When trying to photograph wildlife, emphasis on the wild, luck plays an enormous role in being in the right place at the right time. As many articles and other blogs attest, there are ways to increase your luck, by knowing animal habits, by keeping track of their sightings by others, by going out and spending time in their world. But luck does also play a factor. Last weekend I went to Banff as I had heard that Banff’s Famous Bear No. 64, and her cubs, had been spotted along the Bow Valley Parkway and Vermilion Lakes Road recently. I started in Banff, around Vermillion Lakes, and decided to travel the Bow Valley Parkway all the way to Lake Louise. Surely I’d see something.
And I did.
A heron at Vermillion Lakes, and a black bear and an Elk on the Bow Valley parkway. But no Grizzly Bear No. 64, or her cubs. Oh well, there are many more days to come, probably with better weather too. As I’ve met her before in previous years, I wasn’t too gutted. Getting out into the Rockies for any reason is a good day.
And then today, I found a blog post about Grizzly bear sightings over the weekend. Bear 64, and her three cubs, in Vermillion Lakes and Bear 126 near Lake Louise, both on the Friday (link). And then an article about Bear 64 and her 3 cubs causing traffic chaos on the Sunday, in the same Vermillion Lakes area (link). I had missed them all by one day, even though I was in the right area!
So luck does play a large part in trying to photograph wild animals in their natural habitat. But that also makes it ever so special when everything does come together: the animal and you are in the same place, the light is right and you even remembered your camera!