Photography is a wonderful stress-reliever: very much my meditation and yoga com-
bined into one. It contrasts a lot with what I do 60 hours a week. As a lawyer, you try to
be as efficient as possible for your client; in photography, you’re often incredibly inef-
ficient with your time in order to get a shot. It can’t be about the photo. If it’s about the
photo, you get nothing. It’s about the experience.
I’ve always enjoyed hiking, backpacking and nature. Photography was a natural extension of documenting and sharing the wonders I experienced. I’m fortunate to live in the
United States—and in Florida—with countless beautiful subjects for photography. I have
also been to Tanzania several times, Canada, Japan and Rwanda; my bucket list includes
Antarctica, the Falklands and, of course, the Galapagos Islands.
I have often planned to do a photo book, but I always hope the next photograph will be
my best—and the one I would want to put on the cover. I joke that I’m really just working
on a slideshow for my funeral.
David G. Bates
WEST PALM BEACH
Where the Wild Things Are
David Bates combats career stress with wildlife photography
AS TOLD TO ANDREW BRANDT
Creative works by lawyers
I got up at 4 in the morning, drove two hours and set up a hunting
blind before sunrise, so that when a bird came to a perch in the
lake to feed, I would be there. At 8: 30, I took the first photos. The
kingfisher came out of the water and she had fish, and that was a
miracle. I’ve done that trip four times now, so that’s a 20-hour photo.
After an all-day negotiation on a stock-purchase agreement,
I was fortunate to observe—along with a great egret—
the sunset over Green Cay Wetlands in Delray Beach.