Glacier Park Photographer

Glacier Park Photographer
Chief Mountain, Fall Colors - © tonybynum.com

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Grizzly News From Glacier, Spring Waterfowl - Success?


Glacier Grizzlies -
It's true, some bears are active. Some say, the bears are out early this year. While that may be true, grizzly bears often "wake-up" during their winter slumber regardless of the weather. The fact that these bears are digging I suspect means they are hungry! They have incredible senses and can detect food far below the snow's surface. I invite you to check out the recent short news video from Montana news channel 13 KECI - KECI Glacier Park Grizzly Video

Spring Waterfowl -
Yesterday, after getting up at 3:30 A.M. and driving for an hour and half, I arrived, in the dark at Freezeout.  I quickly  loaded all my gear into my back pack (this included lenses, cameras, blind, coat, food, water, etc.,) and hiking about a mile to a small cove on the far west lake. I spent the day sitting on the shore of that lake trying to photograph migrating waterfowl.

As it turns out, photographically speaking, it was a bust. It seemed that every bird was flying away from me, no matter which way the wind was blowing or which way I faced.  I shot nothing that was an improvement on what I already have. For me, this is uncommon, usually I'm able to come home with images I think are improvements from my last shoot. As I sat this morning thinking about my "wasted" day it made me ask myself what really was wasted - was anything really wasted?

I measure success in two ways. 1. How did the shooting experience make me feel, and 2. Did I bring home salable images. The answer for question two: I did not come home with any salable images. The answer to question one: Yes, I had fun and feel good about the experience. Sometimes it's not all about salable images (or am I just trying to justify my "wasted" day)?

Hum, I can tell you this much, as much as I wish there had been cooperative subjects, and good light, both were not available. Nevertheless rather than leave I choose to stick it out thinking that no matter how poor are my images, there would be something to gain by sitting there, hunkered down in my blind watching the day, and birds fly by.

Over the course of the day I saw the weather go from gray to grayer, from cold and windy to colder, and windier, and wet. I watched the day pass and left my hide feeling like all I did was learn that it's cold when the wind blows rain on you. On further reflection I think what I did yesterday was shake the cobwebs out, smell the roses, clear my head and prepare my mind for shooting fast moving waterfowl this spring. At purely a mechanical level, it gave me a chance to make sure all my gear was working properly and tuned me for the coming days.

After a long winter of shooting no, or slow action subjects, a day out watching birds, "practicing," and clearing my mind was just what I needed. Sure it would have been nice to bring home some keepers, but that's not what I did. On-the-other-hand, I watched some beautiful birds, followed with my binoculars a coyote too far away to photograph chase some birds; I saw an eagle fly over and dive bomb a flock of geese then, on my way out, I found a four point shed deer antler (yea I'm still at Freezeout Waterfowl Production Area - but this is still Montana you know). . . Overall the day was a a great success, it was a good use of my time even though I did not come home with a bunch of great images.

Have a wonderful day!

Tony
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