My first photographs of the Great Horned Owl feature exciting eye contact. Do you know who I have to thank for that? My dog! This fantastic owl was guarding its nest and keeping a watchful eye on my Australian Shepherd, who was patiently waiting by my side. I didn’t realize that Sophie would play an active role in my photo shoot today!
In the next photo, the morning sun is nicely lighting the owl about 70 feet high in the pine tree. Since the owl had to be relocated by the Southwest Conservancy, the nest consists of a man-made wicker basket (if you were wondering). That little fluff ball you see beneath the adult owl is a baby owlet! I noticed it moving. Stay tuned for my next blog where you will catch an even better glimpse of the owlet.
Thanks to Brian Beckner of Native Bird Boxes for telling me about the nest’s location. My next blog will share the best photo of this parent and baby Great Horned Owl. Oh, the thrills of bird watching!
When I photograph the children at Children’s Hospital, I am always impressed with the strong spirit of the children and their parents. Most of the children I meet are fighting a life threatening illness, and it’s a stressful time.
I was particularly impressed with this mother and son. I could easily read the love in the mother’s heart through her eyes and hands.
As I continue to process the portraits I made at Childrens Hospital last week, I find myself gazing into the eyes of the brave hearted children and their beautiful mothers. These mothers are exceptional because they have risen to the challenge to inspire calm in their children as they hold fast to enduring hope for better days ahead.
They hold firmly onto their dreams for a bright future for their children, even as they balance private worries they dare not speak. In their eyes, you can read the strength they embody.
The mother, the father, the grandmother, the visiting uncle, the little sister — the intensity of their love is a big part of the cure.
Portraits for Flashes of Hope, a volunteer program at Children’s Hospitals across the country, are all produced in Black and White. I have been shooting these portraits for many years, and I love the black and white, improving my work over time. There are many good reasons for this stylistic choice: The portraits stand apart from family snapshots. They look classic, timeless. They can often make an ill subject appear more healthy and vibrant. The monochrome style puts less emphasis on clothing and more emphasis on the face.
But every so often, one of my images begs to be seen with selective color treatment. Let me show you what I mean. This child came to me crying and refusing to look at the camera even with the comforting words of both parents, toys on hand and a little brother who was happy to help. The only trick that worked that day was a stream of bubbles. Lots of bubbles that you could reach out and pop. The bubbles just kept coming, thanks to the quick actions of my assistant, and nobody cared about the camera anymore. Even when one bubble got in his eye.
I see an echo between the bubbles, the boys’ eyes and the eyes not the minions on his shirt. I guess he should have worn goggles, too.