Archive for August, 2009

Back to School

Posted in Senior Portraits with tags on August 31, 2009 by bobshank

Today was the first day of school for the students in our school district. It’s hard to believe that summer is over already and we have started a new school year.

School means that my son, James, will not have much time for photography for a while. His school work and fall baseball season will take up nearly all of his time. But that’s okay. His first love is baseball anyway.

Now that we are back to school many high school seniors are thinking about getting their Senior Portraits scheduled. One of my favorite Senior Portrait approaches is to capture the student’s interests in the photo. For example, if a student plays an instrument or a sport, something from this activity should be in at least one of the photos. Several clothing changes allow students to include their favorite outfit and jersey or uniform. Then we can make a collage by including all of their activities or clothing changes. Outdoor scenes are also very popular.

School has started and fall is just around the corner. Fall sports seasons are set to begin and seniors are scheduling their Senior Portraits. The leaves will soon be changing, too. This is my favorite season of the year and a great time to be behind the camera!


A Change in the Air

Posted in Pennsylvania Elk, Wildlife Photography with tags on August 30, 2009 by bobshank


There’s a change in the air. Do you feel it?

Clint Black sings a song with this title, “A Change in the Air” and some of the lyrics go like this:

“Can’t explain
There’s something strange about the early fall
It’s a comfort leaving me with out a care
I remain
But everything around me hears the call
And tonight I feel a change in the air”

There is this kind of feeling in the air tonight. Fall is coming and this is absolutely my most favorite time of year.

Dick McCreight and I are getting ready for our September version of our PA Elk Photo Experience where the rut will be on and the bulls will be fighting for dominance. I can’t wait! The photo I posted today was captured last year in the fall. I think it depicts convincingly well just why I like this time of year!


Posted in Action Photography, Prints, Sports on August 29, 2009 by bobshank

Teamsake… that’s an odd word. What is a teamsake anyway? You’ve heard of keepsakes, but what in the world is a teamsake?

I enjoy sports photography and have been photographing sports for a long time. It really doesn’t matter which sport to me, I enjoy it all. Action, movement, and competition get my creative juices flowing and I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of attempting to capture the sports action with my camera.

I was fortunate to be a baseball and football coach for over nine years. I do miss coaching, but now have utilized the skills I learned while coaching in my photography. This helps me prepare to aim my camera at the upcoming action and knowing the game I am photographing is immensely helpful.

I am the photographer for the Lehigh Valley Baseball Academy in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This entails photographing games, player & team portraits, the facility, and any other subject the owners request. The players and parents enjoy seeing the action shots and the portraits, while the coaches like the action shots because they can see the mechanics of the players. I am always trying to offer something new and interesting for the players.

Enter the teamsakes. A teamsake is a collage of nine action photographs of one team. A player can choose any nine photos he wishes. He can include photographs of himself and his teammates to build a teamsake that will help him remember his team whenever he looks at this collage.

You can view the sample teamsake below to see what I am talking about. Each teamsake is only $15 and provides a keepsake for your season. Teamsakes make great birthday and Christmas presents, too.

Teamsake Blog

One of my photographs was published in the newspaper

Posted in Elk, Published Photograph on August 28, 2009 by bobshank

One of the photographs I took of the bull which was rescued last Thursday appeared in the Endeavor News weekly newspaper. Here is the photograph they used.


I subtitled the photograph, “Free at last” in my blog last weekend.

Carol Mulvihill writes a bi-weekly outdoor column for the Endeavor News and her article this week includes my photograph. She told me earlier today that her article underwent some editorial cutting, so not all the original detail of her article appears in the published article. This is a shame because Carol did a good job of describing what we all witnessed and shared the story of the bull rescue in a beautiful way.

The Endeavor News serves Potter & Cameron Counties in northcentral Pennsylvania. If you subscribe to the online version of the paper, you can view Carol’s article and my accompanying photo. Otherwise, in two weeks the article can be viewed by anyone even without having a subscription.

I hope you enjoy Carol’s article. I was more than happy to share my photo with her to get this amazing story of the bull rescue out to more readers. It seems to me to be the least we can do to inform people of the many dangers to the elk herd in Pennsylvania. I still think about that bull elk and hope that he survives these next 30 critical days and has many more years of vibrant life ahead of him!

Big & Small Wildlife

Posted in Rabbit on August 27, 2009 by bobshank


I certainly enjoy photographing large mammals. Elk and deer are my two most favorite subjects to photograph. I just cannot get enough of this kind of wildlife photography. But what do you do when either you find yourself outside the elk range or when you just are not seeing the big animals?

While the large animals are my first love, I am interested in all kinds of wildlife–big or small. it doesn’t matter to me what size the wildlife is just as long as I can be there to photograph it. I have come to the conclusion that all God’s creatures deserve to be photographed.

We returned home from our favorite mountain last week more than a little sad to be leaving such a beautiful and awe-inspiring place. The next day I saw a rabbit sitting in our yard here at home. I quickly grabbed my camera and tried to capture a few photos before this little creature hopped away.

Big, small, or medium-sized wildlife are okay with me!

You Just Never Know

Posted in Turkey on August 26, 2009 by bobshank

You just never know what you might see when you’re in the mountains. Last week’s episode of the bull elk rescue caught in the swing set is a perfect case and point. None of the photographers or elk watchers ever expected to see what they did that day. Just in case you haven’t seen the photos, videos, and stories about this event I am listing some links that tell the story:

My Blog
My Son’s Blog

Brad Myer’s Blog

Shane Myer’s Blog
Willard Hill’s Blog

We didn’t see many elk last week. It was very hot and humid so the elk were probably seeking relief in the out of way places. My son and I only saw two bulls in three days, not counting a couple spikes. However, not all was lost. While we didn’t see as many elk as usual, we did see a lot of wildlife. We saw 5 bear, including a sow and 3 cubs, 10 deer, 52 turkey, and a hawk!

Today I am posting a photograph of the one turkey we saw. I do not have many photographs of turkey because they are elusive and difficult to photograph in the wild. They are beautiful creatures and seeing 52 in 3 days was incredible. Some were hens, some were babies, and some were gobblers. This is a photo of one of the gobblers. He was walking up the mountain and the goldenrod provided a very nice background for this photo.

As I said, you just never know what you might see when you’re in the mountains.


Mother and Calf Together

Posted in Elk on August 25, 2009 by bobshank

After watching and observing this cow and calf for quite some time, we watched as they walked off into the sunset, literally. Both had eaten a lot of grass and put up with numerous elk observers as they did. Granted these elk were grazing in the most populated area of Benezette Township, but eating in peace was just not possible. Still they ate because this is what elk need to do, especially before winter arrives and finding food becomes much more difficult.

These two elk, cow and calf, provided a beautiful sight to see. After all, who can resist the beauty of a little calf that looks so cute? Mom kept eating, checking for danger, and keeping an eye on her little one making sure she didn’t wander off on her own. For a while this was rather easy because her baby was tired and laid down on the ground to rest as I mentioned yesterday.

These two beautiful elk have had enough grazing and are off to greener pastures. Where will we next see them?20090819-157