Robert McCaw Nature Photography
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October 22, 2005.

When it comes to photographing the natural world I have always said, and I’m sure I’ll continue to say - “You can’t go back”. All nature photographers will tell you that you have to get the shot when you see it. You can’t say, I’ll come back tomorrow and do it. I have tried that – hoping for better light, the wind to die down, a flower to open or to get better photos of young foxes at a densite. It almost never works. Something will have changed. The flower has faded, the mother fox has moved the kits, or the day has worse light and more wind than before.

Point Pelee National Park in Ontario, Canada is known worldwide for its spring migration of birds – and birders and photographers “flock” there in May mostly for the Warblers. You become programmed to rise at 5:00 am, ride the train to the turnaround station and walk from there to the tip. If the birds are going to be there, the “tip” is the place to be.

It was on my first morning of this walk that I saw the Violets. It was about as perfect a clump as you can ever find and it was growing right beside the boardwalk only 100 yards from the train station - but I came to photograph birds, and who knows what amazing fallout of birds would be waiting at the tip. I slowed down briefly but walked on by. I did this again the second morning and the third – perhaps hesitating a little more each day as I passed the flowers.

The fourth morning was perfect for flower photography – no wind and beautiful soft light with even a hint of fog in the air. The Violets were still in beautiful shape and there had been no bird fallout on the other mornings ………………… maybe you can go back.

Canon 1D Mark 11
70-300mm DO at 195mm
¼ second at f 22
ISO 160

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