Patience, and lots of it! That is what you need to photograph animals in the wild. This osprey visits my pond at least twice a day.
She is an awesome sight to watch as she circles the pond and then dives in after her meal. She is extremely accurate and usually comes up with a large fish in her talons. As I sit and edit digital images on my computer, I keep an eye out for her. Once I see her through my picture window, I grab my camera and run out the door. This has become a twice daily ritual for me. This gorgeous bird soars in the sky...mocking me! She sees me coming and most of the time she circles the pond staring down at me with her black eyes before she takes off to hunt someplace more private. Other times, she takes a dive before I can get the camera in focus. I try not to get frustrated because I know to really do it right, I would need to literally camp out by the pond in a blind. Unfortunately, I have to work for a living so I am unable to camp out for days on end waiting for the perfect shot. After I retire, you can bet I will be out someplace in the woods getting all the amazing photos I missed in my youth! The shot above was nothing but pure luck. Once I spied her, I made it to the pond so fast that I could have qualified for the olympics! She was taking a dive right when I got there so I simply dove to my knees, focused on the splash and shot. I had no time to even compose the shot, although happy to finally get something, yet it is still not the shot I have in my mind. The osprey was not happy with this shot either because she came up from the dive empty "taloned". I guess I kept her from catching her dinner. Hopefully one day she will trust me enough to hunt oblivious to my presence.