Beijing, China

I just returned from a short vacation in Beijing, China.  This city is full of history and I have captured some interesting images during the few days I am there.  It is a city that I will return and visit often.

Temple of Heaven

~From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven (simplified Chinese: 天坛; traditional Chinese: 天壇; pinyin: Tiāntán; Manchu: Abkai mukdehun), is a medieval complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Daoist temple,[1] although Chinese heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, predates Daoism.
Shot taken with Sony A7II, 16-35mm f/4

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From the street
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Horse
~This image was taken at the Temple of Heaven of an image of a horse drew by one of talented artists seen at this place. Instead of creating their art in a graffiti style which damages a piece of history, they use a big brush and water. The art work created can only be seen for a short period of time. This is a true talent!
Taken with Sony A7II + 16-35mm
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Beijing Railway Station
~Shot taken on a rainy day at the Beijing Railway Station.

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Chicago Air and Water Show 2015

It was my first time attending and photographing the Chicago Air and Water show.  I arrived at the Oak Beach a little early and was able to locate a decent spot to allow me photographing this event.  For more information of the show, please visit here. Here is one of the images captured at the event.  It was an eye opening and a great learning experience.

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Great Crested Flycatcher

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Adult bringing food to feed the babies.

The Celery Fields, Sarasota Florida

It has been a very dry spring in Sarasota Florida area.  The water level at the ponds around the Celery fields has been going down, making it a great feeding area for many birds.

I decided to stop by the pond a few times when I was home.  There were dowitchers, yellow legs, herons, ibis, spoonbills, stilts, sandhill cranes and many other species around.  Stilts and Dowitchers were two species that I have not photographed a lot in the past.

For more information about this place, please visit http://www.sarasotaaudubon.org/capital-campaign/the-celery-fields/

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_TLP2340-copyDowitchers were having territory disputes.

 

Cat or Owl?

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Something a little different than the flight shots. Mama owl peeking out of the nest box checking on me before taking off to hunt.

Burrowing Owls

Family Portrait
Burrowing Owls, Cape Coral Florida
It has been two years since I photographed the burrowing owls. I decided to take a trip down yesterday morning to visit the nest sites. This nest was very active, the pair is busy raising 4 babies. It looks like they will be ready to fledge in the near future.

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There are 4 owls in this image.  The adult (left) with 3 babies.  One was hidden in the back, another one was taking a nap with its head tilted to its left and one was giving the photographers the stare.  Enjoy!

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Red Morph Eastern Screech Owl

The owlets from the first nest have fledged successfully. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I did not have the chance to photograph them peeking out of the cavity.
I made a goal to capture them in flight this season. Last night, we moved on to photographing the second pair. This is the Red Morph pair that have been nesting at my friend’s property for the last 8 years. Instead of getting the incoming shots, I decided to focus on the flying away shot. After figuring out their feeding pattern, we setup the camera and triggered it remotely. I managed to capture some frames last evening of this pair flying by to hunt for prey.

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Owl Season is here…

It is good to be back, it is great to be out there holding a camera once again.  After 10 months break, I went out this evening to capture some images of the nesting Eastern Screen Owls.  I went out without any expectations, just hoping to get some decent images and some practice.  It was just like riding a bike once again.

During this delivery, the male Eastern Screech Owl flew in out of nowhere, different than the usual routine where he would perch for several seconds before delivering the catch into the cavity. The subsequent frames showed that it was carrying a caterpillar. In another week, the female will join in hunting and taking turn to feed the owlets. I hope to be able to be back again when the babies are old enough to be peeking through the nest cavity.

Shot taken with 7D Mark2, with its crop factor, I was able to shoot with a shorter zoom lens.  The AF system continues to impress me with its ability to focus in the low light condition.

Update: 4/8/2015 The babies have fledged successfully.  Even though I was not there to witness it, I hope they will survive and start raising their own family once day.

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The adult came back with a gecko. The nictitating membrane (from Latin nictare, to blink) is drawn across the eye for protection during landing.

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National Geographic: Another Milestone

This image marks another milestone in my Wildlife Photography journey since 2010.  It is my 3rd image published by National Geographic.  It has been chosen by National Geographic for their NG Complete Guide to Birds of North America, 2nd ed. book.   The book can be purchased on Amazon.

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Fledgling Owlet

Ever witness an owlet fledgling process? I hope this shot will give you an idea of the process. The owlet usually would back its way out of the nest box and slowly climb to the highest point possible. It would stay there for a minute or two searching for its siblings and then take off towards them.
Interested in getting images like this one soon? I can put you in touch with my friend Mark Runnals for this type of opportunity.

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