Plan B…

Traveling to Kenya is an arduous journey and for many a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Studying up on wildlife photography greats like Art Wolfe, Marina Cano, and many others is a definite prerequisite. One can only hope to encounter spectacular moments similar to those portrayed in their work. There are, however, no guarantees in photography. Sometimes there are no zebras lined up at the watering hole; sometimes the beautifully lit cheetah lounging in the tree is mysteriously absent; and sometimes there is no mother giraffe leaning down to lay what looks like a kiss on her baby. The pressure is on, though, to bring back amazing and captivating images from such a trip. That is why there always needs to be a Plan B.

Photographers are masters of simplification. They need to be great problem solvers who make snap decisions when given a scene as to what include, what to exclude, and how to compositionally pull a viewer in to keep their attention. At times it can be nerve-racking to compose an interesting and creative photo with given conditions. During these times, it is often necessary to rely on past experiences.

Grey crowned cranes are often photographed in Kenya with their unforgettable red plumage leaping off of the print or screen, which makes quite an impression on the viewer. In the past, I have at times photographed people from behind so that their story is told in a more mysterious and graphical way. Relying on this experience, I chose to photograph the grey crowned cranes in a similar fashion. The unique point of view was difficult to produce while sealed in a safari vehicle. The effort was worth it, though, as I wound up capturing an image that has become one of my personal favorites. The photo reminds me of warm and sticky summer days as a child and those irresistible dandelions that sprinkled the lush green lawn and begged to be released by a puff of air.

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