Winter Doldrums

Sandhill Cranes during the Spring migration in Monte Vista, Colorado.

While I don’t mind Winter in Colorado, it’s still my slowest time of year for photography.

I spend most days puttering around the house, taking care of the odd chores, here and there. Meet up with friends for lunch. Visit with family. Play with the dogs. Watch a lot of movies. Things like that.

But, there is still work to do and plans for the making.

I try to spend an hour or two each day sifting through the photography catalogs. I have thousands and thousands of photographs to browse through. The idea is to find at least 10 images a day to upload to the stock agencies. It does get a little repetitive, particularly with some of the wildlife photos. How many different duck shots does one really need? Well, as it turns out, the more the better. I sell a duck photo at least once a week and though there are some repeats, often times it’s a different shot. So I add them up and figure any given photo has to potential to earn $100 over time, many have far exceeded that number, so it’s never an exercise in futility to identify and prepare an image for micro-stock sales.

The goal this year is to have at least 3,000 images online, making money. Here it is late January and I already have over 2,700 photographs online. There’s no emergency. I haven’t really begun working in earnest this year and I’m already close to being done with that project. Yet still, I take the time to do it. At least 10 shots a day. Usually listening to the radio in the process. It makes those cold winter days go by gently.

The next adventure I have actually scheduled is a return to Monte Vista, Colorado to photograph the Sandhill Crane migration. I’ve done this trip many times, last year being the most recent. Last year was an abortion though, as I had to knock off just as I was getting started due to a mechanical issue with my car. What I learned last year was invaluable though. First, always take a pickup truck to Southwest Colorado, as they don’t sell tires for passenger vehicles down there. Nobody owns Subarus. Everyone owns a pickup truck and that’s about all you’ll find tires for. What I also learned is that I can get different shots of the same locations if I put my mind to doing that. Don’t just keep getting the same photos over and over, look for specific images that I don’t have and concentrate on getting those. What little I accomplished in 2018 was based on that premise, and those images have been selling. I’m greedy though. I want more. I’m bored too. I want to get out and spend a few days working from my pickup truck and eating junk food. It’s a way of life.

The Sandhill Cranes move through Monte Vista each year in early-mid March. They even have a Festival to celebrate the occasion, but I avoid the Festival, usually going the week after the Festival concludes.

I’ve made my hotel reservations. I’m planning my shoot list. That will take me a few days to finalize. Then it’s back to editing stock photos.

Winter is a quiet time here in Colorado.