Grizzly 06

About "Wild Things"

Capturing wildlife is my favorite form of photography, and the most challenging. Because photography has never been my sole occupation, I have not had the benefit of lenses that are typically used to capture magnificent photos of exotic wildlife. Instead, I must rely on the study of animal behavior and travel to “target-rich” environments to photograph many of these creatures. Because of limitations of equipment, I often use my feet instead of a zoom to get close (within reason). Wildlife photography requires careful consideration of human safety as well as the well-being of wildlife, and great care must be taken to protect both.

The majority of animals found in this gallery (and one called "Wings") are truly wild, living free in the mountains, trees, deserts, canyons, valleys, waters and skies. Some exceptions are domestic animals and those encountered in zoos where I do volunteer work. In a few cases, I have had the opportunity to experience animals that live in large preserves without bars. Because it is important to me, I will never identify an image as wild unless it is. 

In addition to wildlife photography, one of my favorite things to do is teach others how to capture better wildlife photos. Not everyone has the opportunity to travel to exotic places and capture images of grizzly bears slapping salmon from waterfalls, but this doesn’t mean that wildlife photography can’t be enjoyed by more people. Wildlife photography skills can be developed in your backyard and neighborhood where dogs, cats, feral children, squirrels, birds and other creatures live. Wildlife photography skills can be furthered developed in parks, zoos and rural areas, then mountains and lakes. The next level requires going to “target-rich” environments such as national parks, seashores and states where there is an abundance of wildlife such as Alaska.

But even an African safari won't produce excellent images unless you first develop camera skills and knowledge of things such as composition, exposure, shutter speed and animal behavior. The key is to shoot what is available to you on a consistent basis, and this kind of shooting can be fun.

In addition to teaching others how to shoot better wildlife photos, I am currently finishing a book that includes all of the information provided in my workshops called “Where the Wild Things Are: A Guide to Better Wildlife Photography.” Although none of this will result in my images  being published in National Geographic, it is a fun thing to do, especially with the young and young at heart.

With a camera in your hand, life can always be “wild.”

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