coyote, Jasper, attentive

Finding Photos in Expected Places

Can you “see” a photo before you make it? One person couldn’t.

I recall Darwin Wigget describing how he had his camera set up on a tripod to take a landscape shot. Someone wandered by and asked what he was photographing. Darwin invited him to look through his camera. The person was surprised at the wonderful view and exclaimed, “You must have an expensive camera.”

I like to think that I have made some progress visualizing scenes though I’m sure there are days when I’ve missed some beauties. The challenge is that there’s no formula for what I like. (And we haven’t even started with your tastes!)

For example, given the choice between simple or busy – I thot I would pick simple. After all, the gurus I read have often talked about getting rid of the unnecessary clutter. Then I found two images that I quite like but they are notably different.

I was fortunate to find this beautiful coyote surrounded by multi-coloured grass that blurred together wonderfully into a undistracting background.

coyote, Jasper, attentive

There’s something intriguing about those coyote ears perked sideways.

My eyes are immediately drawn to the attentive gaze of the coyote with those big, beautiful eyes. It makes a simple composition that draws attention to the unknown focus of the animal with all senses on high alert.

The contrast with the photo below is striking. There are trees, stumps, branches and shadows everywhere and even an elk in the middle of it all. It’s busy.

Elk, Waskesiu, golden hour

I’ve wanted an elk in this natural scene for some time. You might argue that the stumps show it was changed by humans but I’ve heard that beavers are getting better at straight cuts.

In this final image, I like how the trees on either side create a border leading me into the forest, the layers created by the ground and trees, as well as the elk catching the light. The attitude of the elk is just a bonus!

I love the golden light that complements the wild natural feel of the place. A perfect spot for an elk to hang out. I’ve driven by this location a few times hoping to spot wildlife to finish the scene.

It’s a joy to catch these scenes and capture the beauty that I visualized and felt at the time. As for the ones I miss, I probably need to get a better camera.

Advertisements

Latest Comments

  1. Susan Portnoy says:

    Love the cayote… and I like your new theme too… Looks great.

    Like

  2. dda53 says:

    Believe you have captured two great wildlife moments. Especially like the coyote, should be hung on the wall.

    Like

  3. FeyGirl says:

    That elk camouflages so perfectly, so seamlessly with his (sadly seemingly slowly destroyed) surroundings — but that coyote is just gorgeous! I’ve never seen one quite the same. And the setting is phenomenal.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Glad you enjoyed the photos. It’s funny how better surroundings make us all look better. The elk’s surroundings are not really being destroyed. A few trees were cut down in a national park to act as a fire break. They have suppressed fires so much in the past they are taking a few measures to try to protect people and trees in the future.

      Like

  4. Phil Lanoue says:

    Well I’m glad you kept your head and got these outstanding shots. There have been too many times when I have noticed a particularly appealing scene and got so wrapped up in looking I forget to take the photo.
    Great job with these in wonderful settings.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I try to keep my head and it even works sometimes! More and more I am appreciating the settings where I find animals rather than just focusing on getting the wildlife shot.

      Like

  5. Mike Powell says:

    Your mastery of photography and humor continues to amaze and amuse me. I linger over your images and words more than on other blogs, knowing that there is a lot there. Both of your images are remarkable, for different reasons. Isolated subjects work well, but not always, as your second image illustrates so well. Do I like chocolate ice cream or strawberry? Why choose? I like them both. I love the Wigget quote, though I feel a bit like a fish. You dangled the bait when you first used it and then hooked me with the final line of the posting.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      There are some days when I wonder what in the world I was thinking when I came up with the crazy idea of combining humour and wildlife photography! I am so pleased that you continue to enjoy the odd combination. Your words to describe what I do mean a lot to me. By chance you nailed two of my favourite kinds of ice cream so of course I don’t want to give up their – literally or figuratively.

      Like

  6. Honie Briggs says:

    I think the difference in these two shots is the subject either stands out or blends in, but both have qualities worth admiring. Great captures, no need for a better camera.

    Like

  7. anotherday2paradise says:

    Beautiful captures, Lyle. The Elk blends in so seamlessly with his surroundings.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks. When I was taking the photo I didn’t realize how well it blended in since I was so focused on the elk and tracking him. With a wider view the blending works very well and if you were just glancing over the entire area, it’s possible to miss him and that’s a big animal.

      Like

  8. The Earth Beneath My Feet says:

    Ah, just seen that vanbraman thot exactly the same thing as I did. Wise minds …..

    Like

  9. The Earth Beneath My Feet says:

    Love that coyote! He’s so fluffy he actually looks like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing 🙂

    Like

  10. whichwaynow101 says:

    I don’t think you need a better camera. Lyle. And your second caption made me lol!

    Like

  11. vanbraman says:

    The top one made me think of a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing 🙂

    Like

  12. My Heartsong says:

    Love the quote from Darwin.I have been told that myself and had to giggle.I like close-ups and wider angle that show the environment that the subject is in, add a gesture and good light…there you go.Often easier said than done but that is why we keep at it.

    Like

  13. Steve Gingold says:

    Basic rules make for basic photographs. Once we know the rules we can break them for unique shots that are our own which, I imagine, is the point to your comparison of the two shots. I have a tendency to work my hardest for shots with isolation but quite often it is the ones where chaos is put in an orderly manner that have the most impact. Both these have great impact.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      You not only identified my point but built on it so well that I have nothing to add. Thanks for describing it all so well. Putting order into chaos is a huge achievement.

      Like

  14. Mandy says:

    I prefer the coyote photo. I find the elk photo too “noisy”. Mind you if either walked past my camera over here I would be mighty surprised.

    Like

  15. Stéphane Cassin Photographie says:

    Magnifiques shoots, la première photo est extraordinaire, bravo! 🙂

    Like

  16. Sudarshan Mondal says:

    wow, wonderful photos… specially loved the opening image.

    Like

  17. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    I really like the coyote shot. It is so simple and beautiful. The beavers around my place don’t yet know the straight cut but I am sure they will learn soon.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      That simplicity really won me over. I know a photo is what I like when it grows on me. donna213 mentioned that the beavers were getting instruction at Rhode Island so maybe they are just in the process of making their way north.

      Like

  18. Gunta says:

    Your elk shot makes me think of “where’s Waldo”. She’s pretty well camouflaged. So well, that I’m not sure if it’s a he or a she. O_o

    Like

  19. donna213 says:

    I too might gravitate to soft backgrounds to isolate the subject, but I also like photos that show the critter in context. It says so much about how and where it lives. Yes, beavers are now in Rodent Carpentry School in Rhode Island, and are learning to use levels. As an architect I have taught there. 😀

    Like

  20. sagescenery says:

    Love your photos and your explanation!!

    Like

  21. KatherineB says:

    Very beautiful

    Like

  22. Lavinia Ross says:

    Both are beautiful photos, Lyle. I like the composition and color, especially in the elk photo.

    Like

  23. Sheldon says:

    lol… I love that line “You must have an expensive camera.” I wonder how many times a great chef is told that he must have expensive pots…. Makes me smile when all the stars aline and that postcard shot appears in the viewfinder…Great shots as per usual Lyle… Keep your lens clean!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      The line does get used! Like you, I love it when the stars align in the viewfinder. It’s the reason I keep going back to the well and enjoy this crazy pursuit so much. Glad you enjoyed the post. I’ll keep working on my lens cleanliness.

      Like

  24. JF says:

    Love this post and photos but… when I click on your “Like” button I get a new blank window and PC freezes. So keep in mind that I am with you! 😉

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Always good to hear someone is with me! Glad you enjoyed the post. Unfortunately you are the second person who mentioned they having trouble with the site. Since it works for other people i really don’t know what’s going on other than a WordPress glitch that hopefully gets fixed for next time. I appreciate the comment.

      Like

I'd love to hear what you are thinking ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s