Sealing the deal

Aug 15, 2008
St. Louis, MO
With the recent killer heat...and lack of bird activity, I have found myself opening the vault some and the forgotten images are bringing back such wonderful memories. I wanted to share this image, though I have shared it before.

For years as a young man growing up, I always wanted to be a wildlife photographer. Of course, as a young man, with a wife, and then a young daughter, life, and all that is required to get by, prevented me from pursuing my dream due to lack of funds.

Finally, things broke for me and in 2008, I was able to purchase quality gear and pursue my passion with all the intensity I could muster. Before that time, the intensity and passion were still there, but inexpensive cameras and gear prevented me from caputuring the kind of images I wanted. Once I got the gear, I quickly learned "there is more to it than gear!". I was so humbled and daunted to be honest. I doubled down on my determination and the winter of 2008 a transformation began to take hold.

I remember the day like yesterday. I was standing beside the Mississippi River watching Eagles come in and fish. By my side was Commodorefirst (Wade) who took it upon himself, to show me some pointers to help me along the way. With his words of encouragment and bits of advise, as well as Tim O's...things began to make since to me and as a result, my images began getting better.

This image represents my VERY first in focus image of a Eagle fishing. My previous attempts were always out of focus due to the slow AF speeds of the cameras I had, and my lack of skill and knowledge. Upon getting home and reveiwing the images, I knew, at least in my heart, that I was on my way. This is a very special image to me, though for sure its not the best, and has alot wrong with it, it still represents the moment in my photographry, where I knew I was coming along.

Handheld, D300, 200-400VR, 1.4tc
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

The original NEF file was lost sometime back during a back up snaf fu...some may remember that issue I I was lucky in that I saved 1 crummy .jpg of the file. With this file, I reworked it to the point it is now.

My journey as a photographer learning, well...that never stops either as I am an eternal student. The minute I stop learning, is the minute I loose interest in anything. I can only strive harder and hope that my photography continues to grow. Who knows what the future may hold for me in this. Sorry for the long, rambling story, but that is also part of me and how I do things.:smile::redface:
Jan 8, 2007
Clemson, SC
Awesome and inspiring story Jason. Your words are as strong as your photos. My shots aren't as good as yours, but I share the same sense of the journey to taking meaningful photos. Your photo makes for a great metaphor as well. Thank you for sharing both.
Feb 2, 2005
Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
Good for you, and we benefit too seeing a wonderful shot like this one that really has everything:
Composition, the moment - the anticipation , sharp and colorful.

Yes it is an equipment sport, but that is still much less then 50% of the equation, your contribution has to be right as well to come togthewr in a fine shot like this one.

Thanks for sharing this and many others
May 15, 2005
Mill Creek, WA.
Jason I so admire you and the journey you have taken. For sure your equipment has helped but to me it is your passion that really shines. This allows you to experiment and try new things. I have so much to learn and it always inspires me to see and read your posts.

DW Brewer

Right on Buddy. I have quite a few "transition images" that ikeep around to ground me and remind me of this journey called "life" that I am undertaking. One may never realize the impact of today without acknowledging the contribution of all the yesterdays that preceeded today.


Cafe Ambassador
Apr 8, 2008
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name

In spite of the difficulties and delays, you made it happen! Congrats to you and to those who mentored you!

Your "journey" is not yet complete however, and now there are those to whom YOU are an inspiration!
Feb 28, 2006
Belgium - Antwerp
Very nice, work Jason. Good that you still have this 'crummy' jpeg version....

I find it great that learning continues, and hope it never stops... I look forward to one day being on your level :)
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