Connect With Me

Tony's Takes on Facebook Tony's Takes on Google+ Tony's Takes on Twitter Tony's Takes on Pinterest Tony's Takes RSS Feed

Photo Use Information

All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.

Archives

Featured Photos and Stories
Posing endangered Black-footed Ferret

Posing endangered Black-footed Ferret

Capturing pictures of an endangered species is exciting. Capturing images of one very rarely seen and once considered extinct is nothing short of thrilling. The Black-footed Ferret is a rarity on the Great Plains and the only ferret native to North America. Once numerous, the small animals were harvested for the fur trade. That, coupled with a loss of habitat and disease, resulted in a declining population and it was eventually declared extinct in 1979. Two years later, a small population ...

Read More

Red-tailed Hawk focuses on the landing

Red-tailed Hawk focuses on the landing

This is probably my favorite image from a recent event I attended. Karma is a nine-year-old hawk that is used for falconry and educational purposes by Wild Wings Environmental Education. On this morning, just about everything came together perfectly for this shot - the golden light of the early morning sun, a dramatic sky in the background and of course the extraordinary subject. In the end, this is a capture that I am very proud of.

Read More

Pit stop thunderstorm

Pit stop thunderstorm

On my recent trip to the northern Rockies, our first overnight stop was in northern Wyoming in the town of Kaycee. Soon after arriving as sunset grew close, thunderstorms started to build just to our east. This particular cell was quite beautiful as it was lit by the direct sunlight to the west and the shades or orange of the soon-to-come sunset. For a time it was severe warned as it was dropping golf ball sized hail - thankfully not ...

Read More

A big, bad Bison bull in black and white

A big, bad Bison bull in black and white

Yesterday morning was a pretty dull, gray day with cold temperatures and light snow along the Colorado Front Range. That made for tough lighting and wildlife activity was pretty slow. However at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge I did find a few cooperative Bison including this big guy. Doing some post-processing of the image allowed me to add some drama to the image and I think it makes the big guy look pretty impressive (which he was!). I hope ...

Read More

Osprey takes flight head on

Osprey takes flight head on

A very fun picture taken this past weekend at St. Vrain State Park, Colorado. There are a number of Osprey that spend their summers in the area and this was the male of a pair that is nesting within the park. He was happily perched in a tree near the nest when he decided it was time to go fishing. Thankfully I was ready and snapped this image as he headed right toward me. Due to the compression effect of using a ...

Read More

A smokey full moon

Taken during the Harvest Moon last week. As I have written about and posted pictures of recently, smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Montana blanketed Colorado for the better part of a week. While the cause is saddening, this led to some awesome colors at sunrise, sunset and in this case, a moonrise.

The September full moon is colored in orange from smoke from wildfires in Montana and Oregon. (© Tony’s Takes)

The September full moon is colored in orange from smoke from wildfires in Montana and Oregon. (© Tony’s Takes)

Freedom’s cry!

One more for Patriot Day. Our nation’s emblem symbolizes the spirit of this great nation – ferocious and unrelenting when we must be as we were in the days and years following that horrific date. We are, however, by nature a peaceful, loving nation, and one that would prefer to extend the olive branch.

A Bald Eagle announces its arrival. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bald Eagle announces its arrival. (© Tony’s Takes)

Patriot Day 2017 – Remembering the fallen

It is hard to believe it has been sixteen years since that fateful day. September 11, 2001. That date is forever emblazoned in my memory and in the hearts of all good Americans.

Like few other dates in our history, we can all remember exactly where we were when we learned of the attacks and recall in vivid detail the horror that followed. 2,977 people were killed that day and thousands more have perished since then in the War on Terror as we sought justice across the globe and fought to ensure no one could ever harm our nation as they did that day.

While we shed tears for those that died that day and since, we should also remember the other, too easily forgotten scenes that day.

The firemen and police officers who rushed to the scene and helped those in need, many sacrificing their own lives in the process. The office workers who helped their friends and co-workers down dozens and dozens of flights of stairs. The steel workers who helped to search the rubble of the buildings their fathers had built. The heroes on United Flight 93 who with the simple words, “Let’s roll,” battled their hijackers and ultimately sacrificed their own lives to save countless others on the ground. The soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who dragged their compatriot’s bodies from the rubble of the Pentagon.

Certainly, September 11, 2001 will be remembered as one of the saddest days in our history but it is my sincerest wish that it will also be remembered as one of this country’s proudest. We stood together then, as the truly United States of America.

Perhaps now, when we seem so divided, it would be wise to step back and remember how on that day and the immediate days that follow, we were not left, not right, not black, not white. We were Americans. Indeed, we still are. Remember that and honor the fallen.

Remembering our fallen for Patriot Day 2017. Fort Logan National Cemetery. (© Tony’s Takes)

Remembering our fallen for Patriot Day 2017. Fort Logan National Cemetery. (© Tony’s Takes)

Guardian of the forest

Well, my hope for Moose pics this weekend did not pan out at all so this one comes from early last month in the forest up above Grand Lake, Colorado. This young guy was chomping down on the young aspen trees and despite what appears to be intimidating pose here, he actually couldn’t have cared less about us watching him.

A young bull Moose stands guard from a stand of aspen trees in the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young bull Moose stands guard from a stand of aspen trees in the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black Bear enjoying a morning snack

One of the bears we saw during our early summer trip to Yellowstone National Park. This one was grazing not 20 yards off the road, largely ignoring us and a couple other folks that had come along and were watching us.

Ursus americanus is by far the most common bear in North America with a wide range and populations in most wooded and higher elevation areas of the continent. While not as big as some of their cousins, they can be 5 to 6 feet in length and weigh from 200 to 600 pounds. This particular one was probably right about in the middle of those ranges.

An American Black Bear grazes in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Black Bear grazes in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl says, “Hello, World”

Taken back on Independence Day, I had spent a couple of hours waiting for this little one and its siblings to emerge from their nest at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado. I was about to give up when this one finally decided to make an appearance.

While it was the only one of the three to show its face, it put on a nice little show for myself an the other photographers nearby. I love this shot of it as it first appeared with what looks to be a huge smile at its audience. It isn’t often you will find these birds out in the open.

Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States.

A Barn Owl owlet emerges from its nest in the cavity of a tree at Barr Lake State Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet emerges from its nest in the cavity of a tree at Barr Lake State Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain Goat daycare

Perhaps, at least for this image, it is highly appropriate that female Mountain Goats are called ‘nannies.’ This pretty lady was providing a bit of high country babysitting this past weekend keeping watch over three kids while the other adults grazed. Thankfully for her, they were all pretty well behaved and quite content to lounge around enjoying the chilly weather.

When I was choosing my photo destinations for this past weekend, there was one that was at the top of the list – Mount Evans. The road to the top is the highest paved road in North America and due to the extreme weather it sees at over 14,000 feet in altitude, it is only open from around Memorial Day to Labor Day. With the seasonal closing only two days away, I knew this is where I needed to go as I wanted to have one more chance to spend with these cool creatures.

Arriving at the top at sunrise I was dismayed that the herd was not there and nowhere to be seen. I waited for over an hour with no luck, finally decided to head down a ways to see if perhaps they were at a lower spot and indeed they were, hanging out a few hundred feet below the road’s summit.

A Mountain Goat nanny seems to be babysitting three kids on the alpine tundra near the top of Mount Evans. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat nanny seems to be babysitting three kids on the alpine tundra near the top of Mount Evans. (© Tony’s Takes)

The red sun of Krypton

Fans of Superman will get the reference there. 😉

As I mentioned yesterday, the last few days have seen our normally clear, blue Colorado skies obscured with smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Montana. Yesterday morning as I arrived at my photo destination right at sunrise, I couldn’t help but take note of the rather odd coloring of the sun.

The smoke gave it distinctive red coloring and the light was so filtered, I was able to shoot directly at it without any sort of filter. There were even a few sunspots easily visible. Kind of cool but also kind of eerie.

Haze and smoke from wildfires in the western United States colors the rising sun in red. (© Tony’s Takes)

Haze and smoke from wildfires in the western United States colors the rising sun in red. (© Tony’s Takes)

A smoky sunrise at high altitude

A lack of clouds typically doesn’t make for a nice sunrise but (for better and worse) smoke from wildfires in neighboring states helps. Below the 14,000 foot elevation I was at atop Mount Evans, Colorado, the smoke blanketed the landscape giving nice colors to the rising sun.

For these images I experimented with stacking three bracketed images for each one allowing for a wider dynamic range. This is my first attempt at doing this and think they didn’t come out too bad. Taken yesterday morning with my new Canon 6D Mark II.

Sunrise atop Colorado's Mount Evans with a smoky horizon in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise atop Colorado’s Mount Evans with a smoky horizon in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)