Years spent observing nature as a hunter and fisherman have created a keen eye in the field for longtime outdoor enthusiast, and evolving nature photographer Larry Weast.
Photography has always been a hobby, as Weast has been taking pictures most of his adult life, starting with a Voighlander 66, but has grown into a passion in recent years. Now on his fourth Canon, as well as a newer Nikon with a fixed 500 millimeter lens, Weast has delved further into the medium.
Urged on by other active photographers Dave Hoffman and Ron Boggs, Weast turned his focus to nature shots, traveling with the group to Loess Bluffs to hone their craft. Before long, the retired Hiawatha High School teacher and coach and education chair of Quail Forever, began to turn toward his own country estate for a project all his own.
The over 60-acre spread that Weast has spent more than 20 years creating, working closely with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the Kansas Forestry Service to turn into something of a homemade nature preserve. This is the backdrop for what Weast has coined the Stony Point Bird Book.
Boasting photos of over 100 different species of birds taken on his property, Weast has collected the pictures and identified photos of all sorts of native and migratory birds. He has even captured shots of a few birds that are not identified as natural travelers through the state.
There is still one shot that Larry says he would like to capture. He has a few photos of kingfishers, but he has seen one picture of the bird diving for fish, taken the moment before the predator breaks a mirror-smooth lake that he would like to emulate.
Weast most recently captured an image of an impressive male bobcat in his own backyard on his trail camera.
“I see him once in a while on the trail camera,” Weast said. “Every year I get cats on the trail cameras several times. In the late spring and summer I usually get a mama cat and kittens, usually two but once three. I was just lucky to get the picture that I did. That is what usually happens. Being in the right place at the right time with a camera ready.”
Beyond his own ambitions, just as he has with his other outdoor proclivities, Weast urges young people to try their hand at nature photography, touting it as a great activity to get them outside, and says that with phones having such amazing cameras, anyone can snap an excellent photo of the great outdoors.