‘Images from Nature’ at Allegheny Artistry

Tim Byler’s photography show titled “Images from Nature” in the PA Wilds starts with an opening celebration Friday June 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Allegheny Artistry, 106 East Main St., Youngsville. Tim has been taking wild-life photos for 35 years and says that he has every photo that he ever took along with the negative. The public is invited to see many of his favorite shots.

The Byler family moved to Youngsville in 1964 when Tim was 9. That’s when his study and love of nature began. Outdoor activities also became a “family affair” especially turkey hunting. Their hunting accomplishments were chronicled in a 1986 featured article of the Pennsylvania Game News.

Tim got the “photography bug” when he was in his early 20s. His friends liked his pictures and their approval encouraged him to enter his first photo contest. It was the N.W.T.F. (National Wild Turkey Federation) photo competition in Monroeville, where he took both first and fourth places. He continued to enter photo contests for about a decade with first place showing in nearly all of them.

As a self taught photographer, he says, “There was a lot of trial and error. I would take a picture and then critique it to see what I could do to make it better. Just like any visual art; clarity, lighting, detail, and composition were always on my mind”. One thing I like to do” he said, “is to concentrate on one species at a time. For example, I spent about a year and a half photographing wood ducks. However, if something else passed by at that time, I took advantage of the situation.” When asked how he managed to get the wild life to cooperate, he remarked, “I have tried just about everything to get the picture that I had in my head. Some times I put out food or built a blind. One time, I built a snow igloo with an opening large enough for my camera to peek through. I watched and waited. When the turkeys showed up, I was ready.” Tim says that waiting can also be physically challenging like the time he put himself in a kneeling position and covered himself with snow up to his armpits and stayed motionless for hours. I crawled out of there because my knees were frozen.” When asked if he every felt threatened by any of his subjects, he answered, “Not really, however, they are called wild life for a reason so you have to stay alert.” He continues, “I have only had one bad experience. I was bitten by a rattlesnake. That put me in the hospital for five days.” Could that be why he only has a few pictures of snakes?

Tim Byler’s photos have been in regional galleries i.e. Warren, Titusville, Franklin, Conneaut Lake, and currently at the Painted Finch in Corry. They have also been presented as prizes to local and national turkey-calling contest winners like five-time Champion, Matt Vancise. Tim also supplies reference pictures to the well know wild-life painter Jack Paluh. Byler did the photos for the 10th anniversary of the Glass-Over-Slate Call manufactured by Doug Labolle’s Company called “Kill’r Calls.” Tim also builds his own turkey calls from turkey wing bones and soon to produce box and slate calls.

Come meet and talk to Tim Byler about his outdoor passions and join Allegheny Artistry for refreshments and beverages. The show will continue thru July 12th. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. through Friday 11-5:30 and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.