Saturday, August 6, 2011

Best laid plans

As a wildlife and nature photographer sometimes what you plan to do and what you actually end up doing are two very different things.  As a wildlife and nature photographer I am very dependant on two things the weather and the wildlife itself.  These two factors can be researched, studied, and planned for but I will never be fully in control of them.

When I go out to take photos I generally go with a plan in mind about what I want to photograph and how and where I want to do it.  What I planned on doing today was photographing sunrise at the river.  I checked to see what the weather was predicted to be around sunrise today.  Partly cloudy with very little chance of rain.  I liked that forecast.  I like to have clouds in my sunrise and sunset photos.

So I planned what I would need to get the photos I wanted.  Tripod, check.  18-200mm zoom lens, check.  Three different levels of graduated ND filters, check.  Filter holder, check. 

I checked the location where I wanted to shoot and where the sun should rise in relation to where I'd be.  It looked like it would work out good. 

When I arrived at my location in the morning I was a little troubled.  There were thick clouds and thick fog in the sky.  Not even a glint of the sun was getting through.  The tripod, 18-200mm lens, and filters never even got unpacked.

 I had a backup plan.  I brought my 300mm, 1.4 teleconverter, and my 60mm macro lens.  I knew there were lots of great blue heron in this area so I would try to photograph them.  Unfortunately for me there was very little light.  I saw several great blue herons and green herons but they would not move to where I was.  When I tried to approach them I was unable to get within range of my lens without them moving off farther away.
Still I persisted.  Plan C: macro photography.  There were lots of wild flowers growing along the river.  So I turned my focus to photographing the flowers and the insects pollinating them.  I think I was still able to come away with some keepers despite my plans not working out quite the way I had planned.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Humans and Nature

For all the advancements and achievements our species has accomplished perhaps our biggest limitation is our inability to live in cooexistance with nature.  I am in some ways as guilty as any.  We are able to shape our world to meet our needs but we are unable or unwilling to preserve nature.  In our drive for advancement and "progress" we have driven multiple species to extinction and others to the very brink of that same fate.  Upon realizing our transgressions we have in some cases tried to preserve these species we almost eradicated by reintroducing them to areas they used to inhabbit before humans encroached on their land.  Perhaps the most famous example of this is the reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowston National Park.  After all the hard work that has been done to resore this majestic species their fate has been left in the hands of the very groups that were responsible for their exterpation in the first place.  I do not understand why this path has beechosen for the wolf.  I also don't understand how their fate can be left in the hands of those that have the most to gain from their destruction.