It pays to be patient…again

Snow Geese

So, it you didn’t know, this is a common theme for wildlife photography. Unlike fashion shoots, portrait photography, or headshots, you have to go with the flow when working with wildlife. You are dependent on the sun for light, wild animals seldom do what you want them to do, and they sit around and sleep a lot. So with  a lot of my posts and when in the field, you just need to learn to be patient.

I am with some great friends spending a week in New Mexico and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge which is one of the most important and oldest wildlife hotspots in the United States, established in 1939. We stopped by what is locally known as the flight deck where we got to witness a few snow geese “explosions” on the pond. At first, it looked like another blah morning again like we have had so many of this past week with overcast skies and clouds set on blocking out the sun. Then the sky turned blue and orange and then things get quiet for a second before all the snow geese decide to go in to the air. Waiting for the geese to pass in front of that great morning color, it just makes for greater impact than boring gray skies.

Then, I looked at Carol, Richard, and Andy and said that’s that. Sometimes the geese come back to the spot on the pond that they were and sometimes they head off over the trees. So we packed up the black Suburban and headed around the loop. As we came around the bend and up ahead I saw a mass of white in the corn fields. All the snow geese had headed over to the cut corn fields for some breakfast. We stopped and looked for a second and watched the geese and said, OK, geese in a field.

I was about to head on when I noticed the geese were one and two at a time going flying in air and setting back down somewhere else in the field. I decided this would be a good spot to get out the new #Nikon500mmf56epf for some quick hand-held shots. I put on the #NikonD850 and got out of car, not sure anyone was going to follow me. Then they heard the D850 going a Carol got out of the car. A few seconds later, we just started to hear the mass beat of wings as all the geese burst in to the air. The circled a few times and then sat right back down where they were. They did this another 3 times over the course of 45 mins providing us with the snow geese “explosion” shots we had seen during the week but were not as spectacular as this morning. 

And that can be the frustrating thing about wildlife photography. You need the animals, weather, and light all to be cooperating with you to get what you want. And that takes patience, time, and luck to be at the right place at the right time.

This entry was posted in Travel, Wildlife.

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Copyright Eric Mitch 2018