Wednesday, December 21, 2011

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge Nature Photo Gallery

From now through February at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge going towards Captiva near Crow will be hosting my nature photo gallery for all to see. For all those visiting or local the address is 1 Wildlife Drive Sanibel, FL 33957. I am really excited to have this chance to have Ding Darling host my gallery. I had never printed any of my photos in a 30x40 metal print medium before. The photo below is the one I used for this test of that size. Feel free if you find spare time to come on down and take a look at the gallery. The hours of Ding Darling are posted below. Hope to see you all down at Ding Darling. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Education Center1 Wildlife Drive Sanibel, FL 33957
May 1 - December 31
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
January 1 - April 30
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dissecting A Hornets Nest

I apologize for the long absence. I have been dealing with a sinus infection that doesn't want to go away. I am back now and ready to get to work. For Thanksgiving I went to North Carolina and around where we were staying I found this hornets nest that had fixed itself to the underside of a gutter. After a while thinking about it I decided to have it taken apart to show everyone what it looks like on the inside being how impressive looking it is on the outside. As we started cutting into it one thing that we found inside of it was a yellow wasp. I am not sure what it was doing in there as it looked like all the eggs had hatched and were already gone. Layer by layer we removed finding it quite interesting to see how much paper there was and how big the comb was they had built.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Visit To Austin Texas

Ducks Feeding From Down Under
Squirrel Sun Tanning
When I went over to Austin Texas I did an Incredible amount of walking around taking in the sights. A few miles from where I was staying there was a park that I walked over to and noticed there were quite a few birds there. I of course couldn't resist putting the walk on hold to go over and take some photographs of them. They were everywhere some in the water and some roosting on the land. I found the ones in the water the most interesting to watch them feeding. The way they ate was by taking their heads and going straight down into the water and by doing so sticking their butts in the air.
Turtle Keeping A Close Eye On Me
After that, I went to another park that had really beautiful water. There wasn't a whole lot of wildlife in this area I was in due to the amount of people there, but I did get to see some turtles. There were a few particular ones that caught my attention. They were out of the water completely sunning themselves. They were very touchy and you had to move ever so slowly closer in order to get close to them otherwise they would dive off the rocks and disappear into the water. On the way out I also came across this squirrel lazing about under this bridge. As always should you want to see more photos I have taken feel free to click on any of the photos to be taken to my galleries.
Cactus Flower Blooms

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Inhabitants Of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

This weekend I decided to go take a peak at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boardwalk and see how things looked since the last time I was there was during a draught. I noticed quite a bit of water in the area walking back to my favorite spot and the lake known as Lettuce Lake was quite full. The only downside from having as much water as there was is that the wading birds don't have anywhere to stand as the water is to high for them. I saw some other cool reptiles and amphibians there this time though. Never fails but I always seem to find frogs everywhere I go. In this case there were quite a few of these Green Tree Frogs that seemed quite young around in Lettuce Lake. 

The other creature I came across was two baby Alligators. Never did see the mother but I was quite sure she was somewhere close. With the plants on the surface, other stuff in the water these baby Alligators blended in quite well and were quite easy to just walk on by without seeing them. The baby Green Tree Frogs were the same way except once you saw one your eyes kind of adjusted and then all of the sudden your like whoa theres a lot of baby Green Tree Frogs here. There were also quite a few Green Anoles out there which I have honestly never seen that many before. Usually the the lizards you see are the Brown Anoles which are an invasive species to this area. To see more of my nature photography click on any photos.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Out Back Photography

Ibis Doing A Balancing Act
This week I decided to talk about some photos I took from our backyard or a neighbors back yard. Here in Florida we have a pond out back that birds like to frequent and also the area in general that we live in during the wet season remains quite wet. Just the other day we had a Anhinga taking a dip in our swimming pool and drying its feathers off at the side in the hot sun. In the past I have also seen animals like turtles and wild pigs. Even if you don't live in a area that wildlife frequents, if you look hard you might be amazed at what you might find. 

Chipmunk Caught Red Handed Taking Food From Bird Feeder

Turtle Rescued And Released Out Back

Water Splashing Upwards From Impact Of Water Droplet

I know just taking a walk out back from where I work I find subjects to photograph that interest me. Not always wildlife though. One day walked out back while it was raining and sat down on a bench near this puddle and watched the rain drip off the roof hitting the water hard enough to splash upward a little. So I laid down on the ground in work clothes to take this photo of the water splash. In my opinion it looks even cooler looking at the water in the photo seeing that second where it hits and the water goes upward. To see other photographs I have taken click on any of the photos.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Turtles Are Not Speed Bumps!!! (Please Watch For Them)

I was on my way home one night heading away from a street named Veterans. I all of the sudden noticed a police car went into the turn lane going towards Veterans and then flipped his lights on and went into my left lane. I was in the middle lane and was thinking oh great I did something wrong. As I came closer to him and pulled up next to the police car I noticed something in front of the car but figured it was just trash he didn't want someone to hit. I looked closer and realized that it was a turtle he had stopped for and it had been hit by a car already. He picked it up and said, " Oh it is still alive". 

After saying that I immediately responded that I could take care of him and that I am volunteer at The Conservancy Of Southwest Florida. The one thing that kept going through my head as I was heading home with the turtle next to me was," why did this have to happen now of all times?" I mean if it had happened during the day, I would have been able to find help for him right there and then. The next day I went and checked on him to see how he was doing and he had moved around quite a bit during the night which I was glad to see. So after taking him down and leaving I realized I hadn't taken any pictures of him so I called back and asked if it was ok to get a picture. I also offered to stay and help since they were short handed. It is hard to believe how many animals are injured every day.

I checked periodically during the time I was there to see how he was doing by peaking in a corner that was uncovered and from what I could tell he was going to be just fine. They patched him up with gauze and electrical tape on the area of his shell that was broken from the impact of the car. Aside from that what he needed most was just rest to let the wound heal. To end this story while I was there one of the cute animals I saw being helped was this baby squirrel who was being fed. If anyone would like to donate to The Conservancy Of Southwest Florida please click on this link If you live here locally for example Fort Myers, Naples, Bonita Springs Etc and would like information on volunteering click on this link

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lizards Galore!

This week during my photographic journeys the lizards demanded that I work on pictures of them so I gave in. It seemed like every time I turned around there was a lizard that was willing to do interesting things for me. The first lizard that I came upon looked down at my feet to see what the noise was down below him. I also got him to look up to see what was going on above him. Most of the lizards I found where Brown Anoles. I did however find find some Green Anoles and one in particular that had morning dew on his body.

Also, while I was out and about there was one insect that caught my attention and was very camera shy. They were these good size grasshoppers. It is funny when you walk up to them they circle to the other side of the plant they are on to hide. If you relocate yourself to get a full view of them they move again. This one however decided to stretch his legs after moving and staying where he was for a while.

Green Grasshopper

Friday, September 23, 2011

From Nature Photography To Sports Photography

This previous weekend I decided to try something new and that was sports photography which is definitely a whole other beast when you get down to the nitty gritty of it. I went out to the location several days before it happened to figure out where I needed to be during certain stages of the event to set myself up and be ready to see what unfolds before me. I really enjoyed doing sports photography and will definitely look for more opportunities to do more of it. It was very interesting to see how everything transitioned from one to the other like swimming to biking and then running. I started out on the beach watching the swimmers as they came in, moved after a few to the transition area, and then to the finish line to capture the first one to finish which wasn't that easy. 

One of the contestants that caught my eye was an older gentleman who was busy in the transition area putting on his helmet. You also had people as they were running up to the transition area drinking water and relaxing for just a few seconds before going for the bicycle portion of the race. It was sorta like watching ants on an ant hill. There were people running everywhere and all doing different things. I would say the two most difficult things I experienced on this journey was dealing with the shadows mixed in with sunlight and capturing the first one to finish since he had started to go around the track again and then doubled back to go across the finish line. All in all it was a great day of photography.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nature Meets Bicycling!

During one of the photo shoots I went out on this week I decided after seeing this brightly colored red dragonfly that I was going to hunt it down and photograph it. I swear every time I had one land near me, but not close enough for what I wanted, it would just as I got in range take off out to the middle of the water and on over to the other side. It would not simply fly away from where it was a little and come back or re-land on the same side. It was just GONE if it took off. I finally got one to let me crawl up to it every so slowly and take its photo. Without a doubt though this red dragonfly is the most skittish and hardest one I have come across to get to sit still for me.

One of the photo shoots I did yesterday was for someone who was doing a demonstration for the local DOT, on how vehicles dealt with a cyclist being on the road with them. This one stretch of road the bike lane/sidewalk just disappears in. He was doing this in order to give them ideas on how to go about moving cyclists through the intersection.This is an intersection that they just added a new crossover to keep traffic moving on through coming or going in this one direction. During all this I even found a somewhat cool photo opportunity. It was the reflection in his sunglasses that I noticed when I saw a police officer go through the intersection. In regards to the cycling conditions in that area I definitely think it needs something to be done. I was met with a cyclist who decided to use the ever so small sidewalk as I was moving into position for the photo shoot.

In order to let the cyclists through and to be nice so he didn't have to stop, I kinda crawled over the wall a little seen in this photo. Otherwise he couldn't have gone through. Also even if you keep going on that sidewalk, it as well disappears. All in all I really enjoyed trying something new with my photography skills. Feel free to check out some of the nature photos I have taken on my website by clicking on any of the photos.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Clyde Butcher Big Cypress National Preserve Labor Day Swamp Walk

Big Grasshopper Posing For Me
This last weekend I had a blast with walking through the Big Cypress National Preserve with our guide Brian Call. Saw lots of things but was limited to what I could take because of the slippery conditions and not wanting my camera to take a plunge to its watery grave. The funny thing is something caught my attention before we even got out into the water and that was this big grasshopper. What kinda cracked me up a little was that he stood perfectly still for me and when I left someone else had spotted him and came over and he apparently didn't want them to take his photo as he started climbing up the tree pretty fast. As we walked through, they told us about the environment and that the alligators stayed towards the front MOST of the time because there wasn't any food further into the swamp for them. I think I was ok with that but at the same time call me nuts because I would love to get a up close photo of an alligator.
Lazy Green Lynx Spider

Yesterday I was walking along on Yarbrough Park and came across this spider just being ever so lazy the way he was laying on this leaf. He didn't even bother to keep all of himself on the leaf. He kinda just let his legs dangle off the edges of the leaf which were quite long. The thing that got my attention about this spider was the ever so bright colors displayed. To be honest, I have never seen a spider like this before and found out that it is called a Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia Viridans). I love seeing new and amazing things to capture at places I have been to many times. Please feel free to check out the other amazing things I have come across by clicking on any of the photos and going to my photo gallery.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away Come back Another Day!

This has been one of the wettest weeks I have seen in a long time. The only place I could go unfortunately with the weather conditions was the Sanibel Causeway. I did get out during some of the days this week to see one particularly wonderful sight. One of the days I went out after work I saw a pack of dolphins playing around and having what looked like a really good time. They were doing all kinds of jumps out of the water. Sometimes they jumped out of the water and landed on their backs or headfirst into the water. The sunset was quite beautiful that day as well. The one photo I enjoyed was one of the dolphin fins in the golden water as the sun was setting. To see more of the moments I have captured click on the photo to be redirected to my website.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Day At The Beach

Well last Sunday I decided I was going to go to Lovers Key State Park. While I was waiting for them to open, I went across to the boat docks that sometimes has quite a few birds on the docks, but the only thing I found this time around was my good friend the blood sucking mosquito. After getting bit many times I decided that I was going to move on and just drive to see if I could find a new area I hadn't been to before. Sure enough, near one of the bridges as I was driving by I saw just flock after flock of different birds flying through the area so I pulled over and walked up on the bridge to take some photos. While I got some good ones up there, the real treasure I would find was underneath the bridge. This yoga group that was on these surfboards and using a paddle while standing up to move themselves ended up pushing a Cormorant my way under the bridge. It wasn't long after the Cormorant got to the pilings underneath the bridge that he caught himself a Oyster Cracker fish and began working on eating him. I would have to say this fish was not the slightest bit pleased with his predicament and neither would I being what happens in the end. 

Later that same day, I came across quite a few manatees. Someone else there said they counted about 11 of them. There was one manatee that stuck out there, that I was repeatedly photographing and it was a baby and it's mother. The cutest thing I saw was when the baby and the mother head to tail started rolling with the baby hugging its mother. These had to be the most photogenic manatees I had ever seen as they stayed for so long playing and making bubbles. I was kinda sad to see them go when they finally decided to head back out, leaving me there wanting to see them playing more, rolling around, making snort sounds sometimes as they came up for air and hugging each other. Should you find yourself enjoying what you see, take a trip to my website by clicking on this photo to see more photos of the natural side of the world that I have experienced first hand.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Inquire Within To See What All The Buzz Is About!

Buzz Off!
I would have to say this is a first. When I went out this morning to take a walk with my camera and see what crosses my path, this bee caught my attention. So I went over and focused the lens on it and it flipped its abdomen straight up like it was mooning me. Can honestly say I have never had a bee show me his true feelings of me taking his photo before. I gladly kept shooting despite his apparent dislike for his photo being taken. After that I moved away from the bee before it showed me in another way its dislike for me taking the photographs of it.

I See You And You Don't Look Like A Dragonfly To Me.
Another thing that I really enjoy photographing when I am walking down Yarbrough park are the dragonflies. They come in so many different sizes and color configurations. This one that I found is a really shinny gold. While I was photographing it and ever so slowly moving in closer to it, it all of a sudden it looked right at me as I was taking the photo. I guess I had been spotted and my being there was no longer unknown to it. Apparently I did not look very threatening to him as he remained quite a while after that photo to let me take more. Should you want to see more photos that I have taken, click on one of these photos to be taken to my website where my gallery is located.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quite an interesting day of photo shoots.

Dew you want to see more?
Well, I sat down on my couch Saturday night and started thinking of what subjects to try and photograph at these places I was going to be going to this week. After a bit of thinking I came up with lizards, flies, flowers, frogs, grasshoppers, birds, dragonflies, bees, squirrels, crabs, turtles, gators, snakes, rabbits and raccoons. Who knew that the first day I went out after pondering these ideas I would take a photo I liked that had nothing to do with any of these ideas. What caught my attention the most when I visited the 6 Mile Cypress Preserve was how the water was collecting on the leaves of these water plants near the boardwalk. Not to mention, if you look close you can see what I believe to be some of the sky in it. I almost gave up on the idea of going out and doing any photography that morning because of how it was raining and lightning, but I am glad I did not. The only thing though about going out after a rain is you have to watch out for the water still falling from the trees,  because water and photography equipment don't mix.

Say Hello To My Little Friend.
Later that same day after work I went out to Sanibel Causeway. Wasn't quite sure what I was going to be able to photograph being that rain I spoke of earlier started up shortly after I left from 6 Mile Cypress Preserve. I parked my car at the side and sat on the back of my tailgate and looked around to see what interesting things were going on. There were these little crabs all over the place doing this little dance with one claw. So I took a chair, went to a hole that I saw one come out of, huddled down a little to cover the camera from the little bit of rain that was falling and waited for him to come back out. All the while getting bit by yours truly the mosquito. After quite a few bites I did manage to get a few pictures of this crab coming out of his hole. All in all it was quite a productive day for my photography. If you would like to learn more about what I do visit Http://

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Welcome to Wildlife Photography By James Hamilton

Welcome!  My name is James Hamilton and I am the founder and creator of Wildlife Pictures Studio (  My interests in photography began with a ninja turtle camera taking photos of bugs and lizards followed by moving up to more focused photography in college by adding birds, flowers, sunsets/sunrises, spiders and venturing through swamps to seek out and show everyone the best of what wildlife in Southwest Florida has to offer. All the while, still doing those bugs and lizards. I don’t believe in the saying, “here today, gone tomorrow” because when you take a photo it holds the power of timeless existence. Capturing a specific photograph means for me conveying to others what I have seen through my eyes. No one has a hold on time or space; therefore, passing moments on through photographic images is how I share the many unique moments in nature that I come across. My photography is about connecting the emotions of what occurs in the natural world before me through light, color, texture and to communicate that to others that weren't there.

Here are just a few samples of things to come...