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jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I posted something similar back when I joined the forum shortly after Steve started it. It can get long and I'll try to keep it brief. I do think, after some of the divisive threads that have been posted recently this may need to be said again.
Why do we go out in the woods and fields in the heat of summer, the cold of winter, rain, snow, blistering sunshine, suffer with mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, no-see-ums, black flies, hungry, thirsty, hot, cold sometimes all in the same day? At the end of the day it's because we love it and most of us do it for the love of nature. Over the years our (my wife and I) photography has taken some twists and turns but where we are now is more about education and building an appreciation for nature among family, friends and anyone who is willing to listen. We get excited when someone sends us text or email messages asking about some bird or insect or wildflower they saw. Our end goal is for people who view our photography to walk away with a deeper appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us every day. We believe people will want to preserve what they find beautiful and what they find beautiful they will love.

For me, and I hope all of us here, it isn't about a contest for who has the best photographs - there will always be a better shot or better light or better exposure. that's a fact
It isn't about the latest and greatest camera body. Regardless of what body you buy today, in 2 years it will be replaced by a newer and "better" one.
It isn't about who has the most expensive and fastest glass. Beautiful images through history have been show with what we would consider quite inferior glass today.
At least for me it's not about any of these things.
It is about appreciating nature, seeing (really seeing not just looking at) the beauty that surrounds us everyday, sharing that love with others. I like forums like this because I can share with folks of a like mind. Some of my friends think it's a little odd to wake up before dawn, head outside on a cold day lugging a bunch of camera equipment around for the chance to see some strange bird or capture a photo of a critter out in the woods. You all understand and if I'm odd then you all are odd too and that's OK. Like the old skit "we're all bozos on this bus".

OK, maybe not as long winded as my intro post but I think you all get the drift. As nature photographers, the things that bind us are more than the things that divide us.

Jeff
 

sh1209

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I posted something similar back when I joined the forum shortly after Steve started it. It can get long and I'll try to keep it brief. I do think, after some of the divisive threads that have been posted recently this may need to be said again.
Why do we go out in the woods and fields in the heat of summer, the cold of winter, rain, snow, blistering sunshine, suffer with mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, no-see-ums, black flies, hungry, thirsty, hot, cold sometimes all in the same day? At the end of the day it's because we love it and most of us do it for the love of nature. Over the years our (my wife and I) photography has taken some twists and turns but where we are now is more about education and building an appreciation for nature among family, friends and anyone who is willing to listen. We get excited when someone sends us text or email messages asking about some bird or insect or wildflower they saw. Our end goal is for people who view our photography to walk away with a deeper appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us every day. We believe people will want to preserve what they find beautiful and what they find beautiful they will love.

For me, and I hope all of us here, it isn't about a contest for who has the best photographs - there will always be a better shot or better light or better exposure. that's a fact
It isn't about the latest and greatest camera body. Regardless of what body you buy today, in 2 years it will be replaced by a newer and "better" one.
It isn't about who has the most expensive and fastest glass. Beautiful images through history have been show with what we would consider quite inferior glass today.
At least for me it's not about any of these things.
It is about appreciating nature, seeing (really seeing not just looking at) the beauty that surrounds us everyday, sharing that love with others. I like forums like this because I can share with folks of a like mind. Some of my friends think it's a little odd to wake up before dawn, head outside on a cold day lugging a bunch of camera equipment around for the chance to see some strange bird or capture a photo of a critter out in the woods. You all understand and if I'm odd then you all are odd too and that's OK. Like the old skit "we're all bozos on this bus".

OK, maybe not as long winded as my intro post but I think you all get the drift. As nature photographers, the things that bind us are more than the things that divide us.

Jeff
I agree wholeheartedly! There’s nothing like being out in nature even if you don’t get any good shots. I went out for the first time in 10 weeks today after a surgery. The weather was 18 degrees whenever I parked the truck but I was so excited to get out again that it really didn’t matter. To me, there’s not much as peaceful as strolling the the woods or fields in search of wildlife.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I agree wholeheartedly! There’s nothing like being out in nature even if you don’t get any good shots. I went out for the first time in 10 weeks today after a surgery. The weather was 18 degrees whenever I parked the truck but I was so excited to get out again that it really didn’t matter. To me, there’s not much as peaceful as strolling the the woods or fields in search of wildlife.
Thanks. I, too, love the solitude and stark beauty of the woods in winter. Usually Leslie and I are the only ones crazy enough to be out there and we have the entire forest to share with only the creatures that live there. Something incredibly peaceful about it. Glad to hear you're recovering from the surgery!
Jeff
 

sh1209

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thanks. I, too, love the solitude and stark beauty of the woods in winter. Usually Leslie and I are the only ones crazy enough to be out there and we have the entire forest to share with only the creatures that live there. Something incredibly peaceful about it. Glad to hear you're recovering from the surgery!
Jeff
I’m actually eager to get some snow lol. We haven’t had as much as a flurry at this point. I really like getting out with some snow on the ground.
 

fcotterill

Well-known member
Thanks for timely reminder and return to what's the crux of why we visit this forum. I cannot find your original thread from 2020, but did find this one. It's always interesting to read these biographies :)
By coincidence, last night I opened the timeless book Mountain Light, by the late Galen Rowell. His first chapter explains his own journey into outdoor photography, where he made such a lasting impacts, notably in conservation and environmental education and lobbying, and this includes his lasting role as a mentor to many prominent outdoor photographers.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Thanks for timely reminder and return to what's the crux of why we visit this forum. I cannot find your original thread from 2020, but did find this one. It's always interesting to read these biographies :)
By coincidence, last night I opened the timeless book Mountain Light, by the late Galen Rowell. His first chapter explains his own journey into outdoor photography, where he made such a lasting impacts, notably in conservation and environmental education and lobbying, and this includes his lasting role as a mentor to many prominent outdoor photographers.
Thanks. That is the one I was thinking about. I thought it was a lot earlier than that. It is interesting the little details forgotten as I get older. :).

I have not read Mountain Light. Sounds like it may be something I should check out. I doubt anyone would ever call me a mentor in photography. I just love to be in nature and capture its beauty in my camera. I've tried to write descriptions of my photos and they either come out dry and uninteresting (this is a photo of X taken at place Y...) or too overdone. I think it would be fun to create a book someday but I would first need to find writing style that is somewhere between "flowery overdone" and "dry college professor lecture."

Jeff
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I’m actually eager to get some snow lol. We haven’t had as much as a flurry at this point. I really like getting out with some snow on the ground.
We had a light dusting the other day but it wasn't enough for the type of photos I was hoping to get. I did get some partially frozen stream shots and some snow on tree branches but not the white out that I was hoping for. Weather forecast here is for another possible light dusting Friday into Saturday but that far off who knows. I'm sure the forecast will change many times in the next 3 days.

Hope you get some snow. I love snow day photos.
 

lwan

Active member
Supporting Member
For me it started as a long lasting frustration of knowing there were plenty of wild animals out there i was unable to identify, name or tell anything about .
I wandered a bit with binoculars but most of the time the sightings were too short to make get a valid ID.
Photography has been a way to freeze and ID later. From there, it only got "worse" :D
My uncle was an avid amateur ornithologist, photograph and protector of nature and i always regretted to not have taken the time to learn from him before he passed. This was the first trigger to get going on my own.
After a while seeing patterns in behaviors, being able to teach a few interested people what's that bird they often see in their garden or discovering how to ID traces of presence/nesting/whatever has been a constant amazement at what is and happens around us.
Thanks to Steve's videos i've learnt how to take better photos and it then got even worse (for my wallet).
As a now ex 3D graphist these natural wonders even played a role in a life changing decision to buy land, make it a hunting reserve and create a small sheep farm that stays as wild as possible and will produce its first cheese in a few monts. Talk about a journey that started with buying a sigma 135-400 for my canon 350D!
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
For me it started as a long lasting frustration of knowing there were plenty of wild animals out there i was unable to identify, name or tell anything about .
I wandered a bit with binoculars but most of the time the sightings were too short to make get a valid ID.
Photography has been a way to freeze and ID later. From there, it only got "worse" :D
My uncle was an avid amateur ornithologist, photograph and protector of nature and i always regretted to not have taken the time to learn from him before he passed. This was the first trigger to get going on my own.
After a while seeing patterns in behaviors, being able to teach a few interested people what's that bird they often see in their garden or discovering how to ID traces of presence/nesting/whatever has been a constant amazement at what is and happens around us.
Thanks to Steve's videos i've learnt how to take better photos and it then got even worse (for my wallet).
As a now ex 3D graphist these natural wonders even played a role in a life changing decision to buy land, make it a hunting reserve and create a small sheep farm that stays as wild as possible and will produce its first cheese in a few monts. Talk about a journey that started with buying a sigma 135-400 for my canon 350D!
Best wishes on the farm. Love your story!
Jeff
 

Marcus Slade

Active member
Supporting Member
I posted something similar back when I joined the forum shortly after Steve started it. It can get long and I'll try to keep it brief. I do think, after some of the divisive threads that have been posted recently this may need to be said again.
Why do we go out in the woods and fields in the heat of summer, the cold of winter, rain, snow, blistering sunshine, suffer with mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, no-see-ums, black flies, hungry, thirsty, hot, cold sometimes all in the same day? At the end of the day it's because we love it and most of us do it for the love of nature. Over the years our (my wife and I) photography has taken some twists and turns but where we are now is more about education and building an appreciation for nature among family, friends and anyone who is willing to listen. We get excited when someone sends us text or email messages asking about some bird or insect or wildflower they saw. Our end goal is for people who view our photography to walk away with a deeper appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us every day. We believe people will want to preserve what they find beautiful and what they find beautiful they will love.

For me, and I hope all of us here, it isn't about a contest for who has the best photographs - there will always be a better shot or better light or better exposure. that's a fact
It isn't about the latest and greatest camera body. Regardless of what body you buy today, in 2 years it will be replaced by a newer and "better" one.
It isn't about who has the most expensive and fastest glass. Beautiful images through history have been show with what we would consider quite inferior glass today.
At least for me it's not about any of these things.
It is about appreciating nature, seeing (really seeing not just looking at) the beauty that surrounds us everyday, sharing that love with others. I like forums like this because I can share with folks of a like mind. Some of my friends think it's a little odd to wake up before dawn, head outside on a cold day lugging a bunch of camera equipment around for the chance to see some strange bird or capture a photo of a critter out in the woods. You all understand and if I'm odd then you all are odd too and that's OK. Like the old skit "we're all bozos on this bus".

OK, maybe not as long winded as my intro post but I think you all get the drift. As nature photographers, the things that bind us are more than the things that divide us.

Jeff
Kudos Jeff and beautifully said. With about three months left in my normal working career, my hope will be to get out more often. And if people think I’m odd for getting out early in the AM or in adverse weather conditions, bring it on.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Kudos Jeff and beautifully said. With about three months left in my normal working career, my hope will be to get out more often. And if people think I’m odd for getting out early in the AM or in adverse weather conditions, bring it on.
Enjoy your retirement. I retired 5 years ago and have not looked back once. I miss the paycheck but not enough to go back.
Jeff
 

Oosty

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thanks for posing the question - it is always a good idea to re-evaluate our motivation.

To answer your question , Jeff, I do it for fun.
I have "always" had a camera but my passion was golf which I played well and enjoyed. I was also interested in photography, nature, travelling, reading and birding.
I also had to earn a living :)
So, I made a decision early on to devote my "hobby hours" to golf until I felt that there was a time to do other things. Coincidentally my interest in golf declined around the time that digital photography took off and a casual hobby has become a total joy which fills my spare time and in which I find fulfilment.
I have catholic tastes and dabble in all genres except digital art which I enjoy looking at but I prefer to be looking for a bug, bird, landscape, flower or still life to photograph than to venture into the esoteric.
And, yes, I love the outdoors being blessed to live in one of the most beautiful corners of our planet.
 

Pete D

New member
There a multiple aspects of photography that have kept me passionate about it for decades. Certainly the fact that it slows me down and enhances my mental focus when I'm out in nature is a big part of it. The element of luck that is always there is what keeps the gambler hooked. I also love the tools of the craft. I guess we're not supposed to admit that, but I do love using good tools.

Speaking of cold weather, I'm heading up to family property on the North Shore of Lake Superior tomorrow. I won't be able to concentrate on photography this time. We're planning to ski every day (cross country through quiet woods). I'm sure I'll find time for at least a few hours of photography.
 

12markus12

Markus
Supporting Member
Couldn't agree more with what you say Jeff - you have phrased it in a fantastic way.
Since I was a kid I liked to be in the woods. My best friend and I used to build hides and often stayed the whole day in the forests just getting back home as it started to get dark..
Today with a very busy and hectic job, getting out in the woods is like "balm for the soul" - even if I didn't catch the shot I wanted or haven't seen "anything" special.
I can feel that I slow down and relax when I'm out there - It's even visible on the heartrate monitor of my Garmin GPS watch :)

I enjoy the silence, hearing birds singing, smell of flowers or trees and seeing animals - and especially as you say quite early in the day or later towards evening when there's no other people around. I hate getting up early and probably wouldn't do if it wouldn't be to go out with the camera and get into nature.

06:40 on a sunday morning as the sun started to get it's way through the morning fog - that's the moments which make it worth to get up and be out there:
D5X_7514.jpg
 

lwan

Active member
Supporting Member
Couldn't agree more with what you say Jeff - you have phrased it in a fantastic way.
Since I was a kid I liked to be in the woods. My best friend and I used to build hides and often stayed the whole day in the forests just getting back home as it started to get dark..
Today with a very busy and hectic job, getting out in the woods is like "balm for the soul" - even if I didn't catch the shot I wanted or haven't seen "anything" special.
I can feel that I slow down and relax when I'm out there - It's even visible on the heartrate monitor of my Garmin GPS watch :)

I enjoy the silence, hearing birds singing, smell of flowers or trees and seeing animals - and especially as you say quite early in the day or later towards evening when there's no other people around. I hate getting up early and probably wouldn't do if it wouldn't be to go out with the camera and get into nature.

06:40 on a sunday morning as the sun started to get it's way through the morning fog - that's the moments which make it worth to get up and be out there:
View attachment 30481
Wonderful mood, I love it! I agree, it's for those moments that we do it!
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Thanks for posing the question - it is always a good idea to re-evaluate our motivation.

To answer your question , Jeff, I do it for fun.
I have "always" had a camera but my passion was golf which I played well and enjoyed. I was also interested in photography, nature, travelling, reading and birding.
I also had to earn a living :)
So, I made a decision early on to devote my "hobby hours" to golf until I felt that there was a time to do other things. Coincidentally my interest in golf declined around the time that digital photography took off and a casual hobby has become a total joy which fills my spare time and in which I find fulfilment.
I have catholic tastes and dabble in all genres except digital art which I enjoy looking at but I prefer to be looking for a bug, bird, landscape, flower or still life to photograph than to venture into the esoteric.
And, yes, I love the outdoors being blessed to live in one of the most beautiful corners of our planet.
Thanks. Never was a golfer. Beside photography my other hobby is fishing. Both get me out in nature.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
There a multiple aspects of photography that have kept me passionate about it for decades. Certainly the fact that it slows me down and enhances my mental focus when I'm out in nature is a big part of it. The element of luck that is always there is what keeps the gambler hooked. I also love the tools of the craft. I guess we're not supposed to admit that, but I do love using good tools.

Speaking of cold weather, I'm heading up to family property on the North Shore of Lake Superior tomorrow. I won't be able to concentrate on photography this time. We're planning to ski every day (cross country through quiet woods). I'm sure I'll find time for at least a few hours of photography.
Hope you have a great time on the ski trip!
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Couldn't agree more with what you say Jeff - you have phrased it in a fantastic way.
Since I was a kid I liked to be in the woods. My best friend and I used to build hides and often stayed the whole day in the forests just getting back home as it started to get dark..
Today with a very busy and hectic job, getting out in the woods is like "balm for the soul" - even if I didn't catch the shot I wanted or haven't seen "anything" special.
I can feel that I slow down and relax when I'm out there - It's even visible on the heartrate monitor of my Garmin GPS watch :)

I enjoy the silence, hearing birds singing, smell of flowers or trees and seeing animals - and especially as you say quite early in the day or later towards evening when there's no other people around. I hate getting up early and probably wouldn't do if it wouldn't be to go out with the camera and get into nature.

06:40 on a sunday morning as the sun started to get it's way through the morning fog - that's the moments which make it worth to get up and be out there:
View attachment 30481
Beautiful photo. I know all about the high stress 60+ hour work weeks. I have not missed that one bit since I retired. I do miss seeing some of my co-workers every day but not enough to get back on that hamster wheel. It's good you have a hobby to give you some relief.
 

Dick Blystone

New member
Days spent outdoors, sharing a common interest with my daughter and making new photographer friends, these are some of the benefits I have derived from doing wildlife photography. As for the why, however, I believe I do it to create something that I am proud of. Each time that happens, the bar gets a little higher :)
 
I totally agree, was out the other day at a local DAM site, my favourite subject "Bugs" and in the middle of our australian summer it was humid as hell, i was bitten , sweating, my shirt stuck to me like glue....sunburnt and then i had to walk another 2 k's back to the car park.

Went into the cafe , sat down with a cold drink and thought to myself....gawd that was fun.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Days spent outdoors, sharing a common interest with my daughter and making new photographer friends, these are some of the benefits I have derived from doing wildlife photography. As for the why, however, I believe I do it to create something that I am proud of. Each time that happens, the bar gets a little higher :)
Works for me. I agree the days spent outdoors with my wife are priceless.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I totally agree, was out the other day at a local DAM site, my favourite subject "Bugs" and in the middle of our australian summer it was humid as hell, i was bitten , sweating, my shirt stuck to me like glue....sunburnt and then i had to walk another 2 k's back to the car park.

Went into the cafe , sat down with a cold drink and thought to myself....gawd that was fun.
Exactly!!
 

jhorsch

Member
I'm not particularly good at it but I've really enjoyed learning about photography, equipment, etc. The other big appeals for me are 1) getting outdoors for lengthy periods and seeing a wide variety of critters in their natural habitats, and 2) going to places I likely would not have vistied if not for photography. YNP in winter (several times, and going again in a few weeks), Alaska Arctic, southern Africa, southern Utah, northern NM, NC Outer Banks are examples that come to mind quickly, with more to come. My wife's into it also, so it's something we can do together. It hasn't helped my golf game though...
 
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