morning or late afternoon.  True, many animals are most active during that time and the light is beautiful, but if I subscribed to that rule, I'd have missed many, many memorable wildlife encounters and photographs.  Living in Alaska, for example, I learned that animals have such as short summer to get ready for winter, that they are active pretty much non-stop.  I've been able to photograph moose, eagles, bears, fox, coyotes, Dall sheep, and many songbirds in the middle of the day.  The middle of the day is often ideal for insects, reptiles, and amphibians that depend on the sun's energy to go about their day.   

 

Yesterday it was quite warm but decided to take a stroll at Greensprings.  I was fortunate to come across a doe with two of her fawns.  It was very challenging photography - there were lots of shadows that required a bit of patience to get a photograph.  I see deer here nearly every time I'm on the trail.  I suspect that the deer are quite used to human presence - there's a good amount of foot traffic throughout the day on the trail.  Here are the two images that I think came out the nicest of the bunch.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Greensprings Virginia Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/-rules-of-wildlife-photography Tue, 21 Jun 2016 22:28:19 GMT
In their environment https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/in-their-environment One of my favorite types of wildlife photographs are ones that depict the environment as well as the animal.  After all, animals do not live in a vacuum.  Environmental images can  give a powerful sense of place and can be an influential conservation tool since many natural areas have become threatened.

 

This morning I took a stroll at the wetland pond in Greensprings Nature Trail and saw an Egret fishing in the distance.  I tried unsuccessfully to capture him feeding, so I zoomed out to try and put the emphasis on his environment.

 

Since I was shooting into the sun and everything was very green, I tried a different approach in processing this image.  I used a split-tone in lightroom to create this toned black-and-white image.  Honestly, I'm not sure which one I prefer - they are very different.  The toned image adds a certain 'timeless' quality to the wetland environment.  I'll re-visit the image in a couple of days and see how I feel.

 

Original:

 

Split-toned:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Greensprings Virginia Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/in-their-environment Sat, 18 Jun 2016 22:29:35 GMT
New Quarter Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/new-quarter-park Today I decided to take a stroll around New Quarter Park and check out the trails.  The last time I was there was 10 years ago - I hardly could remember any of the trails.  I can see myself spending more time here - especially with my kayak.

 

Located along Queens Creek, the trails meander through some diverse habitat including woodlands, marshes, and a really interesting area set aside for quail habitat development.  I came across a Summer Tanager and was gracious enough to pose for some photos.

 

Along with the hiking trails, there are dedicated mountain bike trails, a disc golf course, a kayak/canoe dock, and lots of picnic areas.  Looking forward to exploring more!  Here are a few photos.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Virginia Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/new-quarter-park Wed, 15 Jun 2016 22:15:23 GMT
Lucky shot..... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/lucky-shot Now that I am here in Virginia, I have been taking some morning walks in one of my favorite places, the Greensprings Nature Trail.  When we lived here 10 years ago, I would visit frequently to photograph and enjoy the trail.  

 

As soon as I got to one of my regular photo locations, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers landed on a tree about 30 yards in front of me.  I quickly turned the camera on and captured two images before it flew off.  I've never had a Pileated come that close before.

 

It was still early morning and quite dark.  I had to use ISO 1600 to capture the image which required a bit of attention in Lightroom.  Not bad for a small superzoom camera!

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Virginia Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/lucky-shot Sun, 12 Jun 2016 20:43:27 GMT
Seeing in Sixes https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/seeing-in-sixes Recently, Lenswork Magazine has solicited entries for a new publication called 'Seeing in Sixes'.  From the Lenswork site:

 

"I see these small projects as a visual cousin to the haiku or six-word story — a compact expression of a single nature, possibly a story, definitely a theme, held together stylistically, and making a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Tight, distilled to the essentials, impactful, deeper than what is possible with a single image."

 

This got me thinking about an area that I am passionate about - the Tongass National Forest.  Every time I visit southeast Alaska, I am drawn to its coast, the glaciers, the unpredictable weather, and its ruggedness.  Like one of my previous posts, I decided to call it Land of Rain.  It is a place of mystery, a place of beauty, and one that captures my imagination.  Here are the six images:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Destinations Tongass National Forest https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/seeing-in-sixes Wed, 08 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Final week in Old San Juan https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/final-week-in-old-san-juan For my last weekend in Old San Juan, we stayed at El Convento Hotel, a 350-year old former convent in the heart of the Old City.  It was very enjoyable roaming the streets and dining in some of the restaurants.  Here are a few pictures - the first group are from the hotel and the others are from around town:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Caribbean Destinations Puerto Rico https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/final-week-in-old-san-juan Thu, 02 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Back to Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/back-to-virginia After living in Puerto Rico for the past three years, we are returning to Virginia.  Having been stationed here before (2004-2007), it will be interesting to continue on some photo projects and observe how things have changed.  I'm looking forward to exploring more of the Colonial Parkway, Greensprings Nature Trail, Powhatan Creek and other favorites.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the area:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/back-to-virginia Wed, 01 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Collages https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/collages One of my favorite things to do with my photos is give them as gifts in the form of note cards.  Never being sure if people have room for large prints, nearly everyone can find note cards handy.  I use a basic note card paper from Avery and they come out quite well even with my basic Canon photo printer.

 

I recently purchased TurboCollage 6 and have been experimenting with collages.  I'm sure this will be a fun way to print out some note cards.  Here is one collage I came up with.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/collages Wed, 25 May 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Nautical Details https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/nautical-details When visiting seaside communities or maritime museums, I make it a point to look for the small details that often go overlooked.  Boats are works of art in and of themselves, but looking closer can reveal some interesting elements.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Nautical https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/nautical-details Wed, 18 May 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Orton Effect https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/orton-effect Throughout different photography websites and forums, there seems to be a bit of a resurgence of the Orton Effect application to photos.  Popular in the film days, the Orton Effect was achieved by taking two photographs (with slide film) - one exposed normally and one slightly overexposed and defocused.  The two slides are then sandwiched together, and a photograph is produced using the combination of the two slides.

 

With digital post-productions options available today, there are many ways to simulate the Orton Effect.  Here are some photographs from Magnolia Gardens in Charleston I came up with using a Preset I obtained for Lightroom.  I had to slightly fiddle with each photograph to achieve the effect.  I still need to play around with the various adjustments - I can see it being a fun way to display some landscape photographs:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Charleston Destinations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/orton-effect Wed, 11 May 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Seaside Communities: Dutch Harbor https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/seaside-communities-dutch-harbor Dutch Harbor is located along the Aleutian Island chain and is one of the biggest fishing ports in the world.  In recent years it has been made famous by the Discovery Channel with its Deadliest Catch reality show.

 

We had the opportunity to spend a long weekend there while we were living in Anchorage.  Getting to Dutch Harbor is interesting - our flight had to stop at Cold Bay (a town on Alaska's mainland) to pick up more fuel in case of fog at Dutch Harbor.  The extra fuel is needed to be able to return to Anchorage.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Destinations Nautical https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/seaside-communities-dutch-harbor Wed, 04 May 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Seaside Communities: Chincoteague, Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/seaside-communities-chincoteague-virginia Continuing my organization of nautical themes, I came across a trip we made to Chincoteague Island several years ago.  Chincoteague Island is located on Virginia's Eastern Shore and working fishing/crabbing boats are everywhere.  We split our time between the waterfront, the Lighthouse, and Assateague Island, home of the famous wild horses.

 

Since we are moving back to Virginia this summer, we'll definitely be back for another visit and some more delicious crab cakes!!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Nautical Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/seaside-communities-chincoteague-virginia Wed, 27 Apr 2016 11:00:00 GMT
A Remarkable Ship - update https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/a-remarkable-ship---update Updated 4/25/16

In addition to travel and nature photography, I enjoy photographing nautical subjects, particularly old ships and seaside communities.  During our trip to Charleston I visited Patriot's Point, home of the USS LAFFEY (DD-724), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer.  She was launched in February 1944 and is the most decorated World War II era destroyer still in existence.

 

LAFFEY escorted tugs, landing craft and two Dutch gunboats during the D-Day invasion, and operated off France until early July 1944.  She returned to the US for an overhaul before being transferred to the Pacific Theater in late August 1944.

 

In April 1945 while stationed at radar picket one off of Okinawa, she was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and kamikazes, and was struck by 5 kamikazes and 3 bombs.  Her crew shot down nearly half of the attackers earning the nickname "The Ship That Would Not Die".  Here is what she faced that day:

 

Nearly the entire ship is available to walk around and there are interpretive placards in most spaces.  It's a humbling experience going through the ship and really makes one appreciate the ultimate sacrifices so many of our brave veterans have made over the years.  

 

Update 4/25.  I just finished reading The Ship That Would Not Die by Julian Becton, the LAFFEY's Commanding Officer during World War II.  His concluding paragraph is quite poignant:

 

"White water no longer curls back from LAFFEY's high, proud bow.  There are no men at her throttles or on her bridge, and her guns no longer speak.  But she is alive with shades and memories of brave deeds and the brave Americans who did them.  They are still with her and will be always.  It is my hope that those who visit her, most especially the young, will come to know and perhaps be inspired by them."

F. Julian Becton, RADM, USN (Ret.)

 

Here are a few photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Charleston Nautical https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/a-remarkable-ship---update Mon, 25 Apr 2016 11:03:27 GMT
Nautical Treasures: Mystic Seaport https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/nautical-treasures-mystic-seaport Mystic Seaport is located on the eastern edge of the Mystic River in southeast Connecticut and is the largest maritime museum in the world.  The heart of the museum are its historic ships, most notably the CHARLES W. MORGAN, the only surviving wooden whaleship.  Other vessels have earned the status of National Historic Landmarks.

 

In addition to the ships, the Seaport has a re-created seaside community with sailmaker shops, coopers, rope makers, blacksmiths, and other 18-th century trades that support shipbuilding.  Speaking of shipbuilding, visitors are allowed to walk freely around the museum's restoration shipyard.  When we were there, the MORGAN was hauled out and undergoing a complete restoration.  It provided a really unique vantage point of one of the world's most historic vessels.

 

I spent many hours wandering around the Seaport and photographing.  There are subjects everywhere - traditional landscapes, the ships themselves, costumed interpreters, small details, the shipyard, and so much more.  Every season brings out something new and I can't wait to get back for another visit.  Here are some images:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Mystic Seaport Nautical https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/nautical-treasures-mystic-seaport Wed, 20 Apr 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Seaside Communities: Rockport, Texas https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/seaside-communities-rockport-texas Photographing the USS LAFFEY Museum Ship during our last trip to Charleston re-kindled my interest in nautical subjects.  I have been going through my Lightroom library and organizing my nautical photographs into collections.  Here is the start of one collection - Seaside Communities.

 

Rockport Texas is a great place to wander around with a camera.  There is an active shrimp fishery with two harbors - Rockport and Fulton with nearly unrestricted access to the fleet.  You're able to explore the piers and watch the comings and goings of the boats, the unloading of the catch, and the beauty of the shrimp boat design.

 

In addition to the boats, the bait shacks all but beg to be photographed.  These colorful shacks seem to symbolize the Rockport area and are frequently seen in gift shops as postcards, calendars and prints.  Here are a few from our travels:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Nautical Rockport https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/seaside-communities-rockport-texas Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:00:00 GMT
A Remarkable Ship https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/a-remarkable-ship In addition to travel and nature photography, I enjoy photographing nautical subjects, particularly old ships and seaside communities.  During our trip to Charleston I visited Patriot's Point, home of the USS LAFFEY (DD-724), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer.  She was launched in February 1944 and is the most decorated World War II era destroyer still in existence.

 

LAFFEY escorted tugs, landing craft and two Dutch gunboats during the D-Day invasion, and operated off France until early July 1944.  She returned to the US for an overhaul before being transferred to the Pacific Theater in late August 1944.

 

In April 1945 while stationed at radar picket one off of Okinawa, she was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and kamikazes, and was struck by 5 kamikazes and 3 bombs.  Her crew shot down nearly half of the attackers earning the nickname "The Ship That Would Not Die".  Here is what she faced that day:

 

Nearly the entire ship is available to walk around and there are interpretive placards in most spaces.  It's a humbling experience going through the ship and really makes one appreciate the ultimate sacrifices so many of our brave veterans have made over the years.  Here are a few photographs:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Charleston Nautical https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/a-remarkable-ship Mon, 04 Apr 2016 15:34:08 GMT
Magnolia Gardens https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/magnolia-gardens While in Charleston, I took a couple of trips to Magnolia Gardens to walk around and photograph.  It's the oldest public garden in the country and dates back to the late 1800s.  It was a lot of fun wandering around the plantation - next time I will bring a longer lens to photograph the birds that make their home in the nearby swamp.  Here are a few photos:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Charleston Destinations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/magnolia-gardens Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:20:10 GMT
Downtown Charleston, SC https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/downtown-charleston-sc We just returned from a week-long trip in Charleston, South Carolina.  The downtown area is very historic with elegant homes, numerous Revolutionary and Civil War point of interest, and gardens that were starting to show the spring colors.  Here are a few images from downtown:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Charleston Destinations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/downtown-charleston-sc Wed, 30 Mar 2016 14:48:43 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/ongoing-project-blending-in *Updated 3/28/16 with new images

 

Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal?

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/ongoing-project-blending-in Mon, 28 Mar 2016 14:58:04 GMT
Las Puertas https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/las-puertas Since our time in the Caribbean is coming to a close, I have started to organize my images to see if there are any common themes.  Strolling around Old San Juan, I have been drawn to the intricate doors (Puertas) and came up with a collage of my favorites.

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Puerto Rico https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/las-puertas Thu, 17 Mar 2016 12:33:57 GMT
A walk in the park.... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/a-walk-in-the-park We recently found out that we will be transferred back to southeast Virginia.  We lived there from 2004-2007, so it will be nice to return to some familiar surroundings and catch up with old friends.

 

While living there, I frequently would wander around the Greensprings Nature Trail in Williamsburg.  I wrote a post a while ago about the trail (click here to have a look).  It was really interesting to see how the trail has changed over the past couple of years, particularly the beaver pond area.  It was like reconnecting with an old friend.  I'm really looking forward to exploring more when we relocate.  Here are a few images from wandering the trail:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Greensprings Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/a-walk-in-the-park Mon, 07 Mar 2016 15:18:14 GMT
Keeping an eye out... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/keeping-an-eye-out This has turned into a fun project!  While strolling down a trail along the York River in Virginia, I came upon a couple of trees with some interesting bark patterns.  They appeared to be staring back - almost like watchful eyes in the forest.  I'm glad I had my camera with me, and will keep an eye out for more eyes in the trees!

*Updated with new images

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Virginia iPhone https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/keeping-an-eye-out Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Shark Valley Trail, Everglades NP https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/favorite-photography-destinations-shark-valley-trail-everglades-np One of the best opportunities to observe wildlife close-up is the Shark Valley Trail in Everglades National Park.  The trail starts as part of the Tram Road and is a 15-mile round trip limited to bicycles, foot traffic and the park's trams.  The first mile or so is extremely productive as it parallels a drainage canal.  All sorts of bird life can be observed and photographed and they seem to be fairly accustomed to human presence.  In addition to birds, alligators are frequently found right on the trail, particularly early in the mornings as they sun themselves on the blacktop.

 

Here are a few of my memorable photos from along the trail:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Florida Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/favorite-photography-destinations-shark-valley-trail-everglades-np Wed, 10 Feb 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Mating Moose https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/moose Since I have not renewed my PBase account, I just received word that it will be deleted next month.  Out of curiosity, I logged in and found that a series of images of mating moose have been receiving several hundred hits per day!  Very interesting....

 

Here are the images:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Anchorage Moose Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/moose Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Sig Olson Inspirations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/sig-olson-inspirations It's been a while since I looked through some works by Sig Olson.  Here is one of my favorites:

 

"It was one of those perfect experiences; a combination of atmosphere, a long dreamed-of realization come true, and appreciation by someone who means more to me than anything else in the world."

 

Kayaking with my wife in Prince William Sound, Alaska:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Literature Sig Olson https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/sig-olson-inspirations Wed, 27 Jan 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Tropical Beauty https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/tropical-beauty There is beauty everywhere you look in the tropics.  Here are a few of my memorable images from our travels and living in the Caribbean for the past couple of years:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Caribbean Destinations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/tropical-beauty Wed, 20 Jan 2016 22:42:52 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Rocky Neck State Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/favorite-photography-destinations-rocky-neck-state-park Rocky Neck State Park is a wonderful place for nature photography and hiking.  There is a salt marsh with several viewing platforms in south end of the park and an open meadow on the north side.  While hiking and exploring the park, I would frequently encounter many species of birds, snakes, lizards, deer, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and a wide variety of insects.

 

Several times per week I would go to the park and spend time at the viewing platforms.  It was a lot of fun observing the different birds as the seasons changed.  Here are a few of my memorable photos from the park:

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Rocky Neck State Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/favorite-photography-destinations-rocky-neck-state-park Wed, 13 Jan 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Behind the image: Turnagain Ice Falls https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/behind-the-image-turnagain-ice-falls When we lived in Anchorage, I would frequently take day trips down the Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm - it was one of my favorite locations in the Anchorage area.

 

Right after a cold-snap I took a ride hoping to photograph some ice formations.  It turned out to be a spectacular day, but I had a hard time trying to express the scale of the falls so I used the camera's self-timer and positioned myself in the scene.  Glad I chose to wear a yellow coat that day!!

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Anchorage Destinations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/behind-the-image-turnagain-ice-falls Wed, 06 Jan 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Happy New Year! https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/happy-new-year

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/happy-new-year Fri, 01 Jan 2016 21:11:00 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Colonial Parkway https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/favorite-photography-destinations-colonial-parkway *Updated 3/29 with new image

 

The Colonial Parkway in southeast Virginia is a 23-mile road that connects the historic cities of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.  With sweeping views of the James and York rivers, it is a very pleasant drive or bike ride, particularly early mornings or late afternoons.

 

Throughout the seasons there are always interesting photographic opportunities.  In springtime, flowering dogwoods resembling popcorn speckle the roadsides, summer brings out the wildflowers in all their glory, autumn colors rival New England's and winter sunrises and sunsets make you forget about the cold.

 

Here are a few of my memorable photographs along the Colonial Parkway:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects Virginia Wildflowers https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/favorite-photography-destinations-colonial-parkway Wed, 30 Dec 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Keeping an eye out... https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/keeping-an-eye-out This has turned into a fun project!  While strolling down a trail along the York River in Virginia, I came upon a couple of trees with some interesting bark patterns.  They appeared to be staring back - almost like watchful eyes in the forest.  I'm glad I had my camera with me, and will keep an eye out for more eyes in the trees!

*Updated with new images

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Virginia iPhone https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/keeping-an-eye-out Tue, 22 Dec 2015 19:17:37 GMT
Ongoing project: Blending In https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/ongoing-project-blending-in *Updated 12/16/15 with new images

 

Blending In is a project I started a couple of years back that has been a lot of fun.  I have been inspired by Art Wolf's book Vanishing Act, and thought it might be fun to try something similar.  

 

For many thousands of years, the very survival of many animal species has depended on their ability to blend into the environment in order to catch prey, or become prey themselves.

 

Here are a couple of photographs from the project.  Can you spot the animal?

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Projects Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/ongoing-project-blending-in Wed, 16 Dec 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Postcards from Morocco: Essaouria https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-essaouria After spending 4 days in the desert, it was a relief to breathe the salt air of Essaouria, a fishing village in Central Morocco.  The city had a wonderful Medina with many souks and restaurants, but I was immediately drawn to the fishing boats.  There was a constant flurry of activity with fisherman unloading their catch and boats coming in and out.  It is a place that I can definitely spend a couple days wandering around.  Here are some photos:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Morocco https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-essaouria Sun, 22 Nov 2015 14:28:37 GMT
Postcards from Morocco: Out and About https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-out-and-about Traveling around Morocco was a chance to experience many diverse and unique locations.  Morocco hosts several UNESCO ( United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) sites, some incredibly intricate architecture and street scenes that have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

 

Very often I found myself drawn to the small details in many of the historic buildings we visited.  The craftsmanship that appeared throughout the buildings was simply mesmerizing.  Here are a few photos:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Morocco https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-out-and-about Thu, 19 Nov 2015 12:04:18 GMT
Postcards from Morocco: People https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-people Photographing people is completely out of my comfort zone.  In fact, I find it terrifying.  I am much more comfortable photographing wildlife, landscapes and other elements of nature.  However, since I was out of my element to begin with, I decided to give it a try.  

 

In researching Morocco, I read that other photographers have had extreme difficulties photographing the local people - much more so than other locations in Africa and Asia.  The local guides we had throughout our trip made photographing the people much easier - they were able to help us communicate.

 

It was very enjoyable photographing the local people, and would like to express my heartfelt thanks for the opportunity.

 

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) destinations morocco https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-people Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Postcards from Morocco: Souks https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-souks In the heart of the Medinas, or old parts of the city were the souks.  Here is where all sorts of goods are bartered for and sold.  Fortunately we had guides while we made our way through the labyrinth of streets.  The Medina in Fès had 9500 streets and once through the gates, we entered another world.

 

It's hard to describe the experience of wandering around the Medinas - it was a complete assault on the senses.  I saw things I've never seen, heard things I haven't heard and smelled things that I have never smelt before.  The flurry of activity made it somewhat challenging to photograph, which was a little frustrating considering there were opportunities around every corner.

 

Here are a few images from the souks:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Morocco https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-souks Mon, 16 Nov 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Postcards from Morocco: Scenics https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-scenics We had a wonderful time on our tour of Morocco.  Here are a few scenics from around the country:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Destinations Morocco https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/postcards-from-morocco-scenics Sat, 14 Nov 2015 19:04:02 GMT
Favorite photography destinations: Far North Bicentennial Park https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/favorite-photography-destinations-far-north-bicentennial-park A 10 minute drive from where we used to live in Anchorage, Alaska was Far North Bicentennial Park, a 4,000 acre playground with over 100 miles of trails that could be hiked, skied, snowshoed, biked, or traversed on dog-sled.  I spent many hours wandering the trails on foot, snowshoe, ski, and bike, and it was hard to believe that the bustling downtown area of Anchorage was only 10 miles away.

 

Wildlife photography was somewhat challenging as there weren't too many open spaces.  I found myself looking for more quiet scenes, often with my macro and wide-angle lenses. 

 

One thing that always amazed me was the ability of the small birds to withstand the harsh winters.  It was not uncommon for temperatures at the park to be 20-30 degrees colder than downtown Anchorage.  I remember one morning hiking when the temperature was 20-below zero and this wonderful, melodious sound came emanating from the creek.  It was an American Dipper, cheerily greeting the day with its soothing call.  I wasn't able to photograph this particular bird, but it was a wonderful way to start the day.  

 

Here are a few of my memorable images from the park:

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Anchorage Destinations https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/favorite-photography-destinations-far-north-bicentennial-park Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Expressive Wildlife Imagery: Arriving Early https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/expressive-wildlife-imagery-arriving-early I really enjoy the early morning hours.  I will usually set my alarm at least an hour before sunrise to allow myself to get to my chosen location.  This spot happened to be a very nondescript lake in Williamsburg Virginia, but the lighting that morning was magnificent.  Cool temperatures that night allowed a blanket of mist to form over the lake, softening the reflections of the Cypress trees.

 

I was photographing these marvelous trees when I suddenly heard a whisper overhead.  A Cormorant was coming in for a landing.  I was fortunate to have a longer lens on the camera and captured several images as it approached the surface of the water.  Sometimes the early bird gets the worm - or at least the photograph!

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Expressive wildlife photography Virginia Wildlife https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/expressive-wildlife-imagery-arriving-early Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Autumn's Glory https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/autumns-glory Living in the Caribbean, I have come to really miss Autumn.  The crisp air, the colors, and the sense of preparation before the winter sets in, makes it my favorite season.  I went though my photo library and selected a few favorite images.  Hard to believe that it is Autumn when the temperature today was 97 degrees!!

 

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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(Dan Kehlenbach Photography) Alaska Autumn Connecticut Maine Virginia https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/autumns-glory Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Lessons from iPhone.. https://dankehlenbach.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/lessons-from-iphone During my week-long vacation using an iPhone as my sole camera, I learned some valuable lessons that I think will ultimately help my photography:

 

1.  Constraints foster creativity

Having a very simple camera with a fixed lens (not quite wide-angle, not quite normal focal length) forced me to look at my compositions more carefully.  I couldn't simply zoom in or zoom out - I had to use my feet!

 

2.  Aspect ratios

Being able to swipe through different aspect ratios was a lot of fun.  I could go from the camera's normal ratio (4:3 I think) to a square format to a panorama very easily.  I found myself using the square format quite a bit, and will continue to do so.  Yesterday I programmed my 'normal' camera's function button to be able to select different aspect ratios a bit more easier.

 

3.  Not looking like a photographer

It seems that everyone is photographing everything these days.  I recently viewed a video on the Luminous Landscape and the hosts commented that an estimated 2.8 billion photographs are taken each day!  It was fun to photograph some fun scenes at restaurants, shops, and around town without looking like an 'official' photographer.