About Dr. Edward Mikol

As a child, I browsed so often through books on nature and wildlife that they “wore flat out”. From a young age I was hooked, and for the longest time my career was to be that of a marine biologist. However, after an injury in a motor vehicle accident I was called to a career in medicine. Thus, an undergraduate degree in computer science was followed by medical school and a career as an orthopedic surgeon. With the “hands-on”, detail-oriented, analytical side of my brain satisfied, there remained a pressing need for a creative, artistic outlet. Enter Photography.

Dedicating myself to the full-time practice of medicine initially meant there was precious little time to travel afar to create images. But living between the Atlantic Ocean and one of the blackwater rivers in the Carolinas provided plenty of photographic opportunities. I stayed in tune with nature, observing the seasonal rhythms in my locale, and even my own backyard. Proximity often allowed a visit to the ocean for a quick sunrise before surgery, or to capture a sunset after the office, if time and conditions permitted. Thus, my portfolio contains a fair number of images from the Carolinas.

My travel bug grew as my practice matured and I was able to wander afar more often. Exposure (pun intended) to new regions and scenery, and to an assortment of wildlife, only fomented the desire to behold more. With the advancements in camera technology and the honing of my skillset, I was able to focus (pun intended again) less on the equipment, and more on the places and subjects.

Some natural artists are driven to depict landscapes, others home in solely on wildlife. For my part, I can’t choose, so I don’t. I’m equally at home in the mountains and valleys, as the seashores, swamps and savannahs. Along the way, I’ll stop for whatever piques my interest. At times I chase the images I’ve envisioned; other times I just wander, stopping for any engaging opportunity. And when the timing, weather, light or wildlife don’t cooperate, I use the experience to scout and plan for the return visit.

In my experience, a prerequisite for the best wildlife images is connecting with an animal so that it accepts your presence. This can take time and patience, but once a subject is “won over”, it may behave as if you’re not even there. While not always possible, if one can gain their trust they will often carry on with their life in the most natural of ways. Tender interactions with their young, battles for dominance, playful activities, and even the brutality of the hunt can be seen and captured. But it often requires some luck.

Patience and time (and luck!) are also required for landscape photography, as generally is some planning. You don’t have to win over an animal unless you are including it in the scene -- some of my favorite images! But you are at the mercy of the light and the weather. When conditions are right, as the light parades across the landscape it can transform a scene, such that images taken minutes apart seem completely unrelated. The temperature of the light changes, shapes morph, shadows appear, and textures are revealed that went initially unseen. The results can be stunning. It’s for these moments an artist puts in the time and energy, and endures the elements. The earth is full of incredibly scenic and ever-changing destinations. I’ll experience as many as I can.

The images presented here are a sampling of my work, which is always evolving, and to which I am frequently adding. Some are iconic and readily recognizable, others are less familiar and reflect my unique perspective and experiences. It is my intent to inspire viewers to seek out their own adventures in nature. For those who can’t get there, I hope to expose them to some of the most beautiful places in the world. For those who can’t visit with them, I hope to generate interest in the remarkable and varied wildlife on our planet. Most importantly, I hope to engender attention to, and actions toward, the preservation of our spaces and species.

Get out there, experience, and connect.