What a Show


What a Show

Short-Eared Owl

What a Show



600 mm

The Story

Because the short-eared owl nests on the ground, a drought in east central South Dakota during 2020 provided the perfect opportunity to capture these lower flying hunters.

This group favored a three square mile area for an entire season. It didn't matter which day Bill showed up, they took to the air like clockwork. As the sun went down, they began to hunt and put on their show. Typically four or five of them would cruise the dried up marsh, providing hours of entertainment and photo opportunities. Fortunately for Bill, the group was oblivious to him sitting along the road in his vehicle. If he held still long enough, they would cruise right along side the windows.

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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.