Wildlife photography is some of the most dynamic and exciting work out there.
We can only imagine the life of a wildlife photographer mirrors that milieu. For Willis Cheng, there’s no need for an imagination. Recently on site in Yellowstone Park in the US state of Wyoming, Willis Cheng found himself inadvertently in the pathway of a charging one-ton bison bull.
Sizing him up like he would any challenger for his domain, the bull decided to go for it and ran towards Cheng, causing the photographer to flee in panic, leaving his gear behind but not before capturing one of the most epic shots ever.
That’s right – Cheng was able to capture the irate bison bull charging at him before abandoning ship in a figurative sense.
In a narration of the event given to the UK’s Daily Mail, Willis Cheng said: “The bull rocked to its feet, snorted, and trotted over directly towards me…I knew my best choice was to head 90 degrees away from the bull's path, constantly changing my direction to keep moving perpendicular to the bull's path. I went to my left, yelling ‘Yea ha!’ at the top of my voice and opening my arms wide to look bigger. The bull steered off to the right and I continued to the left as we made a circle around the camera and tripod I had decided to leave behind.”
And, even though Cheng said he is a photographer of 44 years experience, this is his first trip to the rodeo, so to speak, as he has never experienced anything like this before.
That said, he did note that wildlife can often behave in “unexpected ways.” While avoiding being gored to death was one of this primary goals, Cheng’s decision to snap a photo of the charging bison will probably not be one that he regrets anytime soon.