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As I prepare for my artists residency at the Chateau d'Orquevaux, I've been trying out different post-production techniques for my photographs. On a recent visit to the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, I had the opportunity to linger at each of the natural habitats and photograph each of the birds and animals from a variety of perspectives. Not only did I get to take my time, as much time as I wanted, but I ended up with more than the usual percentage of good photos. Perhaps there's a correlation! Then, as I applied these different techniques, something amazing happened. This is just one of the very special pictures that that I ended up with, and I can only believe Pablo Neruda when he said "let us uncork all our bottled up happiness," and that he was thinking of just this kind of moment when he thought about how his poetry was like a rebirth. This picture, for me, is the birth of something new. A whole new path for my art. A path where all the elements of nature converge, and explode on paper as this image does. I'm not a nature photographer, and I don't propose to now become one,, but what if my animal portraits can rise a new level. If this portrait isn't pure happiness, then I don't know what is.

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