The Great Journey in Photography

OMG It’s On Like Donkey Kong

 This week Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away. I would not be where I am today were it not for Apple products helping me navigate the world of visual arts. From computers to photo books and gift cards all the products and services have always exceeded my expectations and provided a wonderful user experience. As an Apple user and shareholder I am eternally grateful to him for the innovation and leadership he provided. He enriched the lives of millions. Condolences to Steve’s family and friends, best wishes to all of us who are consumed with a feeling of great loss. Let us all look forward to the next “one more thing”.

red tailed hawk

420mm f4.5 400iso 1/640sec

Just when you know you can’t stand another nanosecond of Chaz Bono’s clip-pity clop across the dance floor and all the brown nosed jabroni’s standing in line to exclaim ” I admire your courage so much Chaz!” When you know you just can’t take it any more, it becomes Fall. That perfect time when the colors of the trees change, days become shorter and the air gets crisp. Suddenly you realize that the sun travels through out the day much lower to the horizon and the golden hours are just a little more golden. The Wintering wildlife begins to arrive too. Pelicans, Geese, Cormorants, Ducks, Egrets and tons of other birds invade the coast line to enjoy our warmer temperatures. Moose Peterson says Fall is the best time of the year for photographing wildlife because all the animals are fat and have pristine coats. It’s the most magical time of year.

Last week I was enjoying a beautiful magic hour and sunset getting some really nice images of a Tern and some Cormorants flying by. Funny thing happened though, I noticed a group of photographers gathered in a small rest area sitting on benches. I could only imagine what they were doing, perhaps swapping lies and congratulating themselves for a good days work, maybe they were measuring the length of their lenses or perhaps they were just exhausted. The one thing that immediately crossed my mind was why aren’t they out making photographs? The light was that good. I purposely avoided the group by circling around them. I didn’t want to lose any time by engaging in a conversation. Perhaps they thought me an anti-social jerk. That’s cool. Usually it would be true but still I couldn’t afford to lose the time.

Just a couple of minutes later I happened upon the hawk that you see in the image above. It was keeping watch on a recent kill and it was not really interested in moving. That gave me a great chance to make some wonderful images in some really good light. Just as I was finishing up my portrait session one of those photographers came along. It was one of the guys I see regularly and speak with from time to time. I clued him in to the bird. To which he replied that the bird had been there for a while and that the whole group had photographed it much earlier. He said they all got their shots. The only words that came out of my mouth as I continued to shoot was “not in this light”.

It may very well be that one or all of those other photographers is far more talented than I and it is very possible they have more experience. I would consider it a personal failing should I ever think of myself as better than any other photographer but come on guys-You have to honor the golden hour! I can’t afford to miss the golden hour, I don’t have time and I owe it to myself, I owe it to the craft and most of all I owe it to my subject.

Thanks for reading and please take a moment to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

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