Starting this week, unique photography by Marc Harris, Wildlife and Conservation Photographer, is on exhibit at the historical museum on Marco Island for the next three months, but I suspect you’ll want to return several times with different groups because the photography is so… spectacular. To me, that means the photos are not even close to the norm, but instead rise above the norm in their capture of what could be a common subject in a unique way and the photos define what “spectacular” means.
The exhibit is titled, “Florida’s Voice for Wildlife.” This is a quote from his website, “Marc Harris has been an outdoor, wildlife and nature photographer since he purchased his first 35mm film camera in 1980. Boating, traveling and living out his dream on the water led Marc to many fabulous and exotic locations throughout the western hemisphere. Photography was a gift and the world was his oyster. Marc’s eye for creativity and a connection with nature has produced, over the years, some of the most stunning and unique captures of wildlife that most people will never see in their lifetime.”
I concur with this description, and obviously, the people who attended were transfixed by Marc’s experiences in obtaining each photo and stunned by the amount of time he spends to get the perfect light, detail and uniqueness. He stated that after he discovers the place, the scene or likely hood of birds or other wildlife, he may have to return to the site sometimes 50+ times to catch the right light and of course, the critter. How many of us amateur photographers have that kind of fortitude? And THIS is why he is the professional.
When listening to Marc you can’t help but get excited about his devotion and commitment to sharing the environment with all its wildlife. The photos that he takes are with purpose. Through the years of photographing Florida, Marc has noticed negative changes that are becoming more and more concerning. He has photo documentation of certain areas from years ago and recent photos of the same places and the comparisons are shocking. Places that flowed with sparkling clear water and hosted plants and wildlife are now dried up and do not support the diversity of healthy vegetation that they did in the past. And no, it has nothing to do with the rainy season as a factor.
The purpose of conservation photography is to raise awareness of the problems that are occurring because of population growth, less natural habitat and pollutants. By showing not only the beautiful images, Marc hopes to create dialogue that will encourage our residents and elected officials to find solutions to the problems now that will positively affect the environment in the future. He and his wife Alison, “advocate for the protection of the environment, by working with community leaders, charitable organizations and NGO’s to help provide the public with education and awareness of nature and wildlife protection,” (from LinkedIn).
Note, in the MIHS exhibit, the beautiful images abound. In fact, there is a stunning photo of a summer storm with lightning stabbing the clouds, dark water and drama that won the National Geographic Editor’s Spotlight Award. That’s pretty darn great! And in another there is an eagle doing a most peculiar pose—I’ve included Marc in a photo with the eagle pictured behind him. He is known internationally for his focus on nature and conservation and is now recognized on Marco Island for his eye, creativity and dedication to the beauty that is surrounding us. We just need to open our eyes.
I had a chance to talk to Marc Harris who has won many prestigious awards, and his wife Alison Drake, who accompanies him to his exhibits, monitors the photographer’s website and sends out requested information. She is an integral part of the team and delightful to work with. Visit his gallery at 1401 Lee Street in Fort Myers where he is the Owner/Operator at Marc Harris Wildlife & Nature Photographer to appreciate even more of his dynamic photography and start your collection of his work.