Big Moose Dreams

Okay – how many times has this happened to you?  You’re making your way on an old logging road up in the Maine North Woods, where the cell service really sucks, and you decide to call your significant other back home.  In my case, her name is Beth.  The conversation goes a little something like this:

Me:  Hey, Honey!  Guess what?  I’m in the rut!

Beth:  What?  I’m having trouble understanding you.  You’re pretty garbled.  You’re in a rut??

Me:  No!  I’m in the rut.  THE RUT!

Beth:  Gerry, if you’re in a rut, you need to remember to be grateful, and shift your focus –

Me:  No.  You don’t get it.  I’m in the rut, and I couldn’t be happier!

Beth:  What??  You’re away from me, in a rut, and that makes you happy???  Just stay up there, ya jackass!!

All right, so maybe that’s never happened to you.  It’s actually never happened to me, either.  But the focus here is that the Moose rut is upon us once again, and that does indeed make me very, very happy.  Why?  Because of photographic opportunities like this:

“Sparring Partners”

That particular image is special to me because it represents years of hoping, planning, and skill.  I’d been hoping to see a couple bull Moose sparring someday.  I’d been planning to get them locking antlers with spectacular fall foliage in the background.  And -- if I didn’t choke -- I’d be skillful enough to capture the moment.  So, yeah – because of all that, you can say this is one of my “dream shots”.

A year earlier, I’d come fairly close to realizing that dream.  Yeah, I got two bulls goin’ at it:

But…there was a road in the shot.  Yeah, the foliage was okay, but just…okay.  And…that road…nope.  Not what I was after. 

Now, don’t get me wrong – this was an astounding moment for me.  A first, in fact.  And it was terrific fun to hear my friend and fellow Moose photographer (let’s call him “Jim”) screech at me to “…get the hell out of the way, you moron!!”.  I pretended I couldn’t hear him, by the way.  So, a good memory and a better short story.

But it wasn’t my dream shot.  That would come later, as you already know.  And here’s the point – as a wildlife photographer, you need to dream, and dream perfectly.  Picture the image you want, then plan, practice, and execute.  Don’t settle for anything less than what you had in mind! 

By the way, the conditions for “Sparring Partners” were absolutely ideal.  And that led to other images that week which I’m happy to call my own:

While we’re on the subject, something else I’m happy to call my own is my new book:  “Zen and the Art of Moose Photography”.  In it, I cover “Dream Shots”, and how to plan for them, and execute them.  And then what to do with the damn things!  Get your copy today and start dreaming big, my friends!  Big Moose dreams!!

To order, head here: