My dad and I went down to Shoop Park in Racine, Wis. late this afternoon in hopes of getting some photographs of birds in flight. Indeed, there were some Common Terns and Caspian Terns in addition to the usual mix of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls.
But the most interesting discovery was a couple having their post-wedding portrait taking on an old pier parallel to the one we were standing on. I made a few pictures of them, and was amused by the interaction between the bride and groom, as well as their photographer who went from paying attention to them to chimping!
American Robin thrashing through the leaves along the sidewalk, Columbia, Mo.
On Thursday afternoon I walked about Columbia, Mo. with my Lumix G1 and a 45-200mm lens (90-400mm lens in 35mm-speak, as the 4/3 sensor is one half the size of a frame of 35mm film). It was cold. I was wearing one of my “real” winter gloves on my left hand, but a thin glove on my right to use my camera. My ears were at least covered up, but damn did my face get cold. I’m from Wisconsin: we know how to dress for it, but there’s nothing you can do about cold wind except to get out of it as quickly as possible.
As I made my way back to Lee Hills Hall, home to the Missouri School of Journalism’s photojournalism sequence, I found that lots of American Robins were fluttering about the leaves lining the sidewalk. I normally don’t photograph robins: too easy. Well, sort of.
I had to revert back to my ways of photographing birds (but with much smaller equipment in this case), and I got down on the ground and began to crawl forward. I put pressure mostly on my palms, which is now instinctive after working on the beaches in Florida, where Artie Morris always advises that you have to keep your hands clean. If they get coated in sand, it just works its way into all of your gear; more often than not, it’s wet sand that does not want to brush off on your pants leg.
Slowly I crawled forward, getting a more frame-filling view of one of the robins that was thrashing on the ground, looking for worms. He would thrash, look up, and then move onward to a new spot. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I believe what I’ve made is a somewhat comic three-image series. We encounter many birds, like the American Robin, virtually every day in Columbia, Missouri. But do we often pay them a second look?
In my picture story & photographic essay class at the Missouri School of Journalism, we have been asked to find some examples of what can make for an effective sequence of images. While I ultimately will be required to produce one that is more about people than wildlife, I did think this sequence of images of a Galapagos Giant Tortoise from this summer was an entertaining and appropriate.
After a long week in Festus and Crystal City, Mo. for the 61st Missouri Photo Workshop, I am finally back in Columbia. It was an amazing week and, Val Mosley and I produced 352 A3-sized prints of the participants’ work. Wow.
Now it’s time to play catch-up with all of the work I’ve had piling up back at school.