In the New Year, the Rewards of Photography are Just a Click Away


It’s that time of year when we count our blessings, reflect on the year past and the one coming. With photography entwined nearly completely in the fabric of our lives, this reflection period takes on a new meaning for Sharon and me, since we always seem to have such lofty goals. Those who have traveled and shot with us know that there are two things I think about when shooting: the subject and storytelling. This essential part of the creative process is also very much a part of our yearly resolutions and goals.

There are many times when I’m with a new photographer or a passionate “weekend warrior” of whose photography I am quite envious. When you’re just starting out, everything is new. Sure, there are challenges, but you can’t beat new! And those who have conquered all the starting photographic woes and who are just after those images that mean something special to them, well, that’s just having your cake and eating it too. I get envious, at times, because added to this is the pressure of making a living from behind the camera. That’s where the subject and storytelling take on additional meanings in my pursuit of photography.


In setting the projects and goals for the upcoming year, finding a new element to keep the excitement alive is a big part of the planning. For thirty-four years I’ve been very fortunate to pursue wildlife with my lens, photographing—in some cases, sadly—animals that our now extinct. To keep it new in 2014, I went to Africa for the first time… yeah, it took thirty-four years to venture among that continent's amazing wildlife with my camera for the first time! While I’m putting dates on the calendar for 2018 already, when it comes to critters, besides going back to Africa in 2015, I have my sights on two other animals I haven't photographed yet. Now this will sound silly, but I’m kind of superstitious when it comes to critters, so I don’t talk about a project until after I’ve done it. I don’t want to jinx it. Just because I show up doesn’t mean they will! Wildlife photography is my lifelong passion, but there are times during a year when they just don’t want to come out to play. How do you plan or work around that?


Moose Peterson's Gear:

Nikon Df DSLR Camera

800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Lens

80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Autofocus Lens

24mm f/1.4G ED Lens


Many years ago, I was incredibly fortunate to fall into aviation photography, which now has become a very important part of our lives. It’s new (the new thing is so important) giving us many possible directions in which to go. Sharon and I, having parents from the Greatest Generation, are naturally drawn to WWII-era aircraft and vets. When it comes to planning and making goals, fortunately it’s almost done for us as long as we stay true to our passion. That’s because others do much of the planning for us; we just have to juggle the schedule (and budget) to meet theirs. A good example is the 70th-anniversary celebrations in 2015, like VE Day, in May. Or a particular aircraft coming out of restoration and being flown for the first time in 2015. All that is left is the main challenge that comes with every day of every year.


To be a good storyteller, you have to know the subject. To show that subject in your photograph and tell its story, you have to not only know the subject but know your craft, and the one thing we can’t plan for or schedule is the life lessons that make us better at our craft. Embrace all the failure and successes and take them with you into the New Year. The gifts and rewards of photography are waiting for us; they're just a click away!

Moose Peterson’s true passion is wildlife photography, and he considers himself incredibly fortunate to be amongst North America’s critters—and to bring back their story with his camera. He has been fortunate to be recognized for his passion: Nikon USA Ambassador, Lexar Elite Photographer, recipient of the John Muir Conservation Award, Research Associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, to name just a few.



Those are some lovely pictures.

Please forward similar material to me at this email address.


Jean Fortinberry

Please forward similar material to me via this email address.

Jean Fortinberry