BEAMAN – Ben Neff, a 2014 BCLUW highschool graduate who lives on his household’s farm close to Beaman, will get fairly busy in the course of the day at John Deere Clever Options Group in Urbandale, however in his spare time, you may catch him strolling round central Iowa along with his digital camera and searching up. Search for the following 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 at all times had a creative facet, in his phrases, “he could not draw to avoid wasting his life.” Pictures was his subsequent factor. The very best, 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 largely used his mobile phone throughout his years at Iowa State, the place he graduated with levels in Agricultural Methods Expertise and Industrial Expertise, Neff discovered a sensible motive to spend money on some new gear. 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 digital camera in 2020.
Finally he acquired a wildlife lens and has labored with it ever since. For the previous six months, he is been pursuing it “critically” and plans to compete at this yr’s Iowa State Truthful whereas additionally promoting prints by 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, may get pleasure from collectively.
“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 artistic facet as effectively – utilizing his left and proper mind,” mentioned 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 plenty 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 effectively, so I get plenty 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. Up to now, 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 explicit animals are skittish and fast to run away once they discover people.
“I obtained actually fortunate at some point they usually 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 pastime, Neff desires 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 secure guess he’ll be out and about along with his digital camera and monopod whereas trying to find the following nice photograph.
“Lots of the Instagram reels and photograph posts are all from photographers in like Yellowstone or Alaska or wherever, and never plenty of posts are from Iowa,” he mentioned. “There are a number of good photographers I additionally observe in Iowa and all the pieces, but it surely’s not fairly as common 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 kind of spots to exit and see it. Or attempting to take photos or something like that.”
Along with his ardour and abilities within the career, 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 specific jealousy over his top.
“I can nonetheless bend over or lie on the ground to get these angles,” he mentioned, “however they haven’t any approach of getting among the angles I get.”
Samples of Neff’s work will be discovered on his Fb web page referred to as Ben Neff Pictures or his Instagram @themrneffels. He is nonetheless ending his web site, which hasn’t gone reside but, however he plans to announce when it will likely be up.
Contact Robert Mahary
at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.