Saturday, May 29, 2010

Maybe more than the photos


Having taken a lot of images where the reward is the image itself, a nice shot, and not much else I've thought about trying to do some good. I've toyed with the idea of helping out at a rehab center, or volunteering here or there. But, I know that's not my calling, at least not right now.

My passion is taking photos. It gets me up at 3am, it makes me drive hundreds of miles. Over the last few years I've had requests for images sent to me via flickr. They have fallen in to three main categories:
#1) for profit groups that want free images.
#2) for profit groups that want images but have a few bucks to spend. And finally
#3) non-profit groups that want images for free and are working on a good causes, be it conservation, preservation, or something like that. Helping animals, the environment, habitat restoration or preservation...
-click for more-

Of those 3 types of requests I ignore #1 requests. #2 requests I've only pursued a few, usually it is not worth the hassle to me, I'd rather be shooting, editing, etc. One in particular I put in a bunch of hours working on it and it didn't pan out, so I felt like I had wasted time. #3 requests are my favorite. I can do what I like (take photos) and provide them for free to a good cause so they can do their thing. I've given images to the Fish and Wild Service, National Parks Service, The Nature Conservancy, a singing zoo act / guy, a group trying to study the impact of something or other in Greenbelt Maryland... And probably a bunch of others that slip my mind.

Today I went out shooting with a couple of people that help with rehabilitating raptors. Linda and Kurt are good folks that care and put in the time doing the work with the animals. Today was a day where their hard work, and the work of others, paid off. They released 6 birds back in to the wild.

My part today was to watch and learn, and to take photos.

They released 3 Red-Shouldered Hawk, 2 Red-Tailed Hawks, and 1 Broad-Winged Hawk. It was pretty cool.

Here are some shots. I plan to give them to the folks involved so they can promote their work, and get support, funding, etc. I guess what I realized in regards to their work (before and again today) is that I'm a photographer - that's what I do... I've wanted to help with the birds, rehabing or volunteering. It is just not what I am motivated to do. And probably not what I am good at. So,, I'm going to spend my time becoming a better photographer, and as I find the way to - helping good causes.

If you are like me, but not a photographer, and not someone that can volunteer with the raptors - there's one thing you can do to make a difference. While driving don't litter. Don't toss any type of food items from your car. Many if not most injured raptors are struck by cars. The way I've heard it recounted to me - prey animals feed on these items, and raptors lock in on the prey (squirells, etc) and will fly to catch them with no regard for the cars or trucks on the roads. So, don't toss any food type items from your car.

Even a banana peel.
Don't Litter!

Here's a Broad-Winged Hawk being released also...
Broad-winged Hawk Release (+Animation)

Broadwinged Hawk release / Jon


Thom said...

A very interesting post. Particularly your comment about throwing food from your vehicle. I've seen this so many times on our streets and highways. Raptors are not only in wooded areas but also in residential. I photographed one in my back yard. And I do not live in the country!!

People need to be educated to preserve our resources. We are not the only animals on this planet!

Anonymous said...

I just realized you have a blog. I'll be following from here on out. I really love that you donate your work to conservation organizations. Are you in or around NJ? I would love to shoot with you sometime or if you offer classes or anything!