The Gerlach Factor

Let’s start today with a goodbye (sooner or later) to the snows of
winter. Dennis Westover caught these wildlife snow images in
Yellowstone N.P..

This picture of a coyote climbing a river bank in the snow, pretty
much says it all about wildlife in winter. Just like for us, life gets
harder in the winter.
This second shot is iconic in its association with Yellowstone. A
snowy Bison, and a snowy field with some steam.

1BisonYS DennisWestover

Dennis is new to me and these are both great shots.

Next we have a few of my own, and they were definitely not chosen to
be competitive with the excellent current imagery of today’s guest
photographers. As is usual, I chose them on sight for no rhyme or

If only that water would have only been perfectly still, this could
have been a great mirrored image. Would of, could of, should of. Just
the same, I enjoyed my time with this male Blue-winged Teal.

3May2012 090

Some of my fondest memories in the field are of me alone, except for my friends the
amphibians and reptiles.

The spotlight you see on this frog was provided by Ma Nature and made
this picture interesting enough to present to the world.

4ColFrog 022

I was making some afternoon landscape images in west Texas when I
noticed this little Canyon Lizard. He/she was lifting up to get a
better look at a strange creature…  I began to slowly extricate
myself from the area and head back to my car to exchange my medium
format film camera for a digital DSLR. I found the lizard just where I left
it, and once again my new-found friend began trying to get a better
look at me.

5Copy of DSC_0114b

Depth of field was at a minimum here so I simply did my best to get
the portion of the lizard closest to the camera, in focus. Normally I
would compose an image of an animal that is situated a bit left to
right across the picture frame, with more space to its right than its
left. In this case however I wanted to make sure that long tail was
entirely in the picture.

Lizards are great photo subjects.

I spent a good bit of time (in 2008) with this American Kestrel as it
chowed down on breakfast, which was in this case a Vole. This is
another one of those times in which we remember every single moment
just like it was yesterday.

There’s a lot of branches in this image. I did not want to eliminate
to truthfulness of this scene, but there are three branches that have
been removed.


Bald Eagles are an American symbol and I have had fun with every flight
shot of them I ever made. Because they are soaring birds, it can be
pretty simple to capture them in flight.

As iconic as a mature Bald Eagle with its white head is, I love the
look and “softer” feel the immature birds. Hmmm, maybe two years old?
The light was also somewhat muted and soft which helped to promote the
look of a young eagle.

I believe this one was made at the Wisconsin River here in the state of the same name.


John and Barb Gerlach were two of nature photography’s best known
photographers in the late 1980s through he early 2,000s. Right there
with Shaw, Wolfe and the rest. I realized the other day that I knew
not what has happened to them. I searched them on Facebook and sadly
only could find John. I know not whether health or a parting of the
ways leaves John on Facebook with an account with only his name on it,
but I was happy to find one of them. He had very few “friends” on FB
but within days of our friending those numbers grew greatly, telling
me that he was new to FB and people were finding him rapidly. Before
long he will have his 5,000 friend limit.

The Gerlachs were all around nature photographers of wildlife,
landscapes and macros of all kinds. He seems now to be primarily a
wildlife photographer.

As he always has, he managed to get this wildlife shot of a winter plumage Black-bellied
Plover, at the absolute perfect moment. Notice how close to eye level
we are to the bird. John’s either not as old as I think he is, or he
doesn’t care if it hurts, he wants the picture.


I am always heartened by the discovery that another one of the great
ones is still at it.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde

God Bless,


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