August 21, 2010 – This past Sunday, Lori and were in Rocky Mountain National Park, photographing pika at Rock Cut along Trail Ridge Road. We were on the hillside, sitting on the rocks a few feet below the retaining wall. People came and went. Some would call down to us and ask ‘what are you photographing;’ while others, those with cameras, took their pictures and departed.
Lori commented to me, “Do you think any of them know we’ve been sitting here four hours?”
This got me to thinking . . . most wildlife photographers simply don’t spend enough time getting to know their subject; and, more importantly, not allowing their subject the opportunity to become acquainted with them.
Case in point: We had been sitting among the rocks several hours with very little activity among the pika. A couple of times, we would witness one in the distance as it scurried about, collecting grasses and leaves to store in its winter larder, but that was about it, save for the occasional call from an individual checking on the whereabouts of its neighbor.
Suddenly, as if the Great Pika Protector had sounded the all-clear signal, there were pika everywhere. One actually came up to Lori, climbed atop her shoe, sniffed a couple of times and then scurried about between the both of us as we stood there, mouths agape and stunned. We had been accepted. We had become “one” with our subject.
It was then that we were able to get the photographs we so desired.