Conversation with nature photographer John Spohrer

by Rob Diaz de Villegas

IGOR chip- human appreciation 150John Spohrer is author of Forgotten Coast, which collects years of photos taken in habitats along the stretch of Florida’s Gulf coast from which the book derives its name. We wanted to talk with him to get a different perspective on the ecosystems with which we’re most concerned: those in the grass and on the reef. John, who is also a Master Naturalist, talked to us about how he photographs the smaller critters on our coasts (like fiddler crabs) and why it’s important to have wild places in Florida.

Shrimp baby

larval shrimp, such as this one photographed by John Spohrer, often reside in salt marshes

This is the first of what we hope will be many conversations with artists inspired by the richness of our coast.  There are many talented people taking photographs, writing essays, painting landscapes, and writing songs about these ecosystems and reminding us why we love these places.

The music in this piece was provided by the Mayhaws.  The song is “When I’m Dead,” an environmental ballad.  We will as much as possible feature music from local musicians, look for a musicians page on this site soon.

We want to hear from you!  We welcome any musicians, photographers, or other artists who work in salt marshes, oyster reefs, or in the Forgotten Coast in general to share your work with us.  Add your question or comment below:
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Isabel Murga June 17, 2010 - 10:33 pm

Keep up the good work. This is a very timely series and one that we take in with the wonder nature can provide and the sadness of what human error can, and will, cost us. Thank you for providing us with treasures of information.

Isabel Murga June 17, 2010 - 10:42 pm

This series is great.

Outdoor Geekgal June 17, 2010 - 10:49 pm

The ecosystem will not function if it gets overrun with people, oil, polluted runoff, or a combination of all the aforementioned. Why don’t you interview someone who has been an uncompromising activist for the environment, with no self-interest at heart? Ask those who speak the truth, and understand these things: if the current status quo trajectory continues, there will be no ecosystem to photograph in 40 years, and one cannot smell, touch, wade, or swim through a photograph.

Pixie Gas June 23, 2010 - 3:42 pm


Enjoy Them While You Can « July 22, 2010 - 11:56 am

[…] had just finished interviewing John Spohrer for a photography feature and, well, we were in Apalachicola.  So I decided to conduct what our oyster researcher Dr. David […]

The Making of a Softshell Crab | October 4, 2010 - 12:34 pm

[…] Summer over there are less people and more animals out in the bay.  As photographer John Spohrer mentions in our interview with him, animals mating or feeding will let you get closer to […]

A Year of Sunrises | April 8, 2011 - 7:15 am

[…] Rob Diaz de Villegas also interviewed John about his wildlife photography.  Watch that video here. This entry was posted in In the Arts and tagged Apalachicola, coastal ecology, forgotten coast, […]

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