San Juan Wildlife & Nature Photography
Matt Ragen

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About Our Wildlife Photos

My Philosophy

I am inspired by the ability for photography to capture a split second of time. That split second, as a slice of time, is so fleeting and ephemeral that I will be the only person who can see that one image which captures an essence of something. I have the ability to share that image through my photographs.

My Camera Gear

As I've continued to get increasingly interested in photography again (after a long hiatus since my photography classes in high school and college), I have been gradually upgrading the camera gear that I use. I think one reason photography became fun again was that digital photography has made many capabilities accessible to me that I would otherwise need to dedicate a room to in our home for a darkroom.

Specifically, in 2001, I started with a Sony DSC-S50 digital camera with 2.1 megapixel resolution. I usually used the full 3X optical zoom capability of the camera plus a 2X add-on optical zoom lens which gave me a total of 6X optical zoom. In 2002, virtually all of my pictures were taken with a Fuji FinePix 4900 digital camera with 4 megapixel resolution. I augmented the standard 6X optical zoom with a 2X add-on camera lens which gave me a total of about 11X optical zoom capability.

In the middle of 2003, I upgraded equipment again as I began to really get back into more serious photography. At the same time, digital SLRs started to tumble in prices and, for fairly good equipment started to get comparable to their 35mm equivalents. I am now using a Canon EOS 10D Digital SLR with 6.3 megapixel resolution. This gives me enough resolution and quality for the kind of photography that I'm currently working on.

I've provided a more complete list of the rest of the camera gear that I'm using today.

Editing Software and Books

Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0
My photographs taken through 2003 were edited with Photoshop Elements. I was extremely pleased with the overall feature set and overall ease-of-use of Elements which still offers a number of creative features that give me a lot of control over the editing process.
Read More.

In the middle of 2004, I upgraded to Adobe Photoshop CS (now upgraded to Adobe Photoshop CS2) because I felt that I needed some additional control and options in some of the image processing capabilities -- as well as the ability to support a number of plug-ins and actions that are available from 3rd parties. There is a cost to this (not just in the software cost) but I think I've gone fairly far up the learning curve as I've made quite a bit of headway in getting the kind of control that makes me more satisfied with the images that I can create.


coverPhotoshop Elements Solutions (With CD-ROM) by Mikkel Aaland
Serious digital camera users looking to create professional-looking images will love this solutions-oriented, full-color guide to Photoshop Elements. Professional photographer and author Mikkel Aaland tackles common (and not so common) digital imaging processes that will help make your photos look their best. The accompanying CD-ROM and author's website include the sample that you can follow along with.
Read More.

There are hundreds of other books available at or other booksellers. We've put together a short list of books that are useful in providing a jumpstart to learning how to use Photoshop Elements 2.0. We have also put together a more complete list of books recommended for people interested in wildlife and nature photography. These books are all available through

coverAdobe Photoshop 7.0 Studio Techniques by Ben Willmore


Usage Policy For Our Photos

Thank you for your interest in our photos! If you are interested in purchasing one of our photographs, we can produce 5x7 and 8x10 prints of most of our photos. Please click here for more information.

For use on the web: You may use our photos on a website. We require that you explicitly acknowledge the source on each page where our photos are used and that you include a link back to this website at in order to provide proper attribution  in exchange for the right to copy our pictures to your website. Please do not alter our pictures, including the copyright text. We do not authorize simply linking to our pictures from your page as our bandwidth is limited.

We welcome reciprocal links assuming we find your content to be a good fit with our website; send us email using our feedback links and let us know where your page is located. You can use this HTML code in order to link properly to our website:

<b><a href="">San Juan Wildlife and Nature Photography</a></b>

For use in education: You may use our pictures as illustrations in school projects such as term papers, book reports, science projects or other similar student-oriented educational activities. You are granted a limited right of reproduction such that one copy of the image may be printed or copied into a report or paper. If you use our images on a school's website, please follow the policy above with respect to maintaining the copyright and a link back to our website. If you would like a more detailed copy of the original picture to use in a paper or science project, send your request to for our consideration and please include the title of the webpage on which you saw the photo.

In exchange for this educational use, please drop us a note to tell us the title of the webpage on which you saw the photo. and the name of your school or institution as we are curious where our photos are being used. Our pictures have been used in projects at these schools:

  • Anacortes Middle School in Anacortes, Washington (Bald Eagles)
  • Apple Glen Elementary in Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Clemmons Elementary in Clemmons, North Carolina (Bald Eagles)
  • Edmond Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Essington School, Darwin in Northern Territory, Australia (Orca Whales)
  • Irving Christian Academy in Irving, Texas
  • Kaisei Elementary School in Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan
  • Martin Luther King Elementary, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico
  • Morgan L. Martin Elementary in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Our Lady of Peace School in Marshfield, Wisconsin
  • Parsley Elementary in Wilmington, North Carolina  (Bald Eagles)
  • St. Margaret Mary School in Wichita, Kansas
  • Seymour Heights Elementary in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Wayside Elementary School in Ocean, New Jersey
  • William H. Kelso Elementary in Inglewood, California
  • Ohio State University, Mansfield Campus
  • Wake Forest University

For all other uses: We have recently added the capability to purchase certain pictures that are published on our website. We also now offer you the ability to acquire non-exclusive rights to the digital versions of these pictures that can be used on commercial documents. Please visit our Stock Photography web page for details. If you believe that you have a request for some other usage, please send your request to for our consideration and include the title of the webpage on which you saw the photo.


Copyright Notice

TheRagens retain all rights to our photographs unless we have specifically granted you usage rights based on the terms above or some other explicit license. Recently, I've seen that some of our photos have been used on other sites on the Internet without acknowledgement of the source. In order to make the use or copying of my pictures at least slightly more difficult to accomplish without any attribution to our website, I have added a copyright notice to each photo.  You are not allowed to edit my photos in such a way as to remove this copyright notice.


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