Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guest blogger: Wayne Parris -- The Story Behind the Image

Our guest blogger is professional photographer, Wayne Parris. He tells me he as been involved with photography for so long it's hard to remember when he started. Maybe he grew up with a camera in his hands. He attended Asheville-Buncombe Technical College, and after receiving an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, he decided to join the US Army as a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief.  Wayne spent twelve years in the U.S. Army.  He is currently a commercial pilot, which also allows time for his
photography business.
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, or “LIKE” his

No comments:

Post a Comment