A Thousand Words

Sometimes the greatest way to present a photograph, is to just share the picture. I mean “a picture is worth a thousand words“ right? Maybe, but I love reading the story behind the image. Never stop sharing the story (adventure?) that belongs to the image. Even if it takes a thousand words.

This image of a Sandhill Crane is one of the last pictures I’ve made. Like a gift from God a pair (wife & hubby) presented themselves in a specific location where I have never seen this species before. Nature and the act of photographing her, can be a saving grace. The gifts have always kept on coming regardless of the state of my (and yours?) personal circumstances.

This traditional wading bird pose helped to make this picture worthwhile. The fact that you don’t really get to see (or photograph) Sandhills hunting for frogs, makes it a little more special.

Bong2014A 001Then there are truly classic poses. I caught this American Bittern pretending to be invisible. The secret to catching an image like this is to move slowly and look carefully. In many ways it is about being as patient as your subject.z1gHor2008 126b

Working with backlight is always tricky. Such was the case with this Reddish Egret. I was on the shores of The Gulf of Mexico when this winter plumaged bird presented itself to me. There was simply no way to work around the bird for front light so I took what was given to me. While backlight may obscure some details, it also has an artful quality to it. That little bit of light gracing the back of the bird helped to make this shot technically acceptable, and the beautiful walking “pose” helped keep the image artful. DSC_2009b

With wildlife, the subject is the art. Our job is to recognize what’s in front of us, and know how to capture the visual display. We are at best, teammates with the subject.

Even the most common birds will present you with art, via their pose. Killdeer tend to be found in grasslands or on roads. I found this one acting like the shorebird it’s supposed to be. There is nothing like an artful pose to make the day of a wildlife photographer.zDSC_8823b

Extreme backlight at sunrise or sunset, can be the most naturally artistic light you will be given.13DSC_2470

Beauty, curiosity, pose. Little birds like the American Goldfinch provide a never-ending supply of great poses. Aim, compose, and fire when ready.BYBs3 064

The Brown Pelican is a beautiful bird. That is unless they are immature or in winter plumage. I think we have a little bit of both here.

I like the texture in this image and part of the job of an all around nature photographer is to catch nature’s subject in each and every plumage or state of being.DSC_1613

The stock photographer in me has always been at war with whatever artist that might live inside of me. The best of course is when they work together.

Sometimes the light, the background (water) and the subject come together and it matters not what we do as photographers. That is to say, be technically proficient and your picture will be beautiful. This is a male Redhead Duck.DSC_7206

You think of Yellowstone N. P. as a wilderness and despite the large crowds, there is a magnificent wilderness that you can escape to. Where did I photograph this pretty Mule Deer buck? Right next to the parking lot of a restaurant.DSC_0098

I believe this is a Western King Snake. I am not sure because I made this film image along a deserted remote dirt road along the South Dakota/Nebraska border many years ago and a mile or so further down the road, I photographed a Prairie Rattlesnake. It had gotten cold the night before and snakes were attempting to warm themselves in the morning sun. Whichever snake this is, my technique was the same. I started at a distance and quickly moved closer while changing to shorter and shorter lenses. I made my images quickly and moved on. It is highly unlikely that these guys were in much peril from autos as it appeared to me that it had been sometime since another vehicle had traveled this path. My love for roads like this brought me and my camera many photographic subjects and even more great experiences. That morning is still vivid in my mind. I can see the sights, feel both the mood and the morning sun on my shoulderSlides2 011

When you share your pictures, whether that is on a gallery wall, on the pages of a calendar or magazine, on social media, or only with your Great Aunt Emma, never forget the story behind the picture. Let the rest of us live what you lived.

Have a fine day and may God Bless,                                                                                                 Wayne

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