Images, Thoughts on Travel, Equipment and Techniques that somehow relate to Nature & Wildlife Photography.

Spray and Pray

Great Egret [Casmerodius albus]

Great Egret in flight over Panama’s Pacific Coast

What is it with some photographers?  Just because a camera is capable of X number of frames per second does that mean it should always be fired at that rate?  Here is what I’m really wondering about… is waiting for and photographing the “decisive moment” a lost art? Too many questions? I have observed all too often, while photographing in a National Park or other public space with other wildlife photographers around that many really lay on the shutter release when there is action taking place.  Now, from time to time, I have ripped off a few shots of say, bull elk in the throes of a rut battle.  And sometimes that really does help get a sequence of behavior.

Moose [Alces alces] young bull visiting lake to feed, encounters Sandhill Crane pair with colts; Floating Island Lake, Yellowstone NP., Wyoming

Surprised young bull moose [Alces alces], visiting lake to feed, encounters Sandhill Crane pair with colts; Floating Island Lake, Yellowstone NP., Wyoming

 Here is where I perceive the difference. My style (which was honed during the dark ages of film…no high speed motors then) has been to take each image as a separate shot to build a comprehensive view. Do I always succeed?  No.  But then the machine gunners don’t either. What they do succeed in doing is making more work for themselves.

Moose [Alces alces] young bull visiting lake to feed, encounters Sandhill Crane pair with colts; Floating Island Lake, Yellowstone NP., Wyoming

Young bull confronts Crane pair while colts remain hidden in the tall grass;

Think about it, most people who photograph wildlife or landscapes love being out there and really grudgingly spend the time needed in front of their computers, editing, color correcting, filing and etc. So why shoot a dozen or dozens of images of the same subject when a few carefully considered shots would do. Now this is not an across the board indictment of say sports photographers and possibly motor sports shooters, theirs is a different world.  Although catching the perfect lay-up is timing, not firing at will. What I love best is someone out photographing large animals doing little or nothing (portrait time) and still blazing away. Really?  Some time spent learning the behavior of your quarry will result in far more keepers than spray and pray ever will.

American White Pelican [Pelecanus erythrorhynchos]; Fishing Bridge, Pelican Creek, Yellowstone NP, WY splash landing

American White Pelican [Pelecanus erythrorhynchos] splash landing; Fishing Bridge, Pelican Creek, Yellowstone NP, WY

An American White Pelican touch down.

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4 responses

  1. Great shots.

    May 4, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    • Lyle you’ve got some excellent shots as well, thanks for the comment.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM

  2. So much agree. And the high speed motor also gives an additional weigth, that I don’t have to carry around.. Interesting to see a fight between moose and crane. Wonderful pictures.

    May 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    • Thanks Bente…the moose and the cranes, another example of being there and being lucky.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

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