You can read more about the inspiration behind my camera in these Q&As with International Bird Rescue and Empirical Magazine.
My work appears in publications, exhibits, and installations, and includes cover photos for:
• Colorado Review • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Magazine • Functional Ecology Magazine • Penguin Publishing’s “Morning Glory” Novel • Puget Sound Partnership’s “State of the Sound” • Acker Records album art
[A more complete list of credits is here: Published Images]
Writing + Research
Working with words in various forms has been my lifelong love, and an inescapable part of my creative career. For the past 10 years, I’ve also been an independent book researcher, credited in best-selling mystery novels and series, including the Women’s Murder Club books.
Until 2009, I worked at About.com as city editor and writer for the San Francisco website, covering civic and cultural issues and events.
Since I began photographing, I’ve illustrated my images with the stories behind them. Some of those stories can be found here or at my previous nature blog, The Wild Beat.
I was a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer in California, completed 24-hour Hazwoper certification for oil spill response, received training in wildlife rescue field response (Wildlife Emergency Services), and volunteered for Emergency Animal Rescue Service disaster response.
From 2014 to 2019, I co-founded and administered the Wildlife Conservation Pass Project — a grassroots project to implement a new revenue pass for our National Wildlife Refuge system. I regularly donate my time and work to benefit environmental and animal advocacy organizations.
• Member of the NANPA Ethics Committee (2016-2020) – contributing to best practices and guidelines for ethical wildlife photography
Because of my background in wildlife rehab, ethical interaction with wild animals has been integral to my practice since I began photographing wildlife in 2008. But we all start somewhere, however imperfectly, and it’s been a learning curve over time to adopt my personal “best practices” model. As a general rule and to the best of my ability, I work to reduce how intrusive my presence is. My complete nature ethics statement is here.
And: blog posts I’ve written on the subject of ethics.
I’ve had a camera in my hands since my first Kodak Instamatic in grade school, shooting snippets of my young, expat life overseas. My family moved from the States to Europe just after my fifth birthday. I’ve also had an enduring love for animals and ecology. Being in nature always brought me back to center when I meandered off course, or found myself challenged with impossibilities. It taught me to be better than what I was — by reminding me of the profound power of connection, the simple truth of seeing, feeling, breathing, and living in the moment.
In 2005, my mate and I found our way to a San Francisco Bay Area wildlife hospital as volunteers. It was there that my passion for photography merged with my environmental advocacy. Working in wildlife rehabilitation gave me a vivid and intimate view into the lives and struggles of these animals whose experiences are often removed from our view and understanding. Outside of the hospital setting, my telephoto lens gave me the ability observe and learn more about that experience … and from a respectful, unobtrusive distance.
I do my best to paint my experience and theirs in pixels … that heart-stopping moment when ten thousand Snow Geese take flight overhead … when an old elk bugles under the season’s first snow drops … when a pod of Orcas glides past the boat, sharing the pulse of the ocean. Through this lens I hope to promote love and appreciation for our fellow beings, their lives interwoven with our own. Every eye, every heart, every lens turned toward their well-being helps build a model of compassionate co-existence.
I hope this will someday be our norm, not our anomaly.
Cameras: Olympus OM-D cameras (E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 and E-M5ii)
Wildlife Lenses: m.zuiko 300m f/4; 40-150mm f/2.8; 12-100mm f/4 • lumix 100-4o0mm f/4-6.3
For fine art images and prints, I take artistic license with effect and outcome. I love the creative tools of the digital dark room process. In naturalistic or documentary photography, I make standard edits on RAW files, and I’m currently cataloging my older images to add any additional editing notes. In my blog, I take a bit more liberty in playing around with my images. It’s one place where I can exercise some creativity over realism and have fun with the tools technology affords us.
Some adjustments on my images include: sharpness, levels, contrast, noise reduction, wb/color adjustments where needed, vignettes, and in some cases, spot removal.
Enjoy your browsings and drop me an email if you have any comments or need more information. Thanks for stopping by! ~
For all uses or permissions of images posted here, please feel free to contact me for the specs.
Photos, writings, and graphics © Ingrid Valda Taylar
The family move overseas that sparked a lifelong photographic passion. (I’m the one with the stuffed toy.)
Wildlife rehab work in my volunteer apron …. feeding an orphaned raccoon kit
The photographer, bottom right, as just a tiny component of the greater universe. (Photographed at Los Vaqueros Reservoir)