Avian Photography Slideshow by EJ
Peiker May 9 (2009)

    Chandler resident EJ Peiker has been a photographer since age seven; his striking images have appeared in Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography and on the website www.NaturePhotographers.net. Arboretum visitors will be treated to a slide show of his images - and learn about nature photography techniques - on May 9, 2009, when EJ offers a slideshow of his breathtaking avian photography as part of the World Migratory Bird Day event here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. EJ's slideshow and talk will be in the Lecture Room starting at 10:00 a.m. and there is no additional cost to attend -- and no pre-registration, either.

      "Artistic images of ducks is a photographic specialty and I teach others Duck and bird photography through my DuckShop (TM) photographic workshop series. I have also expanded my love for landscape photography and am heavily engaged in creating artistic landscape images of North America's and the world's great scenic wonders. I have graduated from captive wildlife species to those that roam in the wild and do not photograph captive animals anymore. I have been fortunate enough to photograph 5 of our planet's 7 continents and plan to add Australia and Antarctica in the next 2 years."

      "I was born in 1960 in Augsburg, Germany in the German state of Bavaria near the Alps. My family moved to Mansfield, Ohio, in 1969 right before my 9th birthday. I became a citizen of the United States of America in 1975. I lived in Ohio until 1979 when I began attending Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. My original goal was to attend the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs but after my distance vision deteriorated late in high school which precluded me from becoming an Air Force Pilot, I followed plan B which was set in motion when I inherited my grandfathers electronics workbench several years earlier.

   "At Purdue, I earned a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering and also completed graduate studies in Microelectronics and Semiconductor Physics. For more than 26 years, I have worked for the Intel Corporation in California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Arizona where I have engaged in the production of the microprocessors, chip-sets, and communication chips that power modern Personal Computers, Workstations, File Servers, Super Computers and the Internet. Since 1994, I have lived in the south-central Arizona city of Chandler, a suburb southeast of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert. I have two sons, Nicholas (19) and Gregory (14). Nick is currently attending Arizona State University in Tempe and is in a Finance program. I am also a professional freelance Nature Photographer and have formally studied photography at the University of New Mexico, the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, and participated in photography seminars and workshops led by several renowned photographers including John Shaw, Arthur Morris, John and Barbara Gerlach, Charles Glatzer and the Nikon Corporation."

      "I received my first camera at age 7 - a now defunct 126, square-format, Kodak Instamatic. At age 12, I started to take pictures more seriously using a Yashica 35mm rangefinder with a 50mm f1.7 lens. At age 16 I switched to Minolta cameras starting with the professional level XD-11 SLR and then progressing through the Minolta system ultimately ending up with the Minolta Maxxum 9000, the first pro-featured auto-focus SLR, in the late 1980's. In 1990, I suffered a serious skiing injury that was diagnosed as one that would prevent me from walking again due to the extensiveness of the damage to my left femur, thigh muscles, hip, and knee. When it looked like I may not walk again, I decided to sell all of my Minolta equipment. Determination, resolve and many months of physical therapy resulted in a full recovery after several surgeries 3 1/2 years later. During my recovery years, I got my drive and determination from aviation earning Private Pilot, Instrument Pilot, Multi-engine Pilot and Commercial Pilot certificates. I also became heavily involved in advanced flight simulation as pilot training aids and started writing articles about them for aviation magazines. This gave me the opportunity to log time in American Airline's full motion flight simulators where I learned to fly a Boeing 727. I have owned both single engine and multi-engine airplanes in the past but do not own an aircraft at present.

      "After my full recovery I purchased an Olympus IS-1 Zoom Lens Reflex camera which I quickly found to be way too limiting so I started over in 1994 using the Nikon system. I eventually ended up with Nikon Professional bodies and Nikon's professional grade AF-S lenses. The choice of Nikon was heavily influenced by John Shaw's photography and I concentrated primarily on Southwestern landscapes and captive species animal photography. In 1999, my photographic world expanded when I was introduced to the beautiful bird photography of Arthur Morris through a book called "The Art of Bird Photography" which he authored. The more I got into bird photography, the more it became apparent that Canon's Image Stabilization technology would result in a much higher percentage of sharp photos with the very long focal length lenses needed to get full frame bird photographs. In December 2000, I began photographing with Canon's professional EOS 1 series of camera bodies and Canon "L - series" professional lenses. In early 2002, I added the EOS 1D professional digital body and in 2003 I added the full-frame EOS 1Ds digital body. In mid 2003, I sold my last film camera body since high end digital cameras were beginning to equal the best film cameras in image quality. For several years, my primary landscape tool was the 16.7 megapixel EOS 1Ds Mark II and my primary wildlife camera was the EOS 1D Mark IIn camera. In mid 2008, I added a Nikon D300, D700 and the awesome Nikon 200-400 f/4VR lens due to the fact that the Canon simply offers no long zoom that rivals this lens. At the beginning of 2009 I liquidated my Canon gear and fully switched back to Nikon after several Canon miss-steps on significant new gear introductions and a product line that was increasingly less to my liking from a features and quality standpoint. Additionally, the Autofocus and Flash performance of the Nikon system is significantly better than Canon's. For details on the tools that I currently use, please click on Equipment in the main menu above.

EJ Peiker with his camera      "My photographs have been published in many nature, agriculture and photography magazines and books including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, Birding Magazine, Audubon Society publications, National Geographic, Barron's, the UK's Practical Photography and many other publications. The US National Park Service uses some of my images in their National Park Brochures as does the Fish and Wildlife Service. Several zoos from around the world (North America, Asia, Europe) use my photographs for their identification displays. Some have even been turned into murals and adorn the walls of restuarants. My photos are also in widespread use in educational material for children in both Canada and the US. I was a Field Editor, Forum Moderator, and contributing author for the WEB based Nature Photography magazine NaturePhotographers.net until 2003 and am now Sr. Technical Editor and co-founder of the worlds premier Nature Photography web site NatureScapes.net. I have had a private exhibition of 30 of my photographs in Israel and teach an annual Introduction to Bird Photography courses and Outdoor Flash Photography at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, AZ which is sponsored by the Audubon Society in conjunction with The University of Arizona. A partial list of my publication credits is available HERE

        EJ's work can be viewed and purchased on his website at www.ejphoto.com. The site features over 300 species of birds as well as extensive other content. To correspond with the artist CLICK HERE

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