When I think of the Earth, I immediately think of the myriads of living creatures that depend on what it provides. With that in mind I stopped by a local lake to see if I could capture a couple of quick images to remind us of those inhabitants. I think they are also a reminder that all those other creatures have no ability to change how we treat Mother Earth – only we humans have that ability/responsibility.
I imagine this “other mother” chiding us all to protect our earth for the sake of her (and our) children.
I imagine these little guys telling us to take the time to get close to the earth and understand what we are doing to it. It is the most important factor in all of our lives and we treat it like a given vs the gift that it is…..
Sorry for the delay in posting for this challenge but I’ve been working my way through the thousands of pictures I took during our trip to Japan. Our first wildlife experience of that trip was with the snow monkeys near Nagano – the ones that frequent the local hot springs to provide some incredible photo opportunities. We didn’t get the hoped for snow while we were there but the Macques were everywhere and provided us lots to capture. One of the scenes that everyone looks for is the interactions between the Mothers and the kids – a perfect example of “one love”. Here is one of my favorites…..
We’re getting ready for another trip and I bought a new Fuji 90mm f2 lens for the occasion. I wanted a portrait lens with just a little “reach” so I’ll be able to use it with the snow monkeys in Japan. This lens has received great reviews so I had to try it. Living only a mile or so from the San Diego Zoo has its advantages so I went over last night to take a couple of quick photos to play with the lens. The flamingos are one of the first things you see in the zoo so I used them as my test.
I always look forward to my next photo trip – new places, new people, new experiences and of course, new challenges. I always try to envision what the photographic opportunities will be and how I will capture the shots that I want. One of the things I always use are images that I’ve done in the past that I’ve been happy with. I try to build upon that experience and formulate a plan to get even better material this time around. That process builds the anticipation for a great time to come. We are currently preparing for a winter trip to Japan to photograph the famed snow monkeys near Nagano (among other things). While the environment will be much different than my previous opportunities to capture monkey images, I’ve been reviewing past photos to inspire me for this particular trip. In particular, I’ve gone back to our India trip and looked through MANY photos to pick my favorites and to see what I like about them. A great example is this photo from the “Monkey Temple”, Swayambhunath, near Katmandu. It was taken in the afternoon so the light was getting good, this particular Macaque was playing amongst the idols, and I took numerous photos to get one that I really liked.
This has turned out to be one of favorite photos from that incredible trip to India and Nepal (to the extent that I have a large print of it hanging in my house). When I look at it, it invokes the place and time, the spiritual element of the idols, and the amazing gaze of the Macaque – almost like he is meditating or talking to his own spirits. If I can duplicate those type of feelings/thoughts with the adorable snow monkeys in Japan it will be a great trip! Hows that for optimism??
Normally when we think of animals that defy the laws of gravity, we think of birds. While I’ve got lots of bird photos that would fit this challenge, I decided to post this photo I took today in getting ready for an upcoming trip. This little guy may not be able to fly, but the way he was running around on the branches of this tree (obviously during his lunch break), he sure seemed weightless to me……
Every year a gathering takes place in the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico. Thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese migrate to the ponds and fields of the wildlife refuge to enjoy the winter. Every morning there is a repeating ritual where the geese and then the cranes take off from the ponds and head for the fields to graze. In the evening, they return to the ponds for protection from the predators such as coyotes. This early morning photo shows the geese taking off in the background as the cranes huddle, watch and await their turn to launch. Its a spectacular sight that is well worth the trip to witness….OBTW – there is also a “gathering ” of avid photographers close by to document the daily movements of the birds.
We have been very lucky in “treating”ourselves to a couple of recent trips (hence my lack of posts). We first had the opportunity to go on a short notice trip to the Baja in Mexico to spend some time with Whale Sharks.
These incredible creatures come in close to the shore in the Sea of Cortez to feast on the plankton in the water. While that is great for the giant fish (not either whales or sharks), it is horrible for underwater photography due to the lack of visibility caused by the plankton. This photo was taken from our boat which was about 18 feet long – this whale shark was longer than the boat – about 22 feet in length.
From the surface they appear to be hardly moving but when you get in the water to snorkel with them, you quickly realize that they are hard to keep up with and that they can disappear in seconds with one flip of their enormous tails or by just sinking down into the cloudy water.
In any case, it was a tremendous treat to spend some time with these very gentle giants. I’ll post some other photos from our lodge tomorrow and explain a little more about this wonderful trip.