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Radim Schreiber, Nature Photographer

Fairfield, Iowa

Life in the Night

by Mary Gottschalk
photo courtesy Radim Schreiber

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.” — Chief Crowfoot, Siksika First Nation

Chief Crowfoot’s words capture the essence of Radim Schreiber’s photography, especially his passion for focusing his lens on insects.

Born in Czechoslovakia, he initially came to Fairfield for three months in 1998 “to improve my English.” He had every intention of returning to Europe to study graphic design but while in Iowa signed up for a course on art and nature and acquired his first digital camera. He’s never looked back. More than a decade after settling in Fairfield, he works as a designer, photographer, and videographer.

Schreiber confesses that he knew practically nothing about photography before he came to the United States. “I’d snapped a few black-and white pictures at the zoo as a kid.” Wandering around Fairfield taking pictures of nature opened up a new world. Schreiber was particularly fascinated by fireflies, relatively rare in his homeland. “These insects are an alien world right in my backyard. With a camera, I can capture an incredible sense of life.”

Since taking that first class, Schreiber has garnered a host of awards for his photography, most recently the 2010 Smithsonian Magazine award for best photograph of the natural world.

View a sample of Schreiber’s nature photography at the Teeple Hansen Gallery online or at


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