This is a very personal photo to me. It embodies everything that is special about bird photography and likewise, everything that is special about the place where I made this image - Bosque del Apache, National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico.
It took me more than a decade to make this image and I'd love to share with you all the particulars from behind the scenes...
I don't teach many workshops these days but I do have two scheduled for 2022. One is with Bob Davis and is a still photography workshop at Bosque del Apache, NM. The second workshop is for video/filmmakers only and is also at Bosque. Click here to learn more about my Bosque tours.
I also have a Dalmation Pelican workshop scheduled for Feb, 2023. This is a very exclusive tour for only three photographers. To get more information on the Pelican tour in Greece, click here.
I am also available for private workshops* anywhere in the USA. Rates start at $1500 daily plus first-class expenses, two-day minimum. My schedule tends to fill up quickly so please count on giving me at least 90 days notice if you'd like to book a private tour. (*Up to three people total - same price.)
Watch the video to find out...
I use my stills/video cameras and even my music to tell stories about nature. I also teach other nature-lovers how to do the same thing.
I am a visual storyteller. I am a member of the International Documentary Association and I have also been accredited by The Societies of Photographers as an Associate of The Society of International Nature & Wildlife Photographers. (ASINWP)
I am evolving as a visual artist after more than 40 years as a stills photographer and moving full time to documentary filmmaking. Visit my site FROMSTILLSTOMOTION to find out more about that transition.
I believe that nature photographers and filmmakers have a sacred calling. We're much more than gear hounds. We are High Priests and Priestesses of Memory Protection. It's a solemn duty and one that I take very seriously.
Every time I grab a camera, I try to think to myself, "This may be my last chance to document the natural world. I better make it count."
For me, bird and wildlife photography as art is about two connecting themes: extraordinary craftsmanship in terms of technical mastery of photography and a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the nature behind the image.
At a deeper level, however, I pursue this art form because of its almost religious qualities. One day, I can have a vision in my mind that represents a photograph I want to make. This vision exists only in my head and my heart – it’s a silent vision which has the power to bring me out into the field, month after month, and year after year, for a chance to turn that vision into something tangible that I can meaningfully share with others.
The other religious aspect of my work is focus and devotion to an idea over which I have absolutely no control. None. I learn all that I can about the natural factors behind each photographic opportunity, but I never know how they will play out. My artistry focuses on the beauty of things which are random.
Avian and other wildlife subjects operate within their own free will, on their own time and according to millions of years of genetic imprinting. In short – the bird flies its own path and it’s highly unlikely that I can have any real influence over that path. This is different than working in a photography studio where I have control over the set, the model and the lights. As a visual artist who makes avian and wildlife art, my gift is to know how to “show up prepared” to interact with beauty that I do not control. I must learn to be at peace with my subject on their terms, not on mine. In other words, the only way to be successful is for me to give up all control. The feeling of peace I get when I find that perfect space is worth more to me than gold.
I am just human and heavily flawed, and I struggle with finding the patience and the path. But when that struggle becomes the hardest, I remember my calling. I speak for the creatures which have no voice. Perhaps this is why the experience is so emotional for me. It matters. Each time I get to a perfect moment and capture that moment with my camera, I experience joy as well as sadness. I am joyful because the finished work provides me (and others) with a lifelong memory of a successful vision. But I also feel sadness that the pursuit is over.
After that moment, the cycle begins again, and I launch the pursuit of the next creative vision. I hope to share that vision well enough that others may also someday wish to help speak for those creatures who otherwise have no voice.
Copyright © 2022 Scott Bourne / All Rights Reserved.