I grew up with a great old weekly network television show called Wild Kingdom. Marlin Perkins of the Omaha, Nebraska Zoo was the host, and the Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company was the sponsor. I can’t remember another TV show where the sponsor was so much a part of the identity of the program. Anyway, today’s post honors that show and the spirit of it’s host Marlin Perkins.
I have brought to you seven different wildlife photographers and their photos of birds and mammals. Most are not new to this blog.
This first picture is from Michael Daniel Ho and is that of an Arctic Fox in winter. Images that show wild animals in their natural habitat will always (I hope) be an important part of wildlife photography.
David Hemmings is without a doubt a top ten in the world, wildlife photographer. Birds are his mainstay, but he can shoot the daylights out of anything in the animal world. I mean that of course in the best possible way. Here we see an endearing picture of a female Polar Bear and her cubs, followed by an Arctic Fox wearing it’s summer coat.
Christine Lamberth is new to these pages and we welcome her. Not only does this shot of African Lions show wonderful interaction from within the species, the color and tones in the picture feel almost landscape like.
Charles Glatzer is a regular on these pages, and his recent trip to Japan has netted we the viewers of his imagery, a wealth of joyful moments. Both of the images below are that of Red Cranes. He abandoned the normal photography of this species in search of “artful moments” and he succeeded. The term elegant beauty comes to mind. These are my personal favorites from this group.
Denise Ippolito has also been in Japan recently. I do believe she has been co-teaching a workshop with Arthur Morris. I was amazed at this crisp and beautiful picture of a Sea Eagle.
One of my friends on both Facebook and Flickr is Howard Cheek. Howard’s images are fairly traditional in their style, and I am thankful that photographers like Howard still exist. Sometimes there is nothing like a straight forward, technically proficient, clean and elegant picture of a beautiful bird like this Cedar Waxwing. I am coming to believe that it takes a special talent to do this.
Marina Scarr is one of my favorite wildlife photographers. Her specialty seems to be those magic moments. This is a Sandhill Crane chick peaking it’s head out from the back feathers of one of it’s parents. Awe!
Our final photo may not be quite as technically perfect as the previous shots, but it is spectacular in its content. Marcus Varesvuo made this flight shot of a Common Gull riding/harassing/attacking a White-tailed Eagle. Wow!
One of the things I rarely talk about on these pages, is the use of photography for charitable purposes. I tend to leave this subject alone because it is your own business what you do with your images. I will just say that in the past I have donated prints for an auction held by a local state park for nature related programs. I also have several times, sanctioned the free use of my files for usage in books that were destined as fund-raisers for the plight of American birds of prey, including the Bald and Golden Eagle, the Osprey and other animals. For any of you who like me, often lack the funds to donate prints, free use of your pictures for books, posters and pamphlets is an inexpensive way to help. I would suggest that you should however look into who you donate to, and make sure you agree with their cause and especially with their methods. Do remember that national non-profits are really not non-profit. There are people getting paid and benefiting from donations. My first suggestion would be to use local causes that you can get close to and examine what they do and how they do it.
Whether you normally sell your pictures or not, your images are worth money, and you can help many worthy causes by allowing their use for raising funds.
Before I began to write this blog, I used to send out an Earth Images newsletter, and I also would often write articles on my old website. Over the past three years I have occasionally written posts on other blogs as well. While I never divulge truly personal facts about my life, I do sometimes write about my many photo/nature/travel adventures, and occasionally facts ( not too personal) about my life. The sort of facts that have long passed into history. When personal friends have read these autobiographical portions of articles, they often wonder why I have never spoken about them before in our personal conversations. One reason is that most of you are photographers. I am sure you have noticed that during those times you have spent with me, I rarely converse about anything other than photography or nature. I have never been the sort to talk about the deeply personal parts of my life, even with friends.
When you become empowered with publishing the written word….well….you have space to fill. One way I fill that space is to tell all those stories I have never talked about before. I am always (still) careful to leave out the truly personal stuff. I rarely name names. The art of talking about yourself in this information saturated electronic world we live in, is about knowing what needs to be left out. The subject of how to do that, should be taught in our schools. There needs to be books written on it. We see the trouble and woes everyday, heaped on those that participate in this process, and just don’t get where the lines should be drawn. I am talking not only about the famous, but the unknown as well.
Facebook: The other day I watched an online discussion about the merits of being on Facebook. I really only view Facebook in terms of being a photographer, be it hobbyist or pro. For me personally, it is just a good way to kill time. Certainly as a way to stay connected, or reconnect to family and old friends it would seem to have merit. My ties to both of those categories, have been severed so long ago that I cannot relate. I think that any serious professional photographer who wants to remain relevant, should at least have a presence on Facebook, and possibly other social media. You will eventually sell prints or workshops spots if you work hard at acquiring and maintaining a following. Keep in mind I am no longer a pro so I have a very insignificant following. If you are an amateur with a large number of friends, family or group friends such as camera club members or fellow birders, you can have a great time on Facebook. Otherwise hobbyists will be disappointed. You may find more fun and energy on Flickr Photos. If you are a pro, Flickr Photos will bring you little.
Do keep in mind, that at times, all social media photo sharing sites can become a commenting contest. You comment on mine and I’ll comment on yours. There is nothing wrong with that, but you must realize that it takes some work and quite often the comments aren’t all that sincere.
However you choose to look at it, it’s the 21st Century and we “ain’t” going back.
Have a great day and may God Bless, Wayne