In nature photography there are two types of people: the avid outdoorsman who finally picked up a camera or the photographer who found their love of nature through their camera. I'm the latter. Unlike virtually everyone else in this part of the country i don't hunt or fish and i honestly never had much of an interest in nature growing up. Photography spurred an interest that has helped me see the world in a new way. Wildlife photography and hunting insersect heavily, more than the average person would imagine, and due to that i have been able to pick up some skills from family members and friends over the last year and have been able to put some of those skills to the test.
I have wanted to visit the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary for a while but had never made the 3 hour trip until this weekend. In addition to the photographic opportunties, fellow-photographer Matt Miles was scheduled to speak about his new book, which made the trip even more enticing. After some family plans fell through for Saturday, i decided why not and invited my brother in-law Austin along on the journey. When i checked the weather Friday night it appeared that it would be "mostly cloudy" but it turned out to be more of a "volcano ash" type of day with brutal north/northwest/west winds on top of that.
Anyone who works with photography knows that light is the key element to any good photo. In fact the word photograph itself is comprised of the two Greek words photos and graphe meaning light (photos) drawing (graphe). That said, it may seem a bit odd to talk about taking photos at night.
My wife has come to expect that anytime we take a family vacation or trip, i will find something that i obsess over photographing before we leave. Our vacation this year took us to Gatlinburg Tennessee which was a first for both of us. She of course had a list of things she wanted to see including museums, restaurants, shopping and such... but i had a very simple goal for this trip: photograph a Bear.
The buzz this year, and for the last few years in photography circles, has been around the "Great American Eclipse". Hotels along the path of totality were sold out years in advance and places like Carbondale Illinois were planning for crowds of 60,000 or more.
I had several simple photography goals coming into 2017. But - as it should - photography often takes a backseat (or trunk) to family life and work. And while i have no issue with that, it does complicate things when trying to build a name in the wildlife photography field. I feel like i have squandered away most of spring and now a mostly-fruitless summer is upon me.
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