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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“Majesty”  A whitetail deer buck stands in an open meadow.  Autumn in the United States is a perfect time to photograph deer.  The deer are plentiful in Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park, especially in the fall.  There are only a few large bucks and they are extremely hard to capture in a photograph.  Part of wildlife photography is about patience and persistence.  It took me several weeks of trying to capture this deer before I was lucky enough to get this shot.

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!

Poised

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One of my favorite places to photograph is Pinson Mounds Archeological State Park near Jackson, Tennessee. The park offers many miles of biking and hiking trails. There are also several varieties of wildlife. The most common animal I come across are whitetail deer. Often I am unable to get very close to the deer, especially in the fall during hunting season. However, sometimes I get lucky. Persistence and luck are often the biggest assets to being a photographer.

I came across this young whitetail deer buck one morning as I was heading out for a short hike before class. I never made it to the trail, but I was lucky to get to spend some intimate time with this deer. He was standing in one of the meadows and was not bothered by my presence when I came up. He spent about an hour grazing as I sat on the ground snapping pictures a few yards away. This is what makes wildlife photography so special to me.