Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hangin' In There

American Pika - Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado
This little guy's name is Larry, so named by the son of my good friend, Jay Riser, who also happens to be a photographer.
I began clicking off a series of images the moment he ran from crevice in the rocks where he was storing his winter larder of grasses and forbs. I continued to keep the shutter release depressed, while doing my best to keep him centered in the viewfinder as he ran about. The result was this image that caught him jumping onto the pyramid-shaped rock where he sat and rested for several minutes before continuing his antics.
This image is available as a signed, limited edition (500) photograph. Go to my website, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee, for details on pricing and presentation options.
Join me on my High Country Wildlife photo adventure in August, 2011, and I will teach you how to make images just like this one.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

High On A Mountain Top

Mountain Goat - Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado
One of the things that I like about photographing goats on Mount Evans, other than the fact that you can get really close to them without disturbing them, are the scenic mountain backdrops. In my opinion, this is the best location in the Lower 48 to photograph these beautiful creatures.
Participate in one of my photo adventures and I will teach you how to make images just like this one. Go to my website, Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures, for details.
This image is available as a limited edition photograph. Check out my website Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee for pricing and display options.
I made this image using my Nikon D2xs and 80-400mm VR lens. The lens was set to 175mm. Camera settings: ISO-640; Aperture - f/8.5; Shutter Speed - 1/1250 second; Exposure Comp. - 0.0.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Still Looking for Titles

American Avocet - Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado
Adorned in its finest breeding plumage, this bird was feeding on invertebrates when I happened across him one day in the Refuge and made this image.
I'm looking for a title, not only for this image, but the two photographs just prior to this one. Any suggestions? Please post your ideas.
This image is available by special order. Go to my website, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee, for details on pricing and framing options.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Title ?

Bald Eagle - Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Alaska
I need a title for this image. Please post your suggestions.
The valley was filled with fog the morning I made this image. As it started to burn off, I noticed this eagle perched on a nearby branch and began searching for a suitable backdrop for my image. As I looked, a hillside just across the valley began materializing through the fog. I framed the subject in the viewfinder, using the hillside as a backdrop and pressed the shutter, but was not completely satisfied with the results. I waited a few minutes as the fog continued to recede and repeated the process. Much better this time. The fog continued to burn off, as the eagle patiently waited. I looked at the scene again. This is what I wanted. I pointed my camera and pressed the shutter. This time I knew I had a winner. It was one of those gifts of nature. Thanks mom!
This image was made using an SB8Odx for fill flash mounted on a Nikon D2xs body. My 80-400mm VR lens was set to 110mm. Camera settings: ISO - 800; Aperture - f/14; Shutter Speed - 1/200 second; Exposure Compensation -0.7; White Balance - Cloudy; Color Space - Adobe RGB.
This image is available by special order. Go to my website, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee for details on pricing and framing options.
I will be leading a workshop in November, 2011, at the location where I made this image. I will teach you how to make images just like this one. Go to my website, Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures for details.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Image Needs A Title

Bald Eagle - Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Alaska
This image needs a title. I invite you to post your suggestions.
I photographed this Bald Eagle during my recent trip to Haines, Alaska, where I was honored by the American Bald Eagle Foundation as the 2010 Photographer of the Year.
The image was made with my Nikon D2xs and 80-400mm VR lens. The lens was set to 300mm, with the following camera settings: ISO 800, Aperture - f/9, Shutter Speed - 1/250 second, Exposure Compensation -0.7, White Balance - Cloudy, and Color Space - Adobe RGB.
This image is available by special order. Go to my website, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee, for details on pricing and framing options.
I will be leading a workshop next year at the location where I made this image. I would love to have you join me. Go to my website, Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures for details.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trumpeter Along the Madison

Trumpeter Swan - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
I made this image a number of years ago along the Madison River in Yellowstone near Seven Mile Bridge. The entire family of trumpeters were out of the river and feeding among the plants. This particular swan allowed me to get quite close as it reclined in the grasses.
It was shot with my Nikon F3 camera and Vivitar 120-600mm lens, using Fuji film and later scanned in my Nikon scanner.
It is available by special order as a signed, limited edition (500) photograph. Go to my website, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee, for details on pricing and framing presentations.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Swan Song

"Swan Song"
Trumpeter Swan - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The voice of the trumpeter swan is sonorous and vibrant, embodying a series of loud, low-pitched trumpeting sounds, or honks. Witnessing a flock of trumpeters flying overhead, calling to one another, is an experience long remembered.
I made this image with my Nikon D1x camera and 80-400mm VR lens, set at 400mm. Camera settings: Aperture f/9.5, Shutter speed 1/350, Exposure Comp. -1.3, White Balance - Cloudy, Color Space/Adobe RGB98
It can be purchased on my online eGallery, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Autumn in Colorado

American Elk - Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
I made this image a few weeks ago in Rocky Mountain National Park. It, along with others on this blog, some of which are not yet uploaded on my eGallery, are available as signed, limited edition photographs. For pricing and available sizes, go to my website, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee.
I made with my Nikon D2xs body and 80-400mm VR lens, set at 150mm. Camera settings: ISO 800, Aperture f/8, Shutter speed 1/250, Exposure Comp. -0.3, White Balance - Cloudy, Color Space Adobe RGB 98.
In addition to my scheduled workshops (see Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures website), I also conduct one- and two-person guided field trips, including instruction. For information, call 303.747.2074, or email me at:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Colorado Fall Wildlife Workshop - 2010

Following my recent workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park, I had the pleasure of guiding the photographers from California. They liked the activity at the beaver pond along Fish Creek Road in Estes Park so much, that we spent three evenings working the beaver. This is but one of the images I was able to make. It was made with my Nikon D2xs body, 80-400mm VR lens, and SB80 flash unit. Mounted on the flash was a Flask X-tender (aka Better Beamer). The lens was at 400mm. Settings: ISO 800, Aperture 6.7, Shutter speed 1/60, Exposure Comp. +0.7, Flash Comp. -2.0, White Balance Cloudy, Color Space Adobe RGB 98.
I can hardly wait to photograph my friends, the beaver, in the snow this coming winter.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Colorado Gold

Moose - Sprague Lake Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
I just completed two, back-to-back workshops in Rocky Mountain National Park . . . Colorado Fall Wildlife and Wildlife & Photoshop.
My group and I were at Sprague Lake early one morning during my Fall Wildlife workshop when we encountered this scene. Although I have observed elk on numerous occasions at this location, moose are rare at Sprague Lake. The "icing-on-the-cake" for us was the gold and yellow fall colors that clothed the nearby mountainsides reflecting on the waters of the lake as the young bull moose fed on vegetation for almost an hour. Talk about photo opps!
I never call it luck when it all comes together as it did for my group and I that morning. It's was simply one of Nature's very special gifts.
Check our my website, Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures, for details on all of my workshops.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Phantom Wolf

Gray Wolf (captive) - Allenspark, Colorado
Phantom Wolf, like an aberration in the night,
makes his presence known
when members
of his clan
are in danger.
Phantom Wolf is the sixth and final release in my Mystic World series. These limited edition photographs are available for purchase on my website, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee, or by contacting me directly.
Weldon Lee
P.O. Box 487
Allenspark, CO 80510
Phone: 303.747.2074

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back from the Brink

Bald Eagle - Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Alaska

Eagle Spirit watches over his charges

as they continue to return from the brink of extinction

caused by humans and the use of DDT.

Unfortunately, other toxic pesticides continue to be manufactured in the United States and shipped into other countries, particularly developing nations, where they are applied to crops. These poisons eventually find their way into the food chain of our wild brothers and sisters, where they continue to take their toll.

It doesn’t end there. These crops are then consumed by unsuspecting individuals, many of them living in the U.S., thus continuing the circle of poison.

This is the fifth release in my Mystic World series.

Only one remains. Any guesses regarding what species will be featured next?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Musings of a Wildlife Photographer

American Pika - Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

August 21, 2010 – This past Sunday, Lori and were in Rocky Mountain National Park, photographing pika at Rock Cut along Trail Ridge Road. We were on the hillside, sitting on the rocks a few feet below the retaining wall. People came and went. Some would call down to us and ask ‘what are you photographing;’ while others, those with cameras, took their pictures and departed.

Lori commented to me, “Do you think any of them know we’ve been sitting here four hours?”

This got me to thinking . . . most wildlife photographers simply don’t spend enough time getting to know their subject; and, more importantly, not allowing their subject the opportunity to become acquainted with them.

Case in point: We had been sitting among the rocks several hours with very little activity among the pika. A couple of times, we would witness one in the distance as it scurried about, collecting grasses and leaves to store in its winter larder, but that was about it, save for the occasional call from an individual checking on the whereabouts of its neighbor.

Suddenly, as if the Great Pika Protector had sounded the all-clear signal, there were pika everywhere. One actually came up to Lori, climbed atop her shoe, sniffed a couple of times and then scurried about between the both of us as we stood there, mouths agape and stunned. We had been accepted. We had become “one” with our subject.

It was then that we were able to get the photographs we so desired.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Announcing Latest Release
in the Mystic World Series

"Totem Bear" Brown Bear - Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
In the spirit world, Totem Bear watches over members of his tribe,
protecting and guiding them along life's journey.
This is the fourth limited edition photograph released in my Mystic World Series. It can be viewed on my online eGallery, Wildlife Photography by Weldon Lee. While you're there, be sure and check out my other three Mystic World images - "Mystic Dancer," "Follow Me, and "Ghost of Tatanka." Only two more images remain in this series and they will be released in the months ahead.
These limited edition photographs are available in four distinct display options, or they may be purchased as signed, double-matted photographs.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included with each image.
Photographs in this series are limited to an Edition of 250.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

2011 Dates Announced for
Wild Horses of the West
Photo Adventure

Dates: May 29-June 2, 2011
Location: Eagle Butte, SD
I have had inquiries from a number of people wanting to know the dates for our 2011 Wild Horses photo adventure in South Dakota. If the number of contacts are any indication, this workshop will fill up quickly. Therefore, it might be wise to place your reservations ASAP.
Check out my website, Rocky Mountain Photo Adventure for pricing and details.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Breakin' the Rules

"Coyote World" Coyote - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming


I wrote an article that appeared in the Summer 2007 issue

of Nature Photographer magazine

about breaking rules of photography.

The following post contains excerpts from that article

and relates to my image, "Coyote World?

How many times have you heard someone comment, or for that matter done so yourself, about avoiding “butt shots?”

Sure, we’ve all done it. In fact, it’s been touted for so long and by so many, that butt shots are at the top of the list of things to avoid when photographing wildlife, especially those instances when the subject is looking away from the camera and there is no eye contact.

Following a visit to Yellowstone several years ago, I finally came to the conclusion that it’s time that we reevaluate this thinking.

The catalyst came one evening as I sat in my hotel room reviewing images of a coyote made earlier that the day in the Lamar Valley. It was one of those scenarios that you dream about . . . beautiful lighting, sculpted snow, and subject adorned in winter’s finest.

One of the images depicted a coyote looking away from the camera, but I liked it. Michael Wilhelm, a friend who had been shooting with me that day, liked it too.

This was not the first time that I had ever made an image with the subject looking away from the camera. Why then, were images such as this so compelling?

Following weeks of deliberation, I began to realize that I was not just taking pictures of subjects with their backs to the camera.

The coyote image was more than a landscape featuring a coyote, albeit one featuring the back of my subject’s head. It depicted the world as observed by coyote at a particular moment in time and allowed the viewer to glimpse this world from coyote’s perspective.

Would the image have had the same impact had I not included the coyote in the image? . . . in particular, with it’s head turned away from the camera? I think not.

Consider if you will — when you view a landscape from over your subject’s shoulder, you are actually seeing the world as seen by the subject. If you fail to include the subject in the image, there is no point of reference.

If the subject happens to be a predator as was the case with the coyote, this can often impart an element of drama to an image and give rise to any number of thought-provoking questions. Did the coyote’s acute hearing pick up the sound of a rodent foraging beneath the snow’s surface? Was coyote making last minute adjustments before pouncing on its next meal? or, was coyote simply reveling in the beauty of the landscape spread out before both of us?

Go to my online Gallery of limited edition wildlife photographs and read the haiku I wrote about Coyote and this image.

While you’re there, be sure and click on the FOLLOW tab and join those who receive automatic notification of my blog posts.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Making of "Morning Fog"

"Morning Fog"
Bison - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Picture, if you will, a sorcerer waving his magic wand. Somewhere in the mist before him an object begins taking shape - a snow-encrusted bison, its likeness appearing beside a small pond whose waters reflect the muted colors of sunrise momentarily trapped on a nearby mountain. At that instant, you press the shutter, capturing the magic of the moment.

The event described above took place during one of my winter wildlife photography workshops in Yellowstone National Park. My group and I were aboard our chartered snow coach, exploring the park's frozen interior. Looking out the window, we spotted it. The image that every wildlife photographer visiting Yellowstone in the winter dreams about . . . a snow encrusted bison, enshrouded in morning mist, and lying next to a thermal pool of heated water.

“Stop,” I yelled to the driver. In less, than a minute, we were exiting the vehicle in anticipation of capturing the image of which we dreamed. Then it happened. The bison got up, gingerly shook off his covering of ice and snow, and calmly walked away, leaving us sad and dejected that we had missed the photo opportunity of a lifetime.

However, there was still hope. Lying some 20-feet away from the pool of steaming water was another bison. He, too, was encrusted in snow and ice. I began pleading with him, not out loud, but quietly in my spirit, “Please, please, get up.” I don’t know if he heard me, but after a moment, or two, he stood.

Then I began pleading again, “Whatever you do, please don’t shake.” Continuing, I added, “I beg you, please let the snow and ice stay on you.” Did he hear me? Who knows, but he never shook off his icy covering.

Unfortunately, he was still some distance from the pool of water. However, feeling a little more confident by now, I figured, what’s there to loose? So, I continued my conversation, “Go to the pond so we can make your picture.” You guessed it. Ambling slowly toward the pond, where upon his arrival, he stood and waited for me to take his picture. However, by this time the rising steam was so thick, I could neither see the pond nor the bison.

Dejected, I simply cried out to whom ever might hear my plea, “Please, clear up so I can make the picture.” Suddenly, the fog began to lift. At that very moment the sun peaked its head from over the mountain behind me, illuminating the hillside just past bison, and in turn reflected its morning colors in the pond next to bison.

I clicked the shutter.

Who says that magic doesn’t happen.

Experience "Morning Fog" in my eGallery.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Pricing & Display Options

Check out our online eGallery for my latest offerings.
A price for every budget.

“WILDERNESS” Display Option Capturing the charm of the Alaskan wilderness, this option features authentic barn wood frames. Photographs are double-matted and mounted behind glass.

“OLD MASTERS” Display Option Our Old Masters displays, not unlike paintings by many of the old masters, feature Weldon’s limited-edition photographs printed directly on canvas, set behind a tasteful, off-white linen liner, and exhibited in the finest, custom-crafted frames available.

“TRADITIONAL” Display Option Our state-of-the-art Traditional displays feature time-honored framing and spare no costs. Photographs are double-matted with archival materials, mounted in the finest custom-crafted frames available, and protected by our very special Eagle Vision museum glass that blocks 99-percent of all ultra violet light.

“SIGNATURE” Display Option Our Signature Series is the ultimate photographic presentation for those who want nothing less than the very best. You simply have to see it to believe it.

“CONTEMPORARY GALLERY WRAP” Display Option Our Contemporary Gallery Wraps, printed on canvas and mounted, wrap-around style, on a 1 1/2-inch thick wooden stretcher frame provide an extremely popular, frameless, presentation that produces a three-dimensional feel that brings the beauty of nature indoors.

“WILDERNESS” Display Print Size Print/Dbl Mat P rint/Dbl Matt/Glass/Barn Wood Frame 8 1/2x11 40.00 (2 for 70.00) 65.00 11x14 65.00 (2 for 90.00) 100.00 13x19 85.00 (2 for 145.00) 135.00

“OLD MASTERS” Display Print Size Canvas/Liner/Custom Frame 16x24 995.00 20x30 1395.00 24x36 1595.00

“TRADITIONAL” Display Print Size Print/Dbl Matt Print/Dbl Mat/Eagle Vision Glass/Custom Frame 16x24 225.00 895.00 20x30 295.00 1095.00 24x36 395.00 1295.00

“SIGNATURE SERIES” Display Print Size 16x24 895.00 20x30 1095.00 24x36 1395.00

“CONTEMPORARY GALLERY WRAP” Display Print Size 16x24 295.00 20x30 325.00 24x36 495.00

Monday, April 5, 2010


"Ghost of Tatanka"
American Bison - Cheyenne River Sioux, Reservation, South Dakota
The second image to be released in my "Mystic World" series.
(Tatanka is the Lakota word for buffalo.)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Acorn Woodpecker
Bridled Titmouse
Another day of what participant's can expect to encounter
during our High Desert Wildlife photography workshop.
. . . from the journals of Lori Huff, my co-leader on this once-in-a-lifetime photo adventure.
"Madera Canyon, a birder's paradise, was in my sites today. The blinds were waiting and I was ready. Since Madera is at a higher elevation than Elephant Pond, a variety of new species filled my viewfinder . . . Arizina and Acorn Woodpeckers, Bridled Titmouse, and Painted Redstarts, to list a few.

However, the big surprise was a Coati Mundi that came out of the trees. This was my first time seeing one in the wild, and he did not dissapoint me. Playing in the trees and checking me out up close, I was able to get many great photos before he disappeared back into the tree.

"I hear tell that from April through September, you might even be lucky enough to photograph black bear at the blinds."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The following comes from Lori Huff, my co-leader on our High Desert Wildlife photo adventure . . .
"My group and I arrived at Elephant Pond within minutes of sunrise, excited to see what the day would bring. Well, it didn't take long for us to find out. One of the resident Roadrunners followed us to our blinds. Strutting, preening, and chasing every insect if sight for quite some time, he obviously wanted everyone to take his picture, which we, in turn, were happy to oblige. "With over 30 species of birds and other animals to fill our viewfinders, the morning passed quickly. As we were getting ready to break for lunch, a flutter in the distance and a Cooper's Hawk landing right in front of us was reason enough for delaying lunch. As is turned out, he posed almost a half hour before flying off. "And that was just one morning. What treasures would the afternoon bring."

Monday, March 15, 2010


Southeast Arizona is home to this adventure, where participants will photograph birds of the desert southwest - Gambel’s Quail and their chicks, Vermilion Fly-catchers, and Acorn Woodpeckers, to name a few - from ground level blinds. There will be unique opportunities to photograph bats at night using electronic flash and sensors. Plus, an entire day will be spent photographing a variety of desert snakes.
Special offer to Blog Followers and Facebook Fans
Receive $100 off the regular price, plus all workshop alumni receive an additional $100 discount.
For details and images of the subjects of you can expect to photograph, click on the following link: