November 26, 2009


I just want to tip my hat to Thanksgiving – a holiday we celebrate in the USA. I spend my Thanksgivings in Socorro, NM at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Last year at this time, I made one of the most successful images of my career here. Cranes in the Fire Mist has sold 98 of 100 limited edition prints, been licensed for commercial use more than 20 times and all within one year.

I’m lucky and thankful for the opportunity to make that photo. As of this year, it can’t happen again. The Refuge management drained the North Railroad Pond where that photo was made so no birds come there anymore.

I’m also thankful for all the friends I’ve made in the photography business. I couldn’t name all of them so I won’t name any of them for fear of forgetting someone important. They know who they are and I hope they know how much they mean to me.

I’m thankful for my sponsors, my staff and the many people who contribute to Photofocus. Without them, there would be nothing here. I’m also thankful for the huge audience who downloads our shows, read the RSS feed, visit this site and who follow me on Twitter. You all keep me focused on photography.

I’m also happy that I get to make a living traveling to beautiful spots, photographing the best people, places and things on the planet. I’m thankful I get to share both my images and what I’ve learned through this web site, my podcast, my speaking and teaching engagements, my consulting practice and my workshops.

I’m thankful to be alive in a time when the equipment (even the low-end stuff) is so good that all I have to do to make great pictures is think like a photographer.

As has been my custom for years, I’ll share my Thanksgiving meal with some of the best avian photographers on Earth. We’ll start the day shooting at the Crane Pools, we’ll head down to eat a great lunch, (yes turkey – I know, I know ironic isn’t it?) and finish our day as we always do here at Bosque, waiting for the geese to come back to the pond for the night.

It’s a great life I’ve been given. I don’t know what I did to deserve it. Like everyone else reading this, I don’t how much of it I have left. But I do know that I appreciate it more and more as time goes by.

I hope all who are gracious enough to visit us here at Photofocus enjoy this time of year and can spend a few minutes today being thankful for your life, both in and out of photography.