Cades Cove Smoke (Photo of the week)

Giving the Great Smoky Mountains their name, fog rises out of Cades Cove
Giving the Great Smoky Mountains their name, fog rises out of Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Although it is a busy tourist attraction, Cades Coves certainly epitomizes the moodiness and mystique that surround the Great Smoky Mountains. This week’s photo is all about layers and shading. I contemplated doing this as a black and white, but settled on a slightly desaturated coloring to accentuate the mood. The light straw color of the fields help to separate the lines of trees from each other and the forested mountains beyond.

Peregrine Falcon Stare (Photo of the week)

A Peregrin Falcon stares down the camera
A Peregrin Falcon stares down the camera

The Koret Animal Resource Center in San Francisco not only provides programs to educate children about wild animals, but also offers visitors an up close view of injured and rehabilitated birds-of-prey. This allows the photographer to shoot intimate portraits of birds almost never encountered in the wild at this distance. Because the eyes of birds-of-prey are set side by side (giving them depth perception), I wanted to get a shot of one looking directly into the lens. This peregrine falcon was was happy to oblige, as he seemed fascinated by the sound of the camera.

Blue Angels Buzz Alcatraz (Photo of the week)

The Blue Angels fly in formation in front of Alcatraz
The Blue Angels fly in formation in front of Alcatraz

This week’s photo is actually a collection of photos from last month’s San Francisco Fleet Week airshow. A friend of mine lives in North Beach and had a get together on the roof of her building, offering a fantastic view of the bay and all the action.

Although the Blue Angels ended up canceling their portion of the show due to fog, they managed to do one flyby before doing so. I was ready for it, and managed to get the shot I was looking for – six Blue Angels in tight formation, streaking by directly in front of Alcatraz. Below are several more from the day.

A Blue Angel jet flies overhead at the San Francisco Fleet Week airshow
A Blue Angel jet flies overhead at the San Francisco Fleet Week airshow

Patriot jets fly in tight formation
Patriot jets fly in tight formation

Patriot jets show their red white and blue
Patriot jets show their red white and blue

Prop planes perform aerobatics during the San Francisco Fleet Week airshow
Prop planes perform aerobatics during the San Francisco Fleet Week airshow

Great Egret At Dawn (Photo of the week)

A great egret searching for food is reflected in early morning light
A great egret searching for food is reflected in early morning light

Usually, capturing dynamic interesting light requires getting up very early in the morning. Luckily, this is also the time of day where birds tend to be very active. This week’s photo was taken near my house, in a slough extending from the San Francisco Bay. The calm water of the early morning was perfect for great reflections, and I was rewarded with lots of feeding and preening activity.