Getting lucky...

November 02, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Often I take off from home "planning" to go photograph a particular bird.  More often than not though I end up photographing a bird, mammal, or landscape that I did not plan on encountering.  In fact, I think this is what makes wilderness photography so exciting.  When I relax and drop my expectations is when I see something very cool.  Hopefully I have my camera with me at the moment.   That is the key -- to always have my camera with me.

Wildlife photography reminds me of fly-fishing.  There is a lot of luck involved, some skill, and lots and lots of patience.  In fly-fishing I found that I could not plan when was going to be a good day on the river.  The same seems to be true with photography.  A good example of this are the close up photos I was lucky get of the young badger.  I had driven 4 hours to some remote mountains, stayed up all night looking for owls, camped out, and realized i did not take one photo.  I thought to myself, "Wow, that was a wasted weekend trip".  On my long drive home I suddenly came up on a badger.  As I stopped the truck I realized the badger was just as curious in me as I was in it.  In a mere 2 minutes I was able to see some really interesting views of its behavior and take photos.  Completely unplanned.  Of course, if I did have the camera setup and ready to go, or if I did not realize how to quickly adjust the shutter speed, depth of field, etc. the photos may not have come out.  It was a blend of luck, having the camera with me and ready, and being patient with myself that provided the photos.

Now, when I "plan" to go take photos I laugh at myself, since really I am not sure what I will see, or if I will even take any photos.  Regardless of the photographic outcomes, the experience of the journey is always worth it.


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Selkirk Mountains helicopter access Exploring the remote wilderness  of the west is my passion.  I love backcountry adventures, traveling fast and light.  It is on these wilderness adventures where I see magical light and experience wild creatures.

Ever since I started exploring the mountains as kid in the Sierra Nevada I have shared my wilderness adventures with others via photography.   My goal in doing so is to increase the awareness of just how beautiful nature is, and encourage others to experience the beauty and knowledge that wilderness offers.  

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