"Now, a few words on looking for things. When you go looking for something specific, your chances of finding it are very bad. Because of all the things in the world, you're only looking for one of them. When you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it are very good. Because of all the things in the world, you're sure to find some of them."
Daryl Zero, The Zero Effect
Like many things in life, passion is a prerequisite for excellence. For the portrait photographer, you must love people, their history, their accomplishments, their failures, their joys, and their sorrows. For the landscape photographer, you must love travel and the awesome magnificence the earth has “gifted” to us. For the wildlife photographer, you must love animals, their amazing and sometimes strange beauty and their fascinating workmanlike and sometimes playful behavior. The key is being able to get close enough without fear, without aggression, with love and compassion. You must be patient and willing to pass up a photo if an animal is disturbed by you. Wildlife must be respected and you must feel privileged that animals are willing to let you photograph them.
I was an avid fly fisherman for 15 years. I fished, mostly lakes, throughout the Northwestern US and British Columbia. I loved getting out into remote wilderness areas where I could be alone with nature. Often, while fishing I would see bear, moose, elk, and other wildlife, so eventually I bought an inexpensive camera to take with me when fishing.
Once I had a camera I would walk or drive around looking for bears, moose, and elk before actually fishing. And, then again after fishing. And, soon that camera wasn't quite good enough so an SLR with a telephoto lens was the next purchase. And finally, in 1995, after a five day fishing trip to British Columbia I came home without ever putting my fishing rod in the water. At that point I realized that my interest had changed. I was no longer a fisherman, but a photographer. I have been photographing wildlife ever since.
As you will see, my style is to be an unobtrusive observer where, in a few miraculous moments, a brief relationship transpires creating a photo which places the viewer in the wilderness - interacting with the animals just as I did. It is the next best thing to being there. I hope you enjoy the experience.