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    Dentist enjoys photography outside the dental office

    While Dr. Terry Bond uses photography as a way to escape from the stresses of the job, he also finds similarities in dentistry and striving to take the perfect photo.

    Whether capturing a peaceful image of a sunset bathing a Great Horned Owl in a golden glow or the excitement of a vertical leap made by a major league baseball player going for a seemingly impossible catch, Terry Bond’s hobby of photography provides an enjoyable respite and a way to keep his batteries charged as a dentist.

    Wild life and sports are the focal points of Bond’s photography. 

    “I love being outdoors so that is something that comes naturally to me,” said Bond. “And because of my sports background I can anticipate what’s coming up (on the sports field).”

    Bond, who has practiced for nearly 30 years in Kirkwood, Mo., said his passion for photography was ignited when he was about seven or eight years old. His mother was a worldwide traveler and she got him interested in it.

    “My mother worked for TWA in administration and she traveled a lot,” he said. “She used to take pictures with a Brownie.”

    Now when he plans his own travels - whether to attend a dental seminar or a vacation with his wife, Mary Jo – Bond keeps an eye on what nature preserves, parks or sports stadiums are nearby where he can take pictures of birds and animals or athletes in their natural environments.

    Bond’s travels have taken him to Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Florida, and California, just to name a few. Getting a good shot of a moose, a nesting bird or a sunset, takes time, effort, and preparation.

    “We do a lot of legwork,” Bond said. “We get out and walk (the preserves and parks) and check everything out.”

    It also means that Bond tries to get as close as possible to his wild life subjects, but not too close.

    “I don’t get ridiculously close,” he said. “I got about 50 yards from the Grizzly. But there was a ravine in between us. I try to be responsible.”

    Bond’s cameras of choice are the Canon ID Mark 4 and the Canon 7 D.

    He likes digital cameras for their convenience.

    “I think the biggest thing about digital is that it’s easy to carry and to store (images),” he said.

    When he needs extra equipment, such as a powerful lens to capture bears or birds without getting too close, he rents it.  A 600 millimeter lens would cost $10,000 to buy.

    “I have enough equipment that I get eyeballed by my wife if I add anything to it,” he said.

    Living near St. Louis, which has major leagues teams in baseball, football, and ice hockey, allows Bond frequent chances to snap pro athletes in their natural environments as well.

    Occasionally he has been allowed to take photos from the sidelines. Usually, however, he is seated in the stadium. He often changes where he sits at different games to get a wide variety of shots.

    “It’s a whole lot of fun and I get a different perspective (in different seats),” he said.

    Bond has captured photos of superstars such as former St. Louis Cardinal player Albert Pujols, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and pitcher Mark Buehrle. He uses some of his best pictures, of both athletes and wild life, to decorate his office.

    “It’s my own little photo gallery there,” he said.

    The gallery is a conversation starter with patients. Spectacular photos of wild life are timeless, but Bond said pictures of sports figures tend to become outdated such as when Pujols decided to leave the Cardinals.

    For Bond, either setting or subject is interesting. Getting out into the quiet of a nature preserve or into the noise and excitement of a sports arena is a welcome respite from the demands of dentistry.

    “As a dentist you’re always on stage,” he said. “You’re answering questions or you’re remembering things about each and every patient. You can get out into the wild life areas and it’s very quiet and very relaxing.”

    He said photography and dentistry have some elements in common. 

    “I think with photography you’re always striving to find the best possible picture,” he said. “And with patients it’s trying to find the best possible treatment.”

    He also spends time keeping up with new trends and technology, in both dentistry and photography.

    “You do a lot of reading,” he said. “And if there’s a new technology (in either field) you try it.”

    Bond also sometimes donates his photography to support local charities. As a Christmas gift, his children Tim and Megan recently set up a website where he can display and sell his photos.

    For Bond, the next great picture is always just around the corner. He and his wife are planning a trip, possibly to Wyoming or Montana, for May when newly born animals will be in evidence.

    “The best picture is the one you haven’t taken yet,” he said.

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