Capturing the Moment

Capturing the Moment | Shooting Sportsman Magazine
Photograph by Lynda McLennan/

For many years my wife and I have hunted as a team—me carrying and occasionally pulling the trigger on a 16-gauge, Lynda carrying and frequently pulling the trigger on an SLR.

We look for different things. I’m after the right mix of grain and grass—food and cover for the Huns that hang out not far from our home in southern Alberta. Lynda looks for shapes, angles, proportions and good light. Always good light.

This November afternoon none of the usual impediments to our aspirations found us. The birds held, our setter Nash—nicely backlit—was steady through the flush, and the birds scattered through the frame in focus against a clean background of sky. And the light was good.

Not that it matters, but two birds fell from the covey. A double, yes, but the “Scotch” version—not the kind you can brag about.

The photo looks west, and the dog is facing the camera. That’s unusual, because in our world the breeze is generally from the west, meaning the dog most often faces that way when it finds birds. An east wind is sometimes a harbinger of shoddy dogwork, but not so this day.

Was the photograph the result of good planning and execution? Perhaps, but also of heeding photography’s universal maxim: “f/8 and be there.”

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