Chas. McRae Photography

Charles W. McRae

I was born in rural Clarke County, Mississippi but grew up in the Atlanta, Georgia area. The area was still semi-rural at the time and allowed me space to wander and develop the love and respect for the outdoors. My bird watching started here one fall as the migratory warblers came through with their confusing drab plumage. After years of school and training along with two years with the U.S. Air Force, I settled in Marion, S.C. in 1970.

I am a retired Radiologist (M.D. physician} trying to pursue my passions even more than ever. I have been lucky and privileged to have lived in various parts of this country including Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, California and Missouri. I have also been able to travel extensively giving me a range of thought and feelings about my passions.

My photography history started with a NYC mail order Praktica single lens reflex camera with a single preset 50 mm lens over fifty years ago. This stretched my budget and I never could afford another lens for this camera. This camera was doomed as it tumbled down a mountainside in the John Day Fossil Beds Area in eastern Oregon. After that I had a series of cameras that ranged from an early Vietnam era Nikon F-Ftn, Miranda and Olympus. When I became more serious I moved back to the Nikon system. My favorites of that system among many were the Nikon F5 body (great meter system), 500mm f4 telephoto lens (manual focus), and the 200mm Macro lens. Finally? I have shifted to the Canon system. My primary motive was based on the Image Stabilization (IS) technology on the super telephoto lens. Nikon seemed to be moving too slowly in this regards and could not wait on them to progress (at my age time is precious).

My system now consists of a film Canon 7D(hopefully soon the new 7D II) and various Canon lens. I use the 600mm IS primarily for birds and wildlife but also have several zoom lens and the 180 mm. Macro lens. Gitzo has been my tripod of choice over the years and also the Arca ballheads which have lasted very well. I also use the Wimberly head, although some times I feel like I'm carrying around the equivalent of an old Buick.

I do not market with the same passion I use to produce my images, however have been published in Pee Dee Magazine, Nature Conservancy, Birder's World, Outdoor & Travel Photography, and Wildlife Pride.

Animal Behavior

Photographer of the
Year 2002

Also published 
The Independent 
London Newspaper
18 October, 2002


Nature's Best
1st Place
Winner Landscape


1st Place Winner
Open Category


I have also had honorable mention photographs in National Geographic Traveler and Florida Wildlife. Recently, the Nature Conservancy has featured these Magellanic Penguins as an e-card on their web site.


I have also traveled to the following areas and have many stock images covering these places:

  1. Most of the United States with special interest in the Southeast, Midwest, and West
  2. Siberia and Russia
  3. Alaska and Canada - including the Alaskan Highway and Dempster Highway along with many images obtained in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  4. Costa Rica
  5. Argentina
  6. Pantanal of Brazil
  7. Sicily
  8. Falkland Islands
  9. Africa - Kenya, Botswana, and Namibia