“To be ignored by an animal is one of the greatest honors in wildlife photography” – R.L.
Ron’s first inspiration in photography was from his uncle, a Hollywood photographer (Jerry Lewis’ cousin and personal photographer). He used to laugh endlessly at bloopers his uncle would bring home of famous actors, and especially loved the candid moments caught between takes. Those moments stuck with him as the true art of the craft.
But despite the lure at a young age, city life was not for him. After UC Santa Barbara, Ron worked seasonally on secluded islands off the California coast, deserts in Arizona, and as a Park Ranger in Alaska for the NPS, USFS and USFWS.
Between seasons, Ron led a dual life — studing jazz piano at Berklee College in Boston, and going on photo treks to over 40 countries, including Antarctica, Galapagos, Kenya, India, Micronesia, etc..
Images and stories began appearing in magazines and corporate projects, and he received a few awards in international competitions. His prints have been exhibited in museums and galleries in BBC/London, China, Barcelona, Canada, Carnegie, Hollywood Director’s Guild, and West Point Academy.
He has worked on assignment for a number of photo agencies including Associated Press, Gamma, Black Star, Tony Stone, and ZUMA. Projects have include the Exxon Valdez spill, Iditarod race, and NGOs in Ecuador and Thailand. His images have been published by National Geographic, Smithsonian, Time, Newsweek, Terre Sauvage, Der Spiegel, etc. and have appeared on billboards, murals, subways, documentaries, NBC, PBS, etc.
Since the 1980s, Ron began leading interpretive, backcountry hikes and overnight training trips for new rangers and volunteers for the USFWS and NPS. He assisted on some of the international tours he went on, offering help with island biology, ecology, photo tips, field repairs and Spanish translation.
Ron also owned a summer lodging business for 20 years on the popular Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. As an added benefits to clients, Ron began taking them to nearby wildlife hotspots around the peninsula.
As requests grew from travelers and photographers, he began giving longer private tours, which eventually led to the creation of Alaska Photo Adventures (APA).Currently APA gives 7-day all-inclusive photo tours to the greatest wildlife hot spots in Southcentral Alaska, including the brown bears of Katmai and Lake Clark Nat’l Parks.
His other passions include coaching photographers on individual projects, field photo techniques, integrating life/work goals, and discussing photography mindsets. He has taught courses at the University of Alaska in Photography Field Techniques, Digital Darkroom, and Ethics in Media and Photography. He also gives pro bono support to NGOs involved in health and conservation issues worldwide.
“There are many ways to interact and address life’s issues. Better choices can be made with better perspectives. How we interact with our families, friends and local neighborhoods affects global politics and economics. Many people don’t connect the dots between personal beliefs and the world’s problems, based on a limited perspective.
My lifelong obsession has been to find and document compelling human-animal relationships of any kind, and the limits of compassion between species, communities and cultures. Despite our physical, political, or ideological differences, with all the fear, mistrust and confusion in the world today, images still connect us personally and globally.
Whether our issues involve health, natural resources, human resources, power struggles, or trust between neighbors or governments, there is beauty in the planet and between connections between all life forms. My hope is to connect the (visual) dots to our common emotions, and perhaps widen compassion boundaries”.
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