I found this as I was going through my old photos from my trip to Africa. An African elephant mother was nursing her baby as her herd was grazing in Samburu National Reserve.
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge sits in northwest Missouri and is known for it’s large concentration of Bald Eagles during the winter and spring. It is also known for the large number of waterfowl that migrate through the area before and after winter. Here is a close up of a large group of thousands of Canadian geese that took off at the same time on a recent trip to the refuge.
Early March on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park was cold and brought the unexpected surprise of snow. Most of us think of the Grand Canyon as a high desert and are surprised to see pictures of the canyon in snow. Although the cold and snow was not something I was thrilled about I took full advantage of the opportunity. Here the canyon stretches for miles disappearing into the fog.
In order to capture the vastness of the Grand Canyon I took a seat on a rock in order to get lower to the ground and stabilize myself. By placing myself lower and getting the trees and bushes in the picture it gives the viewer a new perspective. I don’t usually use people so I use pieces of nature to give a perception of size. The snow also allows the viewer to feel the coolness of the moment. Shooting from different angles in the same places can create uniquely different photos. So give it a try.
“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.
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.
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?
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.
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