Welcome. Toss a blanket down, sit for a while under the willow, relax, and enjoy what's written below.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Close Ups and Close Encounters 

 Please welcome S.J. to the Willow Tree. Below is a brief bio followed by a guest post, links to her books, and a review of praise from a reader. Enjoy!

On a whim, S. J. Brown decided to embark on a career in wildlife photography. Armed with an inexpensive 35mm camera and a love for the natural world, her adventure began. Accompanied by her spotter and husband, she ventured to a variety of locations.
The couple soon learned that there was more to this than just camera settings, lighting, and getting the right angle. Not all wildlife is agreeable to having their picture taken, and many are not easily accessible.
Camera in hand, S. J. Brown encountered delicate butterflies, bears, birds, deer, wild horses, and more. Along the way, there are successes and failures, cooperative critters, curious subjects, and some close calls.
As a wildlife photographer S. J. Brown took her cues from her subjects. Their body language let her know when to step in for a closer shot and when to back away. When she was out in the field, she strove to observe and record not to interfere. The exception to this rule is when people pose a threat to wildlife; then she will take time to relocate a road dwelling critter to its location. Brown has saved snapper turtles from soup and other creatures from the taunts and teases of unwise humans, but she will not interfere with Mother Nature's food chain unless it involves a domestic animal pursuing a wild creature. With this in mind, she has sent many a cat away from a bird feeder and saved many a squirrel from a curious canine.
S. J. Brown's book Close Ups & Close Encounters features over fifty of her wildlife photographs as well as the stories behind getting those images. S. J. Brown's photographs and written words are her way of sharing her experiences. Introducing others, such as her granddaughter, to the field is one of her primary goals and loves. She hopes her work will give others an appreciation for the natural world.  

What Inspired You to Begin Photographing Animals and Why Did You Publish a Book?

I have always enjoyed nature and have spent many hours enjoyable hours outdoors.  Encountering wildlife was always an added bonus. After viewing a PBS special on wildlife photographers I was intrigued. The thought of being that close to wild animals really appealed to me, and still does today.  My husband Jay gave me that little push I needed to get started. 

I am sure at the time he didn't envision that this would become such a large part of both our lives.  
We spend endless hours on back roads, in wildlife refuges, and in other natural locations.

As I have honed my skills so has he.   I have experiment with shutter speeds, angles, and lighting.  He has come to recognize birds by the way they perch or the shape of their wings even with the glare of sunlight in his eyes.   He has a keen eye for spotting movement in the distance.  This gives me the opportunity to pick a vantage point and quietly approach a subject.  While we are in the field  having that extra person there to watch my back has come in handy more than once. 

I began sharing my photographs at presentations. At first this was intimidating to me until I realized people were interested in what I do.  I delight in inspiring others to find their passion even if it differs from mine. 

After joining an art organization I began exhibiting my work.  This gave me the opportunity to display my work and connect with people one on one.  At exhibit openings I would find myself discussing someones fondness for a particular type of animal, or the details involved in getting the image. 

I was relaying the story behind getting a photograph at one such exhibit.  When I finished my conversion a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder and stated “ Girl, you have to write this shit down.”     At the time I was working on another writing project that I quickly put aside.  That evening I began working on what is now Close Ups & Close Encounters.

My photographs have always been a way for me to share my love of the natural world.  By combining these stories into a book I could share them with everyone, not just people I meet. 

Kindle Version is available on Ups & Close Encounters: A View From Behind The Lens

The print version, also filled with beautiful full color photographs, is also available:
Close Ups and Close Encounters: A View From Behind The Lens  

My eight-year-old daughter and I quite enjoyed S.J. Brown's book, "Close Ups and Close Encounters: A View From Behind the Lens". The book features some nice photographs of wildlife ranging from a squirrel, butterflies, birds, and larger animals like giraffes, elephants, and bears. The paper quality is quite good, it is neither glossy nor too flimsy so the images show up well.

I have to say though that the photographs almost take a backseat to the stories of how S.J. Brown captured these images. The stories are grounded and down-to-earth and provide personal insights into the photographer's journey as she photographed each subject. The stories are informative and peppered with occasional humor. My daughter and I wish there had been more photographs and it would have also helped if the author-photographer had provided locations for where the subjects were photographed. Other than that, this made an interesting and quick read. – Z Hayes (Amazon)

Really loved this book. The pictures were fabulous and the stories were well written and kept me glued to the pages. This book is for every age group and I am so glad I purchased it. Parents can even read this book to their children and the pictures that accompany them are beautiful. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone. – J. Gonce (Amazon)

No comments:

Post a Comment