Russ is a wildlife photographer with a passion for photographing birds in flight, dividing his time between Big Bear and Orange County. It all started in 1990 when Russ and his family moved to a home near the edge of the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve in southern California, where Russ became a volunteer naturalist at the reserve. From walking, biking and kayaking the "Back Bay", as locals call it, his exposure to the multitude of birds during the seasons was too much just to watch. Many attempts were made to photograph these birds in flight with older equipment, but they were never quite in focus or action-stopped. It was the beauty of seeing these birds in flight, with all the feathers displayed, that led Russ to buy the best equipment possible to improve his flight photography. A Canon EF 300mm f2.8L lens was, and remains, his basic lens for flight photography, along with Canon's camera bodies with high-speed motor drives.
His education includes a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in aeronautical engineering, so his fascination with flight started at an early age. In the gallery for Birds of Prey, there's a comparison of flight for a White-tailed Kite and a "Northern Gas Hawk" (airplane) to compare God's and man's design. We hope you enjoy it.
Russ' first photo publication ended up on the cover of Wildbird magazine in the December 1994 issue. Since then, over 20 of his photos have been published on the covers of many other magazines, books and calendars, including Ducks Unlimited, Birding, Outdoor California, The View From Hawk Mountain, Sierra Nevada Natural History, and Birding Northern California. Russ continues to be published regularly in books, magazines, calendars and cards, both national and international. He also enjoys presenting slide shows at local Audubon chapters and other interested groups.
Russ hopes you enjoy this web site, and leave it with a better appreciation of the magnificent beauty and design in birds and nature.