Fine Art Photography?

”Night Owl, doing fine art photography?  Really?”

Well, I’m starting to at least.  I’m not really sure it qualifies as fine art, but that’s where everyone else classifies things that don’t fit any other mold, so I’ll play along too.  Anyway, here is an image from the gallery.  Click the image to follow it to the whole gallery.  Right now I’d call the gallery the “Industry” gallery I think.  I dunno?  Tell me what you think of the gallery.  Is it fine art?  Do you like the images?  To much photoshoping?  Does the photoshoping enhance the images, or degrade them?

I’ve also uploaded a few new sunsets.  Hope you like them.  This one I captured while stalking a sunset on the way from one family gathering to another on the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I just spent a good half hour removing those power lines from the image, and then when I looked at it full size again, I didn’t like it with the power lines removed.  D’oh!  I don’t know why, but I really like this sunset.  Maybe because it’s so different with the silhouette of the railroad gate?  Anyway, click through the image to go to the full gallery.


Calendar Sale! 40% Off!!! 2011 Bald Eagle Calendar

Lulu Press is offering 40% off for my 2011 Quad Cities Bald Eagle Calendar!  That’s insane!!!  Take advantage of this before they realize their insanity!  

“This American Bald Eagle Calendar, is a collection of American Bald Eagle images photographed entirely in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois. I hope that my bald eagle calendar sets itself apart from other bald eagle calendars out there. I’ve spent a great deal of time in the design and composition of this calendar, for you to enjoy throughout the year. I encourage you to preview the calendar, and flip through the pages to see how my calendar is unique. I hope you like it.”

 Use code “CALENDARVIP305” during checkout.


Steampunk Art?


Yesterday, Sunday, I had the day off again, but instead of going to Bristol, I wanted to do something else.  It took a while to decide between seeing the tall ships in Chicago (I hate driving around in Chicago, and couldn’t really afford parking, plus admission, plus food), or going to the Illinois Railway Museum.  Eventually I decided to go to the Railway Museum.

It took forever and a day to get there because it’s in the middle of Timbuktu.  It was an interesting day though, because it was my first real day spent with my antique 50mm f1.4 that was gifted to me.  All manual focusing all day.  It was a little odd, but fun.  I was taking pictures of things I normally wouldn’t, trying to expand my vision of photography.  When I got home, I had a few images that I think look kinda cool after a little photoshoping, so I’ve created a new gallery on my website for them, because I plan to add to the gallery from time to time. I’ve called it Steampunk Art, but I’m not sure if it’s the kind of stuff people would hang as art in their home?

During the month of September, it looks like the railway museum offers free admission on weekdays. I think I may take another trip up there on a day off in September. I’m guessing that the steampunk communitiy might find it interesting too.


Photographer nearly drowns today . . . . .

At around 12:30PM on Thursday March 18th, one of our customers at the camera store was doing some shooting at Starved Rock. He was taking photos of those waterfalls everyone has pictures of. He had his backpack loaded up with all his gear, about 30lbs worth. Had his Canon 50D with battery grip and 24 – 105 around his neck with it’s camera strap. At one point, he was standing along the waters edge, and went to crouch down (like a baseball catcher), and suddenly one of his feet slipped, and he slid right into the water. He was in over his head immediately! Yet he knew he had to keep his camera above water so he kept his hands up over his head, keeping his camera dry for a few seconds. But this customer couldn’t swim, so he had to drop his hands and let the camera strap do it’s job so he could try to paddle himself above water. He had the current pulling him, and he doesn’t know how to swim, and that 30lb pack on his back! After struggling for quite some time, he managed to get to the top of the water, and roll himself onto his back. Now here’s the amazing part. He said that suddenly he was floating on his back, so he’s convinced it’s because his large Tamrac backpack was keeping him afloat. All the foam padding in it was keeping him afloat, because he sure as heck didn’t know how to float on his back. So now he’s floating, but he’s still struggling to get back to shore because the current is pulling him away from shore. It’s been a 2 to 3 minutes now in ice cold water. Then a family walking by noticed him, and the husband/father ran down and jumped in after him. The husband/father dragged him back to shore, and they both survived the ordeal.

Is that a story or what?! I heard this story around 5PM when the customer arrived at our store with his camera gear, so he could send it in for repair. Shit. I think I’d have waited until tomorrow! Anyway, so he’s telling us the whole story of why his camera bag and all his equipment is soaked right there in the store. And check this out, . . . when he bought the camera and lenses from us, he bought the “no fault” warranty, so it will all be repaired or replaced for free. Sweeeeeeeet. One of my photographer friends was at the store picking up some equipment, and he suggested to the guy that he should tell his story to Tamrac and see if they do anything for him since the bag probably saved his life. I’ll let you know in a future blog if I hear of anything happening on that front.

So the moral of the story is to always buy Tamrac backpacks, and always buy the no-fault warranty! 🙂 Now ya know, and knowing is half the battle.

Illinois Birding Map

I’ve had this map for a few years now, and for all that time, it’s been a private map.  A couple years ago, I started working at a camera store, and started giving out the private URL to this map to some of my customers to help them find good places to photograph eagles and other birds.  I just recently realized that those customers must have been forwarding or posting this link on the internet because it’s been viewed thousands and thousands of times!  So I figured I’d post it here and make it truly public for everyone. 

This map has all of the locations I frequent for birding in northern Illinois and surrounding areas.  It includes example photographs taken at the locations marked on the map, and there are even a couple of videos included on some of the marked locations.  I update this map on a continuous basis, so if you want to bookmark it, you can always come back to it. 

If you find this useful, please let me know with a comment!

First Bald Eagle Photo Trip Of 2010

So on Sunday 03 January 2010, I went for the first photo trip in search of bald eagles on the Mississippi River.  When my dad and I arrived that day, I think the temp was 0 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of about -15.  I was in what I call my “arctic armor”, which is basically wool hunting socks, thinsulate lined hunting boots, longjohns from neck to ankle, camo pants and shirt, wool gloves, wind proof hunting coat, a snug fitting winter beanie, and a neoprene ski mask.  (Which by the way heats your face with your own breath.  It’s amazing.)  So anyway, that’s my cold weather gear which I call artic armor. 

I’ve heard so many people at the camera store I work at talk about their cameras or batteries not working in this kind of weather, but I think they’re all crazy, because my camera works like a charm in this sub zero weather.  No problems with focusing or with batteries.  Even the view screen worked fine.  I use a D300 with a battery grip, and a 70-200 to shoot eagles.  Both work like a charm in frigid weather.

Since it was a Sunday, there were lots of photographers there, lots of amatuers too.  Plus the general families that just come to see the eagles with binoculars.  The guy who baits the eagles was there too, which he often is on weekends.  I forgot about that.  Not a fan.  I have moral problems with baiting anything I photograph.  Just don’t believe in it.  If you can’t improve your craft enough to get a shot without baiting, you don’t deserve the shot at all.  So I stayed AWAY from the baiting area for the entire day.  Funny thing is, I’d camp out in a spot, . . . wait . . . and when the eagles would start hunting near me, the ametuers would rush over to where I was to try to get shots, then the eagles would fly away.  *shakes head*  Reminder to self, for the rest of the season, only photograph eagles at LD14 on weekdays.  *grin* 

So for this first trip, I didn’t get any really good hunting shots of the eagles with talons open about to grasp a fish.  Instead I got a lot of nice close-ups of eagles flying overhead with fish in their talons.  I had a couple of shots that were kinda silhouettes, so I did some weird creative stuff with those.  Anyway, I hope you like the new shots in the gallery.

Quad Cities – Bald Eagle Days Art Show!

For immediate release . . .  

Bald Eagle Days Art Show

Night Owl Photography & Jonathan James Moore Photography
Present the first annual Bald Eagle Days Art Show!!! 

mississippieagles-lockndam14_01082009_056-photoshopCambridge, IL – 5 Nov 2009 – Midwest area photographer’s Richard James Nagle of Night Owl Photography and Jonathan James Moore of Jonathan James Moore Photography have announced their first annual Bald Eagle Days Art Show to occur January 23rd, 2010 at the home of Nick & Judie Moore in Cambridge, IL.  There are many area “Bald Eagle Days” in January, which is our favorite subject to photography, and why we’ve chosen this title for our show.  

Mr. Nagle and Mr. Moore spend many of the coldest winter days outside, photographing eagles along the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois.  They’ve captured numerous outstanding action photos of the majestic American Bald Eagle.  These photos, as well as other sunset, nature, wildlife, and portrait photography will be featured as part of the Bald Eagle Days Art Show.  

Kathy Stinson says of Mr. Nagle: “Rich is a fantastic photographer. I bought some of his eagle photos for my father’s birthday and he just loved them. I am giving him this calendar for Christmas. He has a such great eye for detail. You will not be disappointed!” 

Mr. Nagle says: “Jonathan took me out for the first time to photograph the American Bald Eagle many years ago, and I was hooked from the start.  Ever since then, we’ve made it a tradition to go out at least a few times each winter to try to capture these majestic birds with our cameras.  We’re happy to share our experiences with you in our photographs.” 

The Bald Eagle Days Art Show will be on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 from 10AM – 4PM.  It will be hosted at the home of Nick & Judie Moore at 326 South Ridge Street, Cambridge, IL  61238.  Refreshments will be available. 


Richard Nagle is sole proprietor and owner of Night Owl Photography.  Night Owl Photography can be located online at

Jonathan James Moore is sole proprietor and owner of Jonathan James Moore Photography.  Jonathan James Moore Photography can be found online at