Steve Greer Photography Blog

Sound the Trumpets!

Well the day has finally come.   I have restored and updated my blog.  You can see the improved version at

SteveGreerPhotographyBlog.com

I will continue to add new photo stories every week.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and insights.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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September 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Jersey Tallship A.J.Meerwald

For my latest pictorial book “Our New Jersey” I had the privilege to photograph a true state treasure, the A.J. Meerwald.  It was an opportunity to join the crew and experience what its like to sail on the high seas of the Delaware Bay in an authentically restored 115 foot, 65 ton, 1928 oyster schooner.

Being a true landlubber through and through, the challenges of photographing on a rolling ship proved challenging.  Thankfully Captain Jesse kept a close eye on me as I grabbed for the main sail between pictures.

His crew are enthusiastic caretakers who proudly display their incredible skill of turning the ship on a dime, all to the whims of a demanding photographer.  For more of my images aboard New Jersey’s only Tall Ship visit http://www.stevegreerphotography.com/new_jersey_tallship_a_j_meerwald.shtml

For anyone wanting to sail back in time to the turn of the century, I would highly recommend you weigh anchor and journey to a place when the shipbuilding industry in South Jersey that was once a mainstay of the local economy

A little history:

The Meerwald was one of hundreds of Delaware Bay schooners that worked the region’s oyster industry. She is listed on the National and New Jersey Register of Historic Places, and in 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed a bill officially declaring her New Jersey’s Tall Ship.

Built by Charles H. Stowman & Sons in South Jersey specifically for dredging oysters from the shallow Delaware Bay.  It’s new role as an educator, the Meerwald sets sail seven day a week to instruct school children and adults on the culture, maritime history, rich natural resources and environmental challenges of New Jersey’s coastal waters.

The future of the Estuary is in the hands of our young people. The Bayshore Discovery Project creates a legacy of stewardship through diverse, intellectually vigorous education programs. For more information, visit http://www.ajmeerwald.org/

July 1, 2010 Posted by | New Jersey Tallship A.J. Meerwald, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ancient Migrations: Horse Shoe Crabs

Horse Shoe Crab: Ancient Migrations

For many years I’ve been attempting to create an image of the horseshoe crabs ancient migration, a mating ritual that predates dinosaurs.  Closely related to the spider family, these crabs crawl out of the frigid waters of the Delaware Bay and onto New Jersey beaches once a year to lay their eggs.  This event only happens at a very specific location on the planet, at a very specific time.  Anticipating the correct moon cycle, high tides, time of sunrise, and cooperative weather, are important elements in making this photo-op possible.  The challenges of combining intriguing light, movement, and a sense of rhythm and pattern have led to many failed attempts in the past.

For more on my field notes and information on horse crabs, visit my website at http://www.stevegreerphotography.com/horse_shoe_crabs.shtml

Exploring the meaning of the sea in our lives, where time is marked by the ebbing and flowing of tides, I’m very proud to participate in the project “The Sea Around You”; the  companion book to the “Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World” by scholar at MIT’s Earth System Initative, Deborah Cramer.  You can see more of why the ocean matters to us at

http://seaaroundyou.com/horseshoe-crabs-may-have-saved-your-life

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Horse Shoe Crabs: Ancient Migrations | Leave a comment

Eastern Bluebird Photo Workshop

For anyone who has ever wanted to photograph blue birds up-close and personal, here’s your chance to experience and take pictures of these amazing songbirds during courtship and while they raise their chicks.

In a controlled setting, photographers are offered predicable views of wild bluebirds landing, perching, and flying within a suitable photographic range.

The logistics of setting up user-friendly, stand-up blinds, and prearranged photo props have been created to assure maximum shooting opportunities during the bluebirds breakfast rush.

In addition, a miniature low-light video camera with a highly sensitive microphone is mounted inside their nearby nest box.  With real time video, this is a opportunity to witness the rarely recorded movements and sounds of these songbirds as they raise their family.   Please check out last year’s bluebird video highlights on my blog – see below.

After the bluebird’s breakfast is over, participants are invited to photograph the flowers and butterflies in the bluebird wildflower meadow.  Time allowing, students will have the opportunity to view their morning results and critiqued on a computer monitor.

This daily workshop is a one on one experience with your instructor, with personal attention paid to the student’s particular skill level and interests.

Because the bluebird’s courtship rituals and nesting cycle are weather dependent, the workshop dates will be flexible.  Every effort will be made to ensure reservations are kept.  In the event of a rain date, participants will select the next available opening.

Dates:              Bluebird Courtship          April 16 – 27

Bluebird Nesting Cycle   May 19 – 30

Time: 6:30am to 11:30am

Experience: Basic understanding of camera functions.

Suggested Equipment:  Tripod, any type of camera, any standard lens from 16 to 100mm, a macro lens, and a medium telephoto lens – in the 100 to 400mm range.

Class Size: 1

Cost: $140.00

Location:  Lumberton, New Jersey

Registration is on a first come first serve basis.  Please email your requested date to     http://www.stevegreerphotography.com/cgi-bin/script.pl?op=email_form

Providing availability, you will be sent a confirmation via email.  If your desired date is taken, then you will be notified, describing the available dates remaining.

February 15, 2010 Posted by | Bluebird Photo Workshop | 5 Comments

Eastern Bluebird WebCam

I’d like to invite you to share in the adventures of a pair of Eastern Bluebirds as they raise their family in a nest box in Lumberton – see the following posts.

Inside the nest box is a miniature low-light video camera.   There are also highly sensitive microphones inside the nest box to record rarely heard sounds.   Below I have a  “Bluebird Video Highlights”  reel, where you can click on videos to see a summary of the day’s events.

You can also view real-time video, showing their movements as they happen.   Click on www.SteveGreerPhotography.com and then click on the Nesting Bluebird WebCam on the left hand side of the home page.

Rest assured that all the pictures and sounds that you will experience are being obtained through “bluebird friendly” methods.

Happy viewing

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds | , | 7 Comments

The bluebird family moves out, and moves on

With more encouraging chirps from the adults, the three remaining chicks successfully flew from the nest this morning, joining the rest of their family where the forest meets the meadow.  Sometimes I see one or two of them through the trees, watching their parents hunt for insects.  Mostly, I hear them, still chirping their plaintive calls, begging for food.  The parents will continue to feed them until they are about 30 days old.

After 21 days of witnessing devoted parental care, editing over 300 hours of recorded video, and now listening to the melody of new bluebirds in the forest, the empty nest syndrome begins.

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A bluebird enters a new frontier

This is the morning of day 20.  The female is calling to the chicks almost constantly, encouraging them to leave the security of the nest and enter a new world of challenges and triumphs. They listened.

After much jostling about, the first nestling pushed off at 6:00am, arched down toward the ground, then climbed slowly into the air, landing clumsily on to a tree branch at the edge of the deciduous forest – whew!  The male flew behind the chick, and landed just above it on another branch. The second youngster did the same at 7:15am, only flying precariously low through the tall meadow grass and managing to swoop up and grab a hold of a low hanging branch.

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The bluebirds wait impatiently for the opportunity to fledge

It’s now day 19, and most of the chicks are ready to fledge.   But the weather has turned cold and it has been raining again for 2 days in a row.  It’s a damp 60 degrees.  The adults are waiting for warmer weather before calling to the babies, to encourage them to jump.  There are many obstacles, including predatory dangers, awaiting these new arrivals to the forest.  It’s in their best interest to make the leap in better weather conditions.

In the meantime, they continue their wing flapping exercises and take turns peeking out at the new world just waiting for them.  The pinging sound you hear is the sound of the rain drops hitting the predator pole baffle.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A bluebird sees the outside world for the first time

As the walls in their home press inward, the nestlings continue to jostle for a comfortable position.   The chicks take turns carrying out vigorous wing flapping exercises several times a day to strengthen their wing muscles.    This youngster takes the inchoative of his or her new found strength to climb to the edge of the nestbox entrance to see what is happening outside.   A little hesitant to make that momentous jump, the chick decides to stay in the safety of the nestbox a little longer.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The bluebirds have opened their eyes

All the chicks’ eyes have now opened and they are almost completely feathered.  They’re now sporting a narrow ring of white feathers around each eye, and their breasts are speckled with gray.

The nestlings are standing more during the day, while continuing to preen and do wing stretches.  Some of the scratching around the eyes could be due to a blow fly larvae infestation.  So far, it looks as though the youngsters are able to cope.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment