Monday, August 1, 2016

A Walk on the Wild Side


 It's been an extremely busy Summer so far beginning with my daughter Sarah's graduation from high school, followed by a 5 day cruise to Bermuda with the entire family to celebrate my Mother's 75th birthday. The day after returning from the cruise, we brought our camper down to the Geneseo Air Show to host a photography class on air show photography in conjunction with Sigma's Marc Farb who brought several cases of lenses for us to use. We were then back home for five days, which included two photography classes, a pulled wisdom tooth and two weddings.

 The next adventure brought me to Hobart and William Smith Colleges for the Professional Photographer's Society of New York State Summer Workshop. At Workshop you get to spend five days with one instructor immersing yourself in to in-depth, hands-on learning on a single topic. My instructor for the week was my good friend Scott Dere, who is a world class wildlife photographer. I've always wanted to do wildlife photography as a hobby to break up the day-to-day photography I do to earn a living. The Workshop gave me that opportunity with trips to Wildlife Defenders, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Mendon Ponds Park, Chimney Bluffs State Park, the Seneca Army Depot and even the city pier in Geneva to photograph a family of mink.

 Although each of these locations are in my "backyard", I went in with a fresh perspective and the guidance of someone who may not have known the locations, but had a keen sense of wildlife behavior and photographic techniques to approach the animals. Armed with that knowledge, I was able to capture some amazing images of things I may have completely overlooked otherwise. For example, for the last 25 years I've driven through Montezuma Wildlife Refuge on the Thruway and saw nothing but grass. Going there with Scott literally opened my eyes to this amazing resource so close to home. I was able to photograph Osprey on the hunt for fish, Egrets, Herons, Purple Martins, Swallows, and more. There are also several Bald Eagles that nest there but were to shy for the camera that day.

 Our last trip was down to the Seneca Army Depot to see if we could photograph a rare herd of white deer that reside there. After spending an hour driving the perimeter of the Depot, a young white buck came out of the woods and posed for us for a few minutes before disappearing like a ghost in the night.

 The whole week was an amazing experience reigniting my passion for photography, especially areas of photography that I often neglect while running a studio. My Mid-Summer New Year's Resolution is to keep the fire going and take time to photograph things for myself more often.















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