A little bit of patience

Ralph Kohler, 94, has had three great loves in his life: family, hunting waterfowl and ballroom dancing.

As last fall’s hunting season wound down, I spent a couple days with the professional guide in his blinds near Tekamah, Neb. Unfortunately, the hunters didn’t get any birds. In fact, they fired their guns only once. But Ralph didn’t mind so much; he called the sunrise we saw the best he had ever seen.

Through a little bit of luck and our nice camera equipment, I was able to get a few usable frames as he looked around before the sun broke the horizon. (Technical notes: 1/15th at f/1.4 @2500 asa. I used my head lamp to fill in the shadows of his face a bit.)

Ralph Kohler sticks his head out of the blind as the sun rises on his lake near Tekamah, Neb.


His wife of 76 years, Dorothy, isn’t a hunter, but she was also a crack shot back in her day, winning a number amateur trap shooting titles in the late 1940s and 1950s. Ralph calls her quite often from the phone in the blind.


The Kohlers in 1952.


The couple can’t ballroom dance anymore because Dorothy broke her back, so now they play cards.

Watch below as they discuss some of the experiences in their very full lives, and read more about Ralph and see more photos here.

About Matt Miller

I’ve been shooting Cornhuskers, cowboys and common folks at the Omaha World-Herald since September 2002. I was lucky enough to catch the end of the Tom Osborne era while in college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Any day I get to spend in Nebraska's Sandhills is a good day. If nice light and people (a rare sight in western Nebraska) are tossed into the mix, it’s even better. Shooting photos for the World-Herald offers several challenges: the repetition of sporting events, handling my own feelings at emotional events like shootings and funerals, and handling the wide range of weather we cover in the Great Plains. I’d be happy to share more, but you’ll have to buy me a drink, first. You can see a larger selection of my work at my website.
This entry was posted in Viewfinder, Viewfinder - carousel, Viewfinder - Featured and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jual kaos says:

    Helpful info. Lucky me I found your site by chance, and I am stunned why this coincidence didn’t took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

  2. caleb says:

    I like the picture of the man hunting because it has god lighting

  3. [...] Matt Miller learned about patience as he spent time with 94-year-old hunter Ralph Kohler. Matt discussed his experience on on another Viewfinder post. [...]