I’m a retired accountant since January 2007. I’ve been keenly interested in nature photos and birds most of my life but the idea of actually getting out there and trying to photograph wildlife didn’t hit me until just prior to my retirement.
I recall acquiring my first guide to birds when I was about 9 years old–it was a paperback and had a photo of an American Robin against blue sky on the front cover. I now have several bird guides to replace it, including Ibird and Audubon Birds on my cell phone. A lot of time has passed but I still feel like that 9 year-old kid when it comes to birds and wildlife.
I’d like to explain the layout of the home page and how to get around this website. As is customary with most sites, the top gray bar has links to my photo Galleries, my Articles, The Blog, Videos, some of my favorite Links, and my About page.
The widescreen slideshow underneath the top bar features some select photos from my galleries–ones that are landscape in format to fit the slideshow area better. Be aware though that the slideshow does not display the entire image–it’s a zoomed in version of the shots. Place your cursor over the image to stop the show and to bring up a View Details link which shows you the full image and explains a little about the shot. All the shots in the slideshow are also accessible through the Galleries links in the top bar, where the full image is available to view.
Underneath the slideshow are eight of the latest image thumbnails I have added to my galleries. Place your cursor over the image you like and choose to either see a larger view (and full image) of the shot, or, choose View Details to see the full image and also read a little about the shot. Remember, these eight thumbnails on the front page are only the latest eight added–there are hundreds more in the galleries accessed from the top bar, in sub-categories. Each page in the galleries displays 12 thumbnails. At the bottom of each page is a link to view OLDER ENTRIES and/or NEWER entries, if applicable.
A word about thumbnails: The thumbnails shown on this site do not display the full image nor do they display the detail in the shot. Some thumbnails even chop off the bird’s head! (I cannot control this easily). However, the full image is always available by moving your cursor over the thumbnail and choosing “View Larger Image” or “View Details.”
Blog vs. Galleries: My best shots are in the Galleries. My Blog chronicles each of my photo shoots, day by day, along with photos taken that day, to help enhance the reader’s experience. The Blog reports contain my best photos taken on that day but the Blog also contains photos that may not be of a high enough caliber technically (in my opinion), to be included in the Galleries. The idea of the Blog is to give the reader the best visual of my day’s shoot, which may include ‘documentary’ shots–ones that still lend interest to the report. So there are photos in the Blog that do not appear in the Galleries. Most Blog reports are about photo shoots that take place at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, my ‘home’ refuge. But I do occasionally go to other wildlife sites.
A short history: Since I’ve only been photographing birds since 2007, it’s not difficult to squeeze in a mini-history of my new-found hobby. In 2005, I read about and bought my first DSLR–the Canon Rebel 350D (XT). It was primarily used for pictures around the house and at family events until November of 2006 when I bought a Sigma Bigma, 50-500mm lens for birds. I used the lens until April 2008, when I sold the Bigma to my daughter and acquired the Canon 100-400 f4.5 – 5.6L lens–a great lens with stabilization. In July 2010, I bought the Canon 400mm f5.6L prime lens and sold the 100-400. In December 2008, I upgraded from the XT body to a 40D. Then in September 2010, I upgraded again to the Canon EOS 7D. In December 2012, I upgraded my camera body to the 5D Mark III. In August 2013, I upgraded my lens to the Canon 500mm F4L II. I have a Canon 580EX external flash that I use in shady or otherwise low-lit situations–this light can sometimes save a shot. When conditions are right, I also use high-speed sync flash to give an image that ‘kiss of light’ that can give a little more definition to the details. My Better Beamer flash extender focuses the flash more directly on the subject, reducing wasted light and giving me faster recycle times. I must say though that since I’ve been shooting with the 5D Mark III body, I’m finding the need for flash has diminished quite a bit.
Feel free to look around the site and I hope you see something that interests you or makes you smile. Please leave a comment if you like or email me your thoughts. Thanks for being here!
All Content and Images on this website © 2007-2014, Dennis S. Davenport Photography. All Rights Reserved.