I’ve been at this photography game since I first started getting published in magazines back in 1987. I’ve never stressed out on missed opportunities, although some episodes do stand out. If I miss something I’ve always felt something better is just over the next hill.
Maybe an incident that occurred early in my career set the tone. In 1984 my wife and I were photographing in Jasper Alberta, when a wolf crossed the road to pause by a lake, throwing out a perfect reflection. As I raised the camera for “the shot” a semi roared by, spooking the wolf. Blowing the shot. Another car did not pass for another hour! I remember walking around town in a daze, re-living the missed opportunity over and over. Then as luck would have it, as we headed east of town, we came across two bull elk. I followed them as they browsed through a boggy area and was in position when a loud crash sounded from deep in the woods. My photograph of their reaction was our first print and in our early years, that one shot, (Twin Velvet), carried us as we did art shows throughout the west. It literally was Wildlife Along The Rockies. Now years later we still carry the print, selling only a couple per year, but without that shot we probably wouldn’t have a business today.
Missed opportunities. They come in other forms too. Like the summer Cindy and I spent in Alaska shooting 125 rolls of film just to find out the camera put a deep scratch in each frame. We threw them all away. Two Octobers ago when I took 250 images of a black bear and cubs in a snowstorm and the shots literally disappeared on the download.
So when I lost my card holding the Silver Gate Grizzly images last Thursday, I joked about how good they were and tried to just take it all in stride. Well, yesterday I pulled out my lens to shoot a few frames of the wolf at Blacktail ponds. Something slipped out of my sunshield, which is attached to my lens. There on the ground lay by missing card!
Now it is time to put up or shut up! I bragged how good the shots were. You can by the judge.
Note: The shot I titled, “Stalking Grizzly”, I thought the bear was eyeing me. I know now he had spotted or maybe more accurately smelled the cow and calf moose on the slope 100 yards behind me.