• Jim Uhing

Hike or Bike?


Being a photographer of nature and wildlife, you have to get out there in the wilderness where it's all happening. What's the best way to do that? I think most photographers hike it. I like to hike as well, but you can spend a lot of time walking and not seeing anything. You're doing your best to sneak so you don't scare the wildlife. But they have better senses than us and they are usually moving out before you even get a chance to see them. That's why I thought why not take the mountain bike? There are pros and cons to both. I think pros to hiking are you get to take in nature at a slower pace and just enjoy the environment. You tend to hear things more which could clue you into something possibly near. And you are probably less likely to just pass right by something without even seeing it. But lately the bike has been the way for me. The biggest downfall with the bike has been carrying the camera with a heavy 600mm lens on it. I was strapping it over my head and shoulder and trying to keep it on my back for a while. Recently I bought a harness by Cotton that allows me to hook it to my chest and keep it in one place. It's not perfect with this giant lens, but it solves the problem very well. I like to bike it because I can cover more ground in less time. I know one way to do it is to plant yourself in a good spot and wait for the wild to come to you. This is ideal for a good shot because they are less likely to know you are there. But sometimes, I'm just not patient enough to sit there and possibly see nothing. When I'm on the bike, I feel I can explore more area. Also, I'm moving a little faster, so I'm more likely to come up on something before they know I'm coming. This sometimes proves to be unsuccessful, because you could scare the animal and it will run off before you can get the camera up to your eye. But so far, I've only missed a few things by doing it this way. I find another advantage to being on the bike is I feel less likely to have a tick jump on me. This is a huge concern for photographers out there in the middle of nature, especially in Florida where it's hot and you don't really want to be totally covered up. Biking may not be as ideal in other states where the terrain may not be favorable. I hope to explore that more in the future. But for now the bike is what I like.


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