Home > Jim Clark's Bio
Jim Clark's Bio
Comments from former workshop students:
“Jim Clark is a talented and gifted nature photographer who uses humor and gentle prodding to impart his expansive knowledge and skills to his students; I’ve learned much from him.”
“This was the finest and most enjoyable Road Scholar trip I’ve ever experienced. In fact, I enjoyed it so much the first time I enrolled in it again (this was my second time) and plan to do it again next spring.”
"Jim Clark is one fantastic teacher. He truly cares about his nature photography and it comes through in all he does. Jim was always willing to assist and give encouragement in addition to having a great sense of humor. Would do this trip again! "
"Jim Clark was so patient with us in the field and took time to check on and to assist each participant. His classroom instruction was well organized and very useful. I welcomed his criticisms; they were offered in a constructive and light-hearted manner. He possesses both a wonderful personality and sense of humor, and his passion for his work is obvious. Jim Clark is a Grade A+ instructor."
For more than 45 years Jim has used his photography, writing, speaking, and teaching to inspire and motivate others. A naturalist first, Jim’s workshops always include a bit of natural history. He believes the more you know about your subject, the more your photography will stand out.
Since 2010, Jim has been the nature photography instructor at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station at Wallops Island, Virginia. Jim has been an instructor for eight different workshop companies, including the Great American Photography Weekend.
Jim is currently guest columnist for Virginia Wildlife Magazine, sharing his techniques and love for nature photography.
In 2020, Jim accepted an invitation from Wild Birds Unlimited to present nature photography seminars at their northern Virginia store in Ashburn.
From 2013 - 2018 Jim wrote a monthly column, "Nature's View," for the North American Nature Photography Association's e-newsletter.
From 2005 - 2016, Jim was contributing editor for Outdoor Photographer Magazine. To date, Jim has had more than 35 articles published in Outdoor Photographer. His articles and photography have also appeared in more than 30 other magazines such as Nature’s Best, Defenders, Habitat Herald, Virginia Wildlife Magazine, Wonderful West Virginia, Country, Nature Photographer, Outdoor & Nature Photography, Loudoun Magazine, National Wildlife, Texas Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Refuge, Wonderful West Virginia, Birders World, Country, Inspired, Photo Media, and Wild Bird. Jim has also written articles and published images for many e-magazines and newsletters.
Other clients have included Nikon, NASA, Southern Environmental Law Center, Nik Software, National Wildlife Federation, Texas Nature Conservancy, West Virginia Nature Conservancy, Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Caterpillar, Zeiss Optics, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, The Weather Channel, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, West Virginia DNR, Maryland DNR, Maryland State Parks, Virginia Dept Game & Inland Fisheries, New York Times, Charleston Gazette, Defenders of Wildlife, The Mountain Institute, Wisdom of the World Recording Label, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Post, Fujifilm, Friends of Blackwater (refuge), Friends of Blackwater (Blackwater Canyon in West Virginia), Wild Birds Unlimited, and the Today Show on NBC.
From 2005 - 2015,Jim served as photographer in residence at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Loudoun County, Virginia.
In January 2019, an image of a polar bear that Jim photographed in the Canadian Arctic was used for an exhibit on the Thomas Reuters Building in Times Square, New York City. Jim’s image of a Mexican Gray Wolf was used by the Weather Channel for a report about the environmental effects of the border wall on wildlife.
Image by Tom Janskowski (c)
A collection of Jim's images is on display at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station and the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. His images are also on exhibit at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Federal Building in Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, and the University of Mount Union. His nature images have also been on exhibit at the National Botanical Garden in Washington D.C.
His images have also been award winners, including the prestigious Nature's Best Magazine Windland Smith Rice International Photography Contest.
Jim is the author and photographer of six books: West Virginia: The Allegheny Highlands, Mountain Memories: An Appalachian Sense of Place, Between Ocean & Bay: A Celebration of the Eastern Shore, The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography and two children's books, which he co-authored with his son: The Adventures of Buddy Beaver: Buddy Explores the Pond and The Adventures of Buddy the Beaver: Mystery of the Missing Friends.
Jim was a major photographic contributor to the book, Coal Country and the e-book Bird Photography Handbook. Jim's images and writing have also appeared in more than twelve other books.
Jim is Past President of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) and in 2000 Jim received NANPA’s Outstanding Recognition Award.
A charter member, he has twice been a keynote speaker in addition to serving on the NANPA Board of Directors. Jim was one of the original coordinators for NANPA's Youth Scholarship Program. He served as MC for the NANPA summits in 2005 and 2010, the later where he was co-MC with his son Carson, who was ten at the time. Jim served as editor of NANPA's Desk Reference Handbook and has been a seminar speaker, tour and workshop leader for various NANPA summits and regional events.
To date, Jim has has presented and been guest speaker at more than 500 events around the country.
Jim serves on the advisory board for Nature’s Best Magazine and from 2000-2008 he was a member of the Fujifilm Talent Team. Jim has also been interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, The Eyes of Texas, the documentary "Out of the Blue," and Nik Radio. A selection of Jim's photography was used for a segment on NBC Today Show.
In 2001 Wonderful West Virginia Magazine selected Jim as one of the state's top five nature photographers.
In July 1996, Jim was invited to join the White House Press Corps to photograph a bald eagle release event along the Chesapeake Bay with President Clinton.
Jim served as a national correspondent for the online magazine, Wildlife Watchers and was an associate for the on-line Nature of Writing workshop program. Jim served as an advisor for the Center of Wildlife Information.
Sponsors for Jim and his son Carson have included Hunts Photo, Lowepro, Manfrotto, Nik Software, Nikon, Wimberley, Zeiss Optics, Outdoor Photo Gear, and Singh-Ray.
The documentary film, Mountain Memories, profiled Jim’s life and career as a nature photographer. The film, which aired on PBS in August 2003, was also shown at the prestigious 2005 American Conservation Film Festival. The film is available for viewing on You Tube.
Jim has been a naturalist ever since his days growing up in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. He parlayed that passion into a 30-year career as a wildlife biologist, most of that time with the National Wildlife Refuge System with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. From 1993 - 2005, Jim was Chief of Wildlife Training at the Service's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.
He has degrees in wildlife biology from Tennessee Tech (BS) and West Virginia University (MS). Jim completed post-graduate work at Auburn University. Jim has also been an adjunct instructor for West Virginia University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and University of Alaska – Fairbanks.
Comment from previous workshop student: "Jim Clark was an outstanding instructor. He had many excellent presentations during non-photo shoots in the classroom. His photographs were incredible. He was available in the field and was most helpful when I had questions in the field. He has a great sense of humor. He challenged and motivated me to try new ideas and techniques."
"I've attended 3 Road Scholar Program photo programs - this is by far the best and better than other programs from Arizona Highways and Nikon School. Many photo programs are overly technical or offer very little information beyond the camera guidebook. Jim Clark is the rare bird (he would appreciate being called that) who offers explanations and information about "making a picture" and about how to utilize the myriad controls on all types of cameras -- in a well-organized and supportive program."