Creating a dream shot

April 14, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Before you get excited, I don't have that dream shot as of yet. This blog is not about discussing that image but about attempting to create it. So, for now, I only have the dream of the image. With persistence, planning, and multiple attempts my hope is to some day have that image. I have been photographing Prairie Chickens now for two years. It is hugely inconvenient to photograph them. The drive is over and hour there and again over an hour back home. You have to be in the blind about an hour before sunrise. You have to set the blind up in the dark. Oh' and it is still winter, those mornings can be bitterly cold. After all, this is the Midwest. I have been out photographing them in -13 degrees F with another -10 added to that by the merciless wind chill to make it -23 F. Sitting still without much movement for three plus hours in that kind of weather is no joke. It takes real dedication and grit, oh' and did I mention good clothing? Needless to say, this is not the sort of thing you want to be doing every morning. Just after four am is still supposed to be bed time, not getting ready to leave time. Just in the past week I have been out to photograph them twice.

          So what will it take to get that dream shot?

  1. I will have to get permission to erect my own blind. Check!

  2. Since the blind has to be set up in total darkness one has to have a way to know where to pitch it. On a previous trip I waited for the birds to leave, picked my spot, and took measurements. So the next time I go, I will know to take so many steps from the permanent blind to the West and so many paces to the North. Check.

  3. The image I dream of will have to have a cloudless sky. I am watching the weather reports.

  4. The birds need to get used to my blind. Unfortunately, that means I will have to go multiple times.

  5. The imagined image will require taking the shot at an exact moment. To increase my chances of getting it right I have to learn the birds' behavior to better predict that moment. Check.

  6. Luck. A lot of luck will be needed. Why? Well, let me tell you about my dream, then it will make sense. First, please look at this image.

You might wonder what on earth this image has to do with my Prairie Chickens. My dream is to have two Prairie Chickens jump up into the air, fighting each other (as they often do). I want to be shooting right into the sun. I want to catch those Prairie Chickens inside the sun. For this to work out, they would have to be in the precise position between me and the sun. They would need to jump the exact height needed. Oh' and it needs to happen within just a few short minutes after sunrise before the sun gets too strong and harsh.

          So what do you think? Do I stand a chance? I can dream! Now, I just need to keep plugging away, trying over and over again, until I succeed. I sure hope that one of these days you will see this shot. I am already seeing it in my mind.


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