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Close to Home

Leucistic Female Cardinal

Close to Home



600 mm

The Story

Sometimes discovering a rare opportunity close to home is just as much of an adventure as traveling to remote locations. This partially leucistic female cardinal showed up on a social media post. While followers debated exactly what type of bird was frequenting a backyard feeder in Sioux Falls, Bill went to work, reaching out to the homeowners, requesting he be able to see for himself.

It was a bitter cold and windy morning typical of a South Dakota January. Bill needed to take shelter behind yard furniture and grills to protect himself from the elements. Not only did she show up, after about three hours flitting about, she landed on a perch with a single bright spot of sunlight showcasing her dramatic and unique coloration.

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Countless Hours.

A Single Moment.

A man of few words Bill Vanderhagen is more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. Like many, he finds the speed of modern life exhausting. Photography is his refuge. It is in the stillness of nature, waiting countless hours to capture that single moment where he feels most alive.

Bill discovered photography in 2008 as a way to combine my two passions for art and the outdoors. Learning the skills of this art form was an adventure of its own. With the exception of a brief two-year hiatus due creative burnout, Bill have never bored from chasing that single image.

Even with human subjects, there is something magical about capturing a glance, a smirk, or smile, which is gone just as quickly as it showed up.

Thanks for visiting the site. It has always been Bill's hope that the photos he shares bring you the sense of excitement and discovery he feels when it is just him, the unknown subject, and his camera.