Right Place, Right Time…

 

A blacktip shark swims among a school of spawning bonefish near Abaco Island, Bahamas

Yowza! First post in nearly two years…it’s about time (literally).

Towards the end of 2017, I traveled to Abaco Island, Bahamas to shoot some saltwater fly fishing imagery. I’d been there numerous times before…so much so, that it almost felt like home stepping onto the tarmac and inhaling that salty breeze that seems to instantly rid oneself of any and all worries.

The trip, as so many others prior was a great success. Wonderful people, fantastic food and, most importantly, numerous opportunities to shoot new work. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword visiting a place so familiar. On the one hand, you have a clear vision of what to expect. On the other, however, you know it will be a challenge to capture work you find to be engaging, complimentary to and different than that which already exists in your portfolio.

On the second day of the shoot, we were walking back from a LONG day of shooting. We’d walked several miles through marshy wetlands and across the flats, and I was, by and large quite spent. Suddenly, we heard what sounded like thunder down the shoreline. As large monsoon clouds would frequently whip up in the afternoon heat, we almost dismissed it as such…until we saw a wall of water being flung into the air. What we saw next literally had our jaws left wide open…

We watched as a literal river of spawning bonefish made its way along the shoreline straight towards us, moving with such velocity as to create their own wave train as far as the eye could see. At first we grabbed our rods (what right-side up angler wouldn’t???) and cast into the mass of moving silver scales. After a couple quick hook-ups, however, we simply stood in amazement and did our best to internalize this magnificent moment. I frantically flew my drone skyward, knowing the only way to truly capture the scale and magnitude of this happening would be from the air.

Sure enough, I came away with one of the more unique images I’ve ever captured–one that has resonated with anglers and photo enthusiasts alike the world over. This one image has earned me more return than perhaps any other single image in my archive. It has already been featured as the cover of the Orvis summer catalog and I’ve had many print orders and email inquiries on the image since.

Orvis Fishing Catalog Summer 2018, cover photo by Adam Barker

What’s that saying about right place, right time??? It is 100% true. All of it. Be there. Be ready. No matter how tired or spent you are, be ready when those moments present themselves…