Throwing Darts

I’ve previously used the expression “throwing darts against a wall”, for a description of how I selected a particular group of images to share with all of you on this blog, but today’s selection fits that terminology better than any have previously. Whatever that metaphorical dart hit, you see below.

In some respects, it can be more interesting to grab random images, than to spend time agonizing over what to show. The good, the bad, and the ugly….so to speak, is in many ways a better educational tool than just showing off carefully selected photos.

Vultures tend not to be the sort of birds that most avian photographers pursue. I would always photograph anything and everything. Whether I wound up making natural history photos, showing something interesting about a species, action images or art photos, to me, it was all in a day’s work. So to speak. Variety can in fact be, the “spice of life”.

I was driving out in the country one day alongside a river which had raised over its banks due to heavy rains. That fact meant the end for many fish, which washed into the fields only to die. One species death can mean life for another.

I have always loved vultures and all scavengers. They relieve the world of the smell of death, and provide through the life and reproduction of their own kind, new life. They don’t kill, they merely remove those who have already died.

In this area of North America, Turkey Vultures are the kings and queens of such.

Mmmmm, a sushi of sorts!!  Rotting sushi that is.

The vulture images were made from my car, while I was alongside a field. I wonder how may bird images that we see are made that way?

A portrait of a noisy Sandhill Crane can be captured, often easily, via that method.

This “mother to be” Killdeer, was patiently incubating her eggs right on the edge of a road. I made my image quickly and moved on. Hopefully she was successful.

This photo below of a deer in the water was also created from my car. In this case I was well back into a wildlife refuge and my subject was far from the road.

Capturing wildlife images has as many differing  sets of circumstances as is imaginable, and can be both fun and profitable.

Sometimes standing in plain sight, with a tripod anchored camera, is the best way to make wildlife images. This Purple Martin was photographed just that way. Often little birds will accept you in their world more readily than large ones.  There was a Purple Martin hotel so to speak, just out of camera view.

Water and birds, especially if the birds are in fact, actual waterbirds such as these two male “first winter” male Goldeneye ducks, make for a spectacular paring. 

The quality and tone of the water makes this image special, almost as much as the ducks do. If there had been no ducks there, I would have been making images of water.

This one is a young Pied Billed Grebe. It was also made from my car. Long lenses flatten perspectives and help bring viewers visually down or up to the level of the subject.

In the upper Midwest, spring is springing (sort of) and critters like this little Yellow-rumped Warble will soon be here and be plentiful. Keep your cameras ready. They seem to love to strike great poses.

Tiny critters are wildlife too. Such is the case with this caterpillar.  Slow approaches can be important with insects and other small members of the animal kingdom. While the winged creature that evolves from what you see here will be skittish, right now the caterpillar is unable to move fast. That means that slow photographers (like me) will have an advantage.

There are new fox babies everywhere right now. While the parents will be beautiful  enough and their babies will be cute, around September, those kits will reach one of the most physically beautiful points of their lives. Such was the case with this adolescent Red Fox as it appeared from a woodland next to an Illinois harbor.

Let us leave the world of wildlife and explore a couple of other subjects.

The flower season is just around the corner for much of the world. While accurate images of entire flowering plants, or even just images of the blossoms alone are an important part of flower photography, never forget that flowers are a work of art and I would suggest to treat them as such. The play of light and the shadows that the light creates, tells a story too.

 Make the image you know needs to be made, but also make the ones you want to make.

Flowers such as these wild Sunflowers can be pretty, but sometimes a pretty background, such as the sunset you see below, and the mere suggestion of the actual flower via a silhouette, can be just as powerful

Let us finish with a landscape, or maybe better said a waterscape.

Landscape type images do not always need spectacular colors or vivid details to convey a powerful message. In fact, the picture below was created deep into a national forest, and was actually made shortly after sunrise. No spectacular colors here despite that fact. The picture is moody almost to the point of being a bit scary.

As for me, I was just happy to find my way (via car) back out of the forest.

I miss those days and those journeys.

God Bless,
Wayne

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