I don’t consider myself a “wildlife photographer.” However, wildlife are those charismatic, living and breathing icons of the landscape. When you spend enough time tromping around, looking for the right shot and the right light, you’re going to run across some wildlife. And, it’s almost always beautiful. Thus, I dabble.
Wildlife are important to me as symbols of something much bigger, the value that lies in the wholeness of that in which we live. Almost everyone has a certain appreciation for wildlife, even if only on the most superficial level. That’s why we have “elk jams” in Rocky Mountain National Park, along with “bison jams” and “bear jams” in Yellowstone. We stop in our tracks to revel in the majestic beauty of a bull elk, or the sublime grace of an antelope herd afoot, because deep inside every one of us it stirs something primal.
In our house, we also rely on these animals for our food, that bittersweet ritual that keeps our hearts and hands rooted firmly in the ground around us. I may dabble in wildlife photography, but I do so with the deepest respect for their place in our landscape, and for the bounty they provide.