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

PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN NEF – Ben Neff, pictured, is an beginner 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 throughout the day at John Deere Clever Options Group in Urbandale, however in his spare time, you may catch him strolling round central Iowa together with his digicam and searching 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 all the time had an inventive aspect, in his phrases, “he could not draw to save lots of his life.” Pictures was his subsequent factor. The most effective, however as a university scholar, he wasn’t capable of afford a high-quality digicam that he actually wanted to take high-level images.

Having largely used his cellphone throughout his years at Iowa State, the place he graduated with levels in Agricultural Methods Expertise and Industrial Expertise, Neff discovered a sensible purpose to spend money on some new gear. He was doing a little videography and pictures of his household’s farms round Beaman close to the Marshall/Grundy County line, so he purchased a digicam in 2020.

Finally he acquired a wildlife lens and has labored with it ever since. For the previous six months, he is been pursuing it “significantly” and plans to compete at this 12 months’s Iowa State Truthful whereas additionally promoting prints via his social media pages and a still-developing web site.

His mother and father, 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 take pleasure in collectively.

Neff mentioned his favourite photograph he is taken up to now 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 aspect as effectively – 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 loads of it in our woods and lands. My mother and father have about 60 acres of previous woods, after which we plant fields round that, too.” “After which my uncle lives close by with pastures and fields round his home as effectively, so I get loads of my images there.”

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

“I bought actually fortunate in the future they usually have been within the discipline subsequent to the street whereas I used to be pulling, and I used to be capable of cease shortly and take a bunch of images in 5 seconds earlier than they took off into the woods,” Neff mentioned.

Together with making some extra cash to assist fund his pastime, Neff needs to spice up conservation efforts, and the Iowa DNR has already used among the screenshots in its social media posts. He’d additionally wish to see his images 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 secure wager he’ll be out and about together with his digicam and monopod whereas looking for the following nice photograph.

“A whole lot of the Instagram reels and photograph posts are all from photographers in like Yellowstone or Alaska or wherever, and never loads of posts are from Iowa,” he mentioned. “There are just a few good photographers I additionally comply with in Iowa and every part, nevertheless it’s not fairly as widespread as a bear photograph in Minnesota. So I am simply attempting to share among the nice wildlife right here so folks can see that you do not have to be in a kind of spots to exit and see it. Or attempting to take footage or something like that.”

Along with his ardour and abilities within the career, 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 specific jealousy over his peak.

“I can nonetheless bend over or lie on the ground to get these angles,” he mentioned, “however they haven’t any manner of getting among the angles I get.”

Samples of Neff’s work might 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 stay but, however he plans to announce when it is going to be up.


Contact Robert Mahary

at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or

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