January 09, 2022
By Scott Haugen
I first heard of Gary Kramer in the 1990s. I had a feature story running in a magazine on elk hunting. All the support photos of live elk used in that story were taken by Gary. They instantly caught my attention.
Over the years, dozens of big game articles I’ve written from hunts around the world have been supplemented with photos from Kramer. I’ve always regarded Gary Kramer as one of the best wildlife photographers in the industry.
Check out the video to catch a preview of Waterfowl of the World and learn more from Gary about what it took to make it happen.
Gary Kramer Profile
A member of the Waterfowler’s Hall of Fame, Kramer is a familiar name in waterfowl circles, and he recently completed what I regard as the most monumental undertaking by one man when it comes to waterfowl photography. His latest book, Waterfowl of The World, is simply a masterpiece.
Born and raised in California, Kramer’s passion for the outdoors took root at an early age. Starting in the late 1970s Kramer landed a job as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in California. Over the next 26 years Kramer worked on four national wildlife refuges, including a 10-year stint as refuge manager of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Here he made unprecedented changes and impacts which resulted in attracting the highest concentration of waterfowl on any refuge complex in the U.S.
Gary Kramer Work
If you’ve driven through some of these refuges photographing ducks and geese, you know what Kramer did. Strategically placed logs and habitat, clever road designs for good morning and evening photography light, and bringing in gravel that allows birds to stand and gather grit, are just some of the strides he made that have benefited birds and waterfowl enthusiasts.
But Kramer’s latest undertaking could be his most spectacular of all, as he recently completed a nearly four-year journey to more than 40 countries in which he photographed 165 of the 167 waterfowl species in the world. No one has ever accomplished this, let alone captured such stunning images that are featured in one book.
After decades of seeing Kramer’s photos appear in so many hunting and fishing magazines around the world, I finally had the chance to meet him a few years ago. Since then, we’ve been on several photo shoots and hunted together.
Two things I wish every aspiring waterfowl photographer could do are stand next to Kramer when he’s photographing waterfowl and spend an evening looking through the countless images he has from around the world, on his computer. I’ve had the honor of doing both and the experiences will never be forgotten.
But, since all of us lovers of waterfowl can’t rub elbows with Gary Kramer, we can at least admire his work in “Waterfowl of The World”. Nearly 3,000 images adorn the colossal book, with educational and insightful information on every duck, goose, and swan species in the world. My favorite section is the Photographer’s Notes which provides insight to some of the experiences Kramer encountered.
Signed copies of "Waterfowl of The World" can be ordered at garykramer.net
Scott Haugen is a full-time author. Learn more at www.scotthaugen.com, and follow him on Instagram and Facebook