WARNING: Not for Sensetive Viewers

After capturing a beautiful proposal at White Point Gardens, I had a few extra minutes. So I decided to stay and photograph the famous Black-crowned Night Herons. I wish I hadn’t!!!
 
During each hot and humid Charleston summer, the live oaks in White Point Gardens (also known as Battery Park) become the nesting grounds for Black-crowned Night Herons. Seemingly unafraid of the public, they start acting like they own the place, making them easy to approach and photograph. Even though the park is said to be haunted, the night herons don’t seem to mind. In fact they nest in the very trees that the pirate Stede Bonnet and his men were hanged from!
 
In all my years photographing wildlife, I’ve only ever witnessed one other occasion so brutal and violent. While I was wandering around, a major disturbance began unfolding overhead. A mother decided to reject one of her chicks. Ejecting it out of the nest, pecking it to near death in the branches, and then pushing it out of the tree…the poor chick plunging to certain death below. The mother then returned to tend to it’s other chicks as if nothing had happened.
 
Why do birds reject babies? The main reason is to enhance the survival probability of her other chicks. It’s believed that the mother senses something is wrong in the development of that chick. Or they realize they don’t have the resources to raise all of their young successfully. Eliminating one mouth to feed is their only solution.
 
Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to witness such a seemingly violent act. But such are the laws of nature! Fortunately, I was able to ease the conflict in my soul by photographing a few other herons peacefully preening as the sun began to fade.
 
(Nikon Z9 + FTZII + 500mm PF)

Animal Eye-Detect with the Nikon Z9

As most of you know, Cami has a HUGE heart and absolutely adores loving on every dog she meets!

This week, she’s been watching over Callie & Jax, whos owners are away for a much-needed vacation. She asked me if I wanted to come over to their house tonight to take a few pictures of these beautiful dogs for the owners. Not having had a chance to test out the Animal Eye-Detection mode of the new Z9, I jumped at the idea! Don’t worry, I didn’t do it for free…Cami rewarded me with a delicious Thai dinner, asparagus, and quinoa with brown rice. 🙂

But I had to earn my meal. So we went out to their back yard and I got to work. With the Z9 set to back-button AF, using Dynamic Area Auto-Focus mode, and choosing Animal Eye-Detect, any time I pointed the the camera towards Callie or Jax, it immediately snapped right onto their eyes. It was absolutely magical! The early evening light was spectacular. And we came away with some fun images for Callie & Jax’s owners to enjoy when they get home. 🙂

Nikon Z9 + Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII + FTZII adapter

The Sunburn Circuit

Photography. Motorcycles Travel. These are my three biggest passions in life!

Most of you know that I started riding motorcycles at a young age in Africa, where I grew up. A motorcycle was my main means of transportation in college and in my early years in the work force. But then “life” happened and I took a hiatus from riding. Several years ago, I fell back in love with riding motorcycles and haven’t look back!

I started a YouTube channel with my good friends, great riders, and fellow photographers, Jason, and Steve: https://www.youtube.com/motophotoadventures. We even built a website around the whole Moto Photo Adventures theme at: https://motophotoadventures.com/. We’ve been picked up by a number of sponsors, and appeared on a couple podcasts. It’s been a TON of fun!!!

Last week we took off on another crazy adventure. The idea was to get out of the cold weather and head south to Key West…somewhere warm. We called it the Sunburn Circuit. Little did we know that a massive cold front was heading towards the southeast and we’d be shivering in our tents as we camped along The Keys and through the Everglades! 🙂

Unfortunately Steve couldn’t make it at the last minute. So our friend and fellow YouTuber, David Mays jumped on his bike and met up with us. You should check out his channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/aMAYSingLife. We missed having Steve. But we still had a fantastic time, exploring some amazing sights, and capturing some fantastic memories as we circled around “Gator Country.”

Many thanks to all our friends and family who have supported our little side-hustle. If you haven’t already, Subscribe to the YouTube channel and get ready for episodes of the Sunburn Circuit to hit the internet!!!

Wildlife Workshop with Kiawah Island Photo Club

This week I had the great pleasure of working with the Kiawah Island Photo Club as their instructor during a private Wildlife Workshop that was held at the Center for Birds of Prey!

Under the care of Stephen Schabel (Director of Education), we had a fantastic time learning about these amazing hawks, falcons, kites, storks, kestrels, vultures, and owls. It was very rewarding for me, helping everyone figure out the best settings and techniques to capture these beautiful creatures. But the most amazing part was seeing the wonder and awe on the participant’s faces as they experienced these majestic birds up close and personal!

After a fun day together, we all set our cameras down and enjoyed an insightful behind-the-scenes tour of the operating rooms and rehabilitation facility.

Many thanks to Kimberly and Gordon from the Kiawah Island Photo Club, as well as Mandy, Stephen, and Katie from the Center for Birds of Prey for organizing this fabulous program!!!