Let us start with today with a couple of images from two well-known veterans of photography.
First from Darrell Guilin we have what was once a common photography subject, but today a rare one. That is an image of a cowboy in action. We have a pretty “painted horse”. I owned horses of a wide variety of colors, but never owned a paint. Painted horses are what is called a color breed and they can be double registered as say a Quarter Horse or other breed as well as a Paint. Slighter built animals with maybe breeding from Arab, Morgan, or other less bulky type horses than Quarter Horses, are called or registered as Pintos instead of Paints.
This is a delightful slow shutter speed action photo. Darrell captures the body fairly crisp, but the legs and background are soft. All intentionally.
Photography great Tom Till captured this photo of the edge of a volcanoe. This is not a new subject to photographers but of course you need an active volcano to make the picture. Volcanoes are currently becoming more active and that was something predicted long before science.
I so enjoy photographers who capture unique subjects like this.
From the unique to the common.
Wildlife photography, especially bird photography, is one of image making’s most popular subjects. As someone who dedicated countless hours to the subject of birds, I can only say that try it, and you’ll see why.
This pretty little male Bufflehead Duck was floating around just soaking up the sun when I caught him in this nice pose.
I always loved photographing Warblers and the many challenges that these active little birds brought forth. Capturing one in mid song is a common aspiration among photographers, and I must say I did not succeed all that often. That means when you manage to accomplish it, you never forget the moment.
There are little birds, than again there are big birds. The Sandhill Crane is a favorite of all wildlife photographers because they are very active birds for being so large. I have spent hours with these critters and none has ever been a waste.
Of course the other popular wildlife subject is mammals. That might be because we can see a bit of ourselves in them. While often our wild pictures of mammals, and I should say that all of the photos below were all made in the wild, can almost look posed. The truth is, mammal photography can be harder than birds as they are more often hidden, and can slip away out of sight in seconds.
The images below are all quite old.
I called this male Pronghorn Antelope the King. He did what he wanted when he wanted and only visited the herd when he felt like it. When I made this image, he wanted to lay down.
Mountain Bighorn Sheep tend to pose for nice photos. These pictures where made in the Black Hills of South Dakota. They are sort of a signature animal in those parts.
This “brutish” Elk was in Yellowstone N.P. when I clicked the shutter on him. He only had two cows which told me he either wasn’t very old, or he did not care for fighting. He timed this stare in my direction perfectly as I had just gotten ready to click.
Bighorn Sheep in South Dakota’s Black Hills
Certainly foxes are near or at the top of my list for mammal photography. Like many wild animals they will act as though they don’t see you much of the time. Just when you think you will never be given eye contact, they stare you right in the eyes. Or the camera lens.
There aren’t a lot of armored mammals. The Armadillo is one that is. I have only seen two in the wild in my life, and they were two days apart. This one was in southeastern Texas, and the other was in Oklahoma.
With this one, I am laying on my stomach a few feet front of my subject. I am using a 300mm lens and later made an almost identical image with a 105mm lens. It was digging in the grasses for ants and such and truly did not care about me. I always wanted to get some much better images but such was not the case.
The Armadillo I saw two days later was spotted while I was driving. It ran from me while I attempted to get an image from my car with my 500mm lens plus 1.4 tele-converter. I failed, as this one wanted nothing to do with me.
Never give up.