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.

“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.

Waves of Canadian Geese

Here is a video I shot last weekend of a huge wave of Canadian Geese taking off from one of the marshes at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri.  I had my camcorder set up while I was snapping pictures when all of the sudden all of the geese took off in a wave.  This is one of the most fascinating experiences I have ever had doing wildlife photography.

Thousands of Geese Take Off

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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.

The Hidden Draw (Creating Depth of Field)

The Hidden Drawword

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.

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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.

Bull Fight

Bull Fight

This picture dates back a few years.  This is one of the events on my trip to Yellowstone National Park that fueled my desire to pursue being a nature photographer.  I was sitting on bank of a river in one of pull off areas watching a herd of bison cross the water.  I noticed these two young bulls fighting one another.  I could feel the power of these beasts as they fought.  It didn’t last very long, since this was just practice, but it was something I always wanted to see.  Being so close to something so fascinating and being in Yellowstone where the wilderness is mostly untouched made the difference for me.  I learned I have to be there.

Get out and discover something amazing.  Keep Exploring!