I walked into the house and was immediately asked “have any luck?”   “Yes,” I replied.   “I spotted two cows and avoided them both.”  Landscape photography is a dangerous profession, thanks in large part to the need to cross cow pastures to find the right perspective.  Everybody knows that the best landscape photographs are composed of water, land, and sky.   

Even better are landscape photographs that have reflections in water – with robust color and contrast.  Unfortunately, you have to often navigate across cow pastures and avoid abundant wildlife.  In addition to this, one must avoid bovine landmines placed strategically along the route from your car to the edge of the water.  I believe that the cows conspire and coordinate the placement of their mine fields as well as the location of the bull in transit.

To be a good landscape photographer, one must become a master at avoiding all sorts of wildlife.   Sheep, dogs, donkeys, the occasional Sasquatch, and horses are found in cow pastures.  The largest and nastiest beast, however, is the common cow.   You might think that the landscape photographer wouldn’t have any problem with this beast – but a hungry cow in a pasture thinks you are there to feed her.  She will find you, chase you, and will block your path to the side of the water all in an effort to stuff her face.  “Give me food” the cow will say. 

You might have better luck if you act like a fisherman.   Fishermen have somehow trained cows to ignore them in their fishing endeavors.  Photographers do not have the luxury of spending hours on end beside a body of water with a fishing pole.   Photographers must strategically place themselves to catch the morning or evening sun and only have a short period of time to do so.   Cows, being intelligent and inquisitive animals, are also able to identify the fisherman from the photographer, and adjust their behavior accordingly.  A clever photographer, however, can disguise their behavior and blend in with the other animals or dress like a fisherman.

When a photographer enters a cow pasture in the early morning, the first thing to do is to NOT wake up the cows.  Unlike fishermen, hunters and other liars – photographers know that it is not possible to tip over a sleeping cow.  Fishermen think that you’re gullible, and that you’ll believe their ability to sneak up and body slam into the side of a cow sending it to the ground.   This is a lie.   Do not attempt this tactic.  More likely than not, you’ll be running through a mine field and find that your pants and shoes are covered with pure bullshit.   And if you’re with a fisherman, you’ll just wind up spilling your bear.  I repeat.  Do not attempt this tactic.

The best way to avoid detection in a cow pasture is to find a horse and give it an apple.  Donkey’s are a good substitute if a horse isn’t available.  Once you give the horse an apple – it will follow you as you slowly cross the cow pasture towards the water.    Do not panic if you see a cow.    Keep calm.  The cow will simply think that the horse has an odd number of feet and it will ignore you.

Once you have secured your photographs, leaving the cow pasture is simply a matter of reversing the process.  Once you escape the cow pasture without any bullshit on the bottom of your shoes, you should treat yourself to a celebratory feast – as you have graduated as an artist.      No one will confuse you with a common liar, like the fisherman.

Time began: 7:25PM
Time end: 8:17PM
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