Ryan Mense is Flipboard’s first Photographer In Residence. He is a wildlife photographer who has also been a contributor to PetaPixel. Ryan has been instrumental in Flipboard’s development as the best destination for photographers looking to improve their craft and stay up-to-date with the latest news from PetaPixel, and other voices in photography.
Flipboard’s #Photography topic now features six new areas. These include expert advice, the best related articles, videos from YouTube’s top YouTube photographers, gear roundups and online class listings.
Ryan has created collections such as “How to Capture Amazing Fall Photographs” or “How to Photograph Birds”. He also offers his expertise in camera systems like Olympus and Sony, curating “Photo of the Day”, and contributing to a library of basic information.
Find out more about his personal journey with photography and how Flipboard can help photographers get the best from it.
Flipboard: You are a great wildlife photographer! Why did you choose this style of photography?
Ryan Mense : I believe it has always been there waiting for me to photograph and film wildlife. I was raised in a small town. I had to entertain myself and there was always plenty of nature to do so.
I first took up photography when I was 13 years old. It became my escape. Many years later, my main focus is still on photographing landscapes and nature because these locations are where my heart and soul are most at home.
It was around four to five years ago that I first saw an indigo bunting, a male bird that is brightly blue. It was a rare sight to see such a beautiful bird in my locality, and it was that moment that made me realize that I should be photographing wildlife and birds. It’s been difficult to photograph any other wildlife since that moment.
Which animals are you most fondly interested in photographing?
Birds. Birds are so diverse that it is impossible to get bored of them. The steep task of taking good bird photos is a rewarding experience. It takes patience, perseverance, endless love, and a lot of love.
I am the kind of person who can sit still for hours looking at nothing and waiting for my subject. I am more willing to try harder to achieve success than I was last time.
Tell us about your favorite photo and how you came up with it
The sandhill crane is my favorite bird overall. This photograph was taken March 2020 at a local spot in West-Central Wisconsin. This photo shows one of their mating displays, where they grab grass or sticks, jump up and throw it in the air. This behavior is first taught to them by their parents when they are young and they continue to practice it throughout their lives.
This photo was taken with a Sony A7R IV and 200-600mm lenses straight from my car window. Because many birds are familiar with vehicles, they don’t view them as a threat. Although I have already talked about patience and the need to be able to stay still for long periods of time, I don’t want you to think that this is what it takes to see amazing wildlife. It takes just a few days to go out and show up, and I recommend that everyone gives it a shot when they have the time. It will be amazing to see the results of just being there.
What would you recommend to photographers using Flipboard?
This is a great platform for consuming the seemingly endless amount of photography-related content. Before Flipboard, I had a list of websites that I wanted to visit and that was it. Flipboard’s curation of content is what I love about it. It allows me to be fed information not only from well-known, but also lesser-known voices that are equally valuable that I wouldn’t otherwise have found.
I would recommend that the “For You” page be properly personalized. Also, personalize the #Photography topic according to your interests. Finally, make sure you are following the publications that you already enjoy, like PetaPixel. Flipboard will be more enjoyable if you share your interests with them.
How can Flipboard fit in a photographer’s social media diet?
Flipboard allows photographers to create their own magazines. Flipboard allows photographers to create their own magazines. The content they choose for a Magazine is a reflection on the photographer and their interests. Flipboard is a great way to get a better understanding of your favorite photographers than what you can see through Instagram captions or Twitter thoughts.
Also, most people don’t have the time or the patience to write long articles about subjects that interest them. Flipboard allows me to create a profile that shares the things I believe are important. People can see my views and I can also signal to them to take a look. However, I don’t have the time or energy to make the story.
Your profile contains some great magazines and Storyboards. How do you approach this?
I am particularly pleased with the “The Wildlife Photographer”, and “The Wildlife Filmmaker” magazines that I am currently working on. These magazines are not easy to find, and especially for wildlife filmmaking, there isn’t a single good resource. I feel it’s worth it to compile them. To get started curating these Magazines, I added the Flip It button in my browser bookmarks. This way, whenever I find something I like, I can add it quickly to the relevant Magazine.
These flips can sometimes lead to a larger idea for a Storyboard that includes several videos and articles. Storiesboards can also be used to share a variety of articles and videos. One Storyboard could be made from a series of videos I have made about bird photography. You can also share my gear or the podcasts that you enjoy. Flipboard, as I mentioned earlier, is a great way to keep up with someone’s interests on social media that doesn’t reach them.