Capturing Iowa's Seasons
Text and Photography by Ty Smedes
Des Moines, Iowa
Once in a while you find a book that is a perfect combination of
photography and writing. Capturing Iowa's Seasons
is one of these accomplishments created by Iowa author, Ty
Relying on Ty Smedes experience and artistry in photojournalism,
he has created a collection reflecting the natural beauty of each
season in Iowa. Understanding the conflicts of preservation of the
prairie as opposed to the maximum utilization of the state's
farmland, he captures the natural world into photographs of the
rarely viewed wildlife both flora and fauna.
Realizing that less than one percent of Iowa's natural prairie
still exists, he has devoted numerous hours to focus on the lives of
the mammals who daily need to adapt to a diminishing area for their
families to thrive. Between the spreading of urban areas and the
need of farmland, the challenging of maintaining life for the prairie
in challenging for the survival of these creatures.
What this book has captured is a beautiful moment for each animal,
bird, or plant that naturally resides in the state of Iowa. Each
picture is art balancing the light, shadows, form, structure, texture
and color into a photographic masterpiece.
Beginning with springtime in Iowa, this section beautifully
illustrates the awakening of new growth, complete with babies of all
kinds. As with many babies, these picture are adorable and even
comical. The pudgy baby raccoon clinging to a branch is a rare gem.
With the focus on the young wildlife of deer, coyotes, woodchucks,
red foxes, rabbits, otters, skunks, owls, bobcats, many birds and
plants, this collection is an unusual collection. The photos are
obviously the result of numerous hours of loving diligence to record
the beauty of the creatures of this land.
The summer months open with a variety of colorful butterflies.
Each picture is gorgeous. Ty Smedes view of the world is obviously
one looking for the beauty in the surrounding world. To prove this,
one of the most unusual photographs is of a spider web covered with
the morning's dew. Capturing the light perfectly, this web actually
resembles a piece of jewelry, a beaded necklace. This with numerous
other examples are a result of his expert photography as an
accomplished piece of art.
The lush autumn colors are expressed in the next session with the
focus on the glorious deciduous trees. In this section, Mr. Smedes
simplifies the rare loess soil found along the Missouri River
explaining how the wind blew around bits of earth from the valleys
into drifts of this soil. Naturally, no book of Iowa would not be
complete without including the migrating snow geese showing their
grandeur with expressive photos.
The bald eagles are included in the winter chapter combining
educational information in a majestically entertaining manner. In
this section is a photograph of a fence in Clear Lake. Covered in
ice, this perfectly capture the stark isolation of the winter in many
farm communities across the state. Also reflective of the winter
months are his pictures of the trees. Each one perfectly captures
their shivering, cold beauty.
The concluding chapter is an educational resource for nature
Ty Smedes photos excel in beauty. Compared to the legendary
National Geographic photos, his selections perfectly match the pride
he has in discovering and sharing the beauty of his state, Iowa. In
addition to this book, he has also published The Return of Iowa's
Bald Eagles which is now in
its second printing.
Both books can be purchased
through local retail book sellers or at http://www.iowan.com.
Many photographs capturing the natural world seen through Ty Smedes'
eyes can be purchased for reasonable rate at
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” For this phenomenal
book, Ty Smedes photographs are unquestionable a work of art that
beautifully reflects his love of the natural world in this state.