Local nature photographer recognized globally
Work is published in a Dutch magazine
By Eileen Persike, Editor
Readers of the Star Journal may recognize Gary Garton’s name. It can occasionally be found below a photo of a peaceful Northwoods autumn scene or a close up of a rare forest flower. Subscribers of Wyoming Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation and Our Wisconsin magazine, USA Today newspaper and even the Wisconsin State Parks calendar, just to name a few, may have also seen his work. Garton, an amateur or “hobby” photographer has had his work published across the United States for years. Now he can add international publication credits to his name. His photo appears in the prestigious Libelle women’s magazine published in Amsterdam.
“The editor found some pictures of mine online, I guess,” Garton said. “I entered that photograph in a different magazine contest, and didn’t win but the editor of this magazine apparently liked it and she wrote to me – I don’t know how she got my address, but she did. She asked if she could use it and I said sure, why not?”
The photograph was taken at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. One of the thousands Garton has taken in retirement while traveling and photographing the world.
Yes, the little boy who saved box tops to earn his first mail order camera has come a long way.
Formally trained by the Navy in the art of taking pictures and developing them, he joined a squadron of helicopters in California which chased Soviet submarines around the Pacific.
“My job was to take pictures of the operations,” Garton recalled. “It was fun – I spent a lot of time hanging out the side of a helicopter, I know that!”
These days Gary prefers wildlife and landscape photography. “After I retired I worked for two summers in Yellowstone National Park where I was able to take lots of scenic and wildlife photos. I also worked for two winters down at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico guiding tourists and professional photographers thru the refuge for the abundant wildlife.”
Garton says he’s spent a lot of time chasing elk and grizzly bears and the like in Yellowstone and outside the park. “I had a real good shoot in 2013 ran into some bands of big horn sheep outside the park near Shoshoni River in Wyoming. I was able to get within thirty feet of them.”
It was in New Mexico where he took a sunset photo of a trio of sandhill cranes which was one of 100 photos selected from more than 60,000 entries to appear in the Parade magazine.
Wyoming Wildlife has chosen several of his pictures as well, mostly through a contest situation, where there is a lot of competition.
“Even though it’s just Wyoming, a small western state, among photographers it is very prestigious–all the pros try to get in there just to say they did it, so every time I get something selected I just think, wow!”
Whether he is traveling through European mountain ranges or the dusty Western United States, amateur photographer Gary Garton will always have camera in hand. It’s a good age for photography, he says, digital cameras give a lot of people the chance to get out and take pictures without the concern of film. And there are photography contests, just waiting for the perfect entry.