The Story Behind The Photo
All my research had pointed to the Gunflint Trail.
“There is no mileage in photographing a bear with a long lens—it has been done before—it is hackneyed pulp.”David Yarrow
After meeting David in Chicago, I took this mantra with me to northern Minnesota. I wanted a moose, and I wanted its image to mean something.
While David is a planner and researcher, hiring guides and a team to make his images happen, I am the opposite. Deciding last minute when I would seek out these large creatures, it was either too late or me being too cheap to hire a guide. So I picked the Magnetic Rock trail, and one sunrise headed out.
I was a bit late starting, there would be no mystical magnetic rock by sunrise. With light fast approaching, I picked a spot for the sun to emerge behind dead pine trees.
Encapsulated by the moment coming, I was surprised to hear movement behind me. I turned slowly, but saw nothing. Until I lowered my gaze and there was a beautiful fox who had no idea I was standing on a rock above him. Upon realizing I was there, it no longer desired to watch sunrise and I photographed it alone. Instead of finishing the trail, I turned back to look for moose.
I returned to the marshy area that I had missed in the dark of morning. If ever there were a place to find a moose, it would be here. But patience is a learned trait rarely practiced by me in those days and I couldn’t wait long without knowing if a creature lurked nearby. I passed on the needle-in-the-haystack opportunity and continued driving north.
Not much further down the road, my wishes were granted. A moose crossed in front of me at a bend, and without much more than a sidelong glance continued into the trees below. I shot blindly with one hand, not for art but for proof.
I parked on the best bit resembling a shoulder, and stepped over to the forest’s edge. In the distance I could hear the fading sounds of branches breaking. The moose ambled on without a care in the world, and I vowed to do better research for my return.