The Catalyst of a Career


I would venture to say that many people might be able to recall a defining moment that signified the beginning of a life long hobby or even a career. It might have been the actions of an unknown person or perhaps a friend that initiated the drive to continue on to achieve a dream. Everyone will have a different story without doubt.
I vividly recall the day when my life’s compass was set on the course that I now know and ironically it was July 4, 1976.
I had just “fallen off of the wagon” and borrowed $900.00 from the bank to buy the hottest lens that Canon offered its wildlife and sports photography aficionados. The 500mm F5.6 Flourite lens was rather new and offered the quality of color and sharpness that I thought I needed, even at this rather undeveloped stage in my life. Standing at the back door of the house where I resided in Benjamin and with the new lens attached to an early model Canon F1 camera, I had the combo pointed at the sky but through a maze of limbs in a mesquite tree. Suddenly, from out of the sweltering summer blue sky came a female scissor-tail flycatcher carrying a twig and landed upon a limb and in my field of view. Focusing the camera on the feisty little bird I was amazed to see yet another bird of the same species come into view. To my amazement the second flycatcher came directly at the already landed bird, a natural history behavioral trait that I knew was a prelude to the mating process. I realized instantly that I was about to be witness to an intimate moment between these two fantastic little song birds so in one fast motion I recomposed the image and had time for only one image. A winner it was and within a few months adorned the back cover of the Texas Ornithological Bulletin. Not a paying gig but that did not matter. The mold was set and I recognized the path that lay before me. Yes, July 4th does indeed have a special meaning for me…in more ways than one.

Happy Independence Day to all and God Bless America and God Bless Texas!!

My first published image that was exposed on July 4, 1976. Canon F1 and Canon 500mm F5.6 Flourite lens on a Lietz tripod. Kodachrome 64 film.

July 4, 2011. Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-105 F4.0L lens handheld. 50 ISO.

One thought on “The Catalyst of a Career

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *