I used to wonder if I’d lose the sense of connection with my subjects by using trail cameras and camera traps. I mean, being in the presence of wild animals in one of the best parts of being a wildlife photographer! Would all of that be lost with these cameras and techniques?

The answer is no. It’s made the connection deeper. Especially with this family of Black Bears. I’ve been “working” with this mother bear and her two cubs all spring and summer. While I’ve only met them ‘face to face’ three times, I’ve completely fallen for them. Just being in the same woods, walking the same trails and knowing only a few hours ago, they were on the same trail is kind of a cool feeling. I think I can even smell them. I’m sure they know my scent by now too. Constantly fixing/adjusting the cameras they abuse has almost become a game. I don’t get the least bit annoyed. I love it. And then to see a video like this. Just wow. Magical.

I’ve never been more connected.

As promised!

Here are two of the first images from new location! The Bear is covered in some sort of burrs/seed pods. I love how camera trapping is so raw. So real. The photos aren’t always perfectly pretty like you see in a National Wildlife Federation calendar. But nature isn’t perfect. As far as the raccoon goes, I’m surprised I haven’t gotten a lot more images of this species with camera traps. This is easily the best one yet.

Tomorrow, I’ll go back to this site and make a couple of adjustments to the lighting and I might trim a tiny bit of vegetation so we can see the tiny trickle of a stream better.

New Beginnings

I’ve never been more excited and passionate about what I do. In the last two months, I’ve spent time with Wild Mustangs in eastern Oregon and Northern Spotted Owls in the Old Growth forests of the Cascades. Black Bears and Great Horned Owls too. I’ve also been working on something new: ‘camera trapping’. Oftentimes, I feel like I’m living in my own National Geographic special.

This video explains my newest camera trap set up. It’s been up for less than a week and I’m already seeing some great results. There are Black Bears, Bobcats, Coyotes, Gray Fox, Blacktail Deer, Wild Turkey, Coopers Hawks and who knows what else in the area. I hope the suspense is killing you. I know it’s killing me. Camera trapping has reignited my love for wildlife and wildlife photography in ways I never thought possible.

Going forward, this blog is going to have the most details, thoughts, photos, videos, etc. about what I do. I plan on continuing to post some things on FB and IG, but beginning to resent the way they control everything I do and what my audience sees.