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What was your inspiration to first start photographing? To start photographing nature? I've had many photographic "tutors" in my life, many of them I've never met personally, just books, articles, and sometimes the occasional lecture-style workshop. But today I wanted to share with you the inspiration that got me started in photography in general and nature photography specifically. I really owe the inspiration for my photographic journey to two important men in my life. My uncle Ray and my father Tom.
I still remember the moment that I decided I wanted to become a photographer. I was about to leave from one of my annual summers in Maine with my cousin Sarah at my grandparents. Sarah's parents and my parents had come up to bring us back home and my uncle Ray (Sarah's father) was showing off some 3x5 prints of some photographs he took around my grandparent's house on the Sheepscot River. One photograph he had of a quaint New England house reflected in the river captured my imagination and seemed to capture the beauty and spirit of my childhood summers in Maine. I was hooked right then and there. The idea of being able to capture the beauty I saw all around me, and to capture the feelings/memories associated with that beauty, captivated me. My uncle gave me that photograph, and I still credit that moment as the one that inspired me to become a photographer.
When we returned home, my dad gave me his old Canon AE-1 camera and I set to work learning how to use it. My dad had always enjoyed sharing his knowledge of natural history with my sister and I as we were growing up, and he had been a big birder in his younger days. So, when he saw how serious I was about the photography, he suggested the following New Years Day that it was traditional to go out and count how many different birds you could see, and I could bring my camera and get pictures. Thus my passion for nature photography, and for birding/birds, was born.
My uncle is still photographing in Arizona (and soon other locations) and, in a continuing inspiration to me, uses his images to help promote conservation causes that he cares deeply about. Check out his blog, Sonoran Connection. I dedicate this latest post and my latest images from Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to him and my father. Thanks guys!
I know a lot of my readers/viewers are beginning or accomplished nature photographers themselves. Leave a note in the comments section and tell us what inspired you to become a nature photographer or photographer.