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

PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN NEF – Ben Neff, pictured, is an novice wildlife photographer primarily based 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 would possibly catch him strolling round central Iowa together with his digicam and searching up. Search for the subsequent nice shot of a wild turkey, fox, deer, or no matter different creature he can discover.

Neff stated 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 aspect, in his phrases, “he could not draw to avoid wasting his life.” Images was his subsequent factor. The very best, however as a school pupil, he wasn’t in a position to afford a high-quality digicam that he actually wanted to take high-level pictures.

Having principally used his mobile phone throughout his years at Iowa State, the place he graduated with levels in Agricultural Programs Expertise and Industrial Expertise, 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 digicam 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 “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 dad and mom, Scott and Mary Beth, had been nothing however supportive of the brand new endeavor, and Scott stated it was one thing Ben and his spouse, Susan, may get pleasure from collectively.

Neff stated 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 artistic aspect as properly – utilizing his left and proper mind,” stated Scott.

Whereas Iowa is not typically 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 dad and mom 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 properly, so I get loads of my pictures 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 specific animals are skittish and fast to run away after they discover people.

“I acquired actually fortunate someday they usually had been within the discipline subsequent to the highway whereas I used to be pulling, and I used to be in a position to cease rapidly and take a bunch of pictures in 5 seconds earlier than they took off into the woods,” Neff stated.

Together with making some extra cash to assist fund his interest, 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 prefer to see his pictures find yourself in magazines like Iowa Outside 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 together with his digicam and monopod whereas looking for the subsequent nice photograph.

“A variety 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 stated. “There are a number of good photographers I additionally comply with in Iowa and every little thing, nevertheless it’s not fairly as in style as a bear photograph in Minnesota. So I am simply attempting to share among the nice wildlife right here so individuals can see that you do not have to be in a type of spots to exit and see it. Or attempting to take footage or something like that.”

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

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

Samples of Neff’s work could be discovered on his Fb web page referred to as Ben Neff Images or his Instagram @themrneffels. He is nonetheless ending his web site, which hasn’t gone dwell 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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