The Osprey is an unusual species of raptor in that it can be found worldwide in temperate and tropical regions of all continents except Antarctica, second in distribution only to the Peregrine Falcon. The Osprey can reach two feet long and almost six feet across across the wings. This impressive specimen seemed every bit that size.
During a drive through Everglades National Park, we came across this magnificent creature perched on a mangled tree near the side of the road. I know from experience that with wild birds, start shooting from your first sighting position, because each has there own level of tolerance as to when they will take flight. It is also best practice to use the longest lens possible so as not to disturb the wildlife. Here, using a long 400mm Canon L lens, I was able to capture the beautiful yellow eyes, feather detail, talons, beak and tongue from a safe distance.
While their tongues provide ventilation as well as modulation for calling to other birds, their impressive talons allow them to capture fish as they swoop down from the sky and across the surface of a body of water. Once the fish are secured, Ospreys can be seen in flight, carrying their prey somewhere safe to eat. On this occasion the Osprey itself was the (photographic) prey, I captured his image and took it somewhere safe to …post on my blog.
One of my signature images, Niagara, 2006 is included in the Black and White Exhibition at the PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. http://www.vtphotoworkplace.com/index.html. PhotoPlace Gallery’s mission is to support contemporary fine art photography as a means of creative expression and cultural insight.
The Exhibition runs from March 28 through April 25th. The Exhibition Catalog is available at: http://bit.ly/1ls8XP5
Black and White was juried by Karen E. Haas, Lane Curator of Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. https://www.mfa.org/
Niagara has also been juried into exhibitions around the U.S. by legendary collector and curator, W.M. Hunt http://www.wmhunt.com/ as well as iconic Fine Art Photographer Joyce Tenneson http://www.tenneson.com
Road to the Sea, California Coast, 2009
To commemorate the beginning of spring, I posted the image above, Road to the Sea.
Along a dirt and gravel road, spring flowers guide the way for surfers heading to the ocean. On this relatively calm day the sky was filled with beautiful clouds. This particular road beckoned to be captured in a photograph, because for me, it epitomizes how I am always, and forever…drawn to the sea.
Essex House, NYC, 2012
After the Gallery hosting my Solo Exhibition in NYC closed for the night, I grabbed my camera and hit the streets.
Shot from Central Park, this was a new take on a classic hotel, and has become a great addition to my series: Cityscapes. Other images in the series can be viewed at: http://www.barrystevengreff.com
Pelican Bay, Florida Keys 2013
Brown Pelican, 2012
Many of my animal images are captured at wildlife rescues which offer two distinct advantages for me. First and foremost, hopefully my images and their attention, shine some light on the plight of the animals and gain support for the rescue locations. Second, it gives me an opportunity to get close to animals that are usually more elusive in the wild. (Although Pelicans, as in the second image captured elsewhere, often are used to people and won’t fly off until you are right next to them).
The Florida Keys Wild Bird Center/Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary http://fkwbc.org/ is one example of such a rescue facility, located at 93600 Overseas Hwy (Mile Marker 93.6) in Tavernier in the Florida Keys. In the case of the FKWBC, there is an opportunity to see birds while being rehabilitated and after they have been released, since some stay close to home for a while.
The Sanctuary as well as many other animal rescues are listed in my Blog Roll to the right with links to their websites. Anyone wishing to know more, details on visiting or just wanting to donate to their great causes is encouraged to do so. They are the front- runners in the difficult but noble task of protecting many of Mother Nature’s endangered creatures and they deserved to be recognized….and supported.
Momentary Blizzard, OH 2013
Gray Wolf in Snow, Prone, West Yellowstone, 2010
Having grown up in the Northeast and traveled throughout the West, I am no stranger to snow and snowstorms. Not having left South Florida this winter, I am relegated to the TV to see the relentless barrage of snowstorms a large portion of the country has been subject to.
Here are a couple of images created over the years as the snowflakes fell (or blew in the case of the first image)… thinking about those effected by the continuing storms and hoping they make it through to the thaw.
Storm Frame, Sunrise, FL 2012
As a storm approaches the tree line at Markham Park in Sunrise, FL, the clouds, rain and trees are reflected in the lake, creating a frame around the scene. In South Florida the weather changes rapidly so compositions such as this need to be captured as they happen, because within seconds…they are gone.
Country Road, East, Florida 2013
For as long as I have been creating images, I have been intrigued by the concept of the “vanishing point.” Railroad tracks, roads, pathways, all leading to the unknown. Here are a couple of country roads exemplifying the concept, one in the eastern U.S. and one in the western U.S.
To me, the series I have entitled: The Road Less Traveled, speaks not to where I have been…but to where I am going.
Country Road, West, Colorado, 2009
Denver Capitol in Snow, CO 2008
All the news about extreme weather in the Northeast and Midwest, got me thinking about images I have created in snow over the years.
With that in mind, as well as the constant barrage of political news, here is an image that combines the two but represents an example of a(n image of) Government…that actually works. The added fog is a metaphor for, …well you know.
Super Moon, 2013
When I capture the moon in images, I either make it the focal point, or a punctuation. In the top image, utilizing a long lens, I caught the glowing super full moon behind pink dusk clouds, shortly after sunset.
Below, early morning shell seekers comb the Sanibel, Florida seashore just after sunrise, as a full moon sets behind them.
Moon Walkers, Sanibel, FL 2013
First Sunset, Ft. Lauderdale Beach, FL 2014
On my first opportunity to shoot a sunset Seascape in 2014, I came across this combination of clouds and fading sunlight off of Ft. Lauderdale Beach. I added some foreground interest with a bit of beach and sea grass, and some slight motion to the waves, resulting in a painterly effect.
Hopefully, the promise of this scene, and the new day to follow…are a sign of good things to come.
Waterfall, Milton, OH 2013
Lower Falls, Hocking Hills, OH 2013
Ebb and Flow, Deerfield Beach FL 2013
Thunder Road, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 2013
Gray Cat, Green Eyes, 2013
Flamingo Fire, 2013
July 4th Fireworks, 2013
Moon and Stars, 2013
Never Forget, 911 Memorial, 2013
Before it gets too much further into the new year, here are some of my favorites from 2013.
Looking forward to creating more in 2014.
Pink Sunset, Hutchinson Island, FL 2013
Gilbert’s House of Refuge, Hutchinson Island, FL 2013
Dog Fight, Hutchinson Island, FL 2013
Starting off the new year by posting some late 2013, unpublished Seascapes. My favorite beach to photograph is on Hutchinson Island, north of Palm Beach in Jensen Beach, Stuart, FL. With rock formations and regular high surf, in my humble opinion it is one of the best, if not the best, place to create seascapes in South Florida.
Here are some images that I captured there during the magic light of one 24 hour period.
In 2014, I’m sure I’ll be back to the sea… again.
P.S. My New Years resolution is to significantly increase the number of collectors of my Fine Art Prints. So…if you, or anyone you know is looking for iconic sea, land or cityscapes, or intimate portraits of animals or jellyfish…send them to http://www.barrystevengreff.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to 2014.
Whether you are in the COUNTRY, or the CITY…
Lit Tree, Winter Park CO 2007
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from BARRY STEVEN GREFF
Ornaments, New York City, 2012
Last Glimmer of Light, Winter Park CO 2007
Missing the snow and cold weather this winter, I am posting a couple of old favorites that I have previously posted. The trick with photographing snow is to not over-expose the white stuff. Best accomplished in overcast weather, make sure to keep the detail in snow by capturing edges, footprints or anything else that might break up the all white scene. The situation above was an exception to the rule. The very last glimmer of sunlight was disappearing behind the mountains and barely highlighted the far away peak. The low clouds and tree-line below makes this winter scene. In the printed image, you can clearly see snow on all the trees and the ridges in the snow on the peak.
Equine Snow Scene, Winter Park CO 2007
Above, this beauty stood alone in a fenced-in meadow with a bare forest behind. Seeing this perfect winter scene, I pulled over and captured the image before the animal moved and the composition was gone.
In December, the Colorado Rocky Mountains are truly a …winter wonderland.
American Eagle, 2009
This one is for Richard. Our friend, colleague and all around great guy.
The message he left us will always be true…that he is out fighting for truth, justice and the American way.
Dark Descent, Niagara Falls, NY 2006
This week is Art Basel Miami Beach. The largest Fine Art Gallery on the Planet lasts from Tuesday, December 3rd through Sunday, December 8th. Additional Art venues can be found in huge tents such as Art Miami, Red Dot, Spectrum, Miami Project, and other pop-up and semi-permanent sites such as Aqua, etc., around Miami Beach and Wynwood.
Above is my tribute to the international Fine Art vibe of this week. Shot from a great distance away and lit by the numerous spot lights focused on the falls, the water plummets into the abyss creating an explosion of mist. The image has traveled as far as China, at least via the internet. Although the title was changed to reflect their cultural differences, I still appreciate the International exposure..
White Farm, OH 2013
From the series: Magical Midwest http://www.barrystevengreff.com.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, 2013.
Strike Right, Hollywood, FL 2013
An uncommon late November lightning storm reminded me of how much I enjoy capturing lightning strikes. Unlike many other photographers that shoot lightning, rather than simply concentrating on the bolts themselves, I seek to make the strikes an integral part of the composition of the image. In order to do this it is essential to monitor the storm, its direction and the timing between flashes. Since Florida storms tend to move quickly, all of the above needs to be done quickly, and safely. The image above was captured from across the North Lake in Hollywood, Florida after the height of the regular summer lightning storms.
Lightning, Florida Everglades 2010
Following a storm approaching through the Florida Everglades, I captured this scene with bolts on both sides of the tree as the storm moved. At night, as in the Hollywood image, a tripod and remote cable release allow you to leave the shutter open in order to capture the strike. In the Everglades image, it was still daytime and without a Lightning Trigger (that captures lightning during the day), I had to improvise. Counting seconds between strikes I was able to capture three different bolts in separate images as the storm moved. The black vultures in the tree were unfazed by the strikes and were an added bonus in the final images.
Luckily for me, lightning strikes… more than twice.
Sunset Pier and Crescent Moon, Naples, FL 2008
Although images of sunsets and silhouettes are all too common, tweaking the usual formula can result in something different.
In this image, the lavender sky was reflected in the long exposed soft movement of the Gulf of Mexico. Then, the thin slice of Crescent Moon just above the Pier helped make this sunset silhouette.. a little bit more distinct.
Indian Blue Peacock, Profile, Davie, FL 2012
As rare and beautiful as a White Peacock is (see last post), to me there is nothing more spectacular than a perfect specimen of the more common, male, Indian Blue.
The best time to photograph them is during mating season when they are showing off their magnificent plumage to the far less colorful females. Upon spotting a potential mate, the males back up toward the females, spread their feathers and shake them rapidly, as if vibrating (no pun intended).
To capture the brilliant colors of this creature, the best light is not bright sunlight, but cloudy or overcast lighting that brings out the richness of the blues and greens. Here I used depth of field to separate the two sides of feathers from the neon blue neck, creating a unique and interesting composition.
So, when it comes to photographing passionate Peacocks on a cloudy day, I am clearly a …fan.
White Peacock, Davie, FL 2013
Peacocks are known for their brilliant colors, especially the males, who open and fan their long tail feathers to get the attention of females.
A much more rare example of this beautiful peafowl is the White Peacock. These are not albino but a color variation of the India Blue Peacock. They start off yellow as chicks and turn all white as they mature. This particular male lives at Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida. While all of the others are “Blue” or the colored birds more commonly seen, this bird stays away from the rest as if it were not welcome.
A sad commentary on the isolation of being different… yet no less beautiful.
Dusk, Dania Beach, FL 2013
Sanibel Sunset, Sanibel-Captiva, FL 2013
In South Florida, the driving distance from the East to the West Coast is about 2 hours. In the East, the Atlantic Ocean routinely has bigger wave activity then it’s sister coast, which is the calmer, usually flat, Gulf of Mexico.
In these two particular Sunset Seascapes, the tidal activity is reversed with a calm Atlantic and an unusually rough Gulf tide. Both shot just after sunset, the reflected sunlit clouds show that, although the sun always sets in the West, Mother Nature does not play favorites.
On any given day she can provide you with a great show on either coast… You just have to be there to see what happens.
Cascade through Old Man’s Cave, Hocking Hills State Park, OH 2013
For more Black and White falling water, I go to this misty image of a hard flowing cascade through Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park http://www.hockinghills.com. Standing just past the safety barrier (don’t try this at home) to get the best composition, I held the tripod still on the slippery rocks as the thunderous water rushed past me and the rain fell.
Lucky to not lose any equipment (or my life), when you have the rare opportunity to find yourself in a special place like this, you have to make the most of it.
Additional images of this, and of surrounding areas, can be found at http://www.barrystevengreff.com in the Portfolio entitled Magical Midwest.
Granite Flow, Boulder, CO 2008
The image above was created at Boulder Falls, outside Boulder, CO during a light rain. The overcast weather created muted light to enable a tripod-assisted long exposure. The light rain accented the gray granite rocks through which the water cascaded.
After catastrophic flooding in and around the Boulder, CO area recently, the re-building efforts are taking place. The rising water destroyed homes, roads and communities in areas that serve as gateways to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Anyone wishing to help can do so at: http://rdcrss.org/1993W8e .
Waiting Driver, NYC, NY 2013
Lines, South Street Seaport, NYC, NY 2013
The Plaza, NYC, NY 2013
Walking 5th Avenue, NYC, NY 2013
It’s been a long time since my boys and I used to hang out in the city as kids. From Elmont we would walk to the Arnold Palmer’s Dry Cleaners and catch a bus to the train station. Change at Jamaica and next stop, the Big Apple. Now, some of them live in the City and I have visited many times over the years.
During those visits I always try to bring back images of New York City.. as I see it. Here are a few I created while in Manhattan for my Gallery Exhibition.