His article today tells the story behind one of his best-selling images and
begins a series of "The story behind the image" blogs.
|Image credit: Wayne Parris Photography |
Image info: ISO1600, F-8, SS 1/100sec, Canon 7d, Lens,Canon 100-400mm @ 250mm
A quiet walk through the woods often results in unexpected photo ops.
A thicket of small pine trees separated me from a creek that moved through the woods like a skilled hunter -- quiet and relentless.
I heard an unfamiliar sound.
It wasn’t the sound water makes on the rocks.
I crawled through the pines and took care to protect my camera equipment.
What I would find?
As I reached the creek, I discovered a Black Bear moving rocks and looking for food—probably looking for salamanders and spring lizards.
The creek was narrow and shrouded in Mountain Laurels.
The only thing I could see of the bear was her rear. She turned and looked at me, then went right back to foraging for food.
She wasn’t threatened by my presence.
I always keep this rule in mind when photographing wild animals:
If the animal alters its behavior in any way, I’m too close.
If an animal feels threatened, it will get spooked and run, leaving the photographer with nothing but a wish for more patience.
Patience is key.
I have spent as much as an hour waiting for an animal to do what I wanted it to do. I’ll touch on that in a later blog.
If I crossed the creek, I could get a better photo. (When photographing bears, if you don’t see the colors on the face, you just see a big, black blob with very little
I visualized where I was going to cross the creek, climb the hill on
the other side, and get the shot.
Then, I spotted a cub resting on a log. I pointed my camera and was
able to see that he was looking at me.
Don’t get between a mother and her cub.
I decided not to cross the creek and stay right where I was.
I set up my tripod and adjusted my focus.
I kept glancing back at momma bear to make sure she was still okay with me being there. She was still moving rocks around under the laurels.
I clicked off a series of images and stood there for a minute reflecting on what I had just seen. As always, I said a little “Thank you”to the animals for letting me spend some one-on-one time with them.
When I first saw this image, I thought the little cub had a sore on its front leg.
It wasn’t until I ordered a 16x20 canvas wrap that I discovered that it had one of the rear feet underneath itself, and what I had thought was a sore was actually the claws on the hind foot.
You can find more of Wayne’s work at WayneParrisPhotography.com, or “LIKE” his