Channeling My Inner Larry West

Metaphid Jumping Spider, June 22, 2014.

This jumping spider is one of my favorite closeup images. The full story story (with photos) behind this image is here and begins in a garden center and ends in my front yard.

Tachinid Fly, Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, Michigan, July 1, 2004.

My fascination with tiny subjects began early on. One of my first and best books purchases was Closeups in Nature by John Shaw. It is still my favorite introduction to the basics of closeup photography. John will be the subject of another article in this series.

Flesh Fly by Larry West.

Which brings me to Larry West. Larry was a remarkable naturalist and nature photographer who lived in Michigan and inspired other budding part time photographers who went on to become full time photographers in their own right like John Shaw and Rod Planck.

House Mosquito by Larry West.

One day I called Larry on the phone with a photography question and he was very generous and helpful with his advice. One by one as his books came out I bought them. They are part of the wonderful series of nature photography books by Stackpole.

Nature photography books by Larry West.

Larry’s books gave me the help I needed for photographing specific subjects that interested me. I still recommend these books highly.

When Larry died in December 2015, John Shaw posted a tribute and wrote “Larry was an exceptional photographer, a great naturalist, and a good friend. He was enormously helpful to me at the very start of my career, and was indeed extremely generous with information, advice, and encouragement to a whole generation of nature photographers.”

So every once in a while when I am out taking pictures I channel my inner Larry West.

Black Capped Chickadee on Staghorn Sumac by Larry West.

You can buy some of Larry West’s images at the links below. He does not have a web site online. (There are other photographers with the name Larry West that are online.)


POTD: Metaphid Jumping Spider – the story behind the image

You can purchase some of Larry West’s images at Minden Pictures and Fine Art America

You can find books by Larry West and John Shaw in this section of my Amazon powered photography store.

Stackpole Nature Photography Books at my Amazon powered photography store.

Nature Photography Books: The Three Essentials. If you only read three nature photography books, put these on your “must read” list.

The Best “How To” Nature Photography Books