Above The Birds info

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” Ansel Adams

A simple concept:

“White bird in sun, dark background in shade.”

Simple idea, not so simple to execute. I live on the top floor of a building on the canals in Venice and would often marvel that the birds flew below me, when I was always used to looking up at birds. One day in the 80’s (yes, I have been here a long time) I saw an egret fly through a tiny shaft of light that I had not noticed before. It was beautiful, it was dramatic and it was gone in a blink of an eye. I thought it was awesome and thought that one day I would like to capture that moment in a photo. I put it on my bucket list. I started to think about which days of the year and which hours of the day that tiny shaft of light might appear in that spot or somewhere else in the neighborhood. But, very quickly those days would be gone and I’d have to wait another year to see that light. Or not. It might be cloudy, or rainy, or I might be working for a client, or on location… any number of situations could, and did, get in the way. But, I always knew that someday I’d try to get that shot. My wake-up call came in 2015 when I got hit by a car while riding my bicycle. Part of my recovery was to get out of the house and walk the neighborhood which, of course, took me by all of my potential locations every day. On the dark side of that recovery was the realization that if I couldn’t work again I wouldn’t be able to afford to live where I have lived for 40+ years. Along with all of that anxiety, I thought to myself, “What is it that you would miss the most from this area?” The answer was simple, “Get that bird photo on the bucket list.” That simple moment changed my life. I had a reason to get up in the morning and a story I wanted to tell. I knew it would be hard, but that is part of the excitement. So began a daily shooting routine that has lasted over 4 years. Most days the light is not right and I don’t shoot a shot. Granted, I see birds, but not in the right light or location. I am very specific on where that bird has to be, so even if the light is perfect, if that bird is a few inches off I can’t shoot. Or, I should say, I won’t shoot. I am not a bird photographer in the classic sense. It isn’t the bird I am after, it is the light. It has taken years to get some of these shots and I can tell you that I cried when I saw the first shot on the screen after years of thinking about it. My first thought was that I couldn’t believe it actually happened and I got the shot. My second that was that I want more. To me, these are much more than just photos of birds, they are intimate portraits of friends whose habitat is threatened. I have a much deeper emotional connection to them than I would have ever dreamed of when I first had the inspiration that many years ago. The passion, the patience and what they symbolize affects me at a very deep level. And the dream lives on …..