Bad Weather, Baby Goats Pave Way to Smithsonian

Tomajko's photo, that was the cover of the 2013 Colorado Outdoors Photography Issue, will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in September.
Tomajko's photo, that was the cover of the 2013 Colorado Outdoors Photography Issue, will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in September.
Tomajko’s photo, that was the cover of the 2013 Colorado Outdoors Photography Issue, will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in September.

Braving the weather at 14,000 feet on a summer afternoon and waiting out that one right moment with rambunctious baby goats has paid off for Colorado photographer Verdon Tomajko. He was recently awarded for his photo that graced the cover of the 2013 Colorado Outdoors Photography Issue — four frisky little goats playing while a single lightning bolt strikes in the background.

The image has been named the “amateur winner” in the wildlife category of the Wilderness Forever Photography Competition 2014. It will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., in an exhibit that begins in September. It will also be published in the 2014 spring/summer edition of Nature’s Best Photography magazine.

Tomajko’s winning photo came together on a trip to the top of Mount Evans last July with his wife. An afternoon storm confined them for a while to the car. But they waited it out and he was able to shoot photos of a herd of goats for a couple hours. The adults were grazing and the babies, just a couple months old, played around the rocks. Tomajko saw another storm rolling in across the valley and knew it was his opportunity for a great shot.

Verdon Tomajko
Verdon Tomajko

“The baby goats started to get very anxious, running and jumping over the rocks — and over each other — with nervous energy from the incoming storm,” Tomajko said. “Despite the potentially hazardous conditions, I wanted to keep shooting, trying to get this perfect shot with the goats pausing on a rock, and a lightning strike in the background.”Tomajko said he kept shooting until his hair was standing up on end. In the photo, viewers can even see the hair on the goats standing up because of all of the electricity in the air.

“Many times I get the best shots after everyone else has had enough and has gone away,” he said. “I love to capture the unique behaviors and personalities of wildlife, and this was one of the best shooting opportunities that I have had.”

Sponsored by Nature’s Best Photography, the Smithsonian exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and highlights preserved wilderness areas in the U.S., which includes the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Tomajko grew up in Slovakia and currently resides in Superior.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

✉ Follow for Updates

Never miss a post! Enter your email address and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More Posts

smoked trout

Time to Smoke Some Trout

Spring is a great time to catch trout in Colorado. Use these simple tips to smoke trout and add an exciting new flavor to your salads, pasta and more.

Rifle Falls State Park

The Outdoors is Your Classroom

While educational spaces like our Visitor Centers may be closed, there are many ways to enjoy nature at your State Parks, as well as your own backyard!

Pheasant hunt

My First Pheasant Hunt

Will I do it again? Absolutely. I still don’t have the gear, but now that I know what I need, it is less concerning.