The Shot that Started it All.


Most of you don’t know it, but I used to be just a flower and landscape photographer.  I had absolutely no interest in photographing birds.  That changed in October of 2006, just only about ten years ago.  We were visiting our dear friends, Deb and Paul, in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Deb is an excellent photographer, too.  She, at that time, was shooting with a Nikon Camera while  I had my Canon.  (Deb now uses Canon equipment).  We were discussing the attributes of each brand when  I saw some birds in a large evergreen tree outside of their living room window.  I decided to try and shoot some photos, and Deb generously took the screen off and opened the window for me.  I started shooting and this image of a House Finch is the very first photo of any bird that I have ever taken.

House Finch

House Finch

A few minutes later, I followed up this one of a Red-bellied Woodpecker, the second bird photo that I had ever taken.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Those two photos really got me hooked on bird photography, and birding in general.  I had never realized how many beautiful birds there were in the avian world.  The experience taught me that if a person opens his or her eyes and really looks, they can discover that there are wonders in nature all around us.  Of course, I still love my landscape photography, especially when I get to go to the beautiful Big Bend area of west Texas.  But even while there, I am always on the lookout for some great bird photo opportunities.

With the wind and some thunderstorms, the birding has been slow, but here are some images from the past few days.  These were taken at San Angelo State Park.  I prefer to not use the blind there, although I do go there on occasion.  I have much more fun hunting and photographing from my car.  I can catch the birds in more natural settings, sans bird feeders, etc.

Canyon Towhee

Canyon Towhee

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Lark Bunting

Lark Bunting

All in all, I would say that I have come a long way in the past ten years.  I hope you agree.  Be sure to click on any image to see an enlargement.

Happy Birding!!

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26 thoughts on “The Shot that Started it All.

  1. Hey, Bob, those first two photos are not bad at all!! But I agree that you have come a long way and have been an inspiration to a bunch of birders – or should that be a flock of birders?! Thanks for the rest of your story….hugs

    • Heck, I wasn’t complaining about the quality of the photos. As a photographer, I had no problem getting the picture. But they were the first bird photos that I ever had. I cannon remember ever taking a photo of a bird before that. Sometimes I think I have seen a whole herd of birders. 🙂

    • Thank you very much, Linda. Yes, after I got into birds, i realized that I need to know what the heck I was photographing. I started to studying and learning as I went.

  2. Bob, I love your blog. I live in southern Ca but have had two birding trips to Texas (recently to Kingsville area) in the last two years. Texas is a wonderful birding State! I want to go back and see the areas you have shared! thank you so much for sharing your photos and story.

  3. You have come a long way! Birds are beautiful, interesting, challenging, and wondrous. I can see why you started! I love your posts. And I totally agree about birding by car or just while hiking. Much better photos when they are in their natural settings. Keep the posts coming! Happy birding!

  4. Thank you for that inspiring story. Gives me hope that someday I can become a bird photographer, in your warm shadow.

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