Joe Medley's Love of Raptors


Art&Edition is about connecting people with stories that enrich your life. That’s the power of art, and what happens when you start collecting it and living with it. 

Joe Medley’s story is one I’ve been following for a long time. Joe’s love of birds, and raptors in particular, is infectious. He is able to talk about these creatures with amazing detail and perspective from his thousands of hours of field work studying and seeking to understand them. 

Audubon Magazine (  featured Joe’s work with the Great Gray Owls in the Yosemite region, giving a deep look at the thousands of hours of meticulous work Joe has spent furthering the knowledge and understanding of this particular species. The only thing missing from the article is the infectious smile that Joe pursues his work with; the same smile you’ll see after-hours when he’s perfecting a new mountain bike stunt with his friends on a nearby trail, and enjoying a cold Sierra Nevada Brewing Company ale afterwards, as the sun sets on the gorgeous Sierra Nevada range.

I could listen to Joe talk about raptors for hours, and it should come as no surprise that storytelling is in his blood. His father, Steve (Smedley to his friends), was head of the Yosemite Association for many years, where he supported the understanding and preservation of Yosemite National Park by publishing award-winning books. Because of his father’s work and love of nature, Joe grew up surrounded by the beauty of Yosemite, as well as the people who study and preserve it. This lead him towards becoming a wildlife biologist and a champion for raptors, in particular. 

Joe’s photographs are a result of his research, which provides him with hands-on and up-close access to wild birds; an experience that few are afforded. This allows him to produce stunning portraits that capture the spirit of each bird, showing their distinct individuality. It’s a story I’m excited to share so you can also enjoy the beauty and wildness of these amazing creatures.

Purchase Joe's photographs from his Artist's Page  and follow him on Instagram @nebulosaphotography.

Posted by by Rich Seiling