Keith Carson’s Nature Photography Now On Display At The Highland Library
Bluegrass, Va – The Highland County Arts Council’s latest art show in the Highland Public Library features the nature photography of Blue Grass resident Keith Carson. He talks about how he first got started in photography.
“I grew up on Air Force bases and during high school I was overseas in Japan,” he says. “The base hobby center had a darkroom and all the equipment and chemicals to develop black and white film. I got a nice single lens reflex camera for my birthday and started taking pictures at school, around the base and in the nearby Japanese cities and printed a lot of the pictures myself. It was great to be able to capture a variety of images with a camera. My interest just grew from there.”
Activities with organizations including the Bath-Highland Bird Club and the Alleghany Highlands Master Naturalists have provided many opportunities to photograph wildlife, including birds, and other nature scenes. Every photograph has a story behind it.
“One picture in the show is of a barred owl,” says Carson. “I was working for the Nature Conservancy in Bath County and driving Skyline Drive on top of Warm Springs Mountain doing a routine check and this barred owl flew up from the ground in front of my truck and landed in a tree next to the road. I drove up slowly so that the owl was only about 15 feet from my window and stopped. I happened to have my camera with me that day and got it out and took the picture right through the open window.”
“If I had opened the door and gotten out of the truck, the owl would probably have flown away. Some birds are very tolerant of people and will sit still even when you approach them; my experience with eagles and hawks is that if you stay in your vehicle, you have a better chance of getting a picture before the bird flies away. Other birds are more skittish and will fly as soon as they see you, in or out of a vehicle.”
“The picture of the red fox was taken along Blue Grass Valley Road just south of New Hampden. I saw the fox as I was driving along and pulled off on the shoulder of the road. I was able to get out my tripod and take several pictures as the fox traveled through a meadow about 50 yards from the road. Many of my photos came about because I happened to be in the right place at the right time and had my camera handy.”
Keith has used his photographs to raise money for non-profit organizations like the Bath-Highland Bird Club.
“When Jack Flynn had his frame shop in Monterey, I had him make some nice prints of some of my images and he matted them and had them for sale in his shop,” he says. “I would often take some of the pictures along for the bird club display table in the high school during Maple Festival or on the Courthouse lawn during the Hands and Harvest Festival. When I sold any photos, the proceeds were donated to the bird club.”
Keith Carson’s photography show, called “Natural Wonders of the Highlands” will be on display in the Mountain View Room of the Highland Public Library through April 28. There will be a reception on Saturday, April 21, from 3 to 5 pm. The public is invited. For more information, call Keith at 540-474-2858.