August Photo Ramblings

Two weeks ago, I was in the Davis Mountains to conduct a hummingbird photography workshop.  The 7th of August was supposed to be the peak of the hummer migration, but the birds didn’t get the memo.  It seems the heat and dry weather delayed their movements by about 10 days.  Nevertheless, we had a pretty good shoot.  Next summer, I plan to do it again, only later in August…around the 20th.  Keep an eye on my photo tour schedule next spring to get the details.

For us south Texas folks, the weather was great with highs around 90 degrees (almost 15 degrees cooler than McAllen experienced) and the nights were a pleasant 67 degrees.

Meanwhile, it remains hot in south Texas, but I keep plugging away behind the computer.  A few days back, I ventured outdoors to photograph a rare and beautiful reptile called the speckled racer.  You will see from the photos below that it may be one of the most beautiful snakes in Texas.  Then two mornings ago, I worked a fishing area on the on the Laguna Madre at sunrise before moving a short distance inland to catch some deer activity.   Last night I drove out north of Edinburg to photograph a weathered old church.

With all this going on, I’ve been trying out some new equipment (a carbon fiber tripod by and their carbon fiber ball head).  Both are sturdy, lightweight and considerably less expensive than that of their highly advertised competitors).  A 20 mph  breeze was ripping last night as I shot the old church and I was sure it would cause blurs in my slow shutter speed photos.  Not so; each photo was razor sharp.  If you are looking for a new tripod or ball head, check them out.

Here are some of the August photos for your consideration.  Remember, you can click in the upper right portion of any photo to get a larger, sharper view.

The speckled racer occurs along the lower Rio Grande in Sabal palm forests, but it is rarely photographed.


Both racer photo were shot with a 100-400 mm Canon lens and Canon 7D camera.


The turquoise and black speckled racer is well camouflaged in its riparian forest surroundings.


Black-chinned hummingbird feeding at flower in the Davis Mountains, Texas.


These hummingbird photos were shot with the Canon 7D, 500 mm IS lens, carbon fiber tripod, and Wimberley head at 1/250 second, f 22 and ISO 200 with five high speed flashes focused on the background and flower area.

Black-chinned Hummingbird male feeding in a butterfly garden in the Davis Mountains, Texas.


Juvenile Black-chinned Hummingbird feeding at red flowers.


Black-chinned Hummingbird male at rest on yucca leaves, Davis Mountians, Texas.
August sunrise in the Davis Mountains, Texas.


Tourists watching the sunrise at Indian Lodge, Davis Mountains State Park, Texas.


Shots above and below were made with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and 24 -105 mm lens, hand held below and supported above.


Slow motion shot of fishermen seining bait fish in the Laguna Madre before sunrise.


Scuffle at feeding time, south Texas.


Sunsets like this are why a lot of Texas sportsmen practice "deer blind theology".


Abandoned church in rural south Texas.


This old church needs a little "light painting" before the walls cave in.


Maybe the ghosts left the lights on.


The light painting shots were done in bulb setting with a Canon 5D Mark II and 15-35 mm lens with cable release, ISO 100, long exposure noise reduction setting, mirror lockup setting, Feisol CT-3371 carbon fiber tripod and Feison CB-50DC carbon fiber ball head.

I hope you enjoyed this eclectic little batch of photo subjects from a August in Texas.