Sunday, September 11, 2005

Being prepared for a day of Photo Taking

By Christina VanGinkel

I had a very productive morning with my camera. I snapped an unbelievable picture of the sunrise over a twisting road as the mist rose up off the pavement. The type of picture I always think of taking, but I never seem to be in the right spot at the right time, or when the time is right, the batteries are dead, or I do not even have my camera with me! The last rarely, if ever, happens anymore, but in the past, this did happen quite a bit. The sun was a huge glowing ball, rimmed in a great circle of orange and red, beautiful, and it would have been a terrible waste if once again I had not been prepared to photograph it in its glory.

I was up so early for another round of picture taking involving a large bruin black bear, and I was able to take several very desirable, and very easy pictures on that front also. I often have to trek quite a way into the woods, often going through swamps, blow downs, thick brush, hills, rocks, and every other imaginable outdoor scenario you can imagine. Usually trailing my husband, this is not always the best part of one of my days that involves a camera and black bear. Let us just say that while I love photographing them, I do not always love getting to where they are!

Today though, a large bear, roughly 400 plus pounds, was kind enough to perch himself up a large tree, one full of branches big enough to easily support his weight in what appeared to be a comfortable position. The best part of it all though, was that the tree was just off a back road that I was able to drive our truck down quite a ways. I was standing in the road one minute, readying my camera, with the full intention of another hike into the woods, when I looked off to my left and realized that he was right there, at the base of the tree. With an unexpected shout, from myself, up he went and there he stayed while I snapped picture after picture.

As convenient as it was to have this large bruin almost on my doorstep, so to speak, it was a clear reminder of why I should always have my camera ready. I often start out the day with not knowing how full my memory card is. In addition, I have the bad habit of running my new digital to the point the batteries are long past dead, and I have even gone off without a fresh supply of batteries to replace those that may become run down during a long day of shooting. Anyone who knows digital cameras knows how fast they can often use up battery power. Any of these discrepancies on my part could have cost me some once in a lifetime photographs today. Thankfully, I have been working hard at trying to head out each trip fully prepared for the day. Moreover, today, my preparedness paid off.

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