Most of my images are produced using feeling and emotion. My strongest images “just felt right” when I took them. This image, a portrait of a lone Bison bull wandering the open grassland in Yellowstone National Park, had that feeling. I had just taught a seminar in Grand Teton National Park and chose to take a longer route home, giving myself the opportunity to spend an evening in West Yellowstone. I was glad to be in such a secluded location, I was glad to be alone with my thoughts and emotions, I was enjoying the simplicity of being away. When this Bison wandered along, solitary, powerful, just being, I felt priveledged to share that time with him. This portrait symbolizes the power it takes to be strong, self reliant, alone and in the wild. Our wild spaces, and the creatures that inhabit them, do more than just create a healthy balanced ecosystem (which is very important); they are symbols of the strength and power we have within us (or strive toward building in ourselves). We need these wild places and creatures to exist for more reasons than most people realize. I hope this image shares that strength with you.
Photo Tip: Photographing wildlife is exciting. It can bring great joy to our lives. Unfortunately, many people get caught up in the moment and don’t respect the animals they want to photograph, taking a “get the shot at all costs” approach. Animals have a hard enough time making a living without people interfering. Study their habits and the natural signals they give. If you are causing them to alter their behaviour, back off. Wait until the opportunity presents itself appropriately. Not only can the animals be harmed by our thoughtless behaviour, you might get what you deserve in the end. Be respectful, revel in the experience, be grateful that you can come back another day and do it again.
Equipment used: Nikon D300, Nikon 200-400 F4 AF VR lens, Nikon 1.4x teleconverter, Gitzo 1325 Carbon Tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head. No camouflage was used in the making of this image!