I like to get as far away from the static as possible. I want to be in the middle of a vast grassland, desert, forest, you name it as long as I can hear the symphony of the wild. Everyone can hear it if they really listen. Nature keeps us alive and that's why it's so important to protect it.
Latest wildlife picture?
Lately I've been experimenting with standing out in the open woods. I don't bother much with wearing camouflage or using hides anymore, unless I'm near a den or nest. I hope you'll try it for yourself. Plant your feet on the ground like you're the strongest tree in the forest. Be still, breathe deep and slow, then close your eyes. Listen carefully to every sound - every bird song, every leaf in the breeze. When you've encompassed the entire forest that surrounds you in your mind, open your eyes and see what shows up. This practice is how I had the fortune of meeting eyes with a White-tailed Buck recently. The photograph will never let me forget. The wild can sense your ego from miles away. The secret is to leave it at home.
Who are your heroes?
My heroes are the people who get out of bed every day to fulfill their life purpose. They are often the type who speak the truth and make a habit of practicing integrity. Their perpetual passion is contagious and it inspires everyone around them to be greater. It takes a courageous person to look at themselves in the mirror day to day to make sure they're living a life of authenticity. An honest self evaluation is so important.. the acceptance that follows is worth more than anything money can buy. These are extraordinary people.
Best piece of advice
Make sure you always show up when you're called to create. Forget about the why. Please don't ever bind yourself to the chains of a specific category or label of who you're supposed to be. Your motivation can sound like the craziest idea to you but it's not your job to determine what makes sense or the reason for your work. There is someone who needs exactly what you have to offer. Most of all be grateful for the opportunity and the gifts you have been given, especially when life feels hard. That's the most important time to express your gratitude.
It's hard to pick a specific thing. If energy counts as a subject it would have to be that. There is a vibration in everything that exists which is why my subjects can vary from wildlife to the Milky Way. If it's an animal, you can see it in their eyes and that's why I love it when they look into the camera. Everything is connected, we all come from the same source. I try very hard to express that in my photographs. For me, It all got started with photographing birds, specifically Raptors. They taught me to look up and that's when I discovered that the same thing I see in the stars, I see in them - the same thing I see in me and you. I'm really developing an interest in wide angle photography that incorporates the animal within it's environment. I believe this is where my composites of wildlife and the night sky have come into play, until I can acquire the necessary equipment to pursue my vision further.
My future dream purchase
I would love to own one of those space travel contraptions in the movie "Contact" that Ellie Arroway traveled to Vega in. But I think that requires some sort of an invite. While I'm waiting, I would be very happy with a BeetleCam for now. Fully equipped with a Canon 6D and a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens attached to it. If I could combine my love for wildlife and astrophotography together, I would be ecstatic. I'm so looking forward to rolling one of those up to any wild creature in the night with a dark sky full of endless stars in the distance. There is so much to see of the wild in the dark!
Jess Deitz • Photographer of the Week
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