Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Bird Brain

  When traveling I like to see new things like most people do. I also enjoy photographing my experiences so that I can relive them anytime I want and also to continue proving to my mother in law that I am the superior photographer, which by the way is no contest. I love to photograph historical landmarks, buildings and breathtaking vistas during magic hour. Of course a perk of traveling is seeing local wildlife that can't be found where you're from. These animals can be exotic or they may be ordinary, some may be wild while others may be domesticated but to you they are special so you photograph them.        This is what I find myself doing on each trip especially if I'm going to Yellowstone National Park or somewhere else that is known for wildlife. But what I've discovered while going through my photos is that there seems to be an overabundance of birds.
  It isn't intentional. I mean, I like birds and all, they're really fun to hunt but I hadn't really looked at them as a focus of photography, yet here they are popping up in every folder on my hard drive. I have photos of pelicans from Florida, grouse from Bodie, blue birds form Yosemite and Flamingos from Sea World. I found a sneaky wood pecker at Silver Lake in Utah as well as some ducks. Everywhere I look I see birds and it doesn't make sense. Yes it surprises me but it doesn't disappoint me. Through photography I have learned something about myself and that is, I seem to find birds to be an interesting subject. I like taking pictures and it doesn't matter what it is because taking photos is fun and is a creative outlet but somewhere in my brain when I see one of these feathered creatures my inner wildlife photographer tries to capture them in a perfect shot.
   My primary purpose of travel is to see interesting things which means I'm not able to set aside the proper time to needed to get the greatest landscape photos during "magic hour" but it seems that the birds find me when they want to be photographed. Are all of these photos great? Maybe not but I'm not selling them. The birds and I seem to come together at very interesting times which make the photos even more special like the Bodie grouse that wandered out for me and my daughter during a wind and rain storm. Had the wind not picked up I'm sure they would have remained hidden in the sage brush and we would have never seen them. On a trip to Yellowstone we had gotten up and entered the park at around 6 am and I don't even remember what the main purpose was but we ended up pulling over next to the Madison River with a thick fog hovering around us and we were able to snap some photos of geese fording the river. In that case I didn't have the proper zoom lens on the camera but there wasn't really time to change so I settled for what I got. Is it a great photo? No but I enjoy it because it reminds me of standing on the Madison River with my daughter who was four years old at the time.
  Is there a point to my little story? Maybe. I found it interesting that I've learned to appreciate something that I had no intention of ever paying attention to. Through the lens I've found beauty in unexpected places and while I don't think that bird photography will ever be a primary objective of my travel photography I don't think it hurts it either. So to you, dear reader, I implore you to always have a camera with you while you travel and don't be afraid to snap a photo of whatever catches your eye because it may just teach you something about yourself.

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