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Spirit Bears - the white-furred black bears of British Columbia. (Photos courtesy of Jeff Nadler)

Wildlife Photographers Images Capture Personality and Soul of His Subjects

Jeff Nadler a Featured Artist at Laguna Art-A-Fair


By Bobbie DeBoer
Photos courtesy of Jeff Nadler

Oceanside CA— Deep in the rainforest coast of British Columbia lives a creature who was once considered only a legend to the outside world.  The Kitasoo people called it the “Gitga’at,” and for years rare sightings were reported of a white-furred black bear.  On the two islands hugging this pristine coastline live these anomalies of nature; they are the Spirit Bears.  Not albino, they are in fact black bears with a recessive gene.  They are covered in white or creamy-colored fur, have brown eyes and nose pads, and nearly white claws.  It was here, on Gribbell Island, that Oceanside’s Jeff Nadler captured these extraordinary animals in photographs to share with the world.

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Click on image to enlarge photo

A photographer most of his adult life, Jeff’s passion for wildlife photography was born on his first safari to Africa in 2001.  He’s been back to Africa five times since, and has traveled far and wide to photograph everything from wolves in Yellowstone to jaguars in Brazil.  Jeff’s goal is to capture the personality and soul of the animals he photographs so that humans connect emotionally with them, which can then turn to interest and involvement in the conservation and protection needed for all creatures across the globe.  Poaching continues to be an issue of great concern, and Jeff supports the Big Life Foundation USA, a non-profit group that seeks to protect and sustain wildlife and wild lands within the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem, including one of the greatest populations of elephants left in East Africa.  A percentage of the sale of Jeff’s work is donated to Big Life.  For more information on the Big Life Foundation, visit www.biglife.org.

Jeff has been the grateful recipient of several awards for his work in the last few years.  One photo titled “Hippo Smile,” was honored by the North America Nature Photography Association (NANPA) as one of 2013’s top ten photos of the year.  “Hippo Smile” was also a finalist and won Honorable Mention in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2013 National Wildlife Photo Contest.  In 2014, NANPA recognized two more of Jeff’s photos in the top 100 of the year, and an additional two photos in the top 250.  In 2016, Jeff’s crocodile photo, “The Line Up,” was chosen as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards, out of approximately 20,000 images submitted.

Jeff’s work has been displayed at many art fairs, including the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, the La Jolla Festival of Arts and Old Town Arts and Crafts.  This summer, the Laguna Art-A-Fair will be celebrating 50 years in existence, and for the third year running, Jeff has been jury-selected to be a featured artist in this coveted event.  You’ll be able to see Jeff’s work in person, along with other fine art exhibits, in beautiful Laguna Beach Canyon from June 24 through August 28.

For tickets and information, call (949)494-4514 or visit art-a-fair.com.

Though he’ll be busy with Art-A-Fair through the summer, in September, Jeff’s next adventure will take him to Canada to find grizzly bears.  Stay tuned!

To see Jeff’s work on-line, visit jeffnadlerphotography.com.

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