National Geographic : 1906 Jul
VOL. XVII, No. 7 WASHINGTON JULY, 1906 THE SATEONAL PHOTOGRAPHING WILD GAME WITH FLASH LIGHT AND CAMERA* Copyrighled, 90o6, by George Shiras, 3rd BY HON. GEORGE SHIRAS, 3RD MEMBER OF CONGRESS, 1903-1905 Mr Shiras was the originator of the sport of hunting wild game with the camera, and for twenty years has devoted his vacations to this fascinating recrea tion. The methods and implements which he invented have been adopted through out the world, and have greatly simplified and popularized this branch of photog raphy and sport. Mr Shiras has made it a point never to photograph animals in parks or reservations, all of his shooting being directed against game in the strict est sense wild. The pictures printed in this number were all taken by him, and it is the first time that he has permitted their publication. Several of the flash lights, those on pages 376, 377, 378, 379, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, and 387, were exhibited at the Paris Exposition in p9oo, where they received a gold medal, and they were again exhibited at St Louis in 1904, receiving a Grand Prize. The reader of this article must admit that no line of sport requires greater patience, perseverance and skill, or is rewarded with such rich and lasting trophies. The game which Mr. Shiras has bagged during these twenty years, he shares with many thousands the world over. L OOKING back to that period, many years ago, when the finger eagerly pulled the trigger and the eye anxiously sought to pierce the momentary veil of smoke between the gun and its intended victim, and then to that later period, when the simple press ing of a button captured, for all time, the graceful image of the hunted quarry, one becomes conscious of a peculiar mental evolution. Success in the hunting field should properly be dominated by a keen sense of pleasure which, if absent or but a minor incident in the chase, indicates a misdirected effort. We all know, today, that the average successful and contented sportsman will admit that the mere taking of animal life is regarded as an appar ently unavoidable incident in the gratifi cation of desires existing wholly apart from the shedding of blood. One purpose of this article is to show that the time has come when it is not necessary to con vert the wilderness into an untenanted and silent waste in order to enjoy the sport of successfully hunting wild birds *An address to the National Geographic Society, April 6, 1906.