Rarely is it Luck

Fox kits at twilightFox kits at sunset with the rays of the setting sun filtering through the trees

Just the other evening I was out in nature with all my gear, quietly waiting for the perfect shot. I had been watching a family of foxes for over a week, trying to capture the special family bond in a single picture. I had already spent countless hours scouting the location, analyzing the lighting conditions, and observing their behaviour. It was a task that required not only patience but also a deep understanding of my craft. 

fox kits looking up
Fox kits looking up at raven outlined in rim light

On this particular day, after hours of waiting, the moment finally arrived. The fox kits emerged from their den to play atop the logs. My lens was trained on them. I snapped a series of shots, waiting for the precise moment when the light would hit the trees and the foxes perfectly. And then it did for a fleeting moment come together, the light, the interactions, the background it was perfection. 

fox rim lightWaiting for the right body position to make a photo with the rim light and background

When I got back to my studio, I went through the images, selecting the best ones and making minor adjustments to enhance their beauty. As I posted one of the images, a follower commented "Wow, what a lucky moment!" I was taken aback by the comment. What I thought, luck had nothing to do with it. I had worked tirelessly to get that shot. I felt is was a disservice to all the effort I had put into my craft. What folks do not realize is there are rarely lucky moments in wildlife photography. You make photos if you are a good photographer you do not take photos. The images require effort, skill and patience. I ensured I had the right light, the perfect background, and an understanding of the foxes' behaviour and even with that knowledge I still waited with tons of patience to get the perfect shot. You simply do not see a fox, stop, click a few frames and move on and expect to have an award winning shot. There is no room for luck. 

fox familyCapturing the family in the right position with the right light and background to photograph the kits nursing take days and days of watching this den

As a wildlife photographer, I know that the resulting image wasn't just a simple photograph, it is a piece of art, crafted through hard work and dedication. And while others may look at it on social media, possibly even stop their scrolling for a second,  and maybe even give it a like or a comment because the see a beautiful moment, it is much more than that. It is a testament to the countless hours I spend honing my craft and perfecting my technique, all good wildlife photos are that - a testament to the photographer working to make a photo, there was no luck involved. .  

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