A smile came across face when I recently received my new Ridgefield NWR annual pass in the mail. Though the weather has still been hot like summer, the birds have already begun to move. I'm excited to see what this autumn and winter will in bring photographically, it's my favorite time of year. The bird photography that I enjoy so much, and that was my main subject of interest as I became interested in photography is changing, and has to change.
The more I learn, and the more photos I take, the more I want to grow and try to focus on taking exceptional photos. This is obviously easy to say, and more difficult to do. Without doubt, a lot of photographers would say they strive to do the same. But here's the catch; the trip I took to Bosque Del Apache NWR last winter with my friend Bruce wrecked my bird photography. The photography opportunities at the Bosque were so out of this world, and I just can't go back to Ridgefield and try to shoot birds the same as I have done in years past. It's just not good enough anymore. I simply don't have to gear to make the photos of birds that I want to make. My gracious wife has let me acquire a lot of nice camera gear, but this generosity has ended short of the purchase of a very large and very expensive white lens to shoot birds with, and I can't blame her at all! Even if I did get one, I don't have the time to commit to shooting birds that getting exceptional bird photos would demand. I have a little son in the sweetest season of his life (just beginning to enter the terrible two's), and a daughter soon on the way. I'm not going to miss this precious time with my family for some photos of birds.
But as I continue to be inspired my more artistic photography, I am excited to get back to Ridgefield in the hopes that it shows more of the beautiful and mystical fog, mist and light that I've seen there in the past. I'm excited to capture more avian landscapes and long exposures of birds flight, trying to capture artistic scenes. So as the evenings cool and the days get shorter, most Portlanders dread the return of the gloomy winter rain. But not me. My anticipation is growing as we're entering the best months of the year for photography!
This photo of sandhill cranes in flight is from Campbell Lake at Ridgefield NWR from a special photo tour two years ago. Normally Campbell lake is off limits to the public.