National Geographic got it wrong!


I ran across an article on camera traps in an online article by National Geographic  where they claimed that George Steinmetz was the first photographer to use a digital camera trap in 2006. I don’t want to detract from George or his work because I really admire his photography, but I was using a digital camera trap in early 2004.

I entered the 2004 Valley Land Fund Photo contest on Johnny Cozad’s ranch (hey Johnny) and went down to McAllen, Texas with my Nikon F5 s and my new Nikon D2H. My intention was to win the newly established Digital Division. Wanting to expand my possibilities, I asked a friend, Joe McDonald (McDonald Wildlife photography) about camera traps because in 2004 he was THE man on photo traps. He introduced me to The Phototrapper camera trap and I ordered the controller and the infrared sensor and the laser sensor.

I used these sensors and the Phototrapper for my jumping frog work and also for birds in flight coming into a nest along with the Nikon D2H. Bill Forbes, builder of the Phototrapper, wasn’t sure if it would work with the D2H, but we gave it a shot and it worked.


Now I have no idea whether I was the first photographer to use digital camera traps ( anyone out there using a digital camera trap before February 2004, let me know), but I was using one 2 years before the reported “first use” by Nat Geo. (George, no offense, I still like your work and I still want to photograph from the air like you. Sorry Rebecca!). Maybe now National Geographic will run a story on my use of digital camera traps before George. Heck, maybe they will ask me to shoot for them.. Been saying that we should work together since they would get an outstanding photographer and an experienced wilderness medicine physician all rolled up into one package..

Stayed tuned, I will share some of my experiences from this week of getting closeup capability from a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition..

One Response to “National Geographic got it wrong!”

  1. Good for you, Bill. Chuckles, chuckles!!

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