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Discovering Birds

Capturing wildlife imagery

Written by Jenny K Gilman Photos by Rase Littlefield

Light and patience are the delicate ingredients that make an inspiring wildlife photograph, according to photographer Rase Littlefield. Light to capture the subject in its truest form: the intricacies of feathers and fur, the expression in the eyes of the wild, and patience. Patience to first find the animal, if you may be so lucky, and the time it takes to hold your breath until the perfect moment comes. When you can capture that, it’s magic.

Rase took an interest in photography in 2008, and he has been a professional photographer for many years. However, in early 2021, he discovered something entirely new and different from his earlier portfolio. Birds. Once he met a local wildlife photographer and started asking questions, Rase was able to learn how to incorporate his passion for birds, especially owls, into his profession. He discovered places to find them, how to approach them carefully, and surprising vantage points, like floating blind down river and how doing so can capture wild birds in unique settings.

Rase hopes that there are many years to come of discovering unique species of birds that visit for a short time as they migrate through Idaho. But he is also aware that a many natural water areas and marshlands in Idaho are drying up, which is unfortunate for the conservation of birds.  Nevertheless, he is fascinated by what he sees out there so far: how many variations of birds flock, bath, eat, and preen together, and also how many shorebirds are in Idaho!

Two things stand out to Rase as things to be grateful for during the challenging time of Covid. First, that “my beautiful wife Lanae and my son Malachi love to go on adventures with me to find birds.” And second, that more people found themselves outdoors, discovering the things they love: the sunrises, the sunsets, and surprises in nature.

Photography is timeless and ageless. It’s a forever adventure that can not only inspire others but bring others together, which we all need more than ever.”