One of my goals for photography this year is to capture a variety of owls in our beautiful British Columbia. Recently I’ve discovered the beauty and grace of the Short -Eared Owl. I had no idea there were so many of them literally within walking distance of my home in the suburbs of Vancouver.

We all have some famous photographers we follow. We watch their videos trying to pick up some tidbits of information that will lead to a better image on a print. We buy their books and read them cover to cover. We try to improve our skills in the field, hoping to take home a gallery of images.

Check out the Short-Eared Owls

Never in my wildest dreams would I think I’d run into my idol, Art Wolfe, on an ordinary day of shooting with my friend Mike. We were walking along the dyke, chatting about our shots…

Frank and Art Wolfe

We both looked up at the same time and called, “Hey that’s ART WOLFE!” As Art nears us I can’t help but call “Art Wolfe! My name is Frank Pali!” “Hi Frank, pleasure to meet you!” he replied in a friendly manner. Art was accompanied by a few of his staff and a Biologist. As we chatted about the area I couldn’t help but ask why were they here in the lower mainland. Art was trying out his new 600mm Canon lens and looking to photograph the short-eared owls. Mike and I tried to re-direct them to the particular area that is known for short-ears. During our walk together I was surprised to learn that he grew up in Kitsilano (an area of Vancouver) and has many Canadian relatives.

As we parted ways and I jumped in my truck, it hit me that I should have taken him and his friends to the spot we talked about. I mean really, not very Canadian, eh?

When I got home and told my wife about our encounter, right away she asked, “Did you ask if he carries all his equipment? Did you ask him how he always captures the perfect light???? All I could respond was “no, no and no.” What a dummy I was! How many of us run into our heroes and miss this golden opportunity? So my take away from this is that we all could learn from the paparazzis and memorize our burning questions in case the situation arrives.

Behold, my questions for Art Wolfe if I’m ever lucky enough to get the chance again:

  1. How large is your team?
  2. The longest you waited for the right shot?
  3. Do you carry all your own gear?
  4. Do you receive assistance for post processing?
  5. Have you ever endangered yourself in pursuit of the shot?
  6. What was you most memorable photo experience ?
  7. What was the most regretful expedition?
  8. What area would you love to return to?
  9. What is your favourite, Landscapes or wildlife?
  10. Do you take photos with a smart phone?

So all I can say now is “Art, if you read this, I’d love it if you could you please take a few moments and answer my burning questions in the comments below!”

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