Finding Time for Nature

Elk on the National Elk Refuge

In a place like Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, it’s very easy to get spoiled by the amount of wildlife you can capture along the road. It can make for exciting drives, but at the same time it can veer us away from the entire reason we’re out looking for wildlife to begin with.

The next time you’re out looking for a wildlife shot along the road, or even just a nice landscape, pull off of the road and turn your car off. If possible, get away from any highway noise and traffic. Get out of your car, and then wait. Within minutes, you’ll hear birds beginning to chirp, followed by other forms of nature that were waiting for the intruding noise to go away: coyotes howling; elk bugling; etc. Once you hear it all, you’re reminded of why you were driving around looking for another shot to begin with. It’s that reconnection with nature that we’re all after; the photos we capture serving as a reminder of a particular sublime moment in time with it.

Getting out and hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing is, of course, much more fun than driving around. Sometimes, though, we’re just out for a short while looking for a quick shot. The Internet, however, has spoiled us into expecting things instantly. Naturally, nature doesn’t always comply with that. Instead, sometimes your best shots come from just sitting with nature and allowing the shot to be revealed to you through patience and appreciation for why you’re out there to begin with. Most of the time we’re only taking advantage of one of our senses to find a shot. Open your other senses up and get them involved in the process.

The next time you’re out driving around, looking for something to shoot, get away from traffic and main roads, turn your car off, get out, and allow nature to show you a shot by simply appreciating that you have that natural area to get away to in the first place.

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  1. As always a great perspective, Mike!!!
    I just experienced this myself while on a short hike in RMNP last Sunday, it is so easy to forget how amazing nature is even just a little ways from the main road…..  

    1. Thank you, Angelique! Road noise does add some distraction, so I always enjoy getting away from it and letting nature be the dominant sounds.

  2. Good thoughts here – I know that I spend a lot of time exploring roads that lead away from civilization.  I think that we just naturally see more when our hearing and attention doesn’t have to be focused on road noise or other drivers.

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