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Calling all animal lovers! Close Encounters: Portraits of Nature is an astounding look at our wild creatures—mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and arachnids and insects (including a section of images of thousand-year-old insects preserved in amber)—close up and personal. Colby waits with patience, stealth, and reverence to capture the shot, and in so doing, manages to artfully reveal the human–animal connection in each photograph. Created with the utmost understanding of light and composition, Close Encounters is a compilation of Ray Colby’s best wildlife photography from around the United States.
Ray Colby has been drawn to photography ever since middle school, when he took his first class with Mr. Klein. For thirty years, he worked as a professional freelance commercial, industrial, and documentary photographer, and numerous of his projects have been published, including in travel-guide books, scientific documentaries, and Science Museum of Minnesota publications. Colby has also had fine art showings in the Twin Cities of his black-and-white photographic work. Now retired, he fills his days listening to music, reading, bicycling, traveling, and, as an amateur paleontologist, collecting fossils. Whether he’s hiking or climbing in the mountains and deserts out West, or simply strolling through the nature preserve near his home, his camera is in hand. Born and raised in Minnesota, Colby lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Melanie, and cat, Baillie.
“Ray’s pictures capture the soul, and vibrancy, of nature. His reverence for his subjects comes through the lens. It is not so much that you are looking at a picture, but looking through a window into our world.” —Jay Walker, director of Great Lakes Aquarium, Duluth, Minnesota
“There are good photographers and there are great photographers. Then there is Ray Colby, who not only captures incredible images, but also introduces us to the world of nature through the looking glass of art and emotion.” —Jon Kramer, paleontologist and geologist, author of the Journey Guide series of travel books
“Not much gets past the eye of photographer Ray Colby. His incredible observational skills are a true gift, rendering readers as both recipients and benefactors of his brief but delightfully detailed narratives and jaw-dropping natural photography.” —Roxane Battle, former KARE-11 anchor, best-selling author of Pockets of Joy: Deciding to Be Happy, Choosing to Be Free
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Ray portraits nature in its true form. He is a gifted photographer. All of the pictures are absolutely beautiful. Our kids love looking at them while learning more about Minnesota and North America wild animals.
Impressive and heartstopping images of nature. Ray Colby has an eye for detail not easily seen by the casual observer. He brings us close to nature through the photography and narrative of his book. A great gift to give and receive.