Moving Picture: Palatine pet doc turns photographer
Bob Esbensen of Palatine always knew he wanted to care for animals, and with that purpose, he became a veterinarian. But later in life, that interest in animals led him down another path — to develop his photography skills and become a wildlife photographer.
Esbensen wanted to be a veterinarian from the time he was a kid. He had a kennel job at Palatine Animal Hospital when he was in high school, which nurtured his interest in caring for animals.
"I always wanted to help animals and that is how I got into veterinarian medicine," Esbensen said.
He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1981 with a degree in veterinary medicine. At veterinarian school, Esbensen met his wife, Gloria, and together they opened the Arlington Cat Clinic in Arlington Heights in 1988. The animal hospital specializes in the care of cats including surgery, ultrasound and endoscopy.
Shortly after he graduated from college, Esbensen got his first camera, a Minolta Maxxum SLR camera, and he started using it during fishing trips.
But it wasn't until Gloria took him into a shop in Galena that Bob's interest in nature photography took a major turn.
"She said 'I've got to show you this one shop. You'll be really interested in this.' and she takes me into Images of Nature, Thomas Mangelsen's shop, and there were just these incredible pictures," Esbensen said. A short time later, he got a digital camera, a Nikon D70S, and a 300 mm lens to capture animals in the wild.
He sought to improve his skills by taking classes with one of the Nikon-sponsored workshops, nature photographer John Shaw's workshop and the Yosemite Photography Workshop with Phil Hawkins, focusing on landscape photography.
"I just enjoy being outside and getting into nature, especially with the animals and the wildlife," Esbensen said as he walked around Lake Arlington Park. "Sometimes they can be here for just a fleeting instant and you have just a very short period of time to get your shot. I like the challenge of that."
His interest in taking pictures of wildlife has taken him to Alaska, California, Wyoming and South Dakota in search of capturing more unusual animals, such as bears, antelope, and bison.
And on the weekends, he can be found walking the woods with his camera at a summer home in western Illinois waiting for that fleeting moment when a hummingbird or a bullfrog makes an appearance.
- Share Facebook Twitter
Article sent to (required)E-mail
Article sent from (required)E-mail Name
Subject Line (article title)
Message (optional)Success - Article sent Click to close
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.
Contact information ( * required )Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *
Article InformationTitle URL
Message (optional)Success - Reprint request sent Click to close