Saturday, November 20, 2021

Deer season

It is deer hunting season, I guess. Most hunters would take this one, but it is within our subdivision so please don't shoot toward our house. There's also a few blurry fox images from that field. Facing the other way, toward the house, here's a buck that might have another year to live.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Twilight extended

The two Reconyx camera are deep in the shady forest. It takes a while in the morning for the sun to rise above the mountains and the light to filter through the trees to get the cameras switched out of night B&W mode. This is about 30 minutes after sunrise.

Friday, October 29, 2021


It is tempting to save a few bucks on trailcams, but it usually isn't worthwhile. I bought the Primos Proof Camera 02 for $102 in 2015 and will never buy that brand again. I haven't used it lately because, well, it sucks. Daytime images are very overexposed about 95% of the time. About the only thing it has ever done passably well is night videos, but there's no way to set it to shoot just at night. I've got three of my better cameras deployed in the National Forest, so decided to deploy the Primos as one of the two cameras in my yard. Operating costs are virtually nil with rechargeable batteries rather than lithiums, so why not? Here's a deer wandering through the field behind the house.

This is an image grab from a video in 2017 of a badger in the Badlands.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

More bluebirds

With motion-triggered DSLR bluebird images, I've been prefocusing and hoping for the best. I set the f-stop between 8 and 11 to get some depth of field, but that means I either have to use a high ISO or a slow shutter speed. I got a new flash, but I've still got the problem of it powering down long before it get triggered. The hardware solution to the flash falling asleep seems to be a second Camtraptions wireless receiver, which costs £20 plus shipping from England.

Until I get that, I will have to experiment with being "artistic." This image is perfectly in focus, but the bird is motion-blurred. 5D Mark III, 300mm lens, 1/125 at f/11, ISO 250.

If the bird stands perfectly still, no problem. 1D Mark II, 35mm lens, 1/250 at f/7.1, ISO 250.

And this one combines a relatively-static bird on the right with an artistic blur on the left. 1D Mark II, 35mm lens, 1/320 at f/9, ISO 250.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


I continue inching the 1D/wide angle camera trap closer to the box. From today, lens set at about 30mm on 1D Mark II:

Monday, August 23, 2021

Wide angle

I've been concerned that the shutter noise from the ancient 1D Mark II would scare the birds away, but they seem to have gotten used to it. These are with a 35mm lens set very close to the bird bath/nest box. The PIR is mounted right on top of the camera rather than using the wireless. The wireless works great, but this setup requires that much less preparation.

Sunday, August 15, 2021


Since I first pointed the trailcams at the bird box and baths a few months ago, I've accumulated tens of thousands of images. It would be impossible to post a generous sample using methods I've used in the past, so I've selected several hundred for a Google album. These are all trailcam images; I will continue to post DSLR images in the usual manner here and on my web site. Click on this link to see the bluebirds and lots of other visitors to our yard in Montana. The images are in chronological order starting June 12, 2021, and I may continue adding to this album for another month or so.

Google Album Link - Backyard Trailcam 2021

The DSLR camera trap and remote trigger images I've taken have been with longer lenses up to 500mm. With a long lens, it is difficult to get depth of field even with a small aperture of f/11 or f/16. This image is with a different setup than I've tried previously. I used the 1D Mark II with a wide angle 17-35 lens set at 35mm. The depth of field is very good even at f/8 with only the cropped-out bottom of the image slightly fuzzy. The camera is only a couple feet from the subject so I mounted the Camtraptions PIR directly on top of the camera and didn't use the wireless receiver. However, I'm concerned that with the camera so close, the shutter noise will scare the birds away, particularly using the ancient and noisy 1D Mark II. We'll see.