Going Into Hiding

Going into Hiding

I shot this several weeks ago after a morning out photographing.  I had seen this buck around, but had been unable to get in a good position to get a shot of him.  As I was leaving the park I saw a doe standing in a grove of trees.  As I was taking some pictures of her I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.  I got this shot just before he disappeared into the woods.  I have not seen this buck since.

Wildlife photography often involves as much skill as luck and time.  I have spent countless hours in the woods and walked away with nothing.  Then there are times when you least expect it that you get the opportunity to get some great shots.  A good lesson is to always be prepared and be persistent.

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“Rhea Spring”: Shooting in the Morning

Rhea Spring

One of my favorite times of day to photograph is early in the morning, especially when I visit a National Park.  Many people prefer sunset because of the convenience, but at sunrise there are often fewer people.  As the sun comes up the land begins to come alive.

This was a morning a couple of weeks ago at Shiloh National Military Park near Rhea Spring.  The sun was coming up and the water was running well from all of the recent rain.  I don’t always shoot toward the sun, but use the light that is cast over the landscape to photograph scenes.  The fog was rising from the water due to the warming of the landscape and the light highlighted it showing a mist.  The ISO was lowered and shutter speed slowed in order to create the effect with the water and capture to light right for the breaking sun.

Don’t be afraid to try shooting from different positions to get different perspectives.  As the sun rose I spent about an hour capturing the scene before the fog was gone.  I moved around along the creek bed standing, sitting, getting closer and further from the bridge.  The idea was to not only frame the scene the way I wanted, but to work with the natural light of the rising sun.

Left Behind

Left Behindword

While traveling the back roads of Kansas I am always looking for old houses and barns to photograph.  This abandoned house sits a few miles from where I grew up.  It sits inconspicuously on a hill hidden by trees from the highway that runs behind it that is less than a mile away.  These old homes have so many stories tucked away in their walls and I am always challenged to tell their story.  This was a late spring day just as the sun was setting and a storm was moving in.

Take a Hike

Grand Canyon

Take a Hike: Grand Canyon National Park VIDEO

Here is something new that I have started.  After having several people ask me to start documenting some of my stories and sharing my adventures I started a YouTube series called Take a Hike.  This is the newest episode based around my trip to the Grand Canyon.  Take a look at my other episodes.

Discovering Yourself and the Outdoors

Encountering Yellowstone’s Wildlife

Yellowstone’s Changing Weather

Photographing Sunrise

Bird at Sunset

Bird at Sunset word

Sunset and sunrise are a great time to get out and photograph.  In Kansas the wide open spaces allow a photographer to see for miles.  Even when I am not planning on spending much time in the field I do try to get out to find the a good spot in the mornings and evenings when I am home.  The flat land and vast spaces can create some amazing colors.

In this shot I was set up trying to capture the vibrant colors of the sunset with the land and fences silhouetted in the scene.  As I was shooting this bird landed on a fencepost within my eyesight.  I got it focused in my camera and started shooting as the sun went down.  The bird silhouetted in the orange clear sky made for a striking image in what I thought would be an uneventful night.

A Glimpse Back: “At Ease”

At Ease

One of my favorite past times is to visit Civil War battlefields.  Each year my family would plan our summer vacation and it usually involved traveling to a battlefield.  There is something unexplainable about walking a place that once was filled with conflict and now sits quiet.  For me it is also about remembering what happened.

When photographing at battlefields I have a few ideas that I keep in mind.  First, capture a picture that highlights the beauty of the area.  Second, capture a picture that reminds us or serves as a glimpse into the past and what happened.  Third, try to capture the viewers imagination.

“At Ease” is such a simple picture, but it is a popular discussion piece.  It serves as a small glimpse into the past, but it also captures the viewers imagination.  This was taken at the 150th anniversary reenactment at Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield in Tennessee.  It was just something that I didn’t think much about when I captured the picture walking the trails and looking at the encampments.  To me it serves as a reminder of the calm before the storm.  What does it mean to you?

Looking Beyond the Usual: “Step Lightly”

Step Lightly

When traveling it is easy to get caught up by the large things that are easy to see, but try to look for the less noticeable parts to life.  The large elements are easy to spot and thus easy to photograph.  There is always something beyond what we can easily spot.  Whenever I need a wake up call to remind me of that this picture is what I go to.

While I was in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya it was easy to spot the elephants roaming the landscape, but the birds that roamed with them were not always easy to spot.  Thus, they never seemed that interesting to photograph.  However,  I always try to practice what I preach and look beyond the usual.  That is when this small cattle egret stood out to me walking around with it’s much larger partner.

We had stopped to watch a herd of elephants tear apart a small tree I noticed an elephant walking by itself on the other side of the jeep.  I pointed my camera toward the elephant as it came closer.  As it came out of the tall grass I noticed the egret walking in and out from under the elephant’s feet picking up bugs, the egrets live with the elephants and will pick bugs up to eat in the elephant’s wake.  Neither seemed concerned with all of the commotion around them.  They just went about their business.  I got down on the floor of the jeep for a better view and took several shots of the two, but didn’t think anything would come out of my work.  However, when I got back to the US and started looking through and sharing my work people were amazed by this picture.

It took me a while to see it, but it is easy to get caught up in how two animals of such different sizes can be so important to one another.  The others with me asked where I saw this and when I told them they said they noticed the elephant, but didn’t pay any attention to it.  I did and as luck would have it one of my most memorable photographs from Kenya came from watching two animals that were doing what they do naturally.  Watch for the small, less noticed things and sometimes they can make the best pictures.

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

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