Ring-Necked Pheasant




600 mm

The Story

The images Bill shares are a minuscule fraction of the shots he takes; and the ones he misses, too. One he has always hoped for: fighting pheasants. One had always missed? Fighting pheasants.

Bill and his girlfriend/travel partner and amateur birder, Shannon, were taking the long way home from another shoot, pausing to capture migrating waterfowl in distant ponds. As a result, Bill was using an extender on his lens which helps with slow moving shots like swimming birds or distant deer. That's when these sparring ring-necked pheasants showed up in a field behind them. Bill threw the car into reverse and reset, hoping to capture an action shot he had missed countless times before.

Even though the extender drastically narrowed the depth of field, fortune was on his side as he was able to capture both in sharp focus. The photo is extra fortuitous for Bill because the birds chose a location other than corn stubble which typically obscures a portion of the animal.

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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.