Neff discovers her passion for wildlife photography | News, sports, jobs

PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN NEF – Ben Neff, pictured, is an novice wildlife photographer based mostly in rural Peyman, who shoots round central Iowa.

BEAMAN – Ben Neff, a 2014 BCLUW highschool graduate who lives on his household’s farm close to Beaman, will get fairly busy through the day at John Deere Clever Options Group in Urbandale, however in his spare time, you would possibly catch him strolling round central Iowa along with his digital camera and looking out up. Search for the following nice shot of a wild turkey, fox, deer, or no matter different creature he can discover.

Neff mentioned he first started to find his ardour in highschool when he participated in a Digital Actuality Training Program (VREP), and though he is at all times had a creative facet, in his phrases, “he could not draw to avoid wasting his life.” Pictures was his subsequent factor. The perfect, however as a school scholar, he wasn’t capable of afford a high-quality digital camera that he actually wanted to take high-level pictures.

Having largely used his cellphone throughout his years at Iowa State, the place he graduated with levels in Agricultural Methods Know-how and Industrial Know-how, Neff discovered a sensible cause to put money into some new tools. He was doing a little videography and images of his household’s farms round Beaman close to the Marshall/Grundy County line, so he purchased a digital camera in 2020.

Ultimately he acquired a wildlife lens and has labored with it ever since. For the previous six months, he is been pursuing it “critically” and plans to compete at this yr’s Iowa State Truthful whereas additionally promoting prints by way of his social media pages and a still-developing web site.

His dad and mom, Scott and Mary Beth, have been nothing however supportive of the brand new endeavor, and Scott mentioned it was one thing Ben and his spouse, Susan, may get pleasure from collectively.

Neff mentioned his favourite picture he is taken to this point is that this one, a shot of a wild turkey within the chilly November rain.

“He blends his love of expertise with all the advantages that come from being out in nature, makes use of his love of expertise and stimulates his inventive facet as properly – utilizing his left and proper mind,” mentioned Scott.

Whereas Iowa is not usually seen as a haven of pure magnificence, Neff has discovered it throughout him—with out even leaving his household’s property.

“There’s a whole lot of it in our woods and lands. My dad and mom have about 60 acres of outdated woods, after which we plant fields round that, too.” “After which my uncle lives close by with pastures and fields round his home as properly, so I get a whole lot of my pictures there.”

Another websites inside comparatively shut driving distance embrace Lake Union Grove between Gladbrook and Garwin and the Neal Smith Nationwide Wildlife Refuge south of Altoona. Up to now, his private favourite shot taken has been of a wild turkey within the rain — the picture accompanies this story — particularly as a result of these specific animals are skittish and fast to run away after they discover people.

“I acquired actually fortunate sooner or later and so they have been within the discipline subsequent to the highway whereas I used to be pulling, and I used to be capable of cease shortly and take a bunch of pictures in 5 seconds earlier than they took off into the woods,” Neff mentioned.

Together with making some more money to assist fund his interest, Neff desires to spice up conservation efforts, and the Iowa DNR has already used a few of the screenshots in its social media posts. He’d additionally wish to see his pictures find yourself in magazines like Iowa Outdoor and Our Iowa, however whether or not or not that pursuit results in fortune and fame, it is a protected guess he’ll be out and about along with his digital camera and monopod whereas attempting to find the following nice picture.

“A whole lot of the Instagram reels and picture posts are all from photographers in like Yellowstone or Alaska or wherever, and never a whole lot of posts are from Iowa,” he mentioned. “There are a couple of good photographers I additionally observe in Iowa and every thing, but it surely’s not fairly as standard as a bear picture in Minnesota. So I am simply attempting to share a few of the nice wildlife right here so folks can see that you do not have to be in a type of spots to exit and see it. Or attempting to take photos or something like that.”

Along with his ardour and abilities within the occupation, Neff, a former highschool basketball middle for the Comets, has a sensible benefit over different photographers. Standing at 6’9″, he admitted that a few of his shorter colleagues usually categorical jealousy over his top.

“I can nonetheless bend over or lie on the ground to get these angles,” he mentioned, “however they don’t have any means of getting a few of the angles I get.”

Samples of Neff’s work will be discovered on his Fb web page referred to as Ben Neff Pictures or his Instagram @themrneffels. He is nonetheless ending his web site, which hasn’t gone reside but, however he plans to announce when it will likely be up.


Contact Robert Mahary

at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or

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