One of the things about Finch is that he’s a very exacting photographer. Talented and experienced, and wildlife photography is very technical. It’s good to learn alongside him, but it certainly shows up both my learning curve and the profound idiocies I commit sometimes.
We stalked this svalbard reindeer for a while, and I was very close. Thinking about really getting a closeup on its face. And then I cropped the bloody antlers out.
50+ shots of that creature, and not one really acceptable one. Like this.
Pretty good, right, except for cutting off its bloody feet.
It’s actually pretty hard to get these things to look at you — they eat and eat and eat in summer — so most of my shots were like this.
Perfectly pleasant, but not great.
That’s how I feel about pretty much all of the shots I’ve taken since I’ve been here. We climbed up a reasonably short, quite tricky, very steep talus slope to get at a Little Auk colony, and crawled out onto a little precipice to shoot over the side.
This one is sweet but a little soft.
The Little Auks don’t really DO much while they’re in their colony, but they sit still very nicely, and every once in a while they swoop around in a big group, socializing and vocalizing. They’re hard to capture when they’re flying, especially in the lousy light — they move quickly — but they’re lovely to stand among. They really are like tiny little flying penguins, and I wanted to stroke and squeeze them gently
Taking photos for me really is an excuse, sometimes, to tromp around pursuing moments with creatures. And standing up above this unlikely town, buzzed ’round by Little Auks flying in and out of their burrows in this sheer rockface, watching them retrieve and eat the food they’d carried in their stomachs from the sea, just warm enough to fight the wind and chill… I felt so lucky. Even if I’m a lousy photographer.