Buck Ward 

Along the south Gulf coast of Florida where I live, there are few grand vistas or scenic overlooks. This rapidly urbanizing area has been one of the fastest growing in the country. There are some beautiful natural places here but every year it gets harder and harder to find a scene that hasn’t been spoiled by the hand of man. I try to find the bits of beauty, the natural interstices in the urban coastal landscape. To find art among the myriad signs, poles, wires and parking lots, to find a beach not crowded with people, a horizon with no cell tower – that is my challenge. I try to use the light, the sky and clouds, the water, to enhance the built environment, to reveal the art of nature in the mundane works of humans. I make pictures of our local landmarks. How many ways can I photograph the Sanibel lighthouse?

Between the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, among the housing tracts, condos, shopping malls and tourist resorts, there are natural habitats that have been spared, where wildlife thrives. J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Estero Lagoon, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Venice Rookery and other such places attract bird photographers from all over. I am lucky enough to live here. I love to photograph the birds. I can’t resist the dance of the reddish egret.

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