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 digicam and searching up. Search for the following nice shot of a wild turkey, fox, deer, or no matter different creature he can discover.
Neff stated he first started to find his ardour in highschool when he participated in a Digital Actuality Schooling Program (VREP), and though he is at all times had an inventive aspect, in his phrases, “he could not draw to avoid wasting his life.” Pictures was his subsequent factor. The very best, however as a university scholar, he wasn’t in a position to afford a high-quality digicam that he actually wanted to take high-level pictures.
Having principally used his cellular phone throughout his years at Iowa State, the place he graduated with levels in Agricultural Techniques Expertise and Industrial Expertise, Neff discovered a sensible purpose to put money into some new tools. He was performing some videography and pictures of his household’s farms round Beaman close to the Marshall/Grundy County line, so he purchased a digicam 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 yr’s Iowa State Truthful whereas additionally promoting prints by means 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 stated it was one thing Ben and his spouse, Susan, may take pleasure in 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 inventive aspect as effectively – utilizing his left and proper mind,” stated 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 loads 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 My dad and mom have about 60 acres of outdated woods, after which we plant fields round that, too.”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 effectively, so I get loads of my pictures there.”
Another websites inside comparatively shut driving distance embody 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 specific animals are skittish and fast to run away after they discover people.
“I received actually fortunate in the future they usually had been within the subject subsequent to the street whereas I used to be pulling, and I used to be in a position to cease rapidly and take a bunch of pictures in 5 seconds earlier than they took off into the woods,” Neff stated.
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 Outdoor 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 digicam and monopod whereas attempting to find the following nice photograph.
“Loads of the Instagram reels and photograph posts are all from photographers in like Yellowstone or Alaska or wherever, and never loads of posts are from Iowa,” he stated. “There are a number of good photographers I additionally observe in Iowa and every thing, however it’s not fairly as widespread as a bear photograph in Minnesota. So I am simply attempting to share among the nice wildlife right here so folks can see that you do not have to be in a type of spots to exit and see it. Or attempting to take footage or something like that.”
Along with his ardour and expertise within the occupation, 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 usually specific jealousy over his top.
“I can nonetheless bend over or lie on the ground to get these angles,” he stated, “however they don’t have any method of getting among the angles I get.”
Samples of Neff’s work might be discovered on his Fb web page known as Ben Neff Pictures or his Instagram @themrneffels. He is nonetheless ending his web site, which hasn’t gone stay 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.