We are now a year into the worst health crisis in modern history - Ronald C Modra

We are now a year into the worst health crisis in modern history - Ronald C Modra


We are now a year into the worst health crisis in modern history. Like many, my friend and workshop partner, Don Smith, and I have not been able to conduct any of our photographic workshops and it has us left restless, irritable and longing for something to do.

There has never been a time in my career I have been this inactive. I spent 25 years as a staff and contract photographer on the run for Sports Illustrated which was a never ending merry go round, baseball to football, football to hockey, with any number of feature assignments in between.

During the last year, I’ve spent most of my days in my office at the Lensmen Project Headquarters I share with singer, songwriter and photographer Ronnie Dunn. Ronnie is half of the hall of fame country duo Brooks and Dunn and Ronnie is as passionate about photography as he is about his music.

Take a look here

Now Ronnie, who is currently not touring with Brooks and Dunn, his Casears Palace gig with Kix and Reba McEntire is on hold, we look at each other and say “How can we get out and do some shooting?” Everything we want do is closed or in lockdown. We search for some answers and don’t have any. I retreat into my office and scan old SI images some which have been scanned before, surf the internet, scan some more, do my best to social distance from the refrigerator and our snack bar which we keep filled with far too many sweets and finally head home.

Ronald C Modra on thinkTank

For me this is ground hog day, until we are shook from our beds on Christmas Day when a bomb rocked downtown Nashville, the explosion a block from our townhouse. After a couple days we were asked to leave the building so it could be accessed for structural damage, my wife and I packed and headed to Florida.

I’ve done quite a lot of shooting in the Florida Keys usually out on fishing trips, jumping swordfish, tarpon, sailfish and back in Everglades National Park, the Roseate Spoonbill. I have become fascinated with these unusual birds. This will be my ‘Pandemic Project’ … Spoonbills…

Along with my wife, writer, MB, we are renting a condo in Ponce Inlet Florida, my research shows me I have a number of areas to find spoonbills, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Stick Marsh and Merritt Island, my first stop will be on Merritt Island, the Black Point Wildlife Drive. 

I go out most days, drive around Merritt Island or up to Alligator Farm,  ( real bird photographers tell me I’m way to early to find large groups) but I usually with my ‘eagle eye’‘ spot a few here and there. Spoonbills are very cool looking but most of the time they just wade around in shallow water bobbing their heads looking for little fish or what ever they eat. The one thing I have learned is you gotta exercise patience, these birds will wade around for hours before they take off and fly.

A short post from our friend Ronald, please visit his website and say hello. 


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