I am not a photographer. I do not have the equipment, skill, or patience. Yet I admire and appreciate the nature photographs of Carroll County professional photographer Rick Brant. Rick’s interest in photography started at a young age when his great aunt gave him a box camera, which he used as a child to take pictures of family and vacations. After he married, Rick borrowed his father-in-law’s 35 mm film camera to further advance his interest and abilities in photography. Rick honed his skill studying photography at a community college.
Putting oneself in Rick’s shoes, you are a professional photographer with a keen interest in nature photography, but it is wintertime in northwest Illinois. And a rather bleak winter, as we have had little snow. Where do you find nature shots? Lots of places, it turns out. Like on a roadside utility pole where Rick, and his wife Cheryl, spotted the great snowy owl, one of two that return to our county each winter. I can relate my own experience with this beautiful bird. While driving one of our county highways, I was suddenly startled by a mass of white hurling past my windshield. Avoiding collision by mere seconds, I was awe struck by the immense wingspan of this gorgeous creature.
Another favorite of Rick’s recent photos is the piebald deer. This lovely animal has a rare inherited trait that causes it to be a speckled white and brown. And yes, the piebald live right here in the county, at Lake Carroll, the incorporated lake community that is Rick’s home. Each time Rick posts pictures of these beauties on his Facebook page, neighbors comment about their own sightings, while others ask for location so they too can sneak a peek.
I would be remiss without mention of our great bald eagles. Rick captures shots of these majestic birds with some regularity and even got a shot recently of one catching his lunch in the lake. As Rick relates, Carroll County provides abundant photographic settings in all seasons with birds and animals both large and small, as well as landscapes, farmscapes, historical architecture and the Mississippi River. Rick’s work is available for purchase at Bald Guyz, a quaint coffee shop in historic downtown Mt. Carroll and be certain to view Rick’s Facebook Page.
Rick shares that in relocating to Carroll County, he and his wife enjoy a relaxing escape to the outdoors in all seasons. If you like the outdoors, nature, photography, changing seasons or just plain old relaxation in quiet countryside, make Carroll County your vacation destination. See lodging listings and descriptions right here on our website.