The rugged wilderness makes the perfect backdrop for this photographer.
Story and Photos by Diana Le Vasseur, Evanston, Wyoming
I fell in love with photography in the 1960s when my parents gave me my first camera, a little Kodak Instamatic. My very first snapshot of a sunset during a camping trip on Michigan's Upper Peninsula sparked a lifelong fascination.
That simple but beautiful shot won me the grand prize at the Michigan State Fair. Since then, my passion has only grown.
From taking pictures of my childhood pets to photographing birds in some of the world's most beautiful settings, it has been a long journey. The places I visit are always changing; I see new things every time I go.
Photography Hot Spots
From the rugged wilderness of Yellowstone National Park to the marshlands of Michigan's Seney National Wildlife Refuge, there is nothing I'd rather be doing than observing nature and taking pictures.
My husband, Jon, is also a photographer. Together we spend most of our time photographing subjects in Wyoming and Utah, but I also visit Michigan regularly to see family and take pictures there.
The Seney refuge is a wonderful place to visit in the summer. The graceful trumpeter swan has made an incredible return to this area and can be seen in abundance on the ponds.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge near Brigham City, Utah, is a favorite place for spring bird photography. Great numbers of shorebirds, ducks, geese and songbirds migrate through, stopping to rest and feed, or stay to raise their young.
The rugged mountains of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park make for some of the most scenic images any time of the year. And Yellowstone-only an hour's drive away-has enough elk, coyotes and other wildlife to keep any shutterbug happy.
Tricks of the Trade
With the exception of Michigan, most of my favorite places are within a few hours' drive of our home in southwestern Wyoming. Jon and I both have digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) and use 300-mm f2.8 lenses except when shooting scenics.
We either shoot from our vehicles with the camera on a sturdy beanbag in the window, or from tripods. When shooting from the vehicle, camouflage netting covers the open windows, keeping pesky insects out and hiding us from our subjects. Early morning is my favorite time to shoot. The light is at its best, and most animals are starting to feed and become active after a night's rest.
All my subjects—from my dogs when I was just starting out to the beautiful wildlife I now shoot—have taught me well. I hope I never stop learning.
Get some of Diana's photos for your computer wallpaper!