Looking back it's pretty easy for me to see that the spark for photography was started long ago in the dreams of my youth. I remember the thrill and anticipation of the 6th grade field trip that marked the passage of Cold Spring Elementary kids to the full blown grown up status of ROCORI Junior High School students. The trip to the Twin Cities included a tour of the Capitol, Fort Snelling, The Como Zoo and, most importantly, McDonalds. Way beyond the thrill of these venues for me however, was the anticipation of being trusted with the family camera, to record the historic events of the day. It was a Kodak 110 instamatic that in my mind was every bit as sophisticated and capable as the wonderful Canon's and Nikons that adorned the necks of the National Geographic guys. I don't recall many of the pictures of that day. There are two that come to mind. One was a picture of the IDS tower, taken from my perspective lying on the sidewalk. A good photographer knows that in order to get the right perspective one must at times get a little dirty. A concept that was undoubtedly foreign to my 6th grade teacher. The other was a picture of some long winded politician taken on the steps of the Capitol. His name escapes me, as do the names of most politicians. I do know that he wore a nice suit, talked a lot and in the picture very much filled the role as "politician".

Fast forward to today. My equipment has changed considerably, and the spark that was ignited so many years ago has grown into a full blown 5 alarm fire. When I am not taking pictures, I am looking at things that might take good pictures, checking lighting that might make cool pictures, and wondering why I am not taking pictures. Just like that kid, lying on the sidewalk, I still like to get the shot that no one else is getting, from a perspective that others haven't seen, and I don't mind getting dirty to do it.

Mother nature provides the subject for which I am most passionate. Through the bugs and the brush and the mud I venture with child like curiosity to find the critters in the world in which they live. The thrill of the hunt is instilled deep in my spirit, and capturing an image is every bit as thrilling to me as putting game in the bag.

Bob Stein Wildlife and Nature Images