Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting Back into my Groove

Patricia Armet, right, kisses her 9-month-old Blue Nose American Pit Bull Terrier named Precious as she hangs out under a North Texas Street bus stop Monday afternoon. Pictured in the background is Michael Greene, left, and Tom Love.
Vacaville resident and country singer Buck Ford, 21, practices with his band at his Vacaville home Tuesday evening.
Sam and Lydia Katchmar have been married for 21 years and they said the success of their marriage is based off of their shared love of polka dancing.
Rowland and Wanda Spaythe ran away to get married at the age of 16 together and have spent their lives seeking adventure together. For ten years they lived and traveled on a boat sailing around the world.
Employee volunteers from the North Bay Medical Center socialize between video takes of their promotional rap video Friday afternoon in Fairfield. The event was part of the U.S. Department of Health Social Services promotional video aimed at informing women about heart attacks.
Umbrellas were out in full force outside the Solano County Government Center in downtown Fairfield Thursday afternoon as rain continued to pour down most of the day.
Rick Watson practices navigating with his white cane through the upper level of the Westfield Mall Friday morning in Fairfield. Watson has a degenerative eye disease that is quickly causing him to go blind.
The student section at Armijo High School's Girls Basketball game cheer on their team during their Tuesday night during their Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game against Merced High School in Fairfield.
Armijo High School players Erica Bossett, left, and Chloe Dawkins, right, battle for ball pocession against Merced High School's Brittany Scott during their Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game in Fairfield Tuesday evening.
Little leaguers Dylan Martin, 6, Joseph Hernandez, 7, Ernest Turner, 6, and Armando Hernandez, 5, left to right, learn how to field a ground ball during their Fairfield Pacific Little League Single A Giants team practice at Woodcreek Park in Fairfield Wednesday afternoon.

I feel like I am starting to get back into my photo groove at my staff job here at the Daily Republic newspaper. My back has been feeling a lot better and with it I have been going out a lot more on my own to feature hunt and explore the area. I've been pretty busy both at work and at home. Wedding season is on the horizon and I have been working with wedding planners and talking to brides no stop. Overall, February has been a lot of fun. If any of you haven't had a chance to check out my wedding work, I encourage you to do so. Especially if you know of anybody needing a wedding photographer. I travel. Thanks for looking. All the best, -M

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taming a Wild Turkey

This is Tom attacking the plastic covered box with Center manager Margie Furco watching.

Yesterday my assignment was to photograph a wild turkey that was being rehabilitated by our local Suisun Wildlife Center. He had had his wings clipped by someone hoping to have him for a Thanksgiving day dinner. Tom the Turkey, as he is called around the center, somehow escaped and is now healing at the center until he can be released. My job was to make a cool photo of him. Sounds easy enough, right? Not the case. He was constantly running away from me before I could get close. I was set on getting a close up photo of him. The question was how could I achieve this? My answer was to make a camera trap, a remote camera setup that I could fire the camera shutter from a far off distance much like what the guys at National Geographic do to get their photos of evasive snow leopards. Center manager Margie Furco said that Tom hated the color blue and would attack it. She had made a makeshift toy for him to attack/play with from knotting up a blue piece of plastic and shaking it to make noise. That would be how I could bait him into my trap. So all I had to do was get him to do it in front of my camera.

I spent the next hour and a half encouraging a wild turkey to chase me while shaking a blue plastic bag to get his attention. Getting him to chase me took some time but soon I was running all over the yard being quickly pursued by this large squawking bird. I'm sure the ladies at the wildlife center were watching me through the windows laughing their heads off watching being chased. When I would run past my camera trap I threw the plastic in front of my camera. Tom would stop short. I must have tried this at least a dozen times. The third picture in was the closest I could get him to my camera trap. Fail. In the end, Tom won and walked off with his plastic. I have a new found respect for the Nat Geo photographers. Sometimes our best efforts don't work out like we planned. Oh well. Taming the wild is not as easy as it looks. -M

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bushwhacking to the Klamath River

Last weekend I headed up north to the Klamath River with my buddy Ryan Peterson and his friend Scott Tucker in search of winter steelhead. I've been to this river a lot. With the lack of rain throughout northern California the last couple of weeks, the Klamath offered the best river conditions out of any nearby watershed. We took it upon ourselves to do some exploring of new hard to reach river access points. This meant a lot of bushwhacking through thick blackberry patches and steep hikes down into the river valley. It's a beautiful place. Bright neon green moss covers the jagged sedimentary rocks along the river bank. We made camp stream side where Ryan cooked a tri-tip for sandwiches over our campfire while Scott supplied us with fine Napa Valley Pinot Noir. It was so nice to be back in the mountains again. Alas, no steelhead would be landed this trip. Here are a couple photos I made during the weekend.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crashing into the New Year

Never have I been more relieved to put a month behind me. I started 2011 nursing the wounds from a Christmas Day car accident where I was hit by a guy running a red light. Wear your seat belts folks. They saved my life. Despite my Subaru being totaled, a massive concussion, some stitches and some ongoing deep aches and pains, I am lucky to be relatively unscathed. I've lost count to how many doctors appointments I've been to in January. Because of my accident, I have missed quite a bit of work. But as I rounded out the last days of January, I could honestly say that I am starting to feel a lot better and I am looking forward to a new year of making photos. Here are a couple shots from the past couple of weeks that caught my eye.