Illinois Outdoors at
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Chris' Camera Bag

A Photo Web log by Chris Young

Illinois Outdoors

Sometimes, the chance to record history is fleeting.

When six young whooping cranes spent a migration stopover at a Peoria County pond in November and early December,the chance for pictures didn’t arise until about the last day of their visit. That was the day I invited myself along with Peoria Journal-Star outdoors columnist Jeff Lampe and photographer David Zalaznik.

All three of us took pictures at the newly created wetland near Dunlap. The pond was freezing up, and the cranes were walking on the ice. The next day they left.

History can do that to you. The chance to record something not seen in central Illinois since the 1800s was a wonderful opportunity, but one that soon was gone.
Hopefully, as the whooping cranes make a comeback, the sight of the large white birds settling into a wetland in Illinois won’t be such a rare occasion.

Illinois Outdoors

So what’s the goal each time out? Get that one great shot? Or a bunch of good ones?

Most photographers are looking for a lot of good pictures. They are looking for wide shots that establish the scene and tight photos that zoom in to reveal details easily missed otherwise. They are looking for pictures they can use today and that can illustrate stories written later.

Photographs of endangered species like whooping cranes are especially valuable, not only for the rarity of the opportunity, but for the large number of issues that arise relating to the conservation of rare plants, birds and animals.

Illinois Outdoors  Illinois Outdoors

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