Something wrong with this picture

I always expected photographing wildlife would be difficult – it’s just part of my naturally optimistic nature.

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The rocks in this photo miraculously rose up from the ground in the split second between my decision to take the photo and when I pushed the shutter. Science simply cannot explain how this happened.

After a few years of chasing wild creatures, I now expect to:

  • Wander aimlessly for hours and find nothing
  • Catch glimpses of animal butts bounding away at the first sight of me
  • Get blurry photos after someone forgot to change the camera settings
  • Watch a branch miraculously grow right across a creature that finally stopped moving
  • See a rock rise up from the earth and hide a bear precisely when I hit the shutter

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It just comes with the territory. And most of the time it’s a small price to pay for the euphoria of those special moments in the company of wildlife.

More recently, I have been surprised by an unexpected challenge (or opportunity as even more optimistic people would say).

The new challenge is getting mocked. It has become a humiliating ritual at a nearby lake. I see some chickadees so I set up my camera and tripod. I chase them thru my lens all over the trees, rarely getting a decent shot since they spend about 0.8 seconds on every branch. Some day I may share my favourite tree branch images.

Just about the time I’m getting a bit frustrated, the chickadees start landing on my lens! Last time I took my point-and-shoot camera to try to record the event. As I was trying to take the photo of a chickadee on my big lens, another one landed on my little camera! I was double mocked!

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It’s not easy watching these tiny birds mock me by repeatedly landing on my lens. There are actually four birds in the photo (can you find them) and I think they all had a turn.

I may have to take up wedding photography until my pride recovers.

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Latest Comments

  1. Outlier Babe says:

    Smart of you to catch those tricky so-called innocents in the act. If Hitchcock taught us anything, it’s that one can never have too many cameras when trying to film avian troublemakers.

    Thanks for the leisure pleasure!

    Like

  2. ailsapm says:

    Oh Lyle, this cracked me up, those heartless chickadees. 🙂

    Like

  3. Fast Pam says:

    ha ha! I have taken sooo many photos of animal butts over the years! perhaps you could turn it into a coffee table book? who knows? It could become a hit!

    Like

  4. janina says:

    Isn’t life grand?!! It keeps us on our toes. I can see three birds, where’s the fourth? Your humorous dilemmas are the reason I don’t ‘do’ animals, although recently some insects have visited me at night and have made for some interesting closeups! Lovely post and pix.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      If you follow the red ring on the lens half way way to the top of the photo, you’ll find it hiding in the trees. Life is grand when I’m in the company of wildlife. The dilemmas are all manufactured fun. I guess the highs are good enough to make up for most of the waiting.

      Like

  5. mflahertyphoto says:

    Funny Lyle! Chickadees are very good at mocking. And you’re not the only one who has rapidly growing branches and amazingly sped-up continental uplift!

    Like

  6. Ziello Photography says:

    Ha Ha..very cute! I like your style of writing & the photo is great too.

    Like

  7. Charissa says:

    HAHAHAHAHA! This is hilarious.

    Like

  8. cowen1970 says:

    Love this!! And so true! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!!

    Like

  9. Duckprints Gallery says:

    Gorgeous work. Will enjoy following your blog.

    Like

  10. Sid Dunnebacke says:

    Heh. It’s like when other parents muse about their children being up to no good, and I suddenly feel better as a parent. To hear your foibles with photography makes me feel better as a person with a camera.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Glad to make you feel better! I’m guessing most photos represent the tip of the iceberg for the effort that got put into that particular photo or the journey to get the knowledge to do it. Besides if it all works out, that’s a boring story.

      Like

  11. hannele says:

    your humour is awesome. and those birds seem to have a sense of it, too! i guess this is the birds’ way of talking back at you.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Those birds have likely enjoyed every minute they have had fun at my expense. I recall my first encounter with this bunch when they started flying right by my head and I thot I must be too close to a nest so I moved and they just followed me and probably laughed about it. Always glad to know the humour is not just funny to me though I’m sure that happens.

      Like

  12. Rejoice For The Day says:

    Just when I was sure I only saw three of the birds, the last one showed up! Great post and that is a pretty impressive camera.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      The last one was a little obscure. Glad you liked the post. Yes the lens is special and a bit of a dream come true after about 15 years of hoping. Now I need a pack mule to haul it around!!

      Like

  13. photographybycalliec says:

    wow the bear, is that scary,how far away from the bear are you? Bloody nice lens, I only see 3 birds on the lens where is no.4? great shots as always.
    Cheers Callie

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      I was on a road at the top of a hill maybe 80 or more metres away – it helps to have a long lens (that I am extremely grateful for except when carrying) to cut down the scary factor!
      The fourth bird is the tricky one which I didn’t see for days. Find the red ring on the lens and go straight up about half way to the top of the photo.

      Like

  14. Phil Lanoue says:

    Oh, I almost forgot to ask…what in the world is all that white stuff all over the ground in that photo?!? 😯

    Like

  15. Phil Lanoue says:

    I see the four, that is hysterical! Those little smarta$$ birds need a good talking to I’m thinking.
    Excellent observations about wildlife photography. I too have had a certain someone change my camera settings without my permission. I wonder if it’s the same individual who sneaks into my closet at night and replaces all my pants with ones that have tighter waists? 😕
    And I truly dislike branches that instantly sprout up right in front of the face of my subject. Seems even the plant life is conspiring against me at times.
    And butt shots are a true fact of life.
    I’m still going to stay with wildlife over weddings though. At least the alligators don’t complain later that I made them look fat.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      The alligators probably want to look fat and well fed. I too will stick to wildlife photography and complaining about it since I can’t imagine anything worse than wedding photography for me.
      I’m glad I’m not the only one dealing with issues. I hadn’t thot that the same individual might be tightening my pants as well. Maybe I should talk to the birds since waving my arms wildly seems to be highly ineffective.

      Like

  16. westerner54 says:

    Too funny. And that chickadee looks quite proud of himself.

    Like

  17. The Green Study says:

    Very funny post. Out of curiosity, is there an ethical dilemma for photographers to bring along a pocketful of bird seed? I’m not sure about it, since I’m not a photographer. I suppose luring animals to a certain spot or adding unnatural elements defeats the challenge of the wait and chase.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Always nice to know people enjoy my humour.
      Ethics and wildlife photography is a huge topic with many different views. Your point about the chase resonates with me since I doubt I could bring myself to take photos in a zoo, and if I did, I would definitely mention the location in the caption. Though after finding nothing yesterday, there are downsides to the chase. Feeding animals like bears is obviously a terrible idea since it habituates them and causes huge problems that might mean the bear has to be killed. I am not a serious birder so I haven’t really thot about it much. I know that it’s quite common to attract birds with food and I don’t have an issue with it since I can’t really see a downside. But I’m probably not the best person to ask.

      Like

      • Amit says:

        I personally think it’s not a nice thing to do. I was recently at Kensington Metropark in MI and the Chickadees and Titmice there seemed to have been over exposed to human interaction and feeding. All one had to do was to extend the hand and they would fly in expecting food. Not sure how these birds manage when human forays into the parks comes down in winter.

        Like

        • lylekrahn says:

          What you are saying seems to make sense. However, the lake I go to in winter has a bird feeding area where there are usually piles of bird seed – not sure who brings it. All the birds and squirrels seem to gather to eat it. Yet the only bird that will come anywhere close to me is the chickadee. The conclusion I have drawn is chickadees are different. Perhaps there are other factors.

          Like

  18. FeyGirl says:

    Hahahah! Ah, thanks for the early laugh… You seem to nail every one; the aimless wandering (well, I hike, so that’s OK), the captured bums, the well-shot branches, and ridiculous camera settings when I DO actually spy a critter! Fantastic.

    But on a nicer note, I love the bear and it’s a wonderful shot of the bird on your camera… Says it all. 🙂

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      If there is a way to foul up wildlife photography I do it. Glad you thot it was funny. I have much nicer shots of the bear from that day had to find an excuse to throw in an extra one.

      Like

  19. Mike Powell says:

    Weddings? You have to be kidding. Birds may mock you, but the idea of photographing a wedding gives me nightmares. There are so many personalities and pressures to deal and extreme time pressure. At least the bear is not going to give you feedback on how you make him look. I recommend shooting flowers. Mostly they sit still and let you approach them from any angle you want.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      I was kidding about weddings. I actually couldn’t think of anything worse. Shooting photos of anything that can talk back quickly becomes an issue. It must be my control issues.

      Like

  20. Pani Peonia says:

    Tit is such a lovely bird!

    Like

  21. Gunta says:

    It would help if you’d let us enlarge the image. I’m not sure if one white spot is a bird…

    Like

  22. franzsfeaturedfotos~Photography by: Peggy Franz says:

    Great stuff!:) I always expect the unexp.

    Like

  23. vanbraman says:

    I can see all four. Great picture.

    Like

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