Category Archives: Chemung County

Luke

 

Luke_April 05, 2014_250
Luke

I loved my time photographing this old man dog, Luke, back in 2014. He was such a joy. It is great to see it when an older dog still has the spark. This is some of the great work the Chemung County SPCA does. They make sure older dogs like Luke have a home to live out the rest of their years the way it should be.

I am currently working on a project to help bring more awareness to the amazing work the Chemung County SPCA does. The project will consist of an art exhibit, on display at the Chemung County Historical Society, featuring photographs of dogs that have been at the shelter. Learn more about this project ans support hit here: Shelter Dogs at the Museum: Part 2. The exhibit will begin June.

Always great friends to be found at the shelter

I once again had a wonderful opportunity to photograph the dogs currently for adoption at the Chemung County SPCA. There are currently three dogs available for adoption: Bear, Kenya, and Paddy.

SPCA_April 11, 2016_240
Paddy

Each of these dogs will make a wonderful friend for some lucky human(s).

If you love dogs stop in and pay them a visit. They will appreciate it even if you can’t take one of them home. Stop in and say hi and give them a few treats for having all four on the floor.

SPCA_April 11, 2016_60
Bear

If you ARE thinking about the possibility of adding another furry companion to your family then you should rush on over before you miss out on one the opportunity to adopt one of these lovely animals.

Kenya_April 11, 2016_96
Kenya

I am currently working on a project to literally display how great shelter dogs are and bring more attention to them. You can learn more about my project here: Shelter Dogs at the Museum

Please consider contributing to the campaign or sharing the project with your friends on social media.

Great photos of dogs at the shelter help dogs find homes faster. The faster shelter staff can connect dogs with their forever homes the better for everyone. Dogs get to go home and humans get to start a life with a new best friend.

Help me make an impact on the lives of shelter dogs and the humans who adopt them by contributing to my campaign.

Meet Your Next Best Friend

I’ve made a lot of friends over the years and if you are a dog lover like me you count a lot of dogs among them. Two of my best friends became part of my lives completely by coincidence. We met our dogs Brynn and Kira at the Chemung County SPCA and they became family.
Wine Country Circuit_September 27, 2015_9688
Kira watching lure coursing.
You can meet your next best friend at the Chemung County SPCA too.
 
I am working on a project to highlight some of the amazing dogs that pass through the Chemung County SPCA on their way to their forever homes. This project will feature large print photographs of some of the dogs that have been at the shelter to see. It will be on display at the Chemung County Historical Society Museum for all to see.
 
Help me make this project the best it can be by contributing to my crowd funding campaign Shelter Dogs at the Museum and sharing it with all your friends and family on social media: https://igg.me/at/ShelterDogsattheMuseum/x/13239346
This is the final push to get this project fully funded. The campaign ends in one week. Please donate to help me support our local shelter animals.
Outside Our House_February 28, 2016_230
Brynn all muddy after playing in the yard.
I want to thank the Chemung County SPCA and the Chemung County Historical Society for making this project possible. I couldn’t be doing this without their support.

Redpolls and Flash Photography

I passively monitor biding issues and sightings locally by receiving email from a list serve set up by our local chapter of the Audubon Society. I read or at skim the emails as they come in to see if there is anything interesting going on in the area. Sometimes information that peaks my interest comes through. Recently there had been several emails sent out of people in the area reporting Redpolls in the area. I found this interesting because I had been fortunate in the past to see Redpolls for a short period of time where we currently live shortly after moving here. I had not seen them since, so I am always interested when hearing of an opportunity to see them again.
 

As I began to see an increasing number of reports on Redpoll sightings coming in I started to get hopeful that they would return to my feeders as well. I began to be more diligent about making sure there was seed in my feeders so that if they did show up they would find food and hopefully stick around instead of moving on.
 
One day I looked out the window at the feeders and quite unexpectedly saw that there was a Redpoll mingling with the other birds that are commonly seen at the feeders. A few days later I happen to look out at the feeders and saw there were now two Redpolls in the mix with the other birds at the feeders. This pair appeared a few more times over a few days.
 

I did not initially go out to photograph the individual that showed up or the pair I saw. I did not want to scare them off. I was hoping that the presence of the ones already here would draw in more individuals. I had read reports of large flocks of Redpolls and I was hoping for a large flock sighting of my own at my feeders.
 

One day I was on the phone with my dad and I noticed movement outside in the treetop where my feeder is. I walked towards the window to investigate, while talking, not really thinking much about it. When I got to the window I exclaimed to my dad that I had a huge flock of Redpolls in the tree. Now the flock probably wasn’t really huge by comparison to other sightings but it was certainly more than I had ever seen at one time and I was excited and I am sure I exaggerated due to my excitement.
 

I began to try counting the number of Redpolls in the flock but it was difficult. The flock was in constant motion. Every time I would get into it, they would move.  I could only confirm a count of 20 but there were clearly more than that present. I enjoy birding but I am by no means an expert. I have never really tried to count a large number of birds all at once.
Despite my challenges with counting the birds this is the opportunity I had been waiting for. I wanted to get out there and take some photos. However, my gear was all packed up as I had not used it recently and this being upstate NY in the middle of Winter with several inches of snow on the ground, it required me to scramble around to dress quickly in boots, coat, gloves, and hat. Once I was geared up I quietly went out the side door as opposed to the door leading directly to the location of the flock because I didn’t want to scare them off. As I cautiously moved around the house to where I had seen the flock, they were nowhere to be found. This was clearly a disappointment.

I went back in the house, but this time I kept all the needed gear in easy reach in hopes that the flock would return. As luck would have it my hopefulness and preparedness this time was rewarded. After a few hours, I looked out the window and saw that there were once again Redpolls at the feeders. It was not as big a flock as before but it was still a significant number. I decided against wasting time trying to count them and immediately got dressed and snatched up my camera and went out seeking photos of these elusive birds.
 

In this region of upstate NY in the winter it hasn’t been sunny very often. The sky is often overcast and gloomy. There has not been much nice light for photography. For my photography, I prefer to use natural light whenever possible, as probably most photographers do. While the light was sufficient to get at least decent photographs, I decided to go against my instinct stick with all-natural lighting photography because I thought I could get better photos if I used a flash. My preference is to stick to the KISS philosophy, which was drilled into me at a young age. Keep It Simple Stupid. To me adding one more variable such as flash just complicates matters and increases the likelihood something will not work out quite right.
So there I stood watching the feeders as the Redpolls flitted about snatching up seed. These little buggers were not an easy subject. A few of the Redpolls were content to sit on the plat form feeder and eat for several seconds at a time so I snapped a few photos of that behavior as documentation type photos. However, that was not the photo I was after. I wanted photos of Redpolls perched on branches with the darker background of the woods in the background out of focus. I stood still and visually tracked individuals as they approached the feeder. They would flit from branch to branch getting progressively closer. I watched to see what path the Redpolls often took. I wanted to be able to anticipate where the Redpolls would land and be ready when they landed there. Sometimes I was spot on and got the shot and sometimes I was not ready or simply not fast enough and missed the shot. It was a fun experience to photograph this group of birds that I do not get to see often. I am hoping they will be back to provide me with another opportunity to learn their behavior and improve my ability to photograph them.

Foster Kittens

For me one of the most important words in life is passion. I believe that it is critical to have passion in life. I try to plug into as many things that I am passionate about as possible. My beliefs are based on what I am passionate about. I study psychology because I am passionate about it. I am a photographer because I am passionate about it. I have companion animals because I am passionate about them. As my life has gone on, I have developed new passions.

I love dogs and animals in general. My wife and I currently have four dogs and two cats. We are also providing foster care for six kittens and their mother until the kittens are old enough to be adopted from our local animal shelter. When I say we I mostly mean my wife but it was a joint decision for her to do it since they would be in our house. There was a time when I would have worked hard to persuade my wife not to do this. This time was not too long ago in fact.

I had been against the idea of us providing foster care for cats not because I didn’t think it was a good thing to do, but because my wife has such a strong connection to animals that I feared she would not be able to let them go to be adopted and we already had sufficient commitments to our current companion animals that I did not think we could responsibly handle any more.

Not too long before the six kittens we have now my wife persuaded me to that she should provide foster care for one kitten who had no mother and would require bottle feeding. After discussing the matter and coming to the understanding that no matter what we would not be keeping the kitten we decided she should give it a shot.
People who know me probably know that I have resisted providing foster care and may wonder why I changed my mind. So I thought I would write about it.

The biggest reason why I have reversed my position on us providing foster care is related directly to passion. Over probably the past year, I have become increasingly educated on issues relating to companion animals. I have become increasingly informed about the past and present of our sheltering system in the United States. I have become aware of the No Kill movement in America. As I have become educated about animal sheltering the No Kill movement has become an issue I am passionate about. I firmly believe it can be achieved by any animal shelter that commits to doing it. I do not believe it will be easy but I believe there have been enough success stories to prove that it can be done.

It is this passion for the No Kill movement that convinced me to change. A key component in creating a no kill animal shelter is having concerned citizens volunteer to provide foster care for animals that the shelter cannot provide are for. This created a lot of dissonance in my mind. How can I truly support the No Kill movement and be unwilling to allow foster care for companion animals to happen in my home. So Finally it crystallized in my mind. If my wife is passionate about fostering companion animals then we should do it.