I WOULD RATHER BE LUCKY THAN GOOD!!!

Throughout my 28 years as a photographer I have often heard the phrase, “I would rather be lucky than good”, spoken usually in response to seeing a photo that was obviously the result of being at the right place at the right time. Of course, in order for the photographer to experience the lucky break it is essential to make oneself available to be in place when the unusual event occurs. I will admit that this is often my excuse to jump into my pickup and make a break for the brush and some alone time…You know the line…”why Baby, how am I going to get a great photo unless I spend some time afield”??!! It has always sounded  like a winner to me!!

In all seriousness, I cannot stress to my Texas Tech classes and workshops enough that the importance of being in the field with camera in hand, hopefully at opportune times, is the way to achieve some of the most memorable images of a life time. So many of my greatest shots were never planned, but instead, the result of simply being on site when the critical moment occurred. 

The following sequence of images is one of the best examples of simply being available when one of those  “one in a life time” natural history moments occurs. Of course it is nice to have the right equipment on hand and at least a basic knowledge of how to use it effectively! To simplify the interpretation of what readers will view in the following images I need to give some history on what is occurring.

In my line of work being a “fly on the wall” is a luxury that most often results in some of the more spontaneous images that best describe the intimate behavioral aspects of a creature, whether it is two legged or four. Wild boar, or “Feral hogs” occur in almost every corner of the Lone Star State and in incredible numbers. Although I have lived around, hunted and photographed wild hogs for over 30 years, I have never had the opportunity to really observe serious interaction between two or more of the animals…at least until just recently.  Some days ago I was on the backside of a sprawling ranch trying to do some landscape photography for a book project. After miles of meandering through the brush and hills I emerged upon a scene that I had been waiting to photograph for over 20 years! Two huge alpha wild boar were squaring off to determine who was the “Hoss” among the herd of sow pigs who were feeding nonchalantly nearby. As the  two big boars circled and postured for the ensuing fight, I crawled and scooted toward a hog wallow where I felt the best angle for photos could be attained. The light was fast becoming an issue as gathering clouds shrouded the setting sun in the west. After reaching the intended abandoned wallow I laid flat on the ground and used dried clods to support the Canon 400mm F5.6 lens on the 5D Mark II camera. Within moments of my settling in place, the big boars clashed in a shroud of dust. The following images reveal one of natures natural history phenomenons.  Enjoy!!

 

 

Alpha wild boar in the mood for a fight

Alpha wild boar in the mood for a fight

 

Older boar on the left(note the crumpled ears) squaring off with challenger

Older boar on the left(note the crumpled ears) squaring off with challenger

 

In a sudden lunge some 500 pounds of sheer muscle clash in a shroud of dust

In a sudden lunge some 500 pounds of sheer muscle clash in a shroud of dust

 

Fighting boars use muscle and knife sharp lower tushes to overpower and slice a contender into submission

Fighting boars use muscle and knife sharp lower tushes to overpower and slice a contender into submission

 

A boar is knocked aside in this collision of wild, raw power.

A boar is knocked aside in this collision of wild, raw power.

 

Formidable jaws and sharp tushes are used with effectiveness.

Formidable jaws and sharp tushes are used with effectiveness.

 

Like two monsters from prehistoric  times, the two boars refuse to back away from the fight.

Like two monsters from prehistoric times, the two boars refuse to back away from the fight.

 

Finally, one of the boars gives ground and ambles away, watched attentively by the other.

Finally, one of the boars gives ground and ambles away, watched attentively by the other.

 

To the victor the spoils!! The alpha boar suspects my presence to be a threat and, flush with victory, tests the wind for evidence of another contender.

To the victor the spoils!! The alpha boar suspects my presence to be a threat and, flush with victory, tests the wind for evidence of another contender.

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Published in: on March 22, 2009 at 4:22 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very nice set of images with great lighting. It appears the young guy one won based upon the ears.
    Looking forward to seeing the series in a future book. Thank you for sharing.
    Tom

  2. I’m impressed! It’s tough to get anywhere near a feral hog much less two wild boars. Excellent job!

  3. Wyman–great shots! thanks.
    Sue Moss

  4. Great job Wyman! I think I have their cousins out at my place. I’ll try to get some shots of, or at them in a week or so.

    Michael

  5. “I would rather be lucky than good”
    That’s my philosophy, and the only one that makes sense to friends and guests when they meet my beautiful bride (Lord I hope she’s reading :))
    Incredible pictures Wyman!
    Having legged my fair share of those in the past, I’m now content to view them from the safety of my office and playing Marlin Perkins to your Jim Fowler.

    Gregg

  6. Wyman- you never seize to amaze me with your photography. I’m privileged to have taken classes from you and every time I look on to your blog, I become inspired to shoot with the philosophy you’ve taught us in class! Awesome photos!

  7. Well all I have to say is your Lucky & Good… well actually GREAT!! And thats why you are Wymie!!!! Dad loved these photos! Its so amazing how they tell the whole story themselves!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing the knowledge and luck. Your work is inspiring.

  9. Your site is pretty cool to me and your topics are very relevant. I was browsing around and came across something you might find interesting. I was guilty of 3 of them with my sites. “99% of website managers are doing these 5 mistakes”. http://bit.ly/tSmwZA You will be suprised how simple they are to fix.


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