As a lover of animals, wildlife and nature, some days it’s very hard for me to keep on driving past something interesting that I see on the side of the highway without pulling over to get closer.
If there are farm animals, horses, wildlife, cows, whatever, and they are close enough for my lens to reach a fair distance, I pull over (if it’s safe of course) and hop out, camera in hand.
This Mom with Calf was just too cute and content to pass by. The baby was super curious about me, and the Cow was super calm having me be there.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get any closer (there was a huge ditch between me and the subject) without maybe injuring and ankle (learned that lesson already last year) or ending up in mud, or even worse, treading on private property (something I won’t do). Plus, these cows were so peaceful and content under these trees, I wanted to respect them, and not disturb them.
Which by the way, is a rule I almost always follow in my photography of wildlife, pets and animals. Pay respect and try to not be invasive. I want them to continue doing, what they are doing in the moment I first saw them, as much as possible.
I’m not one of those photographers who will disturb animals to get the best shot (a few exceptions of course). I believe that the best shots are the ones that are real and natural, and not forced. Sure, I wanted to go climb in that ditch and right over to the fence to zoom in and get really close, but how would that have worked?
The cows would likely have have got up, moved away, and I would have lost that moment of trust I had gained with the calf already, and maybe ended up with no photo. Not worth it.
Also, this is never just about photography for me, it’s about gaining trust with animals and wildlife, and it’s about the deeper connections that can be had, with silent communication and moving slowly.
The other option is to have a $10,000 zoom lens which … and well … it’s on my list 🙂
– brenda johima –