Monthly Archives: December 2010

Top 50 Images from 2010 and Goal Setting

A black and white photo of a streak of light breaking through onto the Teton Mountains in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A black and white panorama of light hitting the peaks of the Teton Mountains.

Really? 50 images? You couldn’t narrow it down any further? Sure, I probably could have, but I didn’t want to. You can either view them in this Portfolio, view the full gallery, or read why there’s 50…

A two year old black bear cub climbs up a cottonwood tree near the Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A black bear cub in a tree.

As of this posting, I’m about to head down to Salt Lake City to board a train bound for New Orleans where I’ll be staying for both Christmas and New Year’s. Just a few months back, there was no conceivable way I could even get two days off to go see my family for Christmas. So what happened? To put it simply, I stuck with my goals, and I achieved them.

At the end of a calendar year, I (as with most people) reflect back on that year.
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Valley of the Gods Thunderstorm

Rain and thunderstorms drop plenty of rain to a much needed desert in Valley of the Gods northeast of Mexican Hat, Utah (Mike Cavaroc)
A thunderstorm looms over Sugarloaf Mountain in Valley of the Gods, Utah.

Every now and then I like to clean out my archives, which either means removing images that aren’t up to my standards, or redoing an image that just never seemed to pop like it should.

Such was the case with this image of a thunderstorm over Sugarloaf Mountain in Valley of the Gods in southern Utah. I had always liked this image, but it never really had much going for it. Well turns out when I originally uploaded it I did a minimal amount of processing to it. In the last couple of days I noticed it again and gave it the proper attention it needed and now am really happy seeing this image in the way I remember it looking when I took it back in 2008. It’s images like these that have me yearning to get back down to the desert soon.
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Categorized: Landscape
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Zooming in on Wildlife and Their Surroundings

Bull elk graze in the snow on the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A herd of bull elk stand on a ridge in the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming.

Capturing wildlife can be a lot of fun! It’s exciting to be able to experience Mother Nature in a natural moment and to be able to reconnect with it all, and even better, capture a photo that can take you back there at any moment. There’s an innate connection to nature that we all feel and witnessing scenes like this always help us reestablish that connection.

When photographing wildlife, most people want to zoom in as much as they can and provide as much detail on the animal(s) as possible. That’s not, however, always the better shot. Such was the case with this experience. With my Canon 7D still out at Canon for repairs, I had my 5D with me which uses a full-frame sensor, which meant I was going to zoom in quite as much as I’d want.
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Categorized: Wildlife
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Practicing Patience with a Herd of Bull Elk

Two bull elk stand and fight with each other in a herd of other bulls in the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Two bull elk stand and fight in a herd of other bulls in the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming.

Patience is an extremely valuable quality to have, especially as a photographer. It can be extremely rewarding when used properly.

Generally as humans, we tend to want to go out of our way to appease others and make them feel comfortable. I personally believe that everybody has the inherent capability to find happiness themselves and not be dependent on other people fixing a situation to make them happy. Many photographers seem to have learned this, even if subconsciously, but unfortunately go about displaying it rather bluntly and rudely.

I found myself in that category, in hindsight, as I was waiting for this herd of bull elk on the National Elk Refuge to do more than just stand there (which clearly they did).
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Categorized: Panorama, Wildlife
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Cropping Wildlife Down to a Panorama

A bighorn sheep lamb looks around in the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A bighorn sheep lamb looks over its shoulder in the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming.

A good wildlife shot can turn out to be a really exciting photo. Some shots, however, often get overlooked because the composition simply isn’t all that exciting. It gets neglected, and then forgotten about because while the animal is doing something interesting, there’s just not much going on to keep the viewer interested. A lot of times a simple crop can fix all that.

Such was the case with this shot. Originally it was a little bland; however, in cropping down to a panoramic format, this bighorn sheep lamb now not only has more of an abstract quality to it, but also has a very interesting composition as well. I find myself doing this a number of times, particularly with shots from farther out, but obviously even really close up shots can work as well.
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Bighorn Sheep Rams Fighting

Two bighorn sheep rams spar in the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Two bighorn sheep rams collide on the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, Wyoming.

I spent all weekend enjoying my brand, new Canon 7D, but unfortunately sent it back to Canon this morning. After shooting with it during that time, I noticed I was coming back with a number of images out of focus. There were some photos that I really liked that sadly didn’t come out as I had hoped, but luckily this one was one of the passable ones.

I had heard from people both in person and reading around the Internet that the 7D sometimes came with an auto-focus issue where it simply wouldn’t focus. This was happening with me, so I went ahead and shipped it back to get fixed so that I can hopefully have it before I leave for Christmas vacation.

The good news however is that I was completely blown away with the camera itself!
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Categorized: Wildlife
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