Lynn B. Starnes
I am the owner of Great Wildlife Photos, LLC which provides photographs, framed and unframed, calendars and notecards to customers who love to be surrounded by my stunning landscapes and relaxed, natural wildlife. I started this business in 1996. As an ecologist, I have worked with wildlife doing research or field studies or managing them. Ecologists don’t retire they live and breathe to be in the out-of-doors. Great Wildlife Photos’ customers benefit from my drive to learn more about animals. The result is that my photos continue to improve. I love to provide photo tours so that many customers can see antelope, coyotes or wild horses for the first time.
In July 2018, I opened a gallery in Nevada marketplace in Reno Town Mall, 4001 S Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89502.
This year’s ROS donation for the UNR student scholarship is 100% donation. This piece has a wild stallion running towards water and a small herd that was at a small pool. This image is a limited-edition, fine art print of 20. The artist proof will be the donation item. The winner can also exchange for a numbered print.
I have worked as an ecologist for almost forty years. I started my career in the 1970’s working to return surface coal mines to their original contours under the new laws of that time. Talk about taking textbook theory, learning how to apply principles innovatively, and then waiting to see if they worked!
My work has allowed me to explore the wildest habitats in North America, Africa, and South America. I have been privileged to work to re-establish several endangered species, and that has allowed me candid photographs of them. The advantage of being a biologist first and a photographer second is my knowledge of animal behavior and habitats. I see animals I am studying eating, sleeping, mating, and even playing.
I consider myself to be an “ambush photographer.” Unlike a studio photographer who takes human portraits, I cannot “pose” my animals for that perfect photograph. I joke that I don’t make as much money as a studio photographer but my animals never complain that I made them look fat or their butts too large! So, I must make my animal photographs through great patience and basically waiting for the animal to exhibit postures that I think are expressive. Timing is of great importance. The expression of the animal, such as the eyes looking directly into the lens, or the position of the body, will make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful photograph. When I am watching an animal through my camera, I look for a specific combination of head, legs (or wings), and eyes, in hopes of recording a scene that I think is “perfect.” Knowing when to take that photo is difficult, as most animals have eyes or ears that are always in motion—ever alert for that sign of danger. The longer that I am with an animal, the greater the opportunity for me to get an intimate photograph as the animal begins to get used to my presence. Sometimes, being motionless and passing up early photographs of the animal is my key to great photographs.
Determination, persistence, skill, and of course luck, are all factors in whether the images captured are unique and expressive or not. Hopefully, I can inspire you to love these wild animals that have been my life and to inspire you to help conserve these wild animals and their habitats for future generations.