One of the dangers of thinking at all in the 21st Century is that there always seems to be a computer with a keyboard and internet access within reach. Most “thoughts” wind up being out loud today, so to speak. I’ll try to make today’s post painless.
I saw a discussion the other day between two people giving their opinions on what are the most important things that we as a people, can give or receive. I learned from the discussion that I am really a pretty simple person, and have much less grandiose wants and ambitions than many other people.
For me, learning and teaching are the epitome of what to take, and what to give.
I am sure most other people would be unselfish enough to first say teaching (giving) , and then learning. My view is that we have to learn before we can teach. Besides that, I don’t doubt that I am far down the scale in my aptitude and skill set as a teacher, but I can always be a great learner. Teaching is difficult.
For my opinions on what’s important to me, beyond the typical worldly subjects that are generally obsessed over, the link below will take you to an article I wrote a couple of months ago, called The Search.
Almost every move forward I’ve made in my life, has come to me through my hunger to find answers. My worst times, those times when any movement at all was backwards, came when I accepted the world around me “as is”. I have had my fair share of both forward and backward movement, but it has always been guided by how I accept or reject the world around me.
The Ballad of the Coyote
One of the most magnificent animals we have in North America is also the most hated and persecuted. They are cunning, and so resourceful that generations of coyotes have abandoned their wilderness existence to live in places like Central Park, New York City, and by the thousands (literally) in the city of Chicago.
I used to have coyotes occupying dens every year right across the street from my house. They used the rocks that are piled along the Lake Michigan bank. One year when the coyotes were absent, Red Foxes used the same area. They have all given up that site and I am all the poorer for it.
Around about three months ago I was headed home in the car and I had the prettiest adult coyote cross the road in front of me, about a mile from my house. This one had some black streaking in its fur and was quite large. That adds up to a dog/coyote cross. As I said, coyotes are resourceful and a love affair with a dog is common.
Below is one of only three coyotes I have ever photographed. This one was in Yellowstone N. P. which means it was pretty easy. I was standing outside the car and made these images not long after sunrise. I used a 300mm lens with a cushion resting on the car as a tripod. He/she is hunting but was not successful while I watched and made pictures.
If I had to do it over again, I would have grabbed my 500mm and tripod, and moved out ahead of my subject, giving it plenty of room, and chanced that it would come straight to me. Eventually some face shots with further crops would have meant some compelling imagery. Of course those first more distant images would have put my subject in the context (as these do) of its environment.
I have always preferred my wildlife portraits to be made with either unobtrusive backgrounds, or detail filled backgrounds. Normally in-between shots like the one of a Sandhill Crane below, languish in my files. I caught this one on a pleasant morning in Horicon Marsh NWR in Wisconsin. There were a few years, where I visited this hotbed location of great subjects as much as 40 times in one year.
I always started out for Horicon on my 90 mile journey, in the wee hours of the morning in an effort for my day of making images to begin like this.
I’ve shown this image from Monument Valley before, as I have shown all of today’s pictures before. I re-share this one because I have perked it up a bit in the editing process.
Originally the rock formation was somewhat dull and underexposed. The sky and clouds were pretty as you see them now. In Photoshop, I outlined and separated the sky and clouds from the land. I then clicked to reverse the area to be worked on to feature the land. Then I increased the exposure on that section only until the vibrant details that existed that day were obvious. I give you both versions so you can see the somewhat subtle differences.
A peaceful beginning to the day, Wolf Lake, Wisconsin. Everybody has their locations near home for interesting sunrises/sunsets and the enormous Lake Michigan, and the smallish Wolf Lake were two of my favorites. Sunrise can be serene beyond description.