Rick Hobbs Photography
From The Field
Photographing thousands of sandhill cranes during migration
Imagine slowly creeping along
on a wildlife refuge road illuminated by the light of the full moon. You
are arriving at your location just before the first light of what is about
to be another awesome day. You roll the windows down just a little bit
and feel the cool air of the brisk Autumn morning as you listen to the
call of the wild. On this day there are (7,000) sandhill cranes, (12,000)
snow geese, canada geese and a variety of ducks on the refuge. The sound
of thousands of birds welcoming a new day is something I will remember
forever. Great photographs are nice but it is the experience of being
there that matters most, that is what gives you the memories.
After getting into position, there are a few moments when you just stand there and listen to thousands of these magnificent birds right in front of you. While watching the clouds catch the light and the colors rise towards the sky you realize you are part of something special and wish it could last forever. All of a sudden, they take off. Excitement fills the air as large groups of birds blast off the water and head out to the local fields in search of food. It's time to go to work.
The next couple
of hours are spent creating photographs as the sounds of calling birds
and motor drives fill the air. We are able to make photographs of the
birds flying against the color of a sunrise, flying past the setting full
moon, and in flight against the clear blue sky. Several groups remain
on the ground and provide great opportunities to photograph them in their
natural habitat. It is the beginning of another productive day photographing
in the refuge.
During the day we photograph the birds that are still in the refuge along with any of the other local wildlife that we find. In late afternoon the cranes and geese return to the refuge after feeding in the local fields. They fly back in groups and land right in front of us where they will spend the night.
This is exactly what we plan to experience again this year on each day of my next Photo Tour scheduled for October 19-22, 2002. We will spend each day working in the field as we create great photographs. I will be available to answer any questions and give you suggestions to get the most out of this great outdoor adventure. We will be photographing right off the main road and working out of our vehicles so this trip is very easy for anyone who would like to participate. For more information about this or any other exciting photo trip please click on Events.