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About Marty Colburn

I have been seriously involved in photography since 1973 when I bought my first ‘real’ camera, a Mamiya 330 2¼ X 2¼, twin lens reflex. Between 1973 and 1977 I shot with various formats from 35 mm to 4 X 5. I worked part time for a local photographer, processing film and prints, as a freelance photographer making outdoor portraits, postcards, and brochures, and selling a few wildlife prints. I worked as a photographer for the State of KY doing mostly travel photography and as an ‘assembly line’ family photographer for Olan Mills photographing kids, families and reluctant fathers. Every photographer needs to experience the joy of shooting 60 to 80 family groups in a day! While working various photography related jobs, I learned how to process black and white and color film and prints and whenever possible I processed and printed my own work.

In 1977 I decided to begin a new business selling sailboats. Starting a new business required money which meant selling most of my photographic equipment and putting photography on hold for awhile.

Brenda and I were married in 1980, on a little knoll overlooking Hematite Lake in the Land Between the Lakes, NRA and since then have worked side by side growing our sailboat business. In 1982 we purchased a run down boat dock and over the years, changed it into the beautiful resort that Lighthouse Landing is today. We have enjoyed growing the business while at the same time enjoying life by sailing, backpacking, diving, hiking, kayaking, skiing, cruising waterways and highways and of course taking photographs and video whenever possible. We are avid environmentalists and try to incorporate our environmental beliefs into our business and daily lives. Our enthusiasm for wildlife and wild places has led us to join and promote several environmental organizations. We are both board members for the Land Between the Lakes Association, also known as the “Friends of the LBL”. The LBLA association partners with the USFS to preserve and protect this rare jewel located in Western KY.

Although I have been extremely involved in growing Lighthouse Landing, I have never lost interest for photography. I experimented with analog video and editing and large format photography. My first digital camera was a .6 mega-pixel point and shoot (which may be suitable for making a thumbnail for a webpage today). I soon moved up to a 1.6 MP Kodak camera, then to a 3.2 MP Sony. After buying and using a Sony 707 5 MP, I decided that digital cameras had potential. But, since I had gotten so involved in shooting and editing digital video, still photography became secondary.

In July of 2004, I purchased a Canon 10D SLR which sparked a new interest in still photography for me. The quality and flexibility of the new digital SLR’s and the advancements in Adobe’s Photoshop made the transition from video easy. I am also currently using the Canon 1DX, 5D3 and Sony NEX 7 along with various Canon lens up to 600 mm. I know that equipment, and how to use it, is only part of the equation for a good photograph. Image quality, subject matter, composition, and lighting are equally important components of a good photograph. A little luck and cooperation from Mother Nature doesn’t hurt either.

Brenda shoots video and a few stills occasionally, but she prefers the ‘hunt’. The ‘hunt’ involves researching possible photography sites and subjects, spotting critters, steering one of our many shooting platforms, including various sail & powerboats or our favorite platform, a 16’ kayak which gives us the ability to approach wildlife quietly, while shooting from a lower angle. We also use a 23’ motor home for road travel and as base camp when we day hike and take land based photos.

The wildlife captured in our photographs and video is just that, wild, with very few exceptions. Captive wildlife will be noted with a (C) after the name of the photograph. We find it interesting and helpful reading about our subjects, whether botanical or animal. We do not bait wildlife and try not to disrupt the animal’s natural behavior. We understand how crucial habitat is and try to minimize our impact.

Our goal is to enjoy life. One way we do this is by experiencing the beauty of nature. We are grateful to have the opportunity to capture this beauty with cameras, and we feel compelled to
share our experiences with others. With our photographs and video we hope to help others see and understand the importance of protecting the flora and fauna and the habitat they call home while at the same time helping others gain a better perspective as to why we need to protect the planet we all call home.

My photographs have been used in several state and local publications including magazines, state and local tourist guides, postcards, brochures, web pages and various advertisements and ad campaigns.

I hope you enjoy viewing our photographs, and if you are in Grand Rivers, KY, be sure to visit our gallery at Lighthouse Landing.

© 2006-2013 Marty Colburn. 
Any use of photographs on this website is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Marty Colburn. 
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