Ty Smedes Nature Photography

About Ty Smedes


A lifelong interest in nature and wildlife led to the purchase of my first 35mm camera, in 1980. As a hunter, I loved being in the field, and the camera allowed me to be there, during all times of the year. In 1983, the Iowa DNR became interested in publishing my waterfowl photos, and from there my interest evolved to include more of Iowa's wildlife, our prairies, insects, and scenic vistas. Then, as frequent travels included other parts of the midwest and west, I began to include coverage from around the Midwest and western US. Eventually my curiousity and love of nature led me to 4 South American countries, 8 African Countries, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, the Antarctic Peninsula, West Papua New Guinea, and Mongolia. My ultimate goal is to help others enjoy, appreciate, and value our often fragile and threatened natural eco-systems and natural heritage. Perhaps my photos and presentations will cause others to make important choices which will save declining habitats, and improve our natural world.

THE FILE: 400,000+ 35mm slides& digital images.

OVERVIEW: Midwest Wildlife, Wildflowers, Prairies. Iowa - all aspects, especially agriculture, small-town life, festivals, cultural events, landmarks, and major attractions.

NATURAL HISTORY: Wildlife, behavior and portraits. Birds, butterflies, mammals of the Midwest. Prairie wildflower portraits and tall-grass prairie scenics. Fall color, fog, frost, snow scenes, sunrises/sunsets. Marsh birds, wood warblers, and other passerines. Nearly all species of interior waterfowl. American bald eagle (nesting and wintering) along with many mammals of the Midwest and western US.

GENERAL STOCK: Midwestern agricultural, rural and small-town cultural events. Emphasis on backgrounds, colorful costumes, people involved in activities related to event, theme or scenery.

SPECIALTIES: Mammals and birds of North America. More than 200 species of African birds, from Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Uganda, and Zambia. Bald Eagles in flight, with young, and catching fish. Exceptional prairie wildflower coverage, fall color, frost and dew. Iowa, festivals, attractions, and events. Iowa natural history and its people. Des Moines Iowa, area landmarks and local attractions.

GEOGRAPHIC AREAS: Broad coverage of Iowa and Midwestern US, Birds and mammals of Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia. Birds and mammals of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, and the Antarctic Peninsula.


Raptor photos - OWLS - Including Great Gray Owl, Northern Hawk-owl, Saw Whet, Eastern Screech, Great-horned, Barn, Barred, and Snowy Owl. EAGLES - Including Bald and Golden Eagle, HAWKS - including Sharpshin, Cooper's, Northern Harrier, Redtail, Broadwing, Rough-legged, and Ferruginous hawks. FALCONS - including Merlin, Prairie Falcon, American Kestrel, Aplomado, Peregrine, and Gyr Falcons, in flight.

The Antarctic - Spectacular scenics and wildlife from the Falklands, South Georgia Island, and Antarctic Peninsula. Iconic images of Megellanic, Rockhopper, Macaroni, King, Gento, Adele, and Chinstrap penguins, as well as Leopard Seal, Southern Elephant Seal, and Southern Furr Seals. Other iconic wildlife as well, including the South Georgia Pipit, and several Albatross Species.

Loons - nesting and with young - Spectacular photos of Common Loons, on nest, with young riding on mother's back, and with male feeding minnows to youngsters perched on her back.

Bald Eagles in flight and nesting: Spectacular photos of Bald Eagles in flight, twisting, turning, diving, and catching fish. And nest photos spanning 11 weeks, including adults feeding tiny young, as well as nearly grown youngsters testing their wings, and ready to fledge.

Birds and mammals of Kenya, Tanzania, and Botswana, in Amboseli, Tarangire, and Serengeti National Parks, as well as Ngorongoro Crater, the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. Nearly 200 species of African Birds

Northern Hawk Owl -Flight Photos 

Red-tailed Hawk -at nest, with young, at all ages

Whitetail Bucks, Trophy sized, and up to 16 points, some with suburban backgrounds.

 Wood Warblers - 35 species of Wood Warblers and other passerines photographed catching insects and worms, along with some nest activity, during spring migration  


March/April - Spring Waterfowl Migration

April/May - Spring Passerine migration

May - Yellowstone & Teton Parks

September - Moose & other Canadian wildlife

October - Raptor Migration

CREDITS: Magazines: Arizona Game & Fish, Smithsonian, The Nature Conservancy Mag, Sierra Mag, Outdoor Photographer Mag, AAA Living Mag, Birds & Blooms Mag, Birder’s World Mag, CAST Mag, The Dakota Farmer Mag, Des Moines Magazine, Ducks Unlimited Mag, Endless Vacation, Fins & Feathers, Iowa Conservationist, Iowa Outdoors, The Iowan, Iowa Natural Heritage, Nova Online, Petersen's Hunting, Pheasants Forever Mag, Picture Magazine, Waterfowler's World Mag, Wildfowl Mag, Country Mag, Farm & Ranch Mag, Country Discovery Mag, Miniature Gazette, Big River Mag, Sesame Street, Our Iowa, American Birds Mag, Welcome Home Des Moines, and Woodlands and Prairies Magazine. Book Publishers: Bookbuilders LLC, Dill & Associates, Falcon, Friedman/Fairfax, Iowa Legends, Iowan Books, Lerner, Marshall Cavendish, Meredith, Towery, University of Iowa Press, University of Washington Press. Author/Photographer: The books "Capturing Iowa's Seasons", "The Return of Iowa's Bald Eagles" (including 2nd edition), "Iowa's Wild Beauty",and many articles on natural history, including regular feature writing for the Iowa DNR's "Iowa Outdoors" magazine.. Calendars: Brown Trout, Impact Photo Graphics, Iowa DNR, Pioneer Communications, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, The Iowan, Our Iowa, Workman Publishing. Advertising/Corporate: Huber Decor, Kragie/Newell, Kirk VanOrsdel, Martin/Williams. Audio/ Visual: The BBC, CNN, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, New Guinea Expeditions, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa State Univ., Polk Co. Conservation (IA), Musée national d'histoire naturelle-Luxembourg . Other: advertising brochures, cards, light boxes, plastic cards, posters, road map covers, video jackets, visitors guides (IA).

Photo-Tours: Co-led a photo- tour to Brazil, and have led 7 photo-tours to Africa, including Kenya,Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Uganda , and Zambia.Have also led fall photo-tours to the Eastern Sierras.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: Canon Professional Services (CPS) member, Kodak Pro-Passport member.

COMMENTS: Tack-sharp, dramatically lit and colorful photos with impact! Stocklists on web site. Call or email, for quick response. Fees negotiable.

NONEDITORIAL SERVICES: A/V shows, classes, workshops. Fine-quality prints.


All photos © Copyright Ty Smedes-Urbandale, IA. No part of this web site may be copied, published or placed on any other web site. All images are rights-protected and watermarked for internet tracking purposes. For inquires: Phone 515-984-9632, email: ty.smedes@smedesphoto.com