Monthly Archives: January 2012
OK…Here’s “Hula Cardinal” again. I’m not sure if I posted him on the old onprimetime.com site. I have posted him to the NatureScapes.com bird forum for some GENTLE critique and comments. “Hula” actually received some VERY positive comments from professional shooters I respect. The only kinda-sorta negative comment was the square crop of my image. (I liked my original crop, but did make the change!)
I decided to use “Hula Cardinal” as my entry for this month’s Rockport Center for the Arts Member’s Gallery. I had my printer..Ron Brant…make a 20 x 24 print on canvas for me. Ron has a TINY print shop…Art Castle..in Corpus Christi, TX. Ron is a MASTER colorist and is probably one of the most detail-oriented individuals I know. Needless to say…”Hula Cardinal” looked awesome on canvas!
Wanting to do something different, I had a poplar frame made. I laid down a sand color base coat…applied a crackle finish product…and finished it off in a medium brown. A couple of clear coats had the frame looking good. I had never tried a crackle finish and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
I mounted my canvas image on foam backer board and dropped it in the frame. Then I added a dust cover on the back…applied the hanging hardware…and it’s done!
Yesterday “Hula Cardinal” was dropped off at the RCA and should be hung in the gallery today. I priced this image conservatively and hope it finds a new home soon. I’ll let you know…SEF
I’m sorry if the title of this post offends anyone. But it’s MORE than appropriate…
OK…I worked very hard to get ready for the Rockport Market Days. Weeks and weeks of hard work. My plan was to use this venue as a means to market test my photography. I do well at the Rockport Center for the Arts, and I’m selling some images in a local gallery. But I want to REALLY see if my stuff is the “right stuff”. I think it is…but…
I had EVERYTHING ready to go. At least 150 photo note cards…about the same number of matted 11 x14 prints…15 canvas mini galley wraps…at least a dozen framed prints…and 8 big “premium” gallery wrapped pieces. I had Stephen Fisher Photography signage made. I rented a VERY nice 10 x 10 canopy from my friend John Martell. I wanted to really promote my brand in an extremely professional manner.
So I wake up this morning at 4:00am to put the finishing touches on a few gallery wraps. It’s HOWLING outside! The wind was funneling out of NNE at about 20 mph gusting to 30+. I start to feel like maybe…just maybe…this is NOT going to be a good day. I should have known…
Trying to raise a canopy in gusting 30+ mph wind is ALWAYS a losing proposition. I like kites…I own some nice kites. But having an expensive canopy lifting off the ground is not my idea of a good time! Long story short…I bagged the Market Days experience. Maybe it was seeing about 100 of my photo note cards flying away was the last straw. I was depressed…
Even with the weather working against me, I know I was ready to successfully put my brand out there. Maybe today wasn’t MY day…but I’m already planning something else. Stay tuned…SEF
OK…I’m pretty pleased with the course my photography has taken me. I’ve done well in the last few competitions I’ve entered, and my images continue to sell at the Rockport Center for the Arts.
I’ve been busy the last couple of weeks preparing for something new for me. I’m going to participate in the Rockport Market Days this Saturday. Gulp…Thats tomorrow! (I tried to add a link to the Market Days site, but they are under construction.) Here’s the deal. On the last Saturday of every month Market Days happens. Vendors of ALL types set up booths/tents and try to sell their stuff…all kinds of stuff. It’s a flea market…art show…farmer’s market all rolled in to one.
My friend John Martell has been good enough to loan me his 10′ x 10′ enclosed canopy. I’ve been working hard building up some inventory to take. Stephen Fisher Photography will be displaying various gallery wraps of all sizes, photo note cards, matted prints, and framed prints. I like the selections I’ve made…
So why do I want to do this? I’m at a critical point with my photography right now. I can continue to display only at the Rockport Center for the Arts, or I can see what else is out there for me. Maybe I can take this to the next level…whatever that means! Maybe I’ve hit my high-water mark and should just keep this simple. WHO KNOWS?
I’ll post a bunch of images from Rockport Market Days. Cross your fingers for me…SEF
I recently had an intermittent camera/lens issue when I was down at the Santa Clara Ranch. Infrequently I would get an error message…Error 01…on the LCD of my Canon 7D. I had NEVER had an error message before…and I was concerned. I had paid a couple of $$$ to come to this special place and didn’t need any gear issues.
I had recently purchased a “gently loved” Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS lens from the folks at LensRentals.com. My “new lens” was perfect and I believe that it has taken my photography to another level. This is a NICE piece of glass! Lensrentals.com confidently offers a 90-day warrantty on their used equipment purchases…
I knew that I hadn’t owned this glass too long…maybe it was close to three months. After checking my records, it appeared that my 90-day warrantty period had JUST expired. I was sick! I went ahead and drafted an email to LensRentals.com to see if they would work with me. Immediately I received a response from them to rush the lens back to them and they would do a bench test. They tested my 400mm and could not duplicate the Error 01 message I was seeing.
Roger Cicala, owner of LensRentals.com, personally got involved and asked me to send my Canon 7D back to see if they could reproduce the problem. He even offered to loan me one of his 7D’s while mine was being tested. Long story short, LensRentals.com ended up internally cleaning my 400mm lens. They have shipped all my gear back to me and I’m waiting for it to arrive.
LensRentals.com is a GREAT company to work with! Roger and his Team know the true meaning of CUSTOMER SERVICE. I’ll rent/purchase more gear from them and I strongly suggest you give them a try…SEF
My good friend and mentor John Martell gave me a heads up a couple of weeks ago. He said that a solo Common Goldeneye had been spotted right on Little Bay in Rockport, TX. He suggested that I get over there around 4:00 pm and try to get an image of this beautiful duck.
Common Goldeneye are pretty rare around Rockport. I had never seen one…and really looked forward to adding one to my list. I grabbed my Canon 7D and 400mm lens and drove over to Little Bay. Sure enough…I spotted this guy swimming around with some Pintails.
Here’s my image…SEF
Doves certainly aren’t the most exotic species of birds at the Santa Clara Ranch. In spite of this, I really enjoy watching…studying…and photographing them.
The Doves we saw at the Santa Clara Ranch readily came to the blinds for food and water. These Common Ground Doves are pretty comical as their heads bob up and down. Please take a look at my other Dove images at Stephen Fisher Photography.
I just returned from three days down in Starr County, Texas at the Santa Clara Ranch. Dr. Beto Gutierrez has created an awesome place for photographers to come and make images of South Texas nature at it’s finest. The ranch is a 300 acre sanctuary of untouched brush land. No hunting…never plowed…PERFECT!
There are a total of five photography blinds here. Four of these blinds have small pools of water that attract wildlife of all kinds. The blinds are constructed below ground so the pools are at eye level. Two of these blinds are positioned for morning shooting and two are for afternoons. There’s also an elevated Raptor blind. (Please take a look at the above link to the Santa Clara Ranch for pictures of the blinds and guesthouse.)
Two of my good friends from Rockport, TX…John Martell and Mike Collins…along with a friend of John’s from Boston made the three hour drive down to the ranch. We were met at the ranch gate at 6:00am on Saturday by Hector Astorga. Hector is an accomplished nature photographer who served as our guide for the first day. His local knowledge of the Santa Clara Ranch was invaluable and really maximized our time.
This image is a pair of Green Jays. Other species of birds we saw were Northern Cardinals, Northern Bobwhites, Mourning Doves, Golden Fronted Woodpeckers, Long Billed Thrashers, Curve Billed Thrashers, Black Throated Sparrows, Green Tailed Towhee, Audubon’s Orioles, Harris Hawks, Crested Caracara, and the Tufted Titmouse. On the mammal side, Javalena, White Tail Deer, and Cotton Tailed Rabbits were all over the ranch.
More image galleries can be found at Stephen Fisher Photography. I’ll also post more here tomorrow…SEF