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The Reward of Patience in Nature Photography

Creator:
Published:
April 30, 2024
April 22, 2024
Watch this video about Josh Rector's passion for wildlife photography and get a behind-the-scenes look at his process.

Many of us may not get too many moments of silence throughout our week, but for nature photographer Josh Rector, sitting in silence is an essential part of his work. Capturing wildlife takes a great deal of time and patience, but the results speak for themselves.

"You just find a spot that is a solid spot for wildlife and sit down for sometimes a couple of hours... A lot of times, the wildlife will come right to you." Josh continues, "Patience and silence. That's something that'll help you in your normal lives as well."

Video Transcript

Josh Rector: We're going to try and photograph some short-eared owls. They're ground-nesting birds, and they're extremely well camouflaged. So we're actually going to use the vehicle to try and locate them.

They're pretty used to vehicles because tractors and ATVs come through this field quite often. Once you can jump one of them up, then you're able to kind of tell where they are and then get in position and get a couple good shots.

A lot of my best photos actually come from you just kind of find a spot that is a solid spot for wildlife and sit down for sometimes a couple hours, but just kind of chill and see what comes by. A lot of times the wildlife will come right to you. Patience and silence. That's something that'll help you in your normal lives as well. Like they say, good things come to those who wait, and I hear a bird over there. There he is. It's right behind the branch.

We'll pop by that pond too. See if we can maybe sneak up on the ducks in there.

Producer Jonathan: Yeah, yeah.

Josh: They're pretty skittish, but we'll give it a try. There's a slope and we can slowly creep up the slope, and just maybe at least get a couple seconds of footage before...

Jonathan: Before they all flee.

Josh: I wasn't able to get any shots. As soon as I put my head up, I was like, they're all right here. You got me laughing, man.

These are short-eared owl fields. So you can see how thick it is, so it's really, really hard to find them unless they're here in pretty large numbers. We'll drive through, see if anything spooks up. Even though they nest on the ground, this time of the year, they're not going to have any babies. They do that more in the spring and summer, and they do it up north towards Canada, northern US. So there's no concern that we're going to be running over any baby owls.

But I haven't seen one on this side of the property yet, but I know they're here. Still might be just a little bit early for them. Yeah. I guess no short ears today, but —

Jonathan: Oh, there's one! Right there, right there.

Josh: Oh, hell yeah. Good eye dude. I swear every time I come out too, it always ends up being the person with me that sees them first.

You still see her on the fence there?

Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah.

Josh: I think we can get us closer. Yeah. This is my favorite animal on the property, so I love seeing them. Yeah. They're just so cool. Give me both of your eyes.

Jonathan: That's great.

Josh: You see the teeny-tiny little tufts?

Jonathan: Yeah.

Josh: That's how you can tell a short ear, and they're not even ears.

Let's go. Did you get that? Or a little bit of it? That was good. He just flew. Not too far, so he wasn't too spooked. That was hilarious. He just let me get all the way out. Those were my first good fence shots.

Jonathan: That's great.

Josh: Because they normally don't like to stay on there for long.

Jonathan: Yeah. That's awesome.

Josh: Everything out here is so beautiful in its own way, and going out and exploring and finding those beautiful things — it's pretty phenomenal once you really sit down and kind of just enjoy what's around you and spend time in creation. With technology, we have an instant gratification feel to us as humans nowadays, and it's like, why would I go out there and walk for an hour when I can see a picture on my phone? Photography is just as important to capture those moments, but actually seeing it for yourself, not through a phone or not through a lens, it's completely different. It's something everybody should experience, and find places where you can go out and go for a hike. There's public land everywhere, and I promise you won't regret it.

Creators:
Grotto, Kevin DeCloedt
Published:
April 30, 2024
April 22, 2024
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