Selective Focus: Benjamin Olson

Benjamin Olson has a show of his photography opening tonight (Friday, Oct. 4) at Tettegouche State Park. It’s a perfect setting for his images that focus on wildlife and nature. His photos make you feel like you’re witnessing a spectacular, brief moment that takes patience and persistence to find.

BO: I am a photographer, specializing in nature and conservation. It was through my background in both science and art that I was able to bridge the gap between two separate fields to help communicate environmental issues at hand.

Tenacious: A great gray owl patiently listens for movement beneath the snow during a blizzard, northern MN.

I’ve been doing this for 14 years. I started with film and transitioned into digital early on. I continued to dabble in large format film for about half my career.

Enlightenment: Sunlight filters thr.ough air-born mist in a small river gorge north of Grand Marais, MN

The biggest challenge is time. Working with nature means I have no control over the weather or the subjects. More often than not, I am revisiting the same locations repeatedly to get the images I have in mind. The reward is being allowed to share an intimate moment with an animal, or to see atmospheric conditions so unique and rare that your chances of witnessing something similar is highly unlikely in a lifetime. Having the ability to watch what is happening in the natural world first hand is what keeps me motivated and inspired.

While looking for moose near the Minnesota/Canada border I stumbled upon this Red Fox about 20 miles from the nearest town. As I slowed my vehicle down I was surprised by her tolerance. Over the next hour and a half I was able to follow her as she hunted and explored her surroundings.


The Big Lake, Grand Marais, MN

Tettegouche State Park, October 2019

Autumn’s Awakening: As the fog began to lift on Rose Lake in the BWCA, an amazing scene unfolded unlike any I had seen before!



Upcoming projects and exhibits:

My exhibit at Tettegouche State Park just opened this week. There’s a meet and greet on October 4th from 7:00-8:30pm

I have many ongoing projects revolving around climate change, forest succession and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Elegance: At sunrise I noticed a loon fishing in a small bay covered with dead insects. As the light reflected off of these insects the water sparkled liked diamonds. All of the glowing orbs in this images are from the insects elegantly reflecting the rising sun.

Days End: Canoe sunset, Superior National Forest, Minnesota.

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