I was born in Chicago, 1971. In my old life, I was the manager of my brother's food distribution business on the west side of Chicago. A few years ago, my wife and I took a leap of faith and quit our jobs, sold our home and hit the road. While Patty took a job as a travel nurse, I pursued my dream of a career in wildlife photography. After a couple of years of living like nomads, we have finally settled down in Phoenix Oregon.
While I've always loved wildlife, I've only been a photographer for about eight years. I'm completely self-taught. My subjects are 100% wild (no captive or "staged" shots) and it's important to me that people know that. Capturing behavior and the inclusion of habitat also helps to define my style.
It's the drama in nature that inspires me. In the wild, every day is a struggle, just to survive. This is the story I want my photography to tell. I also hope my work serves to remind us that we don't own this earth, we share it.
Since 2004, Elster photography has made annual donations to wildlife conservation. Every year, the amount has grown - a trend I hope to continue the rest of my career! The four year total has been almost 1400 dollars. Modest, but a start!
Past recipients include:
www.klamathriver.org Restoring the Klamath River to its former glory.
http://www.northcoastmmc.org/ Northcoast Marine Mammal Center in Crescent City CA. They care for injured, sick and orphaned seal and sea lions. A great organization.
http://www.barnswallow.net/index.htm Barnswallow is a raptor rehabilitation center in suburban Chicago. Giving hawks and owls a second chance.
The Pelican Man Bird Sactuary: Sadly this facilitiy close it's doors in late 2006.
I've also been proud to donate photography to many great organizations including the American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation, the National Center for Conservation Science and Policy, The Teller Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis MT, Rogue Valley Audobon, Klamath Bird Observatory, and the Southern Oregon Humane Society. If you have an nonprofit organization that I might be able to help, ask.
I also like dogs and beer.