While floating along the French River on a recent vacation, camera close at hand, I spied a heron resting on the bank. As I tried to jockey into a position that would allow me to get a photo before the bird fled the scene, my mind travelled back to a heron in another place and time. That one proved far more elusive.
I had been working at the local newspaper for a few months back in the late 1980s. At that time, with limited budget and no artist, we featured a photograph on our editorial page, rather than a cartoon. These were typically of nature or wildlife, so I was ever watchful on road trips for any opportunity to get a nice picture.
One morning, while crossing the bridge that was on my route to work, I spied a heron wading in the low waters of the summer river. Quickly pulling over, I grabbed my camera, opened the door and watched it take off. For the remainder of that summer I took part in this woman versus animal contest. The bird often stopped by that river, and each time I spied it, I was a little more furtive in my approach for fear of scaring it off. Each time I got closer. Each time it flew before I could got the shot.
Eventually I gave up, declaring this splendid creature the winner.
Photographing wildlife isn't easy. Patience is perhaps your best asset, though my subject never gave me the chance to test mine. Animals will behave, well, like animals, so the photographer must be ready to seize the moment when it happens, no matter how long they have to wait for it. You need to be willing to kill some time, just like the photographers responsible for these pictures must have been.
National Geographic Best Wildlife Photos
iCLIPART.com Wildlife Photos
iPHOTOS.com Wildlife Collection
National Geographic Winter Wildlife Photography
Acclaim Images Wildlife Photos