Ed Spenser/Sandhill Images

Ed Spenser/Sandhill Images


Welcome to my new web site, powered by SmugMug. I am just getting started, and will keep adding content.  I also have photo content on Instagram (elsdvm90), flickr and Facebook (Sandhill Images), there are or will be links to those on the front page.

My interests are wildlife and nature, especially birds (including captive birds) and also live music, musicians, vehicles and travel/landscape. A few personal projects will find their way here as well as the occasional business/commercial project-those usually involve music and musicians. Contact me for questions, licensing, prints, or if you need a live concert photographer or a photo shoot for captive animals or really any interesting project. I am based in South Florida.

My training as a veterinarian as well as an MS degree in Avian Sciences inform my bird images, I am interested in behavior and movement.I also like to photograph captive animals (I always indicate this in the description), either pets or animals in private breeding facilities. Back in the 1980's and beyond, I photographed countless veterinary patients as well as veterinary surgical and other procedures for use in lectures by my veterinary mentors in Los Angeles. These were all shot with 35mm slide film and an old Canon macro rig with ring flash. Lots of manual exposure calculations! These types of shoots are also challenging in different ways compared to wild animals. I travel as often as I can to seek birds and wildlife here in Florida as well as other locations and will continue to do so. Right now Costa Rica is my #1 favorite destination although I have a long list of places I REALLY want to go. And Florida is of course an unbelievable place to live for wildlife, especially the bird life.

Music: I have been photographing live music concerts and musicians on and off since the early 1970's and have taken a renewed interest in this in the last few years as my wife and I are performing musicians and so are so many of our friends here in South Florida. She performs more frequently than I and her band is very professional. The album entitled "The Lovely Linda" is devoted to photographs of her during live performances.  I am an avid photographer of musicians playing live and also off-stage, including publicity photos. I try to emphasize emotion and intensity, action, interaction between band members and also with the audience, and also pick flattering images that make everyone look good! That's what it's all about, right? I try to avoid over-processing although sometimes some added processing zing can be beneficial to the image if the stage lighting is interesting. Sometimes I have to fight poor stage lighting.  

Black and white: I love black and white photography. I spent many years shooting (and push processing) with black and white films in various formats and ASA speeds as well as printing my own images in a darkroom in the pre-digital dark ages. I still have a number of film cameras in 35mm and medium format (6x7 and 6x6) and use them occasionally when I can find the time. I love them still and wish I had more time for film photography, both color and black and white. When I can't shoot film I do some black and white conversions of my digital images. I spend quite a bit of time on my black and white conversions to try to give them the dark blacks, contrast, tonal range and overall look that makes black and white so wonderful.

Training, background and gear: For gear I am mainly a Canon user although I do have some Sony mirrorless gear and like it very much. I have been a photographer since as a teenager my shutterbug father taught me how to shoot, develop and print film. I studied still photography at NYU film school while I was attending college there in the 1970's and have been shooting photos off and on since then. I do attend photo workshops and seminars when I can, which add to my skill set. I am always looking to improve and learn new techniques. I recently set up a small simple studio in my house so I can learn lighting techniques for portraits, this will be a fun long-term project. I am also beginning to dabble in video. I use Lightroom as my main post-processing instrument, with a couple of add-ins, and use Photoshop sparingly mostly because I find it so intimidating. I have just started experimenting with Luminar. I have been learning the art of printing in the last couple of years and have managed to produce some very nice prints although I am still learning and probably always will be. I use an Epson Surecolor P800 which prints up to 17X22.