Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Ted Grussing

… we all make many choices each day and then we act on those choices and live with the consequences … some choices are obviously more consequential than others … over the weekend I chose to accompany my friend Eric on early morning shoots, Saturday and Sunday, to get Blue Birds, both Mountain and Western. The Mountain Blue Bird is a beautiful turquoise blue while the Western Blue Bird is very much a royal blue. The consequence? Give me a camera that shoots fast, lots of targets and I shoot a lot of photos … close to 6,000 images over the two day span and now I have to go through them and find a way to send all but a couple of hundred to the bit bucket and that takes hours. So far the deletion rate is only about 7 out of every 10 … yikes! I’ve only gone through around 600 so lots of work to do.


Click to enlarge

Yesterday I used the 5D MK IV with the 100/400 lens and got a lot of great shots with mirrored images, but performance on the rapidly flying little creatures was less than optimal. Today I took one of the 1D-X bodies out with the same lens plus the 1.4 telephoto extender. It slowed the focus so I took it off and commenced shooting for several hours focusing solely on getting the action shots I like.

I’ve only gone through about 600 and of those; this is one I especially like. The pond was still iced over this morning when we got there, but thin and the birds could peck through and get water. Sitting on this rock in the pond were a Mountain and a Western Blue Bird … Another Western Blue Bird decided to join these two on the rock and space was very limited … you can see that the landing bird was using his feet to push the two birds aside to make room for him … he was very much committed to the landing and one way or another he was dropping in between them. The next frame shows the Blue Bird on the left almost being pushed into the pond … the landing bird made it in.

Busy week coming up and please mark your calendar for Wednesday morning, 10A at the Sedona Historical Society in uptown where I will be doing a presentation on wildlife. I do have to say that I am not an expert on any particular species and I kinda learn as I go … this is not a presentation that goes into all the unique characteristics of various species, but a celebration of the beauty that is found in nature … and a sharing of the beauty found. We’ll be starting with a video and then a slide type of presentation and some Q & A. Hope you make it and there is no charge to attend. Contributions are of course welcome.

So thanks to my friend Eric for sharing so much of his knowledge with me and the opportunity to go on this terrific shoot … thanks to all the beautiful creatures I am privileged to admire and shoot. This is a remarkable little planet we live on and we share it with so many other species …

Have a beautiful week and hope to see you Wednesday morning.

Smile … keep breathing


A bird flies through the sky, and I fly with it. I am each pearl of moisture sparkling in the sun.
I lie lazy on the clouds. And I acknowledge my kinship with each winged thing.
I see all as one, and nothing repels me, as this new day climbs noiselessly out of the valley of the night.
Peace lies over the world and over the world of my soul.
— Max Ehrmann



The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email:

In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.

Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses.  By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.

More about Ted Grussing …