Local, Nature

New Exhibit of Nature Photography

The current exhibit at the Fountain Inn Museum (FIM) displays fascinating nature photography that offers rare close-ups of animals in the wild, in addition to stunning botanical shots. From a tiny owl’s quizzical stare to the outstretched talons of the fearsome Osprey closing in on his prey, the exhibit puts the viewer into intimate contact with wildlife rarely seen by the casual hiker.

Dr. Anthony Q. Martin,
Clemson professor
and nature photographer.

Calling himself a “nature photographer,” Anthony Martin took most of the FIM exhibit photographs in the Lake Conestee Nature Preserve. He spends a good deal of time there, mostly during the early morning hours, which offer the best opportunities for nature photography.

Twin fawns looking for mom, a dragonfly resting on a single stalk of grass, otters carousing in the lake . . . these are just a few of the forty-three unique views of nature in the raw on display through May 1.

In addition to descriptive captions which answer the “where” question, technical information is provided with each picture, addressing the “how” question.

One photo caught the ubiquitous crow in mid-flight, the most difficult shot to capture, showing its true colors that include not only black feathers, but a surprising streak of blue that marks all crows but is rarely noticed or caught on camera – unless the photographer is Anthony Martin.

“It is not easy to get a decent shot of a crow. Because they are black means that if they are not in perfect light the image will be super “contrasty,” with crushed blacks making them look featureless,” Martin said.

The White-Faced Scops Owl measures a mere 8-9 inches tall on average. Its natural habitat is in Africa between the Sahara Desert and the equator. It is the only creature in the exhibit not native to South Carolina. This one had its picture taken at the Center for Birds of Prey near Charleston.

Dr. Martin spends his free time engaging in natural-world photography, concentrating on birds that live in South Carolina’s ample forest and lake areas. The Clemson professor’s “day job” is teaching courses in electrical and computer engineering on the graduate and undergraduate levels. He also serves as consultant for the Lockheed Martin company located in Palmdale, California.

The exhibit will be open now through May 1, with a “Meet the Photographer” event February 25 from 5 – 7 PM, public invited. FIM regular hours are Tuesday – Friday, 10 AM till 6 PM, and Saturday from 9 AM till 2 PM. For more information, visit fountaininnmuseum.org, or call (864) 862-2586. Admission is always free.■

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