DANSVILLE — The Dansville Public Library held a special presentation with a local wildlife photographer during the famous Dogwood spring festival.
John Adamski has been taking captivating wildlife and wilderness photos for over four decades. He shared some of his best shots over several states and parts of Canada with some community members.
Adamski has published three books on his photography entitled “My Best Shots,” “The World of the Whitetail” and “Another Good Day in the Woods.” He has a fourth coming out soon. His photography can be found at Dansville ArtWorks, in several magazine and newspaper publications like “Life in the Finger Lakes” and on his website https://www.johnadamskiphotography.com
Some topics he discussed at the presentation were Game Birds, Black Bears, Bison, Pronghorns, Bighorn Sheep, Moose, Pennsylvania Elk, Rocky Mountain Elk, Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer, and Landscapes.
In the 1970s, Adamski’s journey began to take form as he longed to see behind mother nature’s veil. Adamski worked at the Whitney Park in the Adirondack Mountain as Fish and Wildlife Management Director. It was at that time he got his first camera to test out the waters of wildlife photography. He took his first whitetail deer photo and that is what started his love for the adventure.
“I worked with the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) for about 10 years on a Black Bear Project. We would collar them and track them,” he said. “We wanted to see their behaviors in the winter time. Black Bears will mate in June and July. They will typically have more than one male. The eggs will not go into the uterus until November or December. It is common that they will have three or four cubs at a time, and they could each have a different father. They will be born in January.”
Adamski was able to hold baby bears as the mother’s were being examined. The bears will still love and accept the baby after it is touched by a human.
Another interesting fact is the country almost lost all its bison. It was in danger of extinction long ago. Now there are millions of them back in National Parks, especially in Yellowstone.
“When I saw them out in the plains it was like an old film. It reminded me of the tribes out there hunting them for survival,” he said. "They are used to people in the parks, so you are relatively safe. They will lay on the roads since it is warm pavement, and it is best to leave them alone.”
Adamski spent a lot of time talking about pronghorns, mules, elk, and deer with the mating seasons and how impressive they are to photograph in the wild.
“One of the lifelong opportunities for me was being able to photograph Bighorn Sheep,” he said. “I wanted to get them in the wild, so I went to the Rocky Mountains in Canada. I had to climb up a rather steep mountain to get to them. I do my traveling alone, since I don’t want to be distracted. Photography is not a group participation sport.”
It took him 2,000 feet to get to the top of the mountain, but it was worth it once he got hundreds of photos of Bighorn Sheep.
Another experience of a lifetime was getting wild photos of giant moose in their natural habitat.
“It was in Maine where I had the best experience,” he said. “I went off a dirt road towards Sunday Pond. There was a beautiful 70 acre pond, that I was told would be a great place to get Moose. I got the best cow moose and four-month-old calf shot in that pond.”
Adamski has a special place in his heart for whitetail deer, and he has a doe who has had at least five births on his property. He has been there to photograph the fawns as they are welcomed into the world.
“I had the thrill of a lifetime when I was able to photograph the mom with her newborn twin fawns,” he said. “I always talk to her, since she knows me. She has birthed five years in a row on my property. She always has twins, and I find that is very common with deer.”
Adamski shared some of his landscapes with the crowd as well showcasing Hemlock Lake, Keuka Lake, Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Letchworth State Park, Lake Champlain, Elk Lake, Long Lake, Maine, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park.