Rancho Santa Fe photographer Betty Bird is immersing himself in the wild wherever he goes, trying to catch animals in his natural habitat. For about a year and a half, Bird has been one of the hottest artists at The Forum Carlsbad’s Ador Art Gallery.
Her latest wildlife wonder show features striking blue eyes, a cormorant beak shot at La Hoya Cove this spring, a horse against a scenic Montana background, and a smiling otter in Monterey. ..
Bird, who has lived in Rancho Santa Fe for over 30 years, has been taking photographs seriously for about 15 years. Her first female show was held at the Carmel Valley Library in 2018, and she continued the show at Studio C Gallery in El Cahon. She has also won several photography awards at the San Diego County Fair.
Bird’s journey led her to take pictures of animals from Iceland to the jungle of Costa Rica. In 2019, Bird was able to make her dream trip to Botswana, Africa.
“Africa is so alive that it will change your life as a photographer,” she said of a trip that took more than 3,000 photos.
She recalls a group of hyenas, how giraffes traveled together with perfect precision, sprinting through the desert with a jeep to see animals like the “Lion King” coexist in harmony. She took pictures of herds of lions and leopards, elephants and wild dogs.
Putting the trip on hold during the pandemic, her photography teacher gave her a mission to keep her busy. She spent a lot of time in her backyard and took pictures of birds in the Sandiegie Lagoon.
One day, in the lagoon, she literally soaked in nature and noticed that she was sinking into her chest with quicksand. “It was a mess,” Bird said. Bird was grateful to her assistant and her passers-by for helping her pull her out.
For every adventure, she said she didn’t get any good shots that day.
Her trip will bring her back to Africa in August this year. This time we will go to Kenya, safari and wildlife sanctuary.
Bird’s style is “old-fashioned” and doesn’t have much digital enhancement. “I want to capture an animal and see what it looks like.” As a realist, she said she focuses on three core elements: patience, light, and action to take the ideal picture.
At Ador, she rotates the pieces every four months. She exhibited all African shots taken at Julian’s California Wolf Center and another shot of a gray wolf from Mexico and North America. She was particularly proud of those prints. The proceeds from the sales were used to support the center’s conservation efforts. “What they are doing is great.”
The work currently on display is called “Liberace”, and a rare white peacock shot with Vista will appear. I waited four hours for the peacock to give something in the peacock droppings and rain. It turned around and showed its large white fan-shaped tail: “It just reminded me of a bridal veil.”
“My heart, eyes, and heart were opened by these precious encounters with magnificent creatures, big and small,” Bird said in her corner of the art gallery. “I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”
The Adore Art Gallery is located in Calle Barcelona # 108, Carlsbad, 1925. For more information on Birds, please visit byrdseyeviewphotos.com.