Diane McAllister

Nature & Wildlife Photographer

diane_sample Living in the Sierra Nevadan mountain range with the Pacific Flyway close by, I found the wildlife, birds and scenics had already set the stage for me. I call it my nature-stage theatre, where admittance is not by ticket, but by showing respect. Every sense of mine is awakened as dawn approaches and the curtain rises. The soft morning light spotlights the players and I have a front row seat. There have been appearances by black bears and bobcats, while golden eagles soar above to the upper balconies. I hear the orchestra keeping beat with woodpeckers drumming, tundra swans cooing softly, and a California quail trio belting out the hit song "chi ca go." Pinyon jays' laughter fills the sky. Rufous hummingbirds dance in mid-air, while blooms wipe away the morning dew and open quietly to take a closer peek. Male chirping crickets up the tempo as the lighting wattage increases. A rattler warns this seat is taken, while a lone coyote holds a high note in the distance. Mother Nature herself, directs the four seasons to change the breathtaking backdrops and there are wardrobe changes amongst the cast members. Aspen leaves quake as if clapping in approval, then falling snow covers the stage like confetti. Sometimes the regulars never return, but springtime will showcase new arrivals. Shooting stars signal the finale before the curtain closes. The show is unequivocally held over as the plot is endless. I am often on the edge of my seat.

When I am not in the audience, I share time with my two fledglings in their twenties who are equally entertaining. My husband of 27 yrs. knows where to look outdoors whenever he can't find me. I share my habitat with my dear cat Boo, a Silver Chinchilla Persian & a spirited Golden Persian named Sunset.  As a Registered Nurse by profession, specializing in Pediatrics, it's no wonder I have a fondness for the little ones in wildlife. My gift of patience, along with determination and perseverance, help me with my image making which I have been enamored with for the past seven years. Other favored activities for me include hiking, skiing, fishing and gardening. I truly enjoy teaching elementary school-aged students about bird habitat, inside and outside the classroom. My favorite camera body is the Canon EOS- 1 DX, and to alleviate stage fright, I'll pair it with a super-telephoto lens and sometimes a 1.4 tele-converter. I often try to photograph my characters as they go about their usual unrehearsed ways of life. I feel these images tell a story. Witnessing all that nature offers is truly a gift for the soul. I am currently a member of the Lahonton Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Sierra Artists Guild, and the North American Nature Photography Association.

Awards and Accomplishments

  • Nature's Best  "Yellowstone Forever"  2016  Winner Wildlife category amateur    Smithsonian Exhibit opening Oct 19 2016 through 2017   River Otter & Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout  
  • Nature's Best  "Wilderness Forever"   2014  Top 100 Finalist in Smithsonian Exhibit opening Sept 3 2014 through summer of 2015      Sandhill Cranes in Flight
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology   Audubon  &  Bird Studies Canada Global GBBC Photo Contest 2013    First Place, Overall                              and   Honorable Mention, Behavior     Snowy Owl in Flight
  • Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice International Award   2013 Finalist       Art in Nature   Highly Honored  Sandhill Crane
  • Nature's Best Backyards                                             2013 Finalist x2   Scorpion  Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Nature's Best  Windland Smith Rice International Award  2012 Finalist        Wildlife   Highly Honored   Snow Monkey
  • Nature's Best  Windland Smith Rice International Award  2011 Semi-Finalist  x2   African Lions and Mountain Gorillas
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology & National Aububon Society GBBC Photo Contest 2012      Honorable Mention, Overall   Tundra Swans Taking Flight
  • New Scientist – Snow Monkey photo for article   Dec 2013
  • The Adirondack Almanack –    Snowy Owl photo for article  Dec 2013
  • Analogies for Young Kids by Jan Zebrack    Book 1 & Book 2    2014  11 nature photos including cover of Book 2
  • Nature's Magic – feature story Reno Gazette Journal   Neighborhoods & Voices
  • Shooting the West    Guest Speaker  Winnemucca NV   "Shooting from the Heart" 
  • Shooting the West 2013 Speaker's Choice Photography Award
  • Shooting the West 2013 People's Choice Photography Award
  • Speaker's Choice 2012 Photography Award x2 from Stacy Pearsall –combat photographer  & Blair Hunewill photographer/rancher
  • Voice of America – interviewed & filmed by Suli Yi for Asian documentary on American Artists
  • Reno Open Studio annual participant
  • 40 Bird Images on permanent display Arts & Healing project - entrance Renown Medical Center South Meadows  Reno NV
  • Birds & Blooms –  20 serene and welcoming framed prints greet patients and families in the new waiting room, infusion and monitoring spaces at PET CT suite St Mary's Center for Health Reno NV
  • 7 baby animal images donated to Ronald McDonald Sleep Room @ Children's Hospital at Renown Reno NV
  • Popular Photography contributor "Secrets of Wildlife Photographers" March 2008
  • National Wildlife Federation "Wild Animal Baby" cover June 2012  Grady the Grizzly
  • RANGE magazine photo contributor for wild mustang, sheep dog and sage grouse articles
  • RANGE magazine Cover shot 2012 Spring issue  Wild Horse Mare and foal
  • RANGE magazine Winter 2012   "For the Birds"   personal essay/four page photo spread on Winged Wonders
  • RANGE magazine Summer 2013  "White Terror of the North"  the joys of adding a new species to my life list
  • "Outback" RANGE photography contest – 3 time winner 
  • PassageMaker magazine photography contest First Place winner – Destinations    Second Place Winner- Boats
  • NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association) top 100 images in "Expressions "   juried Showcase Competition  2009 2011 2012 2014
  • NANPA Top 250 images 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014
  • Calendars 2012 WWF   –  Baby Animals  Hummingbirds   Owls
  • Calendars 2012 Sterling Publishing & Silver Lining –   Sunflowers    Hawaii
  • RANGE Calendar 2012 –  Real Buckaroos   December Sheepdog
  • "Go West"  The Risk & The Reward  new book by CJ Hadley  Oct 2012    4 baby animal images published
  • Friends of Nevada Wilderness  Calendar  "Wild Nevada"  wildlife images donated annually + donor postcard image
  • Represented by Nature Picture Library   Bristol England