It was quite windy this weekend so my theme I set for myself with this wildlife session was to capture the wind and the raptor's reaction to it. If you click in each image, I've captioned the with the raptor species.
Leaving a bit of mystery with this image. Shannon and I have suggested a story with the lighting and her expression and pose, but we're leaving it up to you to derive a story from the image.
"There is fiction in the space between
the lines on your page of memories" ~lyrics Tracy Chapman
I'm trying some different techniques lately. It's a complete departure from my usual style, but it's breathing some life into my interest in photography. It's easy to stay in a comfort zone. You can continue to produce nice work, but you become stagnant. I'd rather take a few risks and break some rules.
One of the safe zones I've left is muted colors and soft light. This image is everything opposite of what I'd usually do and I absolutely love it.
I do use a lot of classical portrait lighting, some dramatic with the use of shadows. But I've used shadows to model the face shape, not as a design element as I have here. I also used the classical lighting patterns that are considered "safe." Additionally, I usually carefully shape the lighting to avoid shadows on wall. One thing you learn is hard light = bad light. However, that is not true. Light is light. It's how you use it with your subject. The bottom line is you want to flatter your subject. It really doesn't matter how you get there as long as your subject looks great.
With this image, I intentionally wanted shadows on the wall and so hard light was king here. However, I knew the pose had to be dynamic or else the shadows would look like a blob. Shannon delivered and I am thankful that she didn't mind risking giving herself whiplash. The good news is her neck is just fine and it didn't take too many tries to get the image.
Shannon is my "go to" model for experimenting. She's always wonderful to work with and wiling to stretch out of comfort zones even it if means we may not get a useable image. I really appreciate her willingness to experiment with me.
Expect updates with wolf images as a spend more time working with wolf and wildlife conservation groups. Below is one of the elders in the pack.
The two wolves below are siblings: brother and sister. Both of the males in the litter were born with cataracts. They had surgery, but it was unsuccessful and now the males are farsighted. They will forever be in rescue, living their days well cared for and providing valuable insight into wolf behavior. The cream colored wolf is one of the boys. The red coat is the female of the litter.
Wolves are my first love of wildlife animals. Back many, many years ago when I read Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf, I became obsessed with wolves. They are a misunderstood animal. A lot of perceptions are based on fear, ignorance, and greed. All animals are essential to our ecosystem and it's amazing the impact they have on it in areas we would never have guessed. This video is a great example: How Wolves Change Rivers.
Here are a couple recent grey wolf images that I've created. Look for more within the next few months as I have the pleasure and honor of photographing wolves with a wolf conservation group.