Category: Nature

I spotted these cute marmots, or over-sized squirrels as I call them, who were poking their heads out of a drainage hole in a retaining wall. I quickly grabbed my camera and put on a 300mm lens. I thought the critters would quickly fade back into their burrow, but to my delight, they stayed put long enough for me to get down to their level and snap a few frames off.  Marmots live in colonies of up to twenty individuals and spend 80 percent of their life in their burrow, 60 percent of which is spent hibernating.

Yellow belled marmots

Today was one of those get in the car and cruise for a feature picture kind of day. I’m burnt out on shooting fall color photos, so when I spotted this flock of House Sparrows attacking a bird feeder in West Central, I knew I  could make decent snap for tomorrow’s paper. I used a high shutter speed –1/4000 of a second, which froze the birds in flight without any blur. Nikon D4, Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens

House Sparrows

While composing  a photograph of the jellyfish exhibit  at the Seattle Aquarium, a line of people with their mobile phones and point and shoot cameras competed for the same snap.  I just assumed these ” photographers” had taken the same image as me. Later, after doing a Google Images  search of the jellyfish exhibit at the Seattle aquarium, I found only blurry or poorly composed shots. In a week where many newspaper photojournalists were laid off from their publications, I realize the value of  of what I do as an experienced photojournalist. iPhone-style photography only goes so far. Seeing a photo rather just than just taking a picture is the dividing line between being a photographer and someone who just pushes a button. Nikon D4, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens



March 31st, 2013 Permalink

I spotted this cluster of ladybugs in a friend’s yard today. I went back later with my camera and a 60mm macro lens to make this snap. I also used an off-camera Nikon SB-800 strobe with a small soft box to light the insects, which were in deep shadow under a shrub. Lady bugs are the only insects that don’t creep me out. As I was shooting, they were crawling all over me. I guess they must have thought I was just a big aphid.


I took a Sunday drive with two photographer friends of mine today and these are the snaps I found along the way. In my job as a newspaper photojournalist, I don’t get to experiment with black and white photography much. The day was gray and foggy, so the conversion to B+W seemed natural. I spent the first half of my career shooting Tri-X film and printing my photos in a darkroom. I sometimes miss those days–except for the smell of fixer on my hands and clothes.  All teses photos were shot with my new Nikon D4 and a selection of  Nikkor Lenses (24-120mm f/4, 300mm f/4, and a 60mm macro.)




Palouse farm road



I’ve been hooked on shooting fall color lately. Spokane is beautiful this time of year. I sometimes have to remind myself to slow down and appreciate the palette of colors fall brings each year. Photos Colin Mulvany/©The Spokesman-Review

American cranberry bush

Elm tree, Cannon Hill Park

        Embedded Maple leaf, Spokane, Wash.

           Wilted Zinnia bloom, Spokane Wash.

I was in the Japanese Gardens in Manito Park today looking for a fall color feature. I spotted some cool wild mushrooms popping up from the grass and I went down on all fours to make a macro shot. Suddenly all the sprinklers in the garden blasted on. I quickly scuttled my shoot and ran out the gardens a bit wet and kind of confused. It turns out the park maintenance guys were venting the sprinklers for winter using air pressure in the pipes. Several other people with cameras ran out right behind me. Looking for through the doorway, I realized a fine mist instead of water was now coming from the sprinkler heads. I rushed back in and made some backlit mist shots. Just when you think there is nothing much to photograph, something cool will present itself. Nikon D3s Nikkor 24-120 mm f/4 Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review


August 20th, 2012 Permalink

I had a few minutes to kill before shooting a Lakeside high school football practice so I cruised  around the Suncrest , Wash. neighborhood in search of  a feature photo for Tuesday’s newspaper. As I came upon a corner lot full of sunflowers, I thought I’d  stop and give it a shot. Most of the flowers had bees on them, which made  for an extra element to draw your eye. The sunflowers were back lit, so I use my trusty NIkon SB-800 strobe, off camera, with a LumQuest softbox attached to open up the shadows. The extra light helped the overall color saturation. Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-120mm lens, Nikon SB-800 strobe.

I was chatting yesterday with a Riverside State Park ranger about their budget woes when he suddenly told me to turn around. About fifty feet a away stood this beautiful mule deer chomping on a bush. As I approached, he paused to give me his best pose, then scampered off into the forrest. I love the felt on his rack. I wish I had my 300 mm lens so I could have just shot his face and horns. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 80-200mm lens. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

Coming home from a brush fire on Upriver Drive Friday evening, I spotted this huddle of goslings along the Spokane River.  It was just too cute to pass up. As I approached, the sun popped through a seam in the clouds for just a few seconds. All the other snaps I took under cloud cover had flat cool light, which killed the cuteness.  Nikon D3s, Nikkor 300 mm f/4

Goslings huddle along the Spokane River Friday, May 25, 2012, in Spokane, Wash. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review.