Urmas Tartes, Estonian Nature Photographer, born (1963)

Urmas Tartes was born on September 19, 1963.  He is known for his outstanding nature photographs, both still and moving, especially of insects.  He takes photographs primarily in his native Estonia, noting that “There is a saying in Estonia that in order to see new things, you have to follow common paths – paths you know.”

Tartes was educated at Tartu University in Estonia, earning BS, MS and PhD degrees in biology and insect physiology.  He worked at the Institute of Zoology and Botany, eventually serving as its managing director, and later at the Estonian University of Life Sciences.  For his work as a scientist, administrator and photographer, he was awarded the Estonian Order of the White Star, Class IV, a government recognition for contributions to the nation in various fields of endeavor.

In 2010, he left the university to focus on his career as a freelance photographer and author.  He won the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer award for the Animals in their Environment category in 2009 for a rare photograph of a springtail in a field of snowflakes.  Like nature photographers that preceded him, he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, but also had the knowledge and patience to capture springtails in their highly precise movements.  “I had to ‘ambush’ the weather for just the right temperature and condition,” he told BBC News.  “We came to a place where we thought it might be possible [to see the insects] and the thermometer in the car said it was just the right temperature.”

Tartes has published several books about nature and nature photography, emphasizing insects.  In addition to his own work, he frequently serves as a juror for important photography competitions across Europe.  He has served as the Chairman of the Nature Protection Commission of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

References:

Gill, Victoria. V 2009.  Leaping wolf snatches photo prize.  BBC Earth News, 21 October 2009.  Available at:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8318000/8318226.stm.  Accessed September 18, 2017.

Goodreads.  Urmas Tartes.  Available at:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6152151.Urmas_Tartes.  Accessed September 18, 2017.

Tartes, Urmas.  Curriculum Vitae.  Available at:  http://www.zbi.ee/~tartes/cv.html.  Accessed September 18, 2107.

Tartu Environmental Education Center.  Urmas Tartes.  Available at:  http://www.tartuloodusmaja.ee/ET/koolituskeskus/juhendajad/urmas-tartes/.  Accessed September 18, 2017.

This Month in Conservation

January 1
NEPA Enacted (1970)
January 2
Bob Marshall Born (1901)
January 3
Canaveral National Seashore Created (1975)
January 4
The Real James Bond Born (1900)
January 5
National Bird Day
January 6
Wild Kingdom First Airs (1963)
January 7
Gerald Durrell Born (1925)
January 8
Alfred Russel Wallace Born (1823)
January 9
Muir Woods National Monument Created (1908)
January 10
National Houseplant Appreciation Day
January 11
Aldo Leopold Born (1887)
January 12
National Trust of England Established (1895)
January 13
MaVynee Betsch, the Beach Lady, Born (1935)
January 14
Martin Holdgate Born (1931)
January 15
British Museum Opened (1795)
January 16
Dian Fossey Born (1932)
January 17
Benjamin Franklin, America’s First Environmentalist, Born (1706)
January 18
White Sands National Monument Created (1933)
January 19
Yul Choi, Korean Environmentalist, Born (1949)
January 19
Acadia National Park Established (1929)
January 20
Penguin Appreciation Day
January 21
The Wilderness Society Founded (1935)
January 22
Iraq Sabotages Kuwaiti Oil Fields (1991)
January 23
Sweden Bans CFCs in Aerosols (1978)
January 24
Baden-Powell Publishes “Scouting for Boys” (1908)
January 25
Badlands National Park Established (1939)
January 26
Benjamin Franklin Disses the Bald Eagle (1784)
January 27
National Geographic Society Incorporated (1888)
January 28
Bermuda Petrel, Thought Extinct for 300 Years, Re-discovered (1951)
January 29
Edward Abbey, author of “Desert Solitaire,” Born (1927)
January 30
England Claims Antarctica (1820)
January 31
Stewart Udall, Secretary of Interior, Born (1920)
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