M. Benjamin Cowan
I have been photographing the natural world since the mid-1980's. I started my photographic journey underwater, seeking a way to capture for my friends at home in Northeast Ohio the amazing creatures and colors I would see while scuba diving in the tropical seas.
I began with a Nikonos V rangefinder camera, and as my skills improved and I began selling prints commerically, I stepped up to a Nikonos N90s SLR in an Aquatica housing. Most of the underwater images on this site were shot with one of those two systems on Fujichrome or Fuji Velvia slide film and later scanned to convert them to digital format.
As my personal and professional life limited my opportunities for diving, I stepped away from photography for many years. When I finally picked up the camera again, the digital revolution had rendered my previous equipment obsolete and the demands of adulthood still limited my opportunities for dedicated dive trips. I turned to landscape photography as a more accessible connection to the natural world, and as my entree to the world of digital photography. But during the pandemic, when it was no longer safe to travel and opportunities for landscape photography were elusive in South Texas, I discovered the joys of birding and bird photography. Birding appeals to the biologist in me, while bird photography provides never-ending opportunities for photography at home and abroad. As an environmental and wildlife attorney by day, it also enhances my understanding and appreciation of the remarkable avifauna my clients and I seek to conserve.
I enjoy the challenge of attempting to master three very different photographic disciplines - landscape, wildlife and underwater. But most importantly, I enjoy the connection with the wonder and spectacle of our natural world that I experience through photography. The camera is not just a tool for capturing and creating images, it is a tool that encourages exploration and discovery. My hope is that my photography inspires others to explore and enhances their appreciation of our world, from the most exotic destinations to our own backyards. We protect what we love, and we love what we know. I hope that you love what you see on this site.
M. Benjamin Cowan