As someone who doesn’t make their living from photography, it can get hard to find time (or make time) to get out in the field. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma which is 10 hours from the mountains and 8 to 10 hours from the coast (depending on where I go). It isn’t ideal for someone that loves to be outdoors taking photographs.
Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful places around Oklahoma that I should be visiting on a regular basis, but the mountains are really where my heart is and where I absolutely love to photograph landscapes and wildlife. While my heart is in the mountains, I know I should make time to get out and practice my craft. There’s nothing worse than grabbing your camera to make a photograph and forgetting how to use it…so field time is imperative to keep those technical skills sharp.
Just as important as keeping your technical skills up to date is improving the other skills needed to make a good photograph. Like ‘being there’ for one. You have to be in the field working on your craft in order to improve as a photographer.
As a way to get back out in the field, I took a trip this past weekend my wife and I drove up Pawhuska Oklahoma to the Tall Grass Prairie to see if we could see some bison and find some good opportunities for some photographs similar to these photographs from our last trip in the fall.
Normally when we visit the preserve, we see a few bison here and there, but most times they are off in the distance. I usually get a few good photographs like the ones above. This time though, we stumbled across them on the back bison loop road where it looked like they had spent the night and were just starting to move around for the day. Additionally, there were a lot of calves, which makes me really happy to see….a healthy bison herd is a good thing for the preserve (and for the bison herd).
One of the photographs that I’ve always wanted to get was of a single bison off in the distance walking toward me. I’ve always had a this image in my head as one that I wanted to get and I’ve never found the right opportunity to capture it. I almost got the image I wanted this weekend, but its not quite what I had envisioned – but I’ll take it. Here’s that image:
The ‘perfect’ image is one like the above but with a mountain in the background. I’ll get it one day…as long as I find time to get out in the field.
If you are around Oklahoma, take a trip up to Pawhuska to the preserve…its a great way to spend a few hours.