Dan Eslter's "River Otter"

A husband and wife walk into a bar. Sounds like a bad joke, but it’s a true story. The bar was actually a cozy wine bar in Ashland (Liquid Assets), and the guy and gal were my husband and me. We went specifically to see images by photographer, Dan Elster. We’d only heard about Dan but hadn’t seen his beautiful work. As we stood gawking and exclaiming at our favorite image (the owl featured in my Ashland, Oregon book), a young man walked over and introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Dan Elster. I’m so glad you like my work.” You could have knocked me over with a Barn Owl feather! It was like Ansel Adams tapped me on the shoulder and said hi. A few years have gone by and I now consider Dan a friend.

Dan can literally walk outside his back door and see wildlife that most photographers only dream about seeing. He’s a combination of African Safari guide (with eagle eyes), a snake charmer (in a good sense), and Tonto. Watch out Johnny Depp! (I’ve heard the animals pay Dan to get their pictures taken!). Actually, Dan will be the first to tell you otherwise. Like directing the offense in football, or turning a beautiful piece of fine wood on a lathe, the end result only LOOKS easy. Dan often stakes out animals in the wild, in unglamorous, damp barns and fields, waiting for the precise moment when a baby owl yawns and opens its eyes to say “Hello World.” Click! Dan’s trophy is that single image he spent hours patiently waiting for. He can often be found on weekends at the Lithia Artisans Market.

Dan’s website is: http://www.elsterphotography.com/