June 10, 2024

Seventeen years ago I began shooting with friend and mentor Kevin Fleming as he began work on his book Wild Delaware.  I learned a lot from Kevin and one way I learned was through our mutual judging of photography contests.  A consistent element we both looked for in wildlife photography was (and still is) action, or, as Kevin described it, ‘putting a verb in the photograph’.  Ideally the action is eye catching as either beauty and grace, or an exciting or unusual behavior. I struck upon a nice group of Whites Ibis in the marshes of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge early yesterday morning. I waited patiently for one or more of them to do something photo worthy but they primarily worked on their breakfast with heads down in the marsh grass.   Finally, a moment developed when one ibis prepared to leap onto the marsh surface ahead of it.  Here was my graceful beautiful early morning wetland wildlife moment.  A very pretty scene indeed.  I include here the shot a half second later when beauty and grace dissolve to ‘ok here we go…hang on’.  I like that transition as I feel like it is a parallel to many things in life.  What starts as a beautiful plan with careful preparation turns into ok, got it done.  I can relate.

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