Cole ~ Miller Photography: Blog en-us (C) Cole ~ Miller Photography [email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:32:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:32:00 GMT Cole ~ Miller Photography: Blog 120 73 My, How Time Flies It's been over four months since I last posted here. This interval has been filled with lots of activities: some travel, a new puppy, some photography, birthdays, holidays, a couple of guided tours for Sandhill Cranes in the Delta,  some other stuff and teaching a beginners class in bird photography! Below are a couple of videos that will give you a flavor of this passage in time.  Click the icon in the lower right corner to view full screen. [wgm]

Bosque del Apache, New Mexico - November 8 - 12, 2012

Look what we found in New Mexico!


Bosque del Apache, New Mexico - January 23 - 29, 2013


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Sun, 03 Mar 2013 05:59:48 GMT
One of Life's Great Moments It has been a little over 3 months since we were blessed with the arrival of little Noah. How quickly he grows and changes. Today we fixed a brunch for for John and Liz and took turns holding Noah as we ate asparagus, mushroom and red bell pepper quiche and drank coffee from the french press. While we were there I wanted to take a few shots of Noah and his Dad. 

Despite all of life's challenges, heavy work loads, the purchasing of their first home and the general craziness of our world today, here was a father and his son sharing all that really matters. I was lucky enough to witness and capture this tender moment between father and son. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all followed their example.


You have to count me lucky and blessed on at least two counts. wgm

[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Mon, 05 Nov 2012 05:27:00 GMT
They're Back!

A little after 11:00 AM I heard a faint, but familiar sweet sound while working in my outdoor office. Excitedly I panned the sky searching for the source. Above and headed south was a flock of Sandhills, returning to the Delta from their summering grounds in Northern California and Southern Oregon. It's been months since I last heard them leave, flying north, leaving us for the summer and singing their goodbyes. It is such a sweet sound and a heart warming sight to hear and see them again. Amazingly as I checked on the time of sighting their departure it was within minutes of the time of their departure exactly 199 days later.


Welcome home, we are so looking forward to communing with you again. - WGM

[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Thu, 20 Sep 2012 19:46:46 GMT
Family Shoot Last Saturday, Bill and I went to the home of newborn Anton Whetstone in Sacramento to photograph the 7-week old Anton and his family.  They had joined us at Bill's house on July 4th and we talked with them about doing family portraits. They were very eager to do so.  This was the perfect family to work with, [Anah - Mom, James - Dad, Hannelore - daughter, and Anton - son];  they were marvelous. 

However, the inevitable problems occur:  it's challenging to focus on photo quality when trying to catch a smile out of a frisky five year old, while watching her Dad's concerned face as the baby falls asleep and the Mom maintains her perfect smile.  It's odd at best. I think with better mastery of camera and lights, I can manage the cacophony of activity while catching the best moments.  I suspect that family shoots, with young children, should be limited to about 30 minutes, then some other activity should be arranged that might allow  some candid shots. Bill and I are discussing this as,  from time to time, we seek to photograph family and friends. After the group shots, I held the baby as Bill photographed Anah.  Anah had a career as a Paris model in the 90's, and she knows how to pose and hold a pose. She said she'd love to work with us again, and I would like that very much. I find that working with a single subject can be great fun. - CC


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Thu, 09 Aug 2012 18:59:15 GMT
Sunday's Macro Lense Experiments Today we explored use of the macro lense with glass and colored liquids. Using a tripod with remote trigger, setting the camera to  "live view" helped in focusing the photo.  However, Bill found it necessary to switch off "live view"  [while preserving the focus], then shoot in manual mode with a very high f-stop (f 25) and long exposures of 25 to 30 seconds. This achieved the best results.  We had not done this before.  In post-processing the photos, it was fun to find "paintings" in the photographs.  Some of the interesting textures are due to the flaws in the glass. Below are examples.  CC



[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Sun, 05 Aug 2012 23:50:35 GMT
Blueprints Since I was small boy observing my contractor grandfather, I have always loved blueprints. I like their color and illustration of buildings, boats and other built things.  Recently I thought it would be interesting to explore the contrast of a blueprint style image that illustrated the beautiful natural curves of the female form, rather than the rectilinear lines of a blueprint of a man-made building.  I presented a series of these images to our print night group at View Point Gallery and received support and encouragement to continue to explore this process. I'm trying to refine color and line,  and make the process work consistently between various photographic images.  Below are examples of this process. WGM


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Wed, 25 Jul 2012 18:22:42 GMT
It's a Boy! On the 20th of July, 2012 we were all blessed with the birth of a new grandson "Noah James Miller". Baby,  mother and father are all home and doing fine. 

The miracle of life, especially birth, never ceases to amaze me.  Such small, tender, helpless beauty holding its future and ours in his heart and soul. He's gently cuddled here by Carolyn, one of his new grandmothers. WGM


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Mon, 23 Jul 2012 16:23:03 GMT
New Frontiers - Mashups Just as we have challenged our friends and family, they have reciprocated. Recently a friend invited us to participate in a group "mashup" [the combination, visualization, and aggregation of graphic images]. Following a demonstration and his examples, we have been challenged to to create what we call photographic composites. This effort has required us to expand and learn new Photoshop skills [which in itself is a long, long learning process]. It opens possibilities and new avenues of expression. Carolyn has found this to be particularly exciting and recently sent out an assignment/challenge to utilize four images she provided along with two images of our choosing into a composite. Below is my response to Carolyn's assignment:


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Tue, 19 Jun 2012 17:28:43 GMT
Expecting Son John and his wife Liz are expecting in mid-July. Isn't it amazing how fast new life grows!?  Liz requested "pregnancy" photos and Liz and Carolyn set up a shoot last Sunday. May the life inside live long and well, and bring much joy to the parents. WGM


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Tue, 19 Jun 2012 16:23:19 GMT
Sharing and the Gift Back We have  continued our habit of sharing our love of things and events photographic. Recently three of our family & friends have made camera purchases, with our assistance, including a 5D MKII, a 100-400mm telephoto, a 50D with lenses, and a Canon SD1200. Standing alone, these are not extraordinary events. What is so special to us is to see and hear the joy in the voice of sister - sister-in-law on receipt of her camera and lens; to see the photos captured with new tools; to witness the intensity of involvement in learning new skills and familiarization of new tools and to see a camera around the neck of a formerly camera-shy friend. May their journey into the magic of light bring them each the joy and wonder we have experienced.

Included here is a capture of a yellow crested heron eating a crawdad, taken by sister Paige along the River Walk in San Antonio - nice shot Paige! WGM

[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Tue, 19 Jun 2012 16:03:30 GMT
Time Flies Faster Than Birds It's hard to believe it's been over a month since I posted.  Seems like I have been absorbed in DIY projects [new camera stocks, gimbal heads, etc.] and providing instructional assistance to friends. Carolyn, on the other hand, continues to explore post processing as can be seen below. WGM


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Sun, 10 Jun 2012 19:29:08 GMT
Magic Weekend Fine food, friends and photography - what could be better? Maybe experiencing and capturing Buck Brannaman, aka "the Horse Whisperer" work his magic with a group of colts. Absolutely fascinating! WGM


Read and see more about this amazing man at:

[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Fri, 04 May 2012 04:37:18 GMT
In Between Time seems to fly when you are, for lack of a better word, in between. Our attention has been on more pressing matters and as all is now well. Once again our thoughts have gone to our avian friends. Egrets and night herons have returned to their roosts and nest building activities and mornings are filled with bird songs. It seems that these events started later this year than last year, perhaps due to different weather patterns or farming activities in the region.

During this break we did manage a trip to Morro Bay for a Photo Expo and managed a few great shots. WGM

[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Mon, 23 Apr 2012 22:06:52 GMT
A Good Bye Song & An Invitation On a beautiful Monday morning after placing my daughter on a plane back to Santa Monica, I was sitting on my patio enjoying blue skies, and plum and apple blossoms when I heard the familiar call of flying Sandhill Cranes. I ran around the yard trying to find an opening to see where they were.  Flying north-northeast at 11:10 AM, they were obviously heading to their summer breeding grounds in the Modoc area. For a guy who has been regularly photographing them, it was both a fine good bye for the season and an invitation to visit them this summer. WGM

fruit start Footnote. A lesson of course, is always have your camera ready, with the right lens and appropriate settings. While I missed the shot of the departing Sandhills, here is a plum blossom.

[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Mon, 05 Mar 2012 20:22:04 GMT
February Morning Up before dawn, I decided to take advantage of the exceptionally clear weather. I arrived at the Fazio Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise. Cold and windy conditions kept many birds on or near ground level. I saw lots of pintails, a few curlews, and as always, many shovelers.  Also saw a few buffleheads, ruddys and a widgeon or two. There was also lots of harrier activity.  Here is the best of the day.  WGM


[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Sat, 25 Feb 2012 22:07:22 GMT
It's That Time. Multiple times today I was alerted by the distant honking of geese, reminded that this is the time of year when migrating birds in California's Central Valley begin their flights north to summer breeding grounds. Long sinuous flights of Snow Geese, barely distinguishable, passed overhead and just out of camera range. I'll have to wait until they return for a photo to post. They will be missed and already I look forward to their return in the fall. WGM

[email protected] (Cole ~ Miller Photography) Sat, 25 Feb 2012 04:37:15 GMT