Articles

In this section of www.shutterspudz.com you will find a collection of informative and entertaining articles on the subject of games to help you make informed decisions on which are right for you. Below are some short archive articles found on this website.

Bears and Quicksand

A couple of years back we were in Yellowstone in the fall driving down to Norris when we came upon a bear jam. For those of you who do not know what a bear jam is, it is similar to a traffic jam, only caused by tourists spotting a bear and stopping all traffic. Apparently a Grizzly was spotted sleeping in a field. About 200 photographer's setup with a park ranger about 100 yards away and the bear slept whist they eagerly awaited action of any kind.

Eventually the bear woke up and, seeing the throng of photographers, decided to wander away parallel to the intrepid photographers. Naturally, they started moving with the bear trying to get a shot. About a dozen photographers and Sam Shutterspudz began tippey-toeing right into a thin crust area where there was a variety of quicksand, whereby several of them immediately sunk up to their waist in this grey muck. Once stuck it was extremely difficult to get out of this stuff, not to mention taking pictures was hard to do when sinking. That is right about the time the bear turned and started coming back towards them.

SMART BEAR! DUMB PHOTOGRAPHERS!

The bear, sensing that she had already had quite enough fun, ambled off over the hill and out of sight. The result of which was one upset photographer whose equipment sank into the muck. Unfortunately, none of them got any good pictures and somewhere in Yellowstone there is a bear probably still laughing.

I Found You a Boa Constrictor

Sam was in Trinidad years ago at the Asa Wright Nature Center on a bird watching tour and accidentally became the tour naturalist because he knew a little bit about the local critters. He told the group not to touch or pick up ANY reptiles because there were several species of venomous snakes on the property including Coral Snakes, Fer-de-lance and Bushmasters - any of which will kill you. As these things always go, one lady on the tour did everything Sam told her not to do.

On the second day she came into the main house at the Center and asked if anyone could identify the colorful worm she had found.

Sam was on the veranda photographing hummingbirds and immediately bolted into the kitchen telling her to put it on the ground. Apparently she had scooped up a baby Coral snake and had it in a cup!!

That same day she found Sam, proudly telling him she had found him a Boa Constrictor to photograph. Shaking his head, he informed her that there were no Boa Constrictors in Trinidad. She told Sam that she had gotten it by the tail but could not get it out of the tree. Naturally, he asked where the "Boa" was located and she took him down the trail, behind the house where she had actually found the biggest Bushmaster he had ever seen. How she did this without getting bitten is truly beyond belief.

Know Who You Are Talking To When Giving Camera Lessons

When you first start out in a new industry KNOW who you are talking too. I speak from experience on this one. While photographing Columbia Ground Squirrels in Glacier National Park near Logan's pass one fall, Ida ShutterSpudz was learning how to photograph with large lenses and was approached by three gentlemen all (apparently) wearing the same shirt with matching logos. The first man inquired as to what she was shooting and what lens she was using to take pictures. Being naive, she proudly showed the nice man the squirrel she was attempting to photograph and that she was using a 300mm 2.8 lens and her husband was using the 500mm f4 lens with a teleconverter, making the true magnification on the lens much larger.

He smiled broadly at her explanation. She thought the nice young man from the copier company knew a great deal about photography and was just being friendly. He was soon joined by his two traveling companions from Impact, Western Division. How was she to know that Impact was not a copier company but instead a large publisher of photography. SAM joined her briefly, and upon hearing her tells the nice men about photography, promptly turned, snickered and left. It was only later, after the men bid her farewell that Sam told her of the true identity of the men and the company. At this point she wanted to make him into mashed Taters.

Weight Loss Experiences

Always Keep Your Tent Flap Zipped When Sleeping Outside in Africa

Years ago at a photo workshop, as it always happens, photographers started comparing stories about their most unusual experiences while photographing snakes. One photographer (who will go unnamed) had the best story.

He and a friend were photographing at Ngoro Goro Crater in Tanzania, Africa. They decided the best way to get a jump on picture taking was to sleep outside in pup tents. During the middle of the night he heard a recurring noise that he could not identify. Finally, he realized the sound was a person calling for help in a muffled voice. Normally you do not go outside of your tent at night for fear of being eaten by lions and such. However, the cries persisted and he cautiously left his tent with a flashlight to see what was going on. Apparently a very large African Rock Python, which are not venomous but are extremely ill tempered, had mistaken his friend for a hot water bottle and was sleeping on his chest. The reason for the low voice of his friend was the crushing weight of the snake, they can weigh over a hundred pounds when over 12 feet in length, like this one. The problem being how to remove the snake without getting hurt or worse.

The solution was to use a pocket knife to cut the tent open, find a large branch to gently move the snake, while not getting eaten by lions and other large predators. When all was said and done, shelter was needed to avoid being eaten, so two grown men now had to share a single pup tent. Lesson for the day, keep your tent zipped at all times. The second place story also went to him. He told about the time he was almost eaten by circling sharks while photographing a feeding frenzy from the bottom of the ocean ... but that is another story ... and did not involve snakes.

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