“Eyes Into the Soul”: Getting the Shot

Eyes Into the Soulword

I have been lucky to photograph some amazing wildlife over the past several years.  This picture comes from what would have to be my most memorable encounter.  I actually thought when I was taking this shot that I might be on the lioness’ menu for dinner that evening.  When I look at this photograph I cannot get past the thought that she was staring me down from only a few feet away.

This lioness had been spotted near the road and there was a small group of jeeps near her when we pulled up.  Our guide maneuvered his vehicle to a good spot in front of her to allow us to get the best possible position for photographs.  The lioness laid in the shade for quite a while.  I waited for her to move with my camera poised for the shot.  What happened next was not completely expected, me being naive.

The lioness got up and walked toward our jeep.  I remember Jelly, our guide, tapping me on the knee and telling me to slowly back down and sit if she looked like she was going to get on the jeep.  She kept her attention solely on us then hissed at us the way cats do.  My heart began to beat faster and my mouth got dry.  I had to control the fear that was starting to take over.  Keeping my composure I began to back up, keeping in mind to do it slowly so I wouldn’t excite her.  Luckily, and uneventfully, some impala got her attention and she headed off to hunt.

This was an amazing experience, but it was also a great lesson. Enjoy.

Pamela Peters

Email Pamela: wildradiancephoto@gmail.com

For more information about Pamela go to http://www.wildradiancephotography.com.

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Photographing Bald Eagles: The Catch

the catchwordsOver the last several weeks I have been taking short trips to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in northwest Missouri to try to photograph bald eagles that are migrating south following the other bird migrations.  It reminds me of my first experience trying to photograph the birds in the wild.  I have spent many long hours in the field trying to photograph different species of animals, but I must say that photographing bald eagles has taught me more about patience than any other animal I have photographed.

During the school year I spend most of my time in western Tennessee.  Often on weekends I will drive down to Shiloh National Military Park to walk the battlefield and photograph.  Last spring I learned about a nesting pair of eagles that call the park home during the spring.  My first day to make my attempt I arrived at the park just as the sun was beginning to rise.  I drove the park and then found the nest where I made myself comfortable for the next 8 hours or so.  After spending the day attempting to capture the birds I did not come home with anything that I felt was worthwhile.

The following week I headed back out to make another attempt.  It was my last weekend in Tennessee before I had to head back to Kansas for the summer.  I arrived early in the morning and prepared myself for a long day in the field.  I photographed as the birds came back and forth from the nest feeding the eaglet.  After spending the day in the field I decided to pack up in the late afternoon.  I was unsure if I had anything worthwhile, but I knew there was a god chance I had something.  When I got home I discovered this photograph of the female coming into the nest with a trout from the Tennessee River.

I must admit that there is something that comes over you when you are close to these majestic birds.  I have been extremely lucky to photograph some pretty amazing wildlife, but bald eagles are special.  There is something about the thrill that comes over me when I am close to these birds.  Shots like this make the long hours in the field worth every minute.  These experiences also are what make me go back for more.  The main lesson I learn from these birds is to be patient and tenacious.    Keep shooting and keep exploring!