There's nothing like getting outdoors to enjoy your surroundings. Too often, the hustle and bustle of everyday living takes over and we no longer take a minute to "stop and smell the roses." As a photographer I try to take every opportunity to get out and do just that. Whether it's a stroll along the beach, a hike through the woods or a state park, or just observing wildlife at a nearby lake.
Photographing wildlife is by far the most challenging photography I have done. More often than not, a wildlife shot involves a tremendous amount of time and research. Finding a location to photograph your subject, considering the location of the sun, trees, and other natural surroundings, and determining the daily patterns of your subject, all come into play. Oh, and yes, occasionally you are in the right place at the right time, with the right gear. The Gray Seal pictured above was one of those times. This young seal was very ill and had stranded itself along one of our local beaches along the Jersey Shore. The seal was rescued by Marine Mammal Stranding Center and later released.
Some shots involve a test a patience and stealth. Sitting at a location for hours waiting for that one moment to arrive, or creeping through a field to get a better vantage point, or standing in ankle deep mud hoping....and waiting.....just a few scenarios. Island Beach State Park is a well known state park with great fishing, walking trails, and birding areas. Red Fox roam the park freely but unfortunately some have become almost tame due to people throwing food to them as they drive by. I have been to the park more times than I can count looking for a shot of a Red Fox in it's beach habitat with no sign of man in the image; no road, fence, building, car, etc....After observing a fox running about the dunes and brush, I decided to just sit along a sandy path and wait. Finally the fox shown below walked down the path toward me. Although the sun was behind the fox and not in the greatest location, it helped to add to the magnificent color in the fur and the shadow on the face brings out the look....
So next time you have time away from hustle and bustle of everyday....get out and enjoy your surroundings. Look around and observe your surroundings. Be patient, be quiet....look and listen. You just might be amazed at what you will see. Bring your camera along, for you just might see something so amazing your friends won't believe you. Perfect example is the shot below: While taking my morning stroll along a local beach (camera in hand of course) I spotted a pod of dolphins approaching....as they got closer they began to feed maybe 40yds. off the beach and then...this shot: It's an amazing world we live in....Get out there and live on the wild side!