Friday, February 23, 2007
It's difficult to be more recognizable in the field of nature photography than Thomas D. Mangelsen is today.
"He is very recognized for his polar bear photographs, and he has taken 80,000 to 100,000 photographs of just them," said Todd Savalox, the Images of Nature Steamboat Springs gallery owner. "He has been a professional photographer for over 30 years and spends six to nine months a year in the field - hours and hours in the field. Plus, he's an incredibly patient person."
The Steamboat Springs Images of Nature gallery is one of 16 galleries that exclusively sells Mangelsen photographs. And the Steamboat gallery will be the first to hold a book-signing reception for Mangelsen's newest coffee table book, "The Natural World." It features 115 photographs taken during the past year.
"The landscape camera he used is able to show the animals in their environment," Savalox said. "It will take you all over the world to some of the most important and last great places on earth, as far as the environment goes."
Mangelsen now shoots his images on slide film and digitally.
"I think he still prefers slide film but is doing more and more pictures digitally," Savalox said. "The whole industry is going that way. And he'll be the first to tell you - you either capture the image or you don't."
Mangelsen began his career as a wildlife biologist and got involved in photography while studying zoology in graduate school.
"He really understands animal behavior and the habitat they live in," Savalox said. "He's very in tune with the environment, and when he goes to do a subject, he really studies that subject."
Mangelsen's latest project is on penguins in Antarctica.
"This is the forth year in a row he's gone down there to photograph penguins," Savalox said. "He seems to get interested in certain species, but has a well-rounded portfolio. That's one of the things that sets him apart."
Mangelsen shoots all his photos in the wild and never in game farms, Savalox said.
"He has a result in mind when he shoots - that people will see his picture and it will make them want to preserve and protect the natural world," Savalox said. "He wants to bring awareness to and preserve and protect the natural wonders of the world."