Finn in the Field

Hunting for the Best Photograph
Conservation photography and being outside with my dog kind of go hand in hand – it was a generational passed on love of hunting that got me outside and interested in wildlife as a kid, and it morphed from shooting with a shotgun over our Brittany dogs into most often shooting with a camera.
Walking our dog, Finnegan, on a snowy and stormy morning, I got thinking about all the hunts, both with a gun but now with a camera we’d had together, and I realized that walking him gets both my wife and me outside, and thus in contact with nature. Our daily routine of walking lets me see birds and other wildlife that I would be completely unaware of if I was sitting inside, and so “the walk” becomes a chance to experience the outdoors. Our property fronts a large marsh, and on this morning we saw numerous birds and sign in the new snow of deer and snowshoe hares. Finn gambled about and snuffled for pheasants and grouse, and we saw our resident bald eagle go over. All things many would marvel at, but things we living in the rural areas need to never take for granted, and need to work to protect. Many today, it seems, do not appreciate what we may lose if things like oil drilling in Wildlife Refuges is allowed.
Between the woods and frozen lake, as Robert Frost reminded us years ago, are things to marvel at, even if we have things to do and places to go. I photograph such places to help people remember the beauty that abounds around us, and to bring people sights they might have forgotten to look at in their busy lives.
A simple dog walk with my camera helps to be part of a daily routine, reminding me to stop and really see, not just look. May 2018 be filled with many such walks for us all, and may we all have the opportunity to witness nature.