Video-Ohs – Unwitting Killers in our National Parks

The video below is of a photographer who was taking photographs of a young male elk in one of our national parks and even though he was abiding by all the rules, the elk started to manifest aggressive behavior. This, unfortunately, would lead to the end of the elk.

As someone who enjoys hiking in our national parks and photographing all wildlife in a safe and respectful manner, I find this very sad.

You can read the follow up below, under the video, for the details. The video itself is an interesting lesson regarding such confrontations.

The notes below are copied from the YouTube page:

Update: I’ve been in contact with the photographer in the above video and we would both like to issue a statement regarding the news of the National Park Service’s decision to put the elk down.

My statement:
I am deeply saddened by the fate of the elk. It has certainly pulled a black cloud over this whirlwind “viral video” experience.

I spoke to the reporter who broke the story and she assured me the decision was based on a pattern of aggressive behavior that began prior to the incident documented in this video. The behavior was the result of visitors feeding the elk and conditioning them to seek food from humans. This video only serves as an example of the elk’s dangerous behavior, not an impetus to it.

Again, it brings me great sadness to learn of this beautiful animal’s demise and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding it.
I’m looking into a destination for proceeds from this video to help the NPS educate visitors on the dangers and consequences of feeding wildlife.

I also want to be clear that James, the photographer, was not complicit in a behavior that led to the elk’s demise, but rather was made an example of the result of such behaviors. The elk approached him from behind, likely looking for food as he was conditioned to do.

Statement from James (the photographer):
I love and respect animals and that’s why I photograph them and don’t hunt them. I am deeply hurt by the loss of such a beautiful creature that in its own way bonded with me. I looked forward to watching him grow to a mature bull as the years passed.

I’m truly heartbroken to know he is gone.

Original video description:

While photographing elk at sunrise in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park I turned around to see what appeared to be just a curious young bull sniffing a photographer’s camera. I snapped a few frames of the apparent harmless encounter.

But the elk became more interested in making trouble than simply the scent of a camera. He started physically harassing the photographer, escallating to full on head-butts.

I quickly switched the camera to video and let it roll (much of the time wondering when I should seriously consider intervening).

Most people who see this ask why the photographer seems to just take the abuse. I asked him in an email what was going through his head. This is his response:

“My first thoughts were “wow, he’s getting pretty damn close here.” But I’ve been up close before without incident. I hoped being still and passive would see him pass on. When he lowered his antlers to me, I wanted to keep my vitals protected and my head down. I felt that standing up would provoke him more and leave me more vulnerable to goring. I think that while protecting myself with my head down, having my head down was a signal that I was rutting with him. I was concerned at first, but when he started rearing back and lunging at me later on, I got scared and pissed off. That’s when I wagged my finger at him to cut that shit out. I was relieved to see the Ranger coming.

So I guess at some point if the Ranger hadn’t of pulled up, I would have had to disengage the best I could. I’ve joked with my friends that at least he took me for a buck and not a cow!”


More Vide – Ohs

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A very poignant look at an old institution in New York City, a chess shop. This short documentary tells a compelling tale.

chess, institution, old, social, competition, compelling, life, living, work, occupation, game, thrilling, friendship, intergenerational, New York City, documentary, video, story, poignant, gratifying, opportunity

Tin Man Lee – Wildlife Photographer Extraordinaire

A Photographer of Wildlife’s Life!

JBRish readers may remember my article: Tin Man Lee – Vision and Talent of a Wildlife Photographer

Tin Man Lee has been at it again! He has created a short video about his harrowing and adventurous trip to the Falkland Islands to film penguins and other wildlife. The video will provide only a morsel of is talent as a photographer.

The Quest For Penguins from Tin Man Lee on Vimeo.

In addition to this beautiful video, Tin Man Lee has announced his forthcoming ebooks and video tutorial that will soon be for sale. The video tutorial will demonstrate some of the techniques he used to garner advancement of three photos for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest of the BBC.

You can find more information about them on his blog HERE

Thanks to Tin Man Lee for keeping us up to date with his wonderful experiences. originally published this post

See previous posts about talented and extraordinary photographers HERE

Tin Man Lee – Vision and Talent of a Wildlife Photographer

Readers of JBRish know that I enjoy photography and especially bird photography. Today, however, I want to share with you the work of Tin Man Lee. NOTE – The images used in this post are all taken by Tin Man Lee or are captured via screen shot from his website with his permission. All rights are reserved.

Tin Man Lee is a very modest person. If you read his about page, you will sense his humble tone. Wildlife photography has touched his soul.

Let’s take a look at Tin Man Lee as he is accepting his award for the Grand Prize at the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards – 2013.

Tin Man Lee Accepts his Award

If you prefer, you can watch a brief video (below) about the exhibition and the award.


Nature’s Best Photography Smithsonian Exhibit 2014 from Tin Man Lee on Vimeo.

The award winning picture is difficult to see in the above resources so here is that picture.

Powerful bear catching a salmon

Can’t you feel the power? And look at those claws!

I had to smile when Lee explained in one of his blog posts that he was frozen in the moment as the bear was powerful and although he was relatively sure the animal was going for the salmon, he couldn’t be certain!

As you will also notice, Lee exhibits a penchant for bears

Beautfull, golden lit picture of an intense bear

This bear is “thinking.” I can feel the bear’s intensity. The lighting is incredible!

Mother bear stands as lookout for cubs

Momma bear with two cubs. She is making sure the “coast” is clear.

Bear family bond

I don’t think a picture of any living creatures, including humans, can portray the family bond better than this one.

As you will see, Tin Man Lee is not a “one trick pony” (of course no pun intended here) as he demonstrates with his photos of birds.

An Alert Great Horned Owl

This picture not only captures the focus and concentration of this Great Horned owl, but also the ambiance of the forest. Harry Potter would be at home in these woodlands.

In an article about his firsts, Lee shows this picture as he explains how using long lenses was difficult for him as it is challenging to make sure the subject is in the frame and in focus. This shot is made all the more amazing by the subject matter and the demands of the equipment used.

Osprey carrying a fish for dinner

Osprey with fish

I have never met a person who did not smile when they saw a picture of an Atlantic Puffin. They are more than cute, they are endearing. Here is one in flight. Tin Man Lee was fascinated by Puffins even as a child.

Atlantic Puffin in flight

I could go on and on about Lee’s work. These pictures are amazing. Let me leave you with just these last two images which were taken from his website as screen shots.

Remarkably lit owl

Could the lighting be more perfect to create a mood?

A young fox carrying leaves

Endangered San Joaquin kit fox pup with a leaf. Central California.

One of the reasons, perhaps, that the work of Tin Man Lee is so engaging can be found on his website when he writes:

“TO BE HAPPY, ONLY DO IT FOR YOURSELF. I take pictures for my own self-satisfaction—to create images for my own enjoyment and viewing, so that I can remember special experiences with my “wild brothers and sisters.” I only go looking for the specific species I dream of photographing, and I only take photos of them the way I want—not to please anyone else but me. Nothing else really matters. It’s a way of finding myself.”

While he may be happy with his work, we are thrilled to experience these natural wonders along with him.

One of the best posts on the blog (IMHO) is Last Moments of a Bison Calf. I could feel the anguish described and for those who are sensitive, prepare to have a heartfelt experience.

Quotes from Tin Man Lee that struck a chord with me:

Speaking of his wildlife idol, Michio Hoshino, Tin Man Lee explains:”…you can feel the deep love he had with the animals he photographed.” Lee has learned well as we can feel his love and respect for the animals portrayed in his work.

“Wildlife photography is about capturing the natural behavior of wild animals in an artistic way that you prefer, and be able to tell a story and touch as many people as you can.”

“That’s when we need to learn our craft so that every time we see something, our vision and our technique come together to express what we feel in a way that touches others too. We need to learn the ‘language’ in photography to communicate.”

One of Lee’s secrets to becoming a better wildlife photographer – “B.I.F. – BIRDS IN FLIGHT Photography. It’s the mother of all action wildlife photography.” Lee continues to explain that before any meaningful wildlife photography can be practiced, the photographer must first learn the technology so that it becomes second nature.

A Final Note:

If you found these images as captivating as I have, the good news is there is much, much more on Lee’s website. I urge you to click here or on the blog tab at the top of his website. If you encounter a post in Chinese and that is not your language, scroll down and you will see many posts in English and I guarantee you will find at least one of them very inspirational. I intend to read nearly all of them.

Thanks to Tin Man Lee for giving permission to JBRish to publish his work and to share it with others via our website.

The Photographer May Be More Important than the Subject

“A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what is in front if it.”

Photo-One Man, Six Visions

Those who are professional photographers or serious enthusiasts have probably heard a comment something like the following:

“If I had your equipment, I could also take superb pictures.”

There is a modicum of truth to this and that is, in order to capture certain photographs, specialized equipment may be needed. Having said that, however, I must support the idea that the photographer and not the equipment is the most important ingredient in the creative/artistic equation.

A trained photographer creates a vision of their subject and it is often based upon that particular photographers accumulated skills and past experiences.

The YouTube video below points to the importance of the photographer, their creative vision and the experience they bring to the situation. I don’t want to “spoil” the video so watch it and I am sure you will be able to connect the dots and draw the appropriate conclusion.

In part, here are some of the comments associated with the video on YouTube:

“A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what’s in front of it.

To prove this we invited six photographers to a portrait session with a twist. ‘Decoy’ is one of six experiments from The Lab, designed to shift creative thinking behind the lens…

Special thanks to the photographers who participated in this experiment: Chris Meredith, Jin Lim, Lyndal Irons, Kate Disher-Quill, Franky Tsang & Tristan Stefan Edouard.”

If you want to read more about this and the philosophical underpinnings, Pamela Ann Berry wrote a photofocus post about. It is an important lesson to keep in mind.

Photography: Searching for the Magic Bullet

One of the photographers I enjoy following is Karen Hutton because she is different. I have never met her, but I feel that I know her and if you check out her blog, I think you will quickly get an understanding of who she is. Be careful though, she is like a human onion. There are layers upon layers, all interesting, but somewhat hidden until purposely exposed. Oh, did I mention to add a bit of quirkiness?!

Karen Hutton
Photo courtesy of Karen Hutton’s Website

I like to think of Karen Hutton as a photographer-philosopher because almost every post contains both elements. She recently spoke at Photo Plus Expo 2015 in New York City as a Fuji-X Photographer; a designation of honor given by Fuji.

In her most recent post, A Fuji-full Photo Plus Expo 2015!, she issues the following quote:

“…everyone here is seeking that magic bullet. Wants it. Desires that something ‘more’. But do they know what it is? How will they know when they’ve found it? And what will they do once they have it?”

This quote resonated with me because I know so many people who are looking for a “magic bullet.”

As part of her post, Karen shares two picture quotes that she made using her own images. As JBRish readers know, I really like quotes as evidenced by my daily posting of STATUS QUOtes.

Here are the picture quotes she created with her beautiful images. I like the quotes, I like the pictures. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi

Beauty awakens the soul to act.

“Beauty awakens the soul to act.” – Dante Alighieri

Read more about Karen Hutton and her photography/philosophy.

Heads Up – European Eagle Owl

This would be both a birder’s and photographer’s delight. A European eagle owl in the town of Noordeinde, Netherlands likes to land on the heads of people. It apparently has had some experience with humans since it does not seem to be the least timid around them. The bird rests where it lands for a brief period and then is off to find another perch!

Why Photographers Do What They Do

This video, The Calling, explains why David McLain is willing to put his life in the hands of strangers, leave his family for long periods of time and visit far away places to create photographic or motion images. This is what all photography is about whether you are an enthusiastic hobbyist, casual point-and-shooter or professional photographer. Creating the image of that unique moment is the reward.

Watch this beautiful and inspirational movie:

The Calling from SonyElectronics on Vimeo.

Shooting in the Streets – Photography

Eric Kim is a street photographer from Berkeley, CA. For those who aren’t familiar with the term “street photography,” it refers to those photographers who use the streets and public byways as their inspiration and motivation to create pictures of the people, places and events happening in the natural and real world. It is like finding the poetry in every day life. This is my simplistic definition, but it will do for now.

Mr. Kim has put together an interesting website about his passion and he shares his philosophy and insights with his readers.

Recently, he posted a series of street photography aphorisms, heuristics, and sayings which he has placed in cyberspace to inspire and motivate others. He has generously offered a downloadable version to his readers at the link below.

The sayings are broken down into categories and by way of example, I am including the categories in bold with one quote from each particular section. Many of them are specific to photography, but quite a few can be brought to bring meaning to a number of life’s avenues.

I hope you enjoy the quotes listed below and that you are motivated to visit Erick Kim’s site. There are many more than those that are noted below. Eric Kim’s photography blog


Street Photography Aphorisms, Heuristics, and Sayings

From the Blog of Eric Kim


Life/Philosophy: It is really complicated to make a photograph simple.

Overcoming your fear of shooting street photography: With physical proximity comes emotional proximity.

Creativity/Inspiration: Having fewer options in photography makes you more creative (think of the benefits of shooting with a prime lens).

Motivation: Going out to shoot is like going to the gym; leaving is always the hardest part. But at the end, you’re always glad that you went.

Aesthetics: “Grain is the brush stroke of photography.”- Constantine Manos

When shooting on the streets: “When in doubt, click.” – Charlie Kirk

Photography books: There is a difference between looking at photo books and reading photo books. One is to just see; the other is to analyze.

Equipment: Don’t judge a photographer on the quality of their camera, but the quality of their images.

Success: To double your success rate in street photography, double your failure rate.

Definitions: Don’t ask if your photo is a “street photograph” or not. Ask if it is a meaningful photograph.

Feedback/critique: It is more useful to ask people what they don’t like about your shots, rather than asking them what they like about your shots.

Editing: Editing tip: When in doubt, ditch.

Fame: Rather than creating photos to please your audience, find an audience that will be pleased by your photos.

Happiness: The only key to happiness and satisfaction as a photographer is to not have your happiness depend on others.

Eric Kim’s photography blog