Garth McElroy - NPN 459
Growing up in the woods of New Hampshire, I have always had a deep respect and interest in all things natural. It wasn’t until college that my interest in birds was sparked. My wife, Megan, was taking an ornithology class and dragged me along for a 4 a.m. owling trip. My interest in birding developed from that one trip. I became obsessed with birding and finding new and interesting birds. After a couple years of birding, I found myself wanting more.
I always had an interest in photography, so I picked up a copy of Arthur Morris’s book “The Art of Bird Photography” and read it over and over. The only problem was that I was in my early twenties and needed about ten grand worth of camera gear. The only solution to this was to use our existing spotting scope, hook my point & shoot digital to it, and try digiscoping. I learned a lot through digiscoping about framing and producing pleasing images. While the images were good quality, I still wanted more. After a year of digiscoping and some serious financial talk with Megan, I dove head first into bird photography and purchased a Canon D60 digital body and the Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens. My dream had come true! I devoted every spare moment to photographing birds. I learned a lot about photography by using a digital camera and was able to shoot as many pictures as I wanted. During my first year, I photographed over 100 species in New Hampshire and Maine.
Northern New England and Canada has become my main geographic interest in bird photography. Documenting species that breed and pass through this large area is extremely challenging and rewarding. The diversity of habitat and seasons support many different species. From coastal salt marsh and offshore islands to boreal forests, this area has it all.
I have traveled to many islands off the coast of Maine to photograph terns and other seabirds and have a special interest and respect for them. Through these trips, I have gained a great deal of respect for what these birds go through to procreate and continue the existence of their species. I try to convey this through my photographs. Megan and I have also volunteered on Appledore Island at the migratory bird banding station on the island for many years. I have since moved on from working at the station to photographing birds that utilize this island during their migration to and from their northern breeding grounds.
In the winter of 2001, I found NPN (The Nature Photographers Network) and started posting my images. The critiques and fabulous images posted on this site helped me obtain a very high standard for my photography. I am very critical of my own images and would have it no other way. I owe much of my success to this fabulous site.
In the summer of 2001, I launched my website, www.featheredfotos.com, as a location to showcase some of my images. Being able to display my work online helped to push my career forward immensely. I am now photographing birds full-time, selling my images, and being published in magazines, and I love every minute of it. I could not think of something I would rather do more than this and I am looking forward to chasing and photographing birds for a long time to come!
Editor's Note - Click any of the thumbnail images on this page to view a slide show of larger images. You can view more of Garth's work in his website at www.featheredfotos.com.
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