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Jun Zuo : Capturing Beauty in Nature

Interview led by Curator John Fan
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 7th of February 2022


Finding beauty in nature is Jun Zuo's endless passion. He loves to travel and excels in wildlife photography capturing the mood, actions and stories of animals. Many of his beautiful images are taken on a decisive moment. Wildlife video is Jun's latest interest which is more of a storytelling form of communication to explore animal and wildlife behaviors in their natural environment.
Enjoy his work and interview ...


'Love Forever'


Jun, can you start our interview by telling us a little about yourself? Your education, and your profession besides photography?

My name is Jun Zuo and I was born and raised in Shanghai, China. I immigrated to the United States in 1991 pursuing a PhD degree in Structural Engineering at University of Kansas. Since graduating from KU, I have been working full-time as an engineering manager at a civil engineering firm in Overland Park, KS.
I enjoy sports and am a big fan of the KU Jayhawks basketball team and Kansas City Chiefs. I also enjoy the outdoors and traveling, but my biggest hobby is photography.

Your photography gives me a distinct impression that you have a deep love for wildlife. How did it all start? When did you start to photography wildlife?

I first started to enjoy photography when I was in undergraduate college in China. I purchased my first camera, a 135 film camera at that time, and used it to record college life and events. After graduating from college, I used this camera for recording my family life and travels. It actually was just taking casual pictures at that time and I did not get seriously into photography until around 2008 when my son went to college, and I seemed to have more spare time. I began to travel more and explore the outdoors. I always want to share what I see in wildlife and nature with my friends. I started getting more into bird photography around 2009, when at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri, several hundred thousand snow geese and hundreds of bald eagles gathered. It was shocking and inspired my interests in bird photography. In 2014, I traveled to Africa with a joint group in a wildlife adventure that gave me a big push for continuing to pursue wildlife photography.

Your photos capture the decisive moments in wildlife actions, yet they always portrait the beauty in the nature. How do you find beauty in action?

Finding beauty in nature is my endless passion. The mood, actions, and stories of animals and wildlife are what I want to capture. Studying and familiarizing the shooting environment and the subject habitats are very important. Carefully preparing the plan, the equipment, mental preparations, and anticipating what would happen helped me to react quickly to capture a moment. Always keeping an eye on the subject and patience are the keys for capturing the decisive moments. My photo “Fight” may be an example. The photo was taken in a small lake at Kiskunsag National Park, Hungary. A lot of great blue herons were fishing in the lake. Knowing that herons usually have their own territories, I closely observed as one heron was approaching another, anticipating that a fight might happen. Even though there were so many herons around, I was just focusing on the ones that were approaching other ones. When the fight happened, it only lasted a few seconds. Without the preparation and knowledge, it would have easily been a missed opportunity.

I know you are gravitating towards video in recent years. Can you tell us the difference between still photos and videos for wildlife? What are your suggestions for wildlife photographer who also want to shoot some video?

Wildlife video is my latest interest that started about a year and half ago. I still love taking still images but I wanted to explore another form of the art which led me to videography. Unlike still photos that freeze a moment in time, videos can tell stories with a beginning, middle and end. There is a lot in common between taking photos and taking videos, such as lighting and compositions. Wildlife videos have been very challenging with controlling stability, focusing, and tracking. Sometimes, I have to use manual focusing for animals in movement or birds in flight. Also, editing and making a video takes much more time than editing a still image. The current digital cameras available today have video functions, which conveniently allows photographers to use a single camera to take photos or videos. However, the settings for taking still images and videos are very different. Video is a more of a storytelling form of communication to explore animal and wildlife behaviors in their natural environment, which is what I love.


Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future of any specific goals that you wish to achieve?

I will continue focusing on wildlife and nature. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for traveling. I hope that we can get back to normal soon as I would like to travel more and photograph different wildlife. I also hope to continue to pursue videography of wildlife. Photos can have huge visual impact from the frozen moments, while videos have more of a dynamic visual effect for storytelling.


Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?

I would like to thank 1X team very much for giving me the opportunity to share my work. 1X is a great platform for sharing photography work and getting inspired by the many great and talented photographers here.
I also would like to thank the 1X team for their hard work to maintain such high quality content.


'Out of the Dark'















'Great Grey Owl in Flight'



'Last Talk'



'Elephant Crossing The River'



'Morning Dance'






'Baby Cheetahs'



'Wildebeest in Crossing'



'A Busy Morning'



'Look in the Mirror'



'Just Before Diving'





Excellent work and great interview!
Fantastic images, very inspiring to me.
Thank you very much, Stuart!
Congratulations Jun for this wonderful gallery. Amazing work!
Thank you very much, Francesca!
Great work & inspiring images ! Congrats.
Thank you very much, Yan!
Excellent work & inspiring images! Big congratulations! I am from St. Louis not far from you.
Thank you very much, Jian!
Wonderful work and great interview!
Thank you very much, Chao!
Beautiful images and a lovely interview!! Congratulations!!
Thank you very much, Shobhit!
Captivating works of wildlife. Congrats.
Thank you very much, Q!
Awesome work! congratulations!
Thank you very much, Sagarika!
Amazing work! Congratulations!
Thank you very much, Leah!
Amazing images !!! Congratulation, Jun Zuo ! :)
Thank you very much, Sandro!
Thank you very much, Myriam!
Outstanding images, Nature at its best ! Very impressive work compliments Jun Zuo
Thank you very much, Rana!
Awesome work !
Thank you very much, jennifer!
Mei Xu PRO
Amazing captures. Congratulations.
Thank you very much, Mei!
Exceptional imagery - many congratulations!
Thank you very much, Elizbeth!
Amazing! Congratulations!
Thank you very much, Li!
an immersion in nature. unique, wonderful images where the unsettled expression of animals is natural, fascinating. hard survival images and normal survival images with spectacular colors. Congratulations to Jun for this wonderful gallery. Congratulations and thanks to Yvette for presenting and proposing her.
Thank you very much, Franco!
Thank you, Franco! Curator John Fan suggested the interview and helped a lot ;-)
Thank you very much, John!
Amazing! Congratulations!
Thank you very much, Hua!
Thank you very much, Wanghan!
Amazing works and great wildlife photographer! Congrats!
Thank you very much, Phillip!
So pleased to see Jun Zuo's interview and love his storytelling wildlife photos captured at decisive moments! My compliments to you Jun and to John for the excellent interview and photos.
Thank you very much, Louie!
Thank you for sharing those magnificent pictures! All the beauty of nature is so beautifully captired here, a joy for the eyes!
Thank you very much, Gabrielle!
What a wonderful wildlife world you present to us! Truly beautiful and high quality images! Congrats!!
Thank you very much, Mei!
Very interesting interview and wonderful photographs.
Thank you very much, Miro!
fantastico trabajo enhorabuena
Thank you very much, Jose!
The perfect timing and stunning composition are beautiful!
Thank you very much, Keita!
Great work of extraordinary talent and high quality, this is excellence, many thanks for sharing!
Thank you very much, Gerda!
Spectacular collection 😍
Thank you very much, Sayyed!
Epic photography!
Thank you very much, Jaco!