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Photographer Notebook
Michael Foster on the Peregrine Falcon Adventure

Peregrine Falcon AdventureMichael Foster - Peregrine Falcon Adventure photography by Jennifer Jackson
I recall that day I had to slide out of one side of the helicopter and the pilot had to tilt the helicopter without the blades hitting the rock. I just kinda melted out of there and stayed low to avoid the blades. When he pulled away I stood up and looked down the three hundred foot rock face at the water below. It was extremely frightening.

After I did my work, I had a choice of coming back and riding down with the helicopter or walking three hours down the mountain—It’s not hard to guess what I did.

They had some senators and some other big shots riding, so I guess I really didn’t have a choice, but I had already decided in my heart I was not getting back in that helicopter. So Tom Kohlsaat, who was head of the Wildlife Diversity Section at the time, and I walked back down the mountain together.

So I guess that one can only conquer one’s fears for so long—I just couldn’t make myself get back into that helicopter.

Over the years I got used to it—taking the doors off and flying in search of photos…in fact, over the years I got more comfortable in the helicopters than in the planes—and you can get much better images from the helicopters.

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© 2012 South Carolina Wildlife Magazine, January - February 2008 -  

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