Some vocations just require specific tools/items/supplies. You can't really be a bartender without liquor/beer or cups. And how good of a mime would you be without an invisible box? Entire industries lose millions and millions of dollars if there are internet network outages, but if we're talking about a world without the internet, then we're talking about the collapse of civilization.
So what's a photographer supposed to do if they don't have a working camera? Sure, they could try and capture whatever scenery they need to on a smartphone, but if you're a nature photographer who requires special lenses and cameras that are designed to capture hi-definition of animals in their natural habitat from a distance so as not to disturb them, like Donny Moore, then you're kind of crap out of luck.
But there's an old saying about lemons and it looks like even though Donny couldn't do his job as a wildlife picture taker because his camera unexpectedly failed on him, he still managed to do something productive in the face of such unfortunate circumstance: he'd draw pictures of the animals he was seeing instead of snapping their photos.
In an interview with Peta Pixel, Donny talks about wanting to "bring some levity" to counteract the rotten luck he had with a failed camera.
It all started when he ventured out to capture some migratory bird action.
"The worst possible thing happened. My weather-sealed camera body didn’t seem so weather-sealed anymore and it malfunctioned under the first wet morning shoot."
Moore continued, "I was instantly devastated but being a nature lover, I wasn’t going to let that get in my way of enjoying what birds were moving through."
So instead of snapping pictures of the birds he decided to draw them.
"I have always dealt with most situations by bringing some levity to it and this was going to be no different. So I set about sketching some of the sightings I got by using my kids’ art supplies."
He grabbed a few sheets of paper and some colored pencils and begin drawing the different migratory birds that were passing through Ontario, then he took the naming the various aviary wonders.
He then posted his drawings along with the tale of his bad camera luck.
So how did Donny come up with the idea to draw the birds and then append "field notes" to them? Well, he got his inspiration from OG nature enthusiasts.
He told the CBC, "Traditional naturalists used to go out, before cameras and that, they would take field notes. Some description of the bird, and a little drawing. So, the idea came in my head, ‘well, I have no camera, I might as well practice what I preach."
It didn't take long for people to catch on to what Donny was doing and his drawings became a hit on social media. As to the quality of his drawings, Donny seems to have a sense of humor about that as well, which he doesn't let tarnish his enthusiasm for the lack-of-a-camera-compromise.
"In my head I’m up there with some of the great names in the nature world of art like David Sibley, but that does not seem to translate down through my pencils. Trying to keep the sketches as basic as possible but also trying to highlight some field marks of the wildlife I came up with caricatures more than any kind of realism."
Although he's happy folks are taking a liking to his drawings, he's hoping to get a replacement camera soon so he can go back out into nature and get back to what he loves doing: snapping great photos of wildlife.
"Some of my followers of my photography latched onto the drawings and I bantered back and forth in the comments. The descriptions I gave for the sketches, while also lighthearted, still hopefully engaged some people into what is out there for us to enjoy."
He continued, "[The sketches] have gained their own little of popularity with some followers, [but] I do hope it’s not too long before I have a good camera in hand to get back out shooting what I enjoy best."