BISON WALK THROUGH SNOW in this photograph taken in Yellowstone National Park by Juan Pons

BISON WALK THROUGH SNOW in this photograph taken in Yellowstone National Park by Juan Pons

TOPSHAM

Wildlife and nature photographer Juan Pons will share tips and insights gained from a lifetime of studying photography and animals, and leading photographic wilderness tours. His talk, “Wildlife, Capturing the Moment,” will take place March 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Topsham Medical Building, 4 Horton Place, Topsham. Sponsored by First Light Camera Club, the talk is free for its members and $10 for guests. All are welcome.

Pons grew up in Puerto Rico but has lived in the Bangor region of Maine for many years. He has been a photographer for more than 20 years and has dedicated himself to wildlife and nature for at least 10.

As a young boy, Pons took an interest in wildlife and picked up photography while in high school — in particular because of one “incredible teacher,” with whom Pons is still in touch today. She taught him the basics of photography but also introduced him to composition and to the idea of photography as art. He went on to become a biology major in college and studied computer sciences, but always gravitated toward photography.

Today, Pons is self employed leading photographic tours in different parts of the world including Cuba, Alaska, Iceland, Scotland and others. However, his favorite tours are the ones he leads through U.S. national parks — his current top picks being Yellowstone National Park, especially in winter; Acadia in Maine, for its “beauty, size, and hidden gems;” Glacier National Park in Montana; the Smokies, North Carolina and Tennessee, especially in early spring and late fall; Canyon Lands National Park, Utah; and Grand Teton, Wyoming.

Pons is interested in all wildlife, large and small, but favors large mammals, such as bison, bobcats, foxes, wolves, elk, otters, and bears. He also loves reptiles, amphibians and insects. He does some bird photography, but believes that is a very specialized art form. He believes photographing animals is not dangerous because he spends hours researching the animals he will meet in the wilds beforehand, and the more he learns the more he respects their boundaries.

Pons likes to return to a subject again and again to capture the animals in different lighting, in different weather conditions and in different behaviors. He offered one story of photographing big horn sheep with a touring group, and after a few hours, the photographers were growing weary. Not to be put off, Pons stopped the vehicle the group was traveling in and told everyone to disembark to get ready to photograph another group of big horn sheep. After the photographers settled in position, and the sheep went about their business, huge scuffles took place among the rams and the group ended up with some very dramatic photos. Pons knew this might happen because of the time of year and the animals’ nature, and let the group of photographers be surprised.

Pons’ talk for First Light Camera Club will focus on how photographers can be ready to capture fleeting moments. It will also have insights for those not photographing wildlife or nature. Pons believes that people must really know their equipment so that it becomes second nature to them in the field. To tackle wildlife photography, they must also take the time to understand the animals they are after, learn to predict animal behaviors and develop patience.

This is a return engagement for Juan Pons at First Light Camera Club, since his talk was so popular last year. Images of Pons’ work can be seen at juanpons.org and at facebook.com/ juanpons. His workshop offerings can be viewed at juanpons.org/workshops.

To see a schedule of FLCC speakers and events, visit firstlightcc.com; send an email to [email protected]; or call (207) 729-6607.


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