Finding beauty in Elkhorn winter

Carpenter-photographer has sharp eye for wildlife

Gary Bajus is a self-taught photographer who started taking pictures as a hobby just a few years ago but has already amassed a large catalog of wildlife images.

The 52-year-old carpenter was born and raised in the Elkhorn area and says the majority of his images were taken within six miles of his front door.

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Whether driving or on foot, he has a knack for noticing the wild environment and being stealthy enough to grab the shot before it flies, hops or trots away.

Winter no problem

In all seasons, Bajus is out taking photographs of nature. Even during winter, when most people think there’s nothing to see on the “bald prairie”, he manages to find birds and animals in the frozen fields, woods, and even right in town.

From a bug-eyed jack rabbit to a coyote gazing dreamily into his lens, Bajus is always ready for the unexpected to pop up in the viewfinder of his Nikon Coolpix B700 camera. And remarkably, he often manages to catch it looking right back at him.

He says he enjoys the hobby because it’s a great stress-reliever and he likes finding new wildlife he’s never photographed before.

His Instagram account (garybajus66) has over 1,000 images, some bearing comments from followers like, “Your photos are so awesome,” and “Where did you capture these photos?”

Bajus, a man of few words (“I let my pictures do my talking”), says his secret is simple:

“Just pay attention and always have a camera with you.” 

© Virden Empire-Advance