Artist Spotlight # 51

Submitted by mimi 06/14/10 7:49 PM GMT

As summer is in full swing in our northern hemisphere, I present to you our next artist to be spotlighted. His love of the animal kingdom is evident not only by his biography but by his images. Here is garrettparkinson uniquely known as Garrett! Please view his gallery and sprinkle it with comments!

My love of animals and nature began at a very early age. As a toddler I would spend hours in the garden catching bugs and putting them into plastic containers. I can remember sitting in my grandmother’s lap looking at National Geographic magazine. As I grew, I moved up to tadpoles, lizards and mice. I loved to watch anything about animals on the television; Zoorama, Wild Kingdom, old travelogues. Tarzan and Jungle Jim rocked!

When I was about 8 or 9 my father built a Coi pond in our front yard. I immediately stocked it with anything I could catch. I don’t think that my father intended it to be used in that manner, but he let me do it anyway. Before family vacations, I could be found in the Coi pond, practicing my creature catching skills with both bare hands and net. When we returned from a vacation our car was always filled with jars and buckets of algae, tadpoles, fish, lizards, snakes, whatever….And of course you know where all of that stuff went……into the Coi pond.

Around 11 my interests in scaled creatures spread into feathers and fur. I began bird watching with the Audubon society and was now raising squirrels, opossums and foxes. I raised and sold mice to pay for food and shavings. I spent entire Saturday mornings cleaning cages. The squeaking of exercise wheels could be heard 24/7 and the smell………

In high school my uncle gave me my first camera. It was a used Yashica. I spent hours with my high school biology teacher bird watching, pressing plants and taking pictures. Nothing noteworthy. Trust me. My interest in photography was just budding.

After high school I was accepted to Humboldt State University. After seven long years and a divorce I had my degrees in Zoology and Wildlife Management. My mother bought me my first new camera, a Minolta, to take to Wyoming with me. It was my first and only job as a Wildlife Biologist. I was lucky most wildlife graduates did not find work. Affirmative action had just been instituted by the government and I was a white male. Living in the wilderness 24/7 gave me lots of opportunity to photograph animals. Again, nothing noteworthy, but out of hundreds of slides maybe a couple good images.

Time goes by and somehow I end up selling insurance with my father. If you would have told me out of college that I would be selling insurance, well………I did get something though, income. After 10 years of struggling to I build a book of clients, suddenly I had the ability to travel. My wife and I first went to Costa Rica, then to Borneo and then the Amazon. I selected all of the places that I studied in college. I

wanted to see as many rare animals as I could before they were gone. I took lots of pictures, but again nothing noteworthy. I could never get close enough to my subjects.

Out of frustration I went to a popular camera shop looking to see how much a large lens would cost for my Minolta,(I was expecting a bonus check). The counter person told me that they did not carry large Minolta lenses, but he did have a used Nikon 600mm f4 manual lens and a used Nikon f4 camera body that he would sell to me for $2,500.00. I wasn’t expecting to pay that much money and I had to scrape up the last couple hundred dollars. Have I mentioned I have a really cool wife? Little did I know it was the deal of a lifetime. I have never looked back. I have since upgraded my camera body to a Nikon D2X, but my 600mm f4 is the heart of my photography. It was formerly used by a newspaper and was beat to #@&*#! It looked like hell, but the glass was good. I have learned so much about birds and their behaviors using that lens.

In addition, I started taking some photography classes at a local learning center. One of the courses was black and white photography. I always wanted to learn how to develop and print film. After spending hours and hours in the darkroom burning and dodging I started to figure out that if I took a shot a certain way I didn’t have to burn or dodge as much. I started to think more about light and the direction of light.

Fast forward to the fall of 2008, I was purchasing a new down sleeping bag for a Sierra backpacking trip and got into a discussion about photography with the sales- person. He suggested a website to post images and have discussions about photography. The site was I checked the site out and it seemed simple enough to join. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

I do not know if this is the same for everyone that finds Caedes, but I became absorbed. Feedback! I got feedback. You post an image and suddenly people are talking to you about your image. I don’t do Facebook. I am not sure I could Tweet, but I do like to take pictures of animals and talk about photography. We were talking about grain, and light. I was getting help with borders and off-centering. As I listened and struggled I found myself becoming more aware. My shots were becoming less impulsive and more thought out. Having a critical audience made me think about an image before I posted that image……….is the background in too busy, have I submitted that subject too often…… too bright, too dark…… Whoa! This person commented on my image…… Whoa! No body commented on my image.

I have said this before but my perception of photography is awareness. Caedes provides a backdrop for photographers of varying abilities (or awareness) to post and share. It is a continuum. On one end, the very aware and on the other, not so much. We all find ourselves as points along this line. And the most interesting thing is that when you throw in perception these points get reorganized and can shift in either direction. I think that what is most important, is that over time listening to friends (and friends to be), my point on the line (or my awareness) now attracts a broader group of people. Thank you for selecting me.


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06/27/10 12:01 AM GMT
Congratulations on being selected Artist of the Month! Very well deserved for such excellent work. Your bird shots are so amazing especially.
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To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower.............. William Blake
06/27/10 12:27 AM GMT
Well, Garrett, as you know, I have always been fond of that name, it will be the name of the main character in my book. And now I see your 'name in lights' here in caedes !!(so to speak!)And you for sure deserve this special spot right now. And now that I've read what you've shared here with us, it's no wonder that you take such lovely photos! You have always loved the little critters and birdies!! I hope one day to be able to draw or paint some of these you have posted. But I really enjoy your lovely postings. The White HEron is one of my favs of yours, and of course the little Hummingbirds along with the Snowy Egret. Oh that is so beautiful! I adored "The Offering"..such a precious photo. Oh yes, and then there was the photo of the two possums and the little red eyed tree frog!! So awesome. I also loved "The Bad Hair Day" !!! The list is long but I have enjoyed getting to know you as well. I admire people being able to see these animals and getting such wonderful photos. So this AOTM is a very fitting gift from all of us to you! Thank you so very much and congrats and bigtime hugs!! Verena.
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"Women are like cell phones. They like to be held and talked to, but push the wrong button, and you'll be disconnected."
06/27/10 12:37 AM GMT
Nice. :o)

Most interesting and enjoyable read on the bio front, Garrett.

Fav image?

Your "Little General", found ... here.


Much like what you impart on the latter notes of your bio above, it exemplifies the kind of 'sharing' that drew me to our beloved site initially ... and that occurred through the productive 'dialog' on said page with you, the artist.

Enjoy your time in the limelight, as it is most certainly deserved.

And thank you for sharing your work from behind the lens with us. This viewer appreciates each and every posted image of yours. :o)
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"There is always something waiting at the end of the road ... if you're not willing to see what it is ... you probably shouldn't be out there in the first place."
06/27/10 2:24 AM GMT
Your photos of birds are a living tribute to you, Garrett. But, I must say, two of my favorites of yours did not even have birds in them! I am referring to "Two of a Kind" and "Time to Think?????." You have been an inspiration to many and I congratulate you on this much deserved recognition. ~~ John
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06/27/10 5:54 AM GMT
Congratulations Garrett! Very well written, interesting entertaining bio. It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite photo. You and your photographs have been educational, inspiring and helpful for me.
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06/27/10 8:40 AM GMT
Nice :o)

I enjoyed reading your bio, Garrett.

Congratulations a well deserved honor, don't ask me which of your pictures is my fav, I couldn't tell, because there are so many great pictures in your gallery!

..."I was getting help with borders"...

Your welcome about that, that I could teach you how to make borders across the internet was fun to do, glad I could help :o)

Congrats again and enjoy your time in the spotlights :o)
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Carpe Diem!
06/27/10 10:41 AM GMT
I enjoyed reading yer life story there Garrett..

I would have loved to do some of the things you have done!...

Best wishes on achieving Artist Spotlight!....

enjoy the accolades!...

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* Owing to the deterioration in my hands, I find that I cannot comment as much as I should..But please know...I do look at all your posts!..and will leave my 'moniker' >OB< when I do so!...Thank you all * OwdBob'sGallery
06/27/10 12:18 AM GMT
Congratulations,it is very well deserved,you have some beautiful birds and animals photos as well as other very good photos.
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06/27/10 2:31 PM GMT
Mucho congrats!! I enjoy all your work Garrett!!
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Why do the pictures come out square when the lens is round??
06/27/10 2:42 PM GMT
Congratulations Garrett. Your gallery is superb and a wonderful sharing of those creatures which most of us do not get to see.
Thank you for sharing your story as well - I enjoyed reading it veryt much.
Enjoy this spotlight - it is well deserved, you set a fine example and are inspirational to many.
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The question is not what you look at, but what you see ~ Marcel Proust
06/27/10 2:50 PM GMT
Congrats. I went through your gallery and I found many interesting pictures.
Well done.
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06/27/10 2:54 PM GMT
Congratulations! Your work is truly outstanding!

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“Won't you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you” - Richard Brinsley Sheridan
06/27/10 3:48 PM GMT
Way to go Garrett. Always amazed me what you can capture on film/digital You have a keen eye and the talent for a great perspective on your captures. Congrats buddy and keep up the good work. :) J
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Always remember - Follow the Yellow Brick Road, it will lead you to OZ and the Emerald City. A very nice place to live. Trust me on this one, I live there. The Lion **** MY CAEDES GALLERY****Another Site I'm AT - MY DA HOME PAGE
06/27/10 4:03 PM GMT
Congrats Garrett!
I'm always amazed by your birds captures... :-)
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06/27/10 4:19 PM GMT
Congratulations, Garrett
I too love all your animal captures,and appreciate your advice on some of my own shots.
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06/28/10 2:21 AM GMT
Congrats Garrett!!!! You should have made it here a long time ago. All your photos are so superb and outstanding! Swim in the pleasure and take care!
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06/28/10 12:11 AM GMT
Garrett - Congratulations on being the Artist of the Month. Your bio was very interesting, well written. Throughout your gallery, your love of birds is evident in the wonderful photos. Thad
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If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera. ~Lewis Hine
06/28/10 12:12 AM GMT
An enjoyable an informative bio. My congradulations of your well deserved honor of Photographer of the Month. Your galley is a vision of your passion. Steve
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Yes I use a Pentax K-10D.
06/28/10 2:14 PM GMT
Congrats, Garrett on being the featured artist. Your gallery is outstanding, and I only dream of getting shots like yours.
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06/28/10 5:31 PM GMT
An honor well deserved Garrett. You work is impeccable. The passion for photography and animals shines through in your work. I really like Wiley Coyote. So do my grandsons.

Congratualtions again.
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Comment unto one another as you would have them comment unto you. If you like comments, you need to comment some yourself.
06/28/10 9:05 PM GMT
Great bio, nice to see another birder in the spotlight. When I saw some of your bird photos I was about to give up on posting anymore, yours are outstanding. That old lens was well worth the money. So many of your photos are in the perms, that should say enough about how well everyone here enjoys your work. Keep them coming...Gregg.
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If you wish to purchase framed photos, prints or greeting cards of my work please visit my website .
06/28/10 10:37 PM GMT
Well done Garrett it's good to see you received AOM at last, your bird shots are always superb, & I love them. (o:
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06/29/10 3:15 PM GMT
CONGRATS! your bio is so interesting. i enjoy looking at everything you upload. the 600MM lens must be great. i can't even imagine. when i was in washington taking pictures of eagles someone let me look into their 400mm (fixed) lens and i was amazed at what i could see. your lens would be divine. keep up your beautiful work! i particularly like "the runt". jen
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AVATAR BY PJ............... i'd like to give special thanks to those who have added my photographs to their "favorites". it's such a treat for me to see each one. i am always extremely grateful for the kind comments and suggestions that you make. Please Visit My Gallery
06/30/10 2:02 AM GMT
Congrats, Garrett. Your images are impeccable and you are so lucky to be doing what you love. I have envied that 600mm lens ever since you first told me about it. Such a wise decision to buy it and in your hands it makes magic.
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Life is precious; therefore, do not waste it by doing things mechanically without love. We should try to put love into everything we do. - Amma
06/30/10 11:30 AM GMT
Congrats Garrett! You have an amazing gallery and are a very skilled photographer. You are an inspiration to us all.
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06/30/10 5:52 PM GMT
A well deserved place....I am always a fan of your bird shots. I do enjoy your journeys all the time. Thank you for sharing your interesting life and what you see.
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For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, His eternal power and Godhead;... Rom 1:20
06/30/10 8:05 PM GMT
Congratulations,Garret..So Very Well deserved.Your gallery is Fantastic..Erja
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06/30/10 9:09 PM GMT
Congratulations, you certainly deserve it. Your photos are amazing and detailed and crisp and beautiful! I enjoyed reading your bio too. You are a very geniunely sweet person.
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Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. -Confucius
07/01/10 3:42 AM GMT
Congratulations Garrett!! I'm so happy for you to receive this well deserved recognition! I enjoyed reading your bio, and it's quite evident to me that your heart is with animals and nature, as well as photography. An outstanding and very talented photographer you are! It would be very difficult to choose just one favorite from your gallery, as I love them all, but to name a few... Buddies; Hook and Ladder; Phoebe; Just Hangin' Around; and your Hummers' nest series. It doesn't stop there though, many more are contained in my DT cycle of images!

In addition to the beautiful birds, animals and landscapes, your detailed narratives often make me feel as though I'm right there. It's always a delightful experience, or even like a good suspense book :)... and I thank you for sharing them with me! Enjoy your time in the spotlight, my friend! Cheers! =D

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*Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~Scott Adams*
07/03/10 1:41 PM GMT
Congratulations Garret! Your animal photography is great and I enjoy it. You deserve it! Mich
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07/03/10 4:47 PM GMT
Congratulations Garrett! You have a wonderful gallery of animal photos and you deserve to be the artist to be spotlighted. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos with us.

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Be free - use Linux
07/03/10 8:59 PM GMT
Yes i always know your bird shots are going to be good..and with a Nikon..yeah..Don't tell owd momma i yelled that..She might shoot me..Well done..R.
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I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals
07/04/10 12:49 AM GMT
Congrats, and enjoy your time in the spotlight. You are most deserving of this honor. sandi♥ =^..^=

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Nature in all her glory is my uplift on life and so is my love of photography. sandi ♪ ♫
07/05/10 11:17 AM GMT
Well done Garrett! very well deserved honour! Your photography is an inspiration!
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..thanking you in advance for your comments. Please know that all your comments are appreciated....." Live well, love much, laugh often!" .... mygallery
07/06/10 4:58 PM GMT
Thank-you everyone for taking the time to comment.
All of your kind comments are greatly appreciated.
Some of you have noticed that I have not submitted
for awhile now. My father passed away on Easter and
I have been appointed executor of his estate. Concurrently
I had back surgery in May and have not really been allowed
to carry anything heavy (namely my lens). I hope to
get up and running in the new few weeks. Until then......


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07/09/10 9:33 AM GMT
You also have a knack for writing, it seems. I thought I'd read a few lines, and -SWISH- it was all read. Very well written!
I will check back to your gallery later, though. Now I have to scoot! =)
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Check out the site "Between Truths", read, learn and pass on. The three steps is all you need to remember to get started. =)
07/10/10 12:19 AM GMT
im late in commenting i know, but wow congratultions!! i enjoy your work alot and always appreciate your honest comments on my work even though i rarely get time to be here these days! enjoy your month and i hope your back gets better soon.
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07/12/10 7:08 AM GMT
A well deserved spotlight. I've always loved your photos.
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07/15/10 4:37 PM GMT
Holy Cow, I missed seeing this till now. It's long past due. What an interesting bio. Don't we have some interesting people on this website? Love your work, always have. What an asset you are. Momma
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07/20/10 7:02 PM GMT
Congratulations, Garret
What a wonderful honor and you truly do deserve it!
Being the talented and creative artist you are!
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Please Join The Caedes Kiva Team
07/21/10 2:23 PM GMT
Congrats on the honor! I'll be browsing through your gallery!
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All of earth is crammed with heaven And every bush aflame with God But only those who see take off their shoes. - Elizabeth Barrett Browning<p> mygallery

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