Don’t Settle

Bighorn sheep in Wasatch mountains Utah

Whether you are painting, drawing, photographing or doing whatever you do, remember your first attempt at a problem probably won’t be your best. Use the first try to learn and improve so the second, third or nineteenth attempt can be a success.

I went for a little hike with my friend on Saturday. We didn’t really have a plan, we just knew where we were starting and that we’d have to end up back at the car if we wanted to go home afterward. It was enjoyable, though the route we took up was way too steep and the route we took down was even steeper. On the way down we spotted a couple of bighorn sheep. I had to try to take a photo. The sheep were close enough to be really tempting, but far enough to make it a challenge.

The photo below was taken free standing at the 300 mm end of my zoom lens in strong wind—all this on top of the fairly harsh afternoon light. Needless to say, I wasn’t very satisfied with the results. I had to get closer.

Bighorn sheep, first attempt photo in Wasatch mountains

I managed to get within a reasonable distance and climb onto a rock that was below the ledge where the sheep were hanging out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see much of them from where I was, so, my friend and I starting making strange noises to attract their attention.

The photo below shows one of the sheep looking over the ledge to see what on earth I am doing. It was taken in the same conditions as the previous, but I was a lot closer and was sitting on a rock which helped stabilize me.

Bighorn sheep second attempt photo, peeking over ledge in Wasatch mountains Utah

Not bad, about a jillion times better than the first, but it still wasn’t “the one”. So I climbed to a new location at about the same level as the sheep. I had better view of where they decided to sit down, so we didn’t have to squawk or roar anymore. It also put some of the landscape in the background, which made for a more wildlifey composition. I got some decent 3/4 light from there too. Still harsher than I would have liked, but it worked out ok.

The main image at the top is from that location. Not bad, I’m glad I didn’t settle for the first attempt.

After that we surfed on scree (small loose rocks) down the face, and headed back to the car.