Despite wanting to share this post shortly after attending a photography seminar, a hectic life sort of interfered. But I decided it was just too good not to share the experience. “Walk on the Wildside” was held in connection with Earth Day sponsored by a local camera shop at the Denver Zoo. The guest speaker was not only a phenomenal photographer but one who happened to be a Nikon Ambassador.
Ron Magill, director of communications for the Miami Zoo, is a trained zoologist but never took any photography classes. He learned how to photograph through practice, patience and necessity (stock photos were too expensive when he first started out). I signed up for this class
not because I’m planning on a safari trip to Africa, but because I figured any tips could be used in taking photos of Sam and Elsa (who often resemble wild animals).
Boy am I glad I did!! Although I shoot with non-Nikon brand cameras, photographic principles are the same whether you use Nikon or another brand like I do. If you have the time and the inclination, this video is a fair representation of his presentation in Denver with emphasis on his conservation efforts. Ron is high energy and enthusiastic. Be prepared to get caught up with his energy. As a world-renowned conservationist as well as a photographer, Ron walks the walk using his position to draw attention to the importance of saving endangered species throughout the world. Ron stressed the importance of living a life that protects these magnificent creatures so that we can enjoy them now and well into the future. As a naturalist whose primary job is protecting wildlife for generations to come, Ron showed how invaluable photography can be in telling stories that help empower people in to making a difference in protecting our natural world.
Ron showed some of the most inspiring photos in extreme locales; his enthusiasm for photographing nature’s incredible creatures permeated throughout his talk. Even though the presentation ended shortly after noon (and the worst possible time to take photos), I left inspired to see if I could possible capture anything like what he suggested.
While the lighting was atrociously harsh and mostly overexposed, I was able to shoot a few shots that pleased me and as Ron suggested, any photo that you like is a good photo regardless of photographic rules. This presentation inspired me to my very core. It rekindled a burning desire to photograph the odd, the ordinary, and those exceptional sights that I’m blessed to see every day right in front of me. I left with an energized sense of creativity. It reminded me we all are stewards of nature and the need to keep wild animals alive and present for our children. An Earth Day to remember, savor and practice every day, oh yes. And for the record, it has inspired me to visit to the zoo more often, that is, when I’m not living with the zoo at home.
What story will you tell with your photographs?
Live, love, bark! ❤︎
39 thoughts on “Earth Day…Revisited”
Your pictures are sooo cool!! Love those animals
Why thank you! And thank you for swinging by the Ranch; we 💕 visitors.
PS. You really did get some great shots at the zoo later on!! I love your captions, too. The caption for the ram just cracked me up – “I’m too sexy…” – and reminded me of a scene in “Grumpy Old Men”. I love my little Canon point-n-shoot, but I would really love to have a “regular” camera. Maybe one day when hubby and I win the lottery.
Thank you! I tried to ‘translate’ that ram’s look. He stared at me the whole time I was checking him and the herd out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with P&S cameras-they take ‘wagnificent’ pics (that was one of things Ron mentioned in his seminar). I use mine frequently (and my cell phone) so I don’t have to pack the big one like a mule. When you’re hiking, it’s especially helpful. Those big lens are heavy!!!
I want to watch the video when I have time, so will keep it handy. Meanwhile, among other things on my to-do list this weekend is finding a new portable dishwasher. The 20+-year-old one that my dad bought us has bitten the dust, and the part we need is no longer made. I also need new sneakers for working at the vet’s office.
Oh no, bummer about the dishwasher. Is there a scratch & dent outlet place nearly? They have some amazing deals. Good luck and have a super Mum’s Day!
Thanks! You have a super Mom’s Day too!!
What a great day. Great photos.
Thank you! He was a very inspiring guy.
Sounds like he really inspired you! I love the pictures that you took afterwards!
Thank you! Indeed he did. 😀
Wow, what a great seminar! It sounds like Ron inspired you – and that’s the best possible kind of teacher! I love your photos from that day. I also love how he emphasized that any photo that you take is your view of the world, and that’s worthwhile!
I intend to keep watching his videos to keep that creative feeling fresh inside too.
Well, I am planning a safari to Africa, in three weeks – I should brush up on my pitiful photographic skills…
How exciting! With Ron’s video, there are loads of observations that will make the most of your trip.
Wow, you really got some great shots! I do have a Nikon now, though previously I had nothing but Pentax! I am bookmarking the video to watch later. Inspiration is always good.
Thank you. I think you’ll enjoy the video; Magill is very inspiring, especially when you consider his back story.
Wow. Those pictures are amazing. After two years of blogging … and one of truly paying attention to others’ work, I’m starting to learn how to capture personality in my pictures. After years of trying to take pictures of Bear Cat – and years of being discouraged because I couldn’t get anything decent … it seems like the best way is just to shoot … try a few different things … until it almost becomes an instinct 🙂
Practice, practice, practice. And patience. One thing I picked up from attending that presentation is to hold your finger down on the shutter and fire away. There’s bound to be something in there that you’ll like. Never aim for that one perfect shot, shoot 20 or 50 or in my case, well over 200. LOL
That’s what I have been doing but some people seem to be annoyed by it. Great photos!
Thank you! 😀
The video sounds great – I am putting it on the to do list for this evening!
Enjoy! I’ve watched it several times just to re-infuse Ron’s spirit and enthusiasm.
Great post, thanks for sharing this…and I want to set aside some time and watch that whole video. I previewed some tidbits…what an engaging speaker!
Thank you, Ron certainly has a contagious passion and spirit. 🙂
that was so much fun! Great photos Monika. Wish I could have gone to the workshop with you
If he ever speaks in your area, you’d be well to attend. Ron Magill is such a ‘pawsitive’ force!
You’re telling me that I’m not the only one who still uses a Brownie?
There are many smile worthy memories of the old Brownie cameras.
Reblogged this on A Nibble – A Bite – or a Meal! and commented:
..my writing friend doesn’t’ take compliments well…..but this////…….sometimes it’s pretty close to perfect….well done…
Aww, you’re too kind so all I’ll say is thank you. ❤︎
OMP – Love these my friend!! XOXO – Bacon
Aw, thanks, Bacon! It’s always cool to see such pawsome creatures at the zoo!
YES! Mom has been talking about wanting to go our Atlanta Zoo sometime in the next couple of weeks. It’s so much fun! XOXO – Bacon
We love going to the zoo and waited fur-ever for the bear pics even though everyone else moved on. I think they were worth it even in the harsh light.
YES! They were wonderful my friend. XOXO – Bacon
love it!!! I have no nikon, but it seems I’m not able to take such good photos , no matter what cam :o)
Mine is not a Nikon either but when I’m happy with the photos, it matters not to me. 🙂