#WhyCV Photographer Spotlight: John Humphrey

JT Humphrey cat in wilderness

“Shooting through a window was not an option for me, so the pilot slowed the bush plane down and I opened the window to shoot…”

John T. Humphrey knows Carson Valley’s wild side inside and out, and because of that, the wildlife knows him. Over the past 40 years, JT has perfected his photography of family, military air shows, wildlife, and events. Much of his wildlife exposure is from Yellowstone National Park, working with rangers, biologists, geologists, naturalists, and researchers over a 30 year period, but in 2010 he became very aware of the wildlife happenings in Carson Valley.

While shooting, JT’s main focus is the safety and preservation of his subjects, many of which are eagles, owls, hawks, and falcons, which each bring unique considerations for their well-being. JT’s passion has always been wildlife and the outdoors. From viewing to protecting, to capturing those shots, his enjoyment comes from sharing his photos for others to see and learn from.

Included with each photo below is a story of that moment captured through JT’s lens. While reading each story you’ll feel like you ventured out on the range with him and experienced the back-lands of Carson Valley.

JT Humphrey cat in wilderness

“I went to revisit this bobcat and was looking alongside the road when I spotted it on the logs. Had to back up to get this photo, it just sat there and let me shoot away, even seemed to dose off now and then.”

John Humphrey Eagle in tree

“These eagles have been nesting in Carson Valley since 2010. When I went to the nest this day, the male was in a nearby tree and only the chicks were in the nest. Figuring the female was off getting a meal for the chicks, I waited about 40 mins for her to return. She returned with a fish in her talons and approached the nest from behind, making this shot possible.”

John Humphrey bears

“After watching these two walk into a forested area, I decided to flank them and maybe catch up. About thirty minutes later I rounded a large boulder and saw them having a tender moment and quickly took three shots then I turned back and left.”

John Humphrey Big Blue horse

“Big Blue, my favorite stallion. To get this shot, I relied on his natural curiosity. He was in a nearby grassy area about 100 yards from the creek. I walked past him and dropped down to the creek and then waited for Blue to follow and see what I was doing. It took him around 20 or 30 minutes, but he eventually came down for a drink and to check on me.”

John Humphrey baby horse after the birth

“Scarlett, from Blondie’s band, was just born and still in the sack. Blondie was protecting the band from the other side and left me on this side. Normally a stallion and the band will protect the new foal by getting between you and the baby. Not once did any horses get between me and Scarlett.”

John Humphrey Dangberg Home Ranch

“After taking a tour of the Dangberg Home Ranch, my wife and I walked around the grounds and as we passed the shadow of a tree, I saw this shot and took several photos, this is the one I liked best.”

John Humphrey Carson Valley panorama

“I wanted an aerial shot of the valley and a local pilot offered to take me up. After flying around and gaining altitude, I found the angle that I wanted, but still could not see any water of Lake Tahoe. Finally did see water at about 11k feet, now to get the shot. Shooting through a window was not an option for me, so the pilot slowed the bush plane down and I opened the window to shoot this panorama.”

John Humphrey stormy weather and horses

“Whenever we get a good snow storm, I get out on the range for a winter shot. As I drive deeper into the range, I see a couple of brown images, so I drive closer and there’s a newborn foal. Since the foal was born in a snow storm, we named her Stormy.”

Intrigued? Click here to check out the rest of our photographer spotlights.