Landscape and Nature photography by Shane Srogi

Archive for March, 2010

A room with a view

Tropical Hideaway

This last winter was the coldest in 150 years.  The animals took a big hit.  Tropical fish died.  The usually ubiquitous frogs and lizards are scarce.  I was hiking in a local South Florida park and came across this little guy.  He had sheltered himself from the wind and heat robbing ground all while getting a better angle for some sun.  I shot this with my mobile phone then headed back to get my DSLR.  The sun had come out from the clouds by the time I got back.  Good for the frog not so good for the image making.

Of flowers and scars

Don’t give up.

A Magnolia can take 15 to 20 years to bloom.  I’ve only seen this little one bloom once and it has not since, which has been over a year.  I find the whites and the curves of the bloom to be visually interesting.  It’s as if Apple took some design cues from this flower.  This image is less about a plant and more about doing what you do.  You may only produce something beautiful once in a long while but don’t give up.  This little guy has been through three hurricanes and looks a bit like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  I like the blooms imperfections.  They tell stories.  I’ve got this scar on my hand from running for the bus in first grade.  I fell on the ice picked myself up and got on the bus.  The drive took one look at the rock in my hand and the blood gushing out and said “I can’t let you on like that.”  I didn’t know what to do….I can’t miss school I thought.  Next time you are out with a group of friends have a scar story time, you’ll learn something new about them.  And they you.

Gas Works Park


 (Shane Srogi)

Storm light.  Seattle and “Sundial”

Gas Works Park in Seattle provides residents an open space often utilized to absorb some much needed summer sun.  The hill overlook is a great place to photograph the cityscape.  One can expect a bevy of kite flyers there as well.  The nearby shop even has colorful and exotic Japanese box kites.  In the foreground is an art piece aptly named “Sundial” created in 1978 by Northwest artist Charles Greening with Kim Lazare assisting.  The Park was designed by Richard Haag.  Haag reclaimed the area from its original purpose as a gas power plant for the city built around 1900.  Some of the structures remain and when the park came into existence in 1975 Eric DeLony of the National Park Service said this “Gas Works Park will not only be a unique first in the United States, if not the world, but will set an important precedent for the future preservation of industrial structure through an imaginative plan for adaptive use.”


What an amazing few days! I have to thank everyone for making the Primal Lens launch a success. A week ago I attended a Gallery opening for Lewis Kemper, one of Canon’s Explorers of Light. Look for a blog in the next few days about my conversation with Lewis.

The last 24 hours were very interesting. A lecture by National Geographic Photographer Raymond Gehman on his Y2Y-Yellowstone to Yukon shoot for the magazine was followed with a rapid fire talk by Robert Glenn Ketchum. Ketchum was just featured in American Photo magazine which talks about his work in conservation through photography.

Just pulled in from the Photoshop World Expo in Orlando and Lightroom 3 is going to be a game changer for Photographers. I’ve always been a Photoshop man myself.  I ran into Moose Peterson there, not only is he teaching and lecturing he was taking photos on the expo floor.   If you’re not familiar with Moose, you guessed it he’s a world renowned wildlife photographer.  

Anyway just wanted to say thanks for the outstanding response to the launch and give a preview of blogs to come. 

Oh and more photos stories will be added to the Gallery section after I get some real sleep.


Wolves Looking


Welcome to the launch of Primal Lens!  Thanks for dropping in.  Primal is a Photoblog dedicated to wilderness travel.  Exploration and conservation and how they relate with photography will be prominent topics.  Hopefully the images and stories presented within will inspire your next adventure.

I would like to thank Larry with Launching  I had need of a web designer/host.  What I got is a collaborator.  Through our exchange of ideas Primal Lens has become something I’m very proud of.  Larry’s subtle design cues helped shape Primal Lens into something better than the original concept.  Launching Pad has been around since 1997 and his experience shows.  Like a digital carpenter he built a sturdy backend framework that has years of growth preplanned in its structure.  Larry listens and is always quick to implement even the smallest design tweak.  The other night he instant messaged me and said “I see you are moving things around a bit.  Hold off for a few minutes. I have a couple of additions, improvements, to make based on some of the things we’ve been discussing.”  This was a Friday at midnight.  Now that is customer service.

Visit as often as you would like, there will almost certainly be something new.


Seattle’s Lake Union


 (Shane Srogi)

The color of the lake.

In summer the Pacific North West has a long evening of twilight.  Lake Union will sometimes take on this brilliant blue.  Photographed from Gasworks Park, Seattle isn’t just the Emerald City.  Lake Union is many things to the city.  Some of the more interesting are an airport for float planes, a living space for house boats and a place for kayakers and the university crew team to hone their sport.  Lake Union also hosts Seattle’s Fourth of July celebration.

Two Wolves


 (Shane Srogi)

A Knowing.

It was an honor to get to know these wolves.  More curious than most they would watch the goings on at the sanctuary from a little mound they had in their enclosure.  This is my most successful wildlife image.  The first question I am asked “is that two wolves?”

It was the end of the day and I had two frames of film left in my camera.  I saw that the posture of both wolves formed a repetitive pattern.   Working quickly I composed the image, made the shot and with the sound of the camera shutter the wolf in the foreground turned and looked at me.  Two distinct images made in less than a second.  I had formed a bond with these wolves as the tours started with them so I spent much time waiting with them for people to gather.  Working as a guide and photographer at the wolf sanctuary gave me perspective.  Wolves are like all wild animals.  They act both as unique individuals and with the shared traits of the species.  They deserve respect.   View them from a distance, as you would any animal.  I think if people had the same attitude toward Alligators, Wolves and Bears as they did big cats there would be less conflict.  No one feeds or wants to pet a Mountain Lion.  One thing is certain Wolves inhabit the human imagination perhaps more than any other animal.

Mesa Arch

 (Shane Srogi)

Resilience at Mesa Arch.   

One of my favorite photos this was taken in the spring of 2000.  It was a very windy morning when I saw this tree being blown around I thought what a resilient little fellow.  I knew I had a shot.  Working carefully because this was the last frame of film I had, I made this image.  Although it had been in the 80s the day before there would be 3 inches of snow on the ground by noon.

On the Ranch

For a decade now my family has run a ranch on the northern tip of the Everglades.  This ranch provides a home for rescue horses, dogs and the odd cat or two.  We are stewards of the land, care takers of the endangered Cypress.  The ranch is a habitat provider for Snail Kites, Alligators and a pathway between protected park lands for the Florida Panther.  We plant native species to provide cover and food for the wildlife and eliminate invasive one. Sometimes it feels like a tropical Ponderosa, the Cartwright’s never had to deal with Hurricanes.


When you think of The Everglades you think of Alligators. Every Park is like that. The Alligator is part ambassador part indicator species. I’ve had some interesting encounters with Alligator’s. None threatening, basically animals are going about their day it’s up to the park visitors not to interfere. There is no mistaking the cat like hiss of an Alligator that has had enough. All wildlife require a personal space boundary, it’s a matter of respect and Federal Law.

The health of the park it’s self can be measured in the animals that call it home. Some of the challenges facing the ancient animal are easy to see, like enough water and habitat. Things like pesticides are invisible but deadly. The python has invaded the Everglades and found a habitat to thrive and multiply in. They have been known to attack Alligators. Bold.

For the Nature Photographer Alligators make fine subjects. They hunt from stealth so stillness is one of their hallmarks. This large adult was perfectly happy to sun himself as I shot with my 300mm.