I bought my first SLR because I wanted to have some decent images to post on E-bay. It didn’t take long to find out that I still take really bad photos even with better gear. In my quest to learn composition and exposure I started following the works of other great nature photographers who, are in my opinion, the premier avian photographers of our time. That is when I set out to make perfect bird images. Little did I know!

Fast forward a several years and I am just a tad closer to making those perfect images. I remember when I first thought I knew my favorite lens like the back of my hand, I was really only about a quarter of the way there. When I downloaded all my user’s manuals to my iPad and started reading them regularly, I inched a little closer, and when I started to look up info on every new bird I saw I at least knew I was on the right track. Seems like there is always some great challenge in bird photography. A challenge just to be there, to get close enough, to be fast enough, to be patient enough, and of course to understand what any bird is going to do on any particular day. It’s not easy. No one said it would be but still I thought I would soon make that perfect photo.

Like many I suppose, I would love to be one of those pros traveling around the world shooting exotic animals. From time to time that vision helps keep me warm at night, but really?

Somewhere along the line I think I became more of an advocate for the Avian world. To tell their story. It may be a first time introduction or a chance to show the shear beauty and grace of these animals in great detail. For some people it is a story that documents behavior and characteristics. There are those who don’t have access to the great outdoors who can now appreciate the beauty of flight or the color of plumage. Then, from time to time there is the story, or rather the lessons, of the circle of life and the unwanted touch of man. These are the stories I can tell all day long.

Now that I think of it, in that context, it’s not so hard to make the perfect photo!

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My Wildlife Gear

Nikon D2x / D200

Nikkor 300mm f2.8 VR lens

Tokina 100-300mm f4 af lens

Tamron 200-500mm f5-6.3 af lens

Tamron 1.4x Teleconverter

Induro CT313 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Acratech GV2 Ballhead

Nikon SB600 flash

Vivitar HV 285 flash

RBD custom flash bracket

Better Beamer flash extender

Lowpro AW Magnum Bag