There are thousands upon thousands of talented photographers in this world. Then there are photographers whose work transcends mere talent, and rises to a whole other level. I am privileged to know a few of these folks. Now that the blog has attained a fairly substantial readership, reaching 110 countries worldwide as we speak, I wanted to expose you to the talent and vision of some of these creative people. In that regard I have asked some of my friends to share their photographs and stories with you. These posts will be titled Featured Photographer, and will give you some insight as to what goes on behind the lens as well as what goes on in front of it. Bob Weiman is the first to accept my invitation. I hope that you will enjoy this new aspect of Expat Journal, as much as I’m enjoying putting it together. Special thanks to my brother Joel for assisting in the editing chores. S. Dennstedt
I first met Bob Weiman at Fine Art America (FAA), an online gallery that both Bob and I use to exhibit our art, and was immediately taken with his body of work. Calling it stunningly beautiful hardly does it justice. His technical expertise was obviously first class: Exposure, focus and composition were all spot-on. But it was Bob’s vision and ability to capture animals engaged in their natural behaviors that hooked me. Look at Bob’s photographs carefully, they are sensory delights. I will include links to Bob and his art at the end of this post. Please feel free to share what you see and read with your family and friends—and seriously consider becoming a financial patron. Bob’s images are available for sale at reasonable prices, so consider their purchase a sound investment. I will now introduce you to Bob, and I will let him tell you his story through his own words and pictures.
Robert (Bob) Weiman – Wildlife/Nature Photographer
Every child dreams big of what they want to become. Loving the outdoors, I have always been fascinated with animals. Throughout the years, I’ve gained volumes of information and knowledge about animals in the wild. This knowledge, in time, has led me to photography as the best way to document and share the visions of what I have seen and learned.
I grew up in the backwoods of Wisconsin, where wildlife surrounded me and helped to make of me an avid outdoorsman.
Life’s journey eventually landed me in Montana, along with my wife and daughter, where beauty surrounds us in every direction, an obvious choice for us to make.
For the last 30 years, I have explored the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park, including the great surrounding areas beyond.
Some years ago, I related my adventures to a friend, a photo enthusiast, who suggested that I invest in a camera to capture and translate my adventures onto film.
For me, finding animals and scenery off the beaten path is the key! This involves a lot of time and effort, but it is easy when it’s a passion. And so, we spend a lot of free time – weekends, a stolen week when possible – backpacking photographic equipment around outdoors, looking for the perfect shot. Great exercise (even with age creeping up on us!) But, in return, you never know what you will run into and what vision you may capture!
I started out with a Nikon and accumulated many lenses (600mm to 17-55mm) and accessories over time. To this day, I still use a Nikon. In my opinion, the camera brand is a non-issue as long as it does the job. Any quality lens with mirror up and a wireless remote on a high quality tripod will bring good results, even to me, a person who learned everything by trial and error, never having had a single photo class. I shoot with my creative vision, when timing is possible.
Attention to extreme detail is mandatory in both my work and play. I am a CNC machinist, so I find a huge translation between my work and my passion. The photographer’s “Magic” hours, with great lighting and surreal-looking clouds and dramatic settings, lend themselves to standout images. But not many will sacrifice to getting up early and staying out late, in any weather, or trekking to the right monuments located far from any roads, to get these standout shots.
Back home, post-processing is a must, when shooting in the raw format, to achieve photographically what you saw with your eyes and your soul, although I do strive to creatively envision my results beforehand through lots of planning and research. I spend a lot of time outdoors scouting and patiently waiting for that brief 1/500th of a second to happen. This is satisfying in itself, let alone capturing one amazing image in a photograph to share with many others. I‘ve published my captured images in many magazines, calendars, and such, and this gives me huge rewards inside. My heart’s desire remains the same: to inspire others and myself through such amazing photographs.
As we say: “Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.”