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

PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN NEF – Ben Neff, pictured, is an newbie 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 through the day at John Deere Clever Options Group in Urbandale, however in his spare time, you would possibly catch him strolling round central Iowa along with his digital camera and looking out up. Search for the subsequent 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 avoid wasting his life.” Images was his subsequent factor. The most effective, however as a school scholar, he wasn’t capable of afford a high-quality digital camera that he actually wanted to take high-level pictures.

Having principally used his cellphone throughout his years at Iowa State, the place he graduated with levels in Agricultural Techniques Know-how and Industrial Know-how, Neff discovered a sensible motive to put money into some new tools. 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 digital camera 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 Honest whereas additionally promoting prints by way of 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 mentioned it was one thing Ben and his spouse, Susan, might get pleasure from collectively.

Neff mentioned his favourite picture 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 know-how with all the advantages that come from being out in nature, makes use of his love of know-how and stimulates his inventive aspect as nicely – 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 a number of it in our woods and lands. My dad and mom have about 60 acres of outdated woods, after which we plant fields round that, too.” “After which my uncle lives close by with pastures and fields round his home as nicely, so I get a number of my pictures there.”

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

“I obtained actually fortunate sooner or later and so they had been within the area subsequent to the highway whereas I used to be pulling, and I used to be capable of cease rapidly and take a bunch of pictures in 5 seconds earlier than they took off into the woods,” Neff mentioned.

Together with making some extra cash to assist fund his passion, Neff desires to spice up conservation efforts, and the Iowa DNR has already used a few of 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 along with his digital camera and monopod whereas attempting to find the subsequent nice picture.

“Lots of the Instagram reels and picture posts are all from photographers in like Yellowstone or Alaska or wherever, and never a number of posts are from Iowa,” he mentioned. “There are just a few good photographers I additionally comply with in Iowa and the whole lot, however it’s not fairly as in style as a bear picture in Minnesota. So I am simply attempting to share a few of 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 photos or something like that.”

Along with his ardour and expertise 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 top.

“I can nonetheless bend over or lie on the ground to get these angles,” he mentioned, “however they don’t have any approach of getting a few of the angles I get.”

Samples of Neff’s work could be discovered on his Fb web page known 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 will probably be up.


Contact Robert Mahary

at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or

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