Just another site

Story Behind the 10s – Reddish Egret Fishing



From the Photographer : Don Specht

My wife and I spent a week in West Palm Beach and a week in Fort Myers Beach. We spent the late mornings and afternoons basking in the Florida sun, but the early mornings and afternoons were spent observing and photographing wildlife.

One of my favorite birds to watch is the reddish egret. Unlike many other egrets and herons that stalk their prey, reddish egrets dance around in the shallows and dislodge minnows from their hiding spots. The egrets then put their wings out in front of themselves to cut down on the glare in the water and provide shade (and apparent safety) for the minnows. This method is often referred to as “canopy” fishing.

I have tried again and again for this shot, for many hours, over the past couple years. The egrets only stretch out their wings for a few seconds at a time, and they are usually facing away from the sun. This means, either you’re shooting “butt” shots or shooting into the sun.

Technical Data:  Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EF 300mm F2.8L lens, handheld. Shot at ISO 400, f5.6, 1/2500 sec.

Salon Acceptances – October 2016

Here are the Salon acceptances for October – Congratulations to you all – your images will be moved forward for judging in the end of year competition. The year end images will be showcased and the competition results will be announced at the May meeting.

Diane Herman Shaefer Monarch 9
Mike Sweet Bluthroat 9
Michael Thompson Perfectly Lucky 8
Mariann Cyr Goshawk with Weaver Chick 8
John Dykstra Pronghorns 9
Karl Fiegenschuh Red Winged Blackbird 8
Ron Lagerquist Monarch 8
John LaMere Big Foot Sighting 9
Jean McDonough Elephant and young walking 8
Dave Perez Bee on Sunflower 8
Jason Ponfil Diamond Lake 8
Alan Schulz Leopard Seal on Ice 9
Don Specht The Offering 10
Roger Williams Garter Snake 8
Kathy Bishop Botany Bay 10
Scott Landseidel Bald Eagle Call 8
Paul Kammen Short Eared Owl 8
Mike Sweet Short earedOwl 10
Deanne Probst Idaho border light 8
Patti Jones Tranquility 8
Michael Thompson Foster Parents 10
John Dykstra Fox Stare 8
Karl Fiegenschuh Zion Trees and Wall 9
Jean McDonough Lionness & Cub 8
John Pennoyer Sunrise at Schaefer Prairie 10
Don Specht Pasque Flower in the Snow 8
Kathy Bishop Small Yellow Lady’s Slipper 8
Rick Fenstermaker Heron 8
Scott Landseidel Three Big Eyes 9
Gene Lange Northern Mockingbird 8

Salon Acceptances September 2016

Welcome back to the new season of Minnesota Nature Photography Club meetings. Here are the Salon acceptances for September – Congratulations to you all – your images will be moved forward for judging in the end of year competition. The year end images will be showcased and the competition results will be announced at the May meeting.


Deanne Probst Salt Lake City departure 8
Eric Gustafson Success 8
Larry Duke Dragonfly 9
Karl Fiegenschuh Aurora Borealis Boulder Lake 9
Dave Klein Ruddy Duck Reflection 8
Carole Mannheim Laughing Thrush 8
Dee Hunnisett-Dritz Green 10
John Pennoyer Oak Savanna Star Trails 10
Dave Perez Yellow Sulphur on Knapweed 10
Alan Schulz Snipe in Blowing Grass 10
Don Specht Eastern Bluebird Feeding Nestling 10
Scott Landseidel Bald Eagle Talons 8
Gene Lange Loon with Chick 9
Paul Kammen Grand Prismatic Fogbow 10
Deanne Probst Elk Bugler in park 9
Terry Kochaver Rock Patterns 8
Mariann Cyr Iceberg Blue 10
Karl Fiegenschuh Foggy Morn Mount Rainier 9
Carole Mannheim Buckeye 9
Jean McDonough Two prairie dogs nose to nose 8
John Pennoyer Loon Stretch 9
Dave Perez Spoonbill andEegret 8
Alan Schulz Elephant Seals Fighting Over Female 10
Don Specht Atlantic Puffin Landing 10
Scott Landseidel Dripping Wet Buck 10
Gene Lange Western Grebe Family 9

Story Behind the 10s – Snowy Owl On The Prowl

SnowyOwlOnTheProwl 500px


From the Photographer : Scott Landseidel
This image was captured on a very cold February morning in 2014, the year of the great Snowy Owl erruption.  I had spent the previous 3 weekends, along with a few other photographers, watching two Snowy Owls at this location.  The story goes that a farmer near there would clean the varmints out of his barn and leave them in the fields, much to the owl’s delight.  This morning I was lucky to catch this owl as he surveyed the area in search of a snack.  The light reflecting off the bottom of the wings cast a highlight in the snow as he approached.  The high speed at which the owls were flying made it difficult to keep them in focus but a few of my images were spot on.

That was the last good winter we’ve had.  Fifteen to twenty degrees below with a brisk wind. The good old days.

Technical data:  Nikon D600, 70-200mm  with a 2x  at 280mm, ISO 250, 1/1600, F-11, using a monopod.

Story Behind the 10s – Breeding Grounds

Breeding Grounds 500 px


From the Photographer : Eric Gustafson

I grew up in Northwestern Minnesota in a small town called Mentor.  I moved to the Twin Cities in 1986. On October 12th 2004 the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge  was established with 37,756 acres.  My father told me I should go and see the prairie chickens at a lek (dancing/breeding ground) from a blind. I took his advice and started to look into reserving a blind.  The very first time I went I was hooked. It started with the goosebumps as the prairie chickens started to arrive in the dark. I have returned several years in a row. Sometimes the birds would be close other times, not.  I have enjoyed it every single time.

This year I got to my blind at 5am just as the prairie chickens started to arrive. I knew it was going to be good. Some of the birds were walking right next to the blind and I was able to shoot pictures with my cell phone. I shot over 2000 photos and kept trying to capture them quarreling.  I found it very difficult to get sharp images as the birds explode into the air from the ground. I was using a single focus point and focused on one prairie chicken . This image was my favorite of the trip.

Technical Data:  Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 mm, f/11 @ 200 mm, @ 1/1250, ISO 1600

Story Behind the 10s – Loon Droplet

Loon Droplet 500px

From the Photographer Ian Campbell

My family was out on a pontoon ride over 4th of July last year in Northern Minnesota. We spotted a loon as we cruised along the shore. After we turned off the motor to watch, it approached the boat. When it got closer it dunked its head for an underwater view. I captured this shot right after it pulled up and as the water drained off its head. I had hoped to capture a nice closeup portrait of the loon and got the bonus of the frozen water droplet.

Technical Details: Canon 50D, Canon 100-400mm, ISO 500, f/7.1, 1/800 sec., Handheld

Story Behind the 10s – Red Crowned Crane

Red Crowned Crane 500px

From the Photographer Karl Fiegenschuh

Red Crowned Crane.

This Red-crowned Crane was found at the Akan Crane Center in Hokkaido, Japan. The Crane Center is a research facility dedicated to the study of Red-crowned Cranes. Cranes tend to gather here in the winter (in this case in February) for a daily feeding. On this day about 150 cranes descended on the Center and spent time preening and doing their spectacular mating dance. I was able to make this image of a crane near the viewing platform with my hand held camera while keeping an eye open for flight and dance opportunities for my tripod-mounted camera and long lens.

An interesting side note is that on this particular day a regional newspaper was at the Crane Center to do a story about all the foreigners with their heavy tripods and huge lenses who had come to photograph the cranes. The photos in the article showed photographers jammed shoulder to shoulder and featured more 500+mm lenses than it did cranes!

Technical data: Canon 1D Mark III camera. Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS lens at 135mm (35mm equivalent: 175mm). 1/1000 sec. at f/8. ISO 400. Hand held and cropped to square format

Story Behind the 10s – Polar Bear Cub Close Up

Cub Close-up 500px


From the Photographer Don Tredinnick

The Polar Cub Close-up image was taken in October of 2014 at a location north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska. I was on a polar bear and northern lights photography tour run by two Alaskan photographers, Patrick Endres and Hugh Rose.

On October 17, we flew from Prudhoe Bay to Kaktovik AK, a small town of about 250 people. Polar bears are drawn to the town when there is open water due to a large pile of whale bones piled at the far end of the airport. On the 18th, we went out on a small boat into the partially frozen bay. The owner of the boat repeatedly rammed the ice with his boat breaking a path out to where we could observe the bears. Once in position, he made a larger circle of an opening to leave a little bit of a buffer.

Since polar bears are rather curious, it wasn’t long before they started to come in for a closer look. To give an idea of how close we were, the following photo was taken by Jillian Wilson a member of our group that was not on the boat. (There were 8 people in our group, and only 5 could be out on the boat at any point in time.)


don's polar bear 500px

The bears managed to get close enough that they were inside the minimum focus range of our long lenses.

Technical Data:  Nikon D7100; Nikon 200-400 f/4 lens. The camera settings were ISO 640, f/4, 1/400, at 200mm.


Story Behind the 10s – Cliffhanger

Cliff Hanger (W) 500 px


From the Photographer John Anderson

This image was captured in the South Dakota Badlands a few days after Thanksgiving, which generally corresponds with the annual Big Horned Sheep rut.   Typically most of the activity occurs in the Pinnacles area of the park, but sometimes you can see action nearer the east entrance, in the vicinity of the Ranger station, as shown in this photograph.

We were fortunate to witness the pandemonium that can ensue when a ewe goes into heat, setting off the rams.This can be even more dramatic when dominance has not been clearly established among the male sheep. Two individuals of equal size and strength can really put on a show. The ewe attempted to find refuge on the steep cliff face. The pursuing rams followed, stopping intermittently to challenge and battle each other. It is astounding how well Big Horned Sheep can keep their footing in steep terrain, especially when most of the geography is made up of soft clay which crumbles underfoot.

The lighting conditions were challenging. It was early afternoon with harsh sunlight.We got lucky that the action took place on the north side of the bluff in full shade.

Technical Data: The image was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400 mm lens at f / 5.6 (actual focal length 400mm), ISO 1600.

You can view more images from this photographer by visiting his website

Year End Awards 2015 – 2016


Image of the Year 2016


Night lights 500px(g)

Night Lights – Michael Thompson




Wildlife Image of the Year 2016


Great Gray Owl Environmental 500 px

Great Gray Owl – environmental – John Pennoyer


Category Winners



1st Place

Rams Head 500px(b)

Ram’s Head – Mariann Cyr


2nd Place

Maple Seed Close-ups 500px (b)

Maple Seeds close up – Mariann Cyr


Honorable Mentions

Milkweed – Bill McMichael

Black Eyed Susan Bud – Don Specht

White Water Lily Pair with Hovering Bee – Dee Hunnisett-Dritz

Showys and Horsetail Ferns – John Pennoyer

Yellow Lady’s Slipper – John Anderson

Pasque Flower Duo – Mariann Cyr



1st Place


Sunset at Half Dome 500 px(g)

Sunset at Half Dome – Paul Kammen




 2nd Place


Icy Sunrise 500 px

Icy Sunrise – Karl Fiegenschuh



Honorable Mentions

Alaska Air – Ron Lagerquist

Schwabacher’s Landing – Don Tredinnick

Icy Glow – Kathy Bishop

Cranes at Sunrise – Deanne Probst

Key West Sunset – Celeste Rouse

To the Moon Alice – Celeste Rouse

Rialto Beach Sunset – Karl Fiegenschuh

Colors – John LaMere

Oak Savannah Aurora Borealis – John Pennoyer

Wild Icelandic Surf – Nancy Cox

Rippling Color – Kathy Bishop



1st Place

rosy spoonbill 500px (w)

Rosy Spoonbill – Dave Perez


2nd Place

Mother and Cub 500 px(w)

Mother and Cub – Paul Kammen


Honorable Mentions

Riding with Mom – Phillip Bush

Land Iguana Cactus Lunch – Mariann Cyr

Red Crowne Crane – Karl Fiegenschuh

Elk Bugle -Rick Graves

Elephant Seal Pup on Back – Alan Schulz

Velvet Just Rubbed Off – Alan Schulz

Eye to Eye – Don Specht

Elegant Egret – Don Specht

Surf’n Loon – Scott Landseidel

Whitetail Skirmish – Scott Landseidel

Go Bison – Scott Landseidel

Hunting Eagle – Paul Kammen

Milkweed Royalty – Michael Thompson

Bath Time – Mike Holtz

Prairie Chicken Flight  Alan Schulz

Great Blue Heron with Nesting Material – Don Specht

Cheetah Feeding – Mariann Cyr

Spirit Buffalo – John Anderson

Congratulations are extended to all