“Proof of Life” Photography – Part 2 – Proof of Eagles

Bald Eagle on Squamish River

[Continued from Proof of Life Photography - Part 1] We turned onto Mt. Baker Highway at Bellingham, heading for a bend in the Nooksack River in northern Washington. On clear days, the snow-tipped Mount Baker looms over the road eastward. On this day, we had just the knowledge of her presence — in silent repose […]

“Proof of Life” Photography – Part 1

Short-eared Owl

Moving to the Pacific Northwest changed nearly everything about my photography. When we left San Francisco, with mixed feelings for sure, I consoled myself with the idea of photographing species I’d never seen in the Bay Area — like Bald Eagles and Orcas. I anticipated tramping along the shoreline trails of Puget Sound as I […]

Living in Your Own Private Cryosphere


Albedo is the reflectivity of the earth’s surface. Ice, white and bright, has a high albedo, reflecting back the sun on itself, whereas water draws the solar radiation deep into its hues. Water is always in flux, mutable — liquid, vaporous, frozen — evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life […]

The Spirit of Nature Photography: A Postscript

Long-billed Curlew on Morro Strand Beach California

Long-billed Curlew photographed at sunset, on the dunes at Morro Strand State Beach in California. These thoughts are an extension of the discussion that began under my piece on post-processing. Thanks to my blogging friends who shared their methodologies and perspectives, initiating some thought-provoking explorations of realism in photography. I heard a lecture recently where […]

How Much Post-Processing Do You Do?

Pre Eagle

A friend linked to this story in her Facebook feed today: Why do Photo Contest Winners Look Like Movie Posters? Post-processing is obviously not a new topic … and it’s one that’s been evolving alongside digital photography and darkroom skills. This particular piece questions the lighting on the winning image in the World Press contest, […]

Studies in Ghost Geese


The first time I witnessed a blast of Snow Geese I described it this way: The sound of flocking snow geese is sometimes described as a “cacophony,” a “symphony,” a “storm” — a “baying of hounds,” a “noise blizzard.” The sound, in fact, varies. There’s a comfortable warbling of goose grumbles and calls as the […]

An Interview in Empirical Magazine

Empirical IT

My husband Hugh and I always joke that each of us should have married a business manager. We’re two happy campers when our heads are clouded with fonts and pixels … clearly reticent in the task of self-promotion.  So, up until today, I hadn’t even included my website URL on my Facebook page. But, I […]

Going Wide With Wildlife

Gull on Seattle waterfront

I loved my first zoom lens so much, I would have kept it around my neck and under my pillow 24/7 were I not worried about the integrity of the front element … and my neck. I suspect that a lot of wildlife watchers like myself feel profoundly altered after shooting through their first tele […]

Staging “Nature” Shots


A friend of mine recommended 500px as an alternative to Flickr. Between Flickr, Facebook, Linked In and my inactive Twitter account, I’m maxed out on social networking, something I’ve never been all that hot on, anyway. But, I meandered over to 500px because the interface is supposedly beautiful, and the community gets rave reviews. The […]

Snowy Owls, Boundary Bay & Rethinking My Own Motivations


Snow Owls on driftwood, shot from the dike trail at Boundary Bay – ©ingridtaylar – Click for Larger Image My only intent in visiting Boundary Bay was to get a glimpse of Snowy Owls. I’ve never seen them in the wild, and although I brought my camera, I didn’t expect to be close enough to […]

First … Signs of Snowies

Snowy Owl Warning Sign at Boundary Bay

Boundary Bay, British Columbia Edited to add (2/17/12): Since I posted this, I’ve had animated discussions with photographers who disagree with my stance on this owl/space/ethics issue. They’ve told me it’s acceptable for photographers to be out in the marshes, as long as they don’t flush the owls. I wanted to find out what the […]

Why I Don’t Disclose Wildlife Locations

Shell Boots 300

You may have noticed that with many of my posts, I describe the location of my photos in most general terms. There’s a reason for this, and it has nothing to do with hoarding a choice photography spot. In fact, most places where I’ve photographed wildlife are quite open to the public and well-known by […]

Happy 2011!


“May the most you wish for be the least you get.” ~ Irish saying Happy New Year! The Photo: Photographer’s reflection (me) in a green, reflective gazing globe. I’m bundled up on a 25-degree morning — cold, crisp sun. I cut out the globe and pedestal and tweaked a few color settings. And by that […]

Amazing Circles Seattle

Amazing Circle of Boom

These globes are deceivingly simple if you have a version of Adobe Photoshop: Create Amazing Circles. The original shots were taken in and around Seattle, then swirled into Amazing Circles by way of digital trickery. Downtown Seattle waterfront, shot looking south from Pier 66 at sunset: A boom photographed near the Port of Seattle: Foliage. […]

The Expanding Universe of Creative Commons

Raven in Flight

The biggest bennie of attaching a Creative Commons license to your work is the unanticipated adaptation of that work in a share-alike universe. What? That is to say, I love the chain reaction that ensues from a single act of licensing — seeing the places your work travels, usually with proper attribution and adherence to […]


patio table in the rain

This might be what I love most about my camera: it makes something interesting out of the most banal objects. Here’s where I started . . . with a lonely and neglected patio table getting pummeled by hail. Finding the Angle That’s obviously a mundane shot. Just like any written piece, a photo should tell […]

Waiting Up for the Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon - SF Bay Area

The ideal time to photograph a Wolf Moon is at moonrise, along the horizon, when the illusion of size will be greatest. At moonrise yesterday, we were socked in with drizzle, clouds and brume. Even though I missed the classic horizon shot, I still wanted a glimpse and capture of this Wolf — a near-full […]

The 12 Days of Itten’s Contrasts – Day 1 (The List)

One - UC Berkeley Botanical Garden - ©ingridtaylar

It’s an age-old exercise but I’ve never completed it . . . so, I thought I’d take the holidays to work my way through the list of Itten’s Contrasts, inspired by Michael Freeman and his book The Photographer’s Eye. (I wrote a bit more about Itten’s Contrasts here.) Itten’s Contrasts Here’s the list of Itten’s […]

It’s Not Imbalanced . . . It’s Itten

Train at Alviso - ©ingridtaylar

Itten’s Contrasts – An Old Bauhaus Trick I’m becoming a curmudgeon and I’m not happy about it. I vacillate between the extremes, one day a sentimental fool, the next day, a hard-wired cynic. I was in another metamorphosis this morning, my curmudgeon self turning human again when I came upon the concept of Itten’s Contrasts […]

Halogen Shadows

Saul’s Deli in Berkeley is an undeniable fave. One of the few things Hugh and I miss from our Los Angeles existence is the old neighborhood deli — with its naugahyde booths and rough-and-tumble wait staff. Saul’s is a bit more refined in its Gourmet Ghetto enclave. But it has a deli pedigree stretching back […]