I live for those precious moments when hours of patience and determination result in breathtaking photographs. Immature Bald Eagle, Alaska Patagonia My name is Max Seigal and I’m a biologist/photographer/outdoorsman extraordinaire based out of Boulder, Colorado. I’ve spent the last several years exploring every nook and cranny this world has to offer. After graduating from university in the flatlands of Ohio (which, by the way, was a rather dreadful experience for a Boulder native like myself) I was determined to escape from the ordinary and make the most of my degrees in environmental science and biology. I immediately began applying for the most exotic and unusual jobs I could find, often sorting my choices first by location and lastly by job description. This is what led me to rhino tracking in Botswana, radio-collaring African wild dogs in the Okavango Delta, braving the illustrious Bering Sea aboard considerably small fishing vessels, monitoring the elusive black footed cat in South Africa and studying sustainable lobster aquaculture in Vietnam. Wildebeest, South Africa Leopard, South Africa As a biologist, my connection with nature is a deep-rooted part of my identity, and it fuels my passion for conservation. Fortunately for me, this profession goes hand in hand with a career in photography as it often takes me to some of the most remote and beautiful locations on earth. I’ve been blessed to have stepped foot on six of the seven continents (believe it or not, the only one I’m missing is Australia) and I’m always looking to do more when it comes to helping the environment. Delicate Arch, Utah Patagonia Wildebeest, South Africa As a photographer, I am very picky when it comes to my subjects. Whenever friends or family ask me to shoot a wedding, portrait, or some special event, it scares the living daylights out of me. I have this notion that photographing people carries with it tremendous baggage. Not once has a monkey complained that it was having a bad hair day, nor has a lion ever given me specific instructions to only photograph its left side because it is ‘more photogenic’ than its right. I’ve never been told to ‘scram’ when I aim the camera at an unsuspecting chipmunk, nor have I been shunned because none of the llama shots turned out the way the llama was expecting. Yes, I’ve been spit on, stepped on, snapped at, charged, rammed, pecked, and even pooped on, but I find all these animal antics much easier to deal with than that one unhappy client who didn’t get that picture perfect wedding shot. House Sparrow, Washington D.C. Ring-tailed Lemurs, Nature Preserve, South Africa I love the element of the unknown when shooting wildlife. I live for those precious moments when hours of patience and determination result in breathtaking photographs. Humans are predictable, controllable, and, well… let’s face it, not nearly as cute as baby penguins. Animals, on the other hand, are wild, spontaneous, and impulsive – their actions a result of intuition and instinct. In the wild the most ordinary of moments can, in a split second, become the award-winning instant a photographer dreams of. Long days spent tracking wildebeest through the hot desert lead to that one magical evening when the dust they rouse glows orange in the setting sun. Hours spent waiting for a sleeping leopard to wake pay off when it peeks up and snarls at a nearby gazelle. A morning spent admiring a penguin colony becomes a life changing experience when three baby chicks gather the courage to leave the safety of their peers and approach within a few inches of this mysterious spectator. Gentoo penguins, Antarctica Adelie penguin, Antarctica If there’s one thing I’ve taken away as a photographer, it’s that the magic of the natural world is all around us. The reward, however, comes to those who are patient. Fur Seal, South Georgia Annaupurna, Nepal 2 Responses Carole May 2, 2013 Great photos and story.