My career as a photographer began innocuously enough after my major professor at Texas Tech University loaned me a camera in 1972 with the instructions to document the data I was collecting for a research project on coyote dietary habits. I became enthralled with the camera and what Kodachrome could do in rendering the color I saw when afield. Once the research was completed and I had to give the camera back I went out to Plains Camera on 34th St. in Lubbock and bought my first outfit which consisted of a Canon TL and a 50mm F1.8 lens. My career was about to began and I did not even know it.
In the early years my photo endeavors were almost exclusively directed to wildlife and the behavioral aspects thereof. I broke into editorial shooting in the late 1970’s and by the mid 80’s was shooting heavily for the Big Three New York publications of Field & Stream, Sports Afield and Outdoor Life. During these years I shot approximately 50 cover images for these magazines including images published in many of the top nature publications in Europe. However I began to tire of doing exclusively wildlife and by the early 1990’s had branched out into many other angles of photography that would more fully satiate my creative intent. Sky, people, landscape, and history fascinated my creative spirit and I turned away from wildlife for quite some time to focus my energy and lenses on so many other fields of interest that would describe the great state of Texas.
They say that our lives comes full circle and I suppose that this may be true. I have had a renewed interest in photographing wildlife and am excited at the prospects thereof. Although documenting truly wild creatures and not those rented from game farms or those confined in small areas behind fences requires a tremendous amount of time, effort and knowledge of natural history, I find excitement and renewed energy as I go into the field knowing that the indigenous fauna of Texas is my goal.
Too many people believe that fine wildlife photography can be achieved by simply spending a tremendous amount of money on camera gear and then head into the field. This is far from the case. In order for a consistent flow of great images to occur one must be well learned in the habits of the target species. By this I mean one must attain a thorough understanding of the behavioral traits of the animal of choice in order to recognize and capture the nuances that sets your photo apart from the rest. Understanding great light and its application, having the right equipment for the job and attaining knowledge regarding your target animals natural history will put you far ahead in the game.
In this blog I offer you some images that define a few wildlife species from the rolling plains of Texas. Many of these images were taken through several years past during my adventures over the big ranch country that defines this region of the state and some are the result of my recent forays into the brush after once again having a renewed interest in documenting the natural fauna of North Texas. Immerse yourself in the spirit of the photographic hunt and come with me and my Canon cameras as we walk, crawl and wait in the burning heat of summer and the bitter cold of a Texas norther for the right shot. Enjoy!!