Don Mercer - Rustic 41 Creations







Don Mercer

Don Mercer - Rustic 41 Creations

"Wildlife photography is the ultimate catch and release!"


Don Mercer
Photographer * Aviator:
FAC * Fighter Pilot
Businessman * Author

"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets,
For it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."

Ludwig van Beethoven

Capturing images of animals in their native habitat has given me my passion and vision for photography. I also derive immense satisfaction from my study of landscape photography. I want to give my audience an appreciation for all God's bounty that surrounds us, nature's animals, beautiful landscapes the world over, and the occasional man-made endeavor that warrants our attention.

Studying the habits of animals has been key to shooting quality images. Some of my most exciting experiences occur when the unpredictable unfolds in my viewfinder. It is thrilling when I press the shutter release to obtain that truly remarkable image, such as American bison loping toward me with my only exit strategy: "Feet Don't Fail Me Now!" - as the title of that image indicates!

I draw from my dad's saying, "When you're green, you grow; and when you're ripe, you rot." His message to me was to continue seeking knowledge throughout my life. As but one example, learning how every change of light affects an image is challenging, and it is the essence and source of excellent photography.

Advances in photography have been significant. Thus, new techniques and processes provide me with a platform for a lifetime of learning. With that, my "to shoot list" is long.

Beautiful images abound: the Golden Gate Bridge partially enshrouded in fog; the magnificence of the Tetons in Wyoming; or a lonely floral arrangement left at The Wall in Washington, DC, to convey remembrance of a loved one and to "Honor America's Fallen," the title of one of my galleries.

I have taken hundreds of thousands of images over more than four decades. However, I am discerning with those images selected for my art that is available through Fine Art America.

My wish is for these images to inspire and to touch your soul. I am optimistic that they will strike a chord, stirring your own efforts to better preserve our environment and respect wildlife, to seek beauty, and to honor our heroes - American men and women who take risks in order that we may all live to better enjoy another day.

My passion for photography is without parallel. During my travels, I have met wonderful people and fellow photographers, as with Larry Jordan and Phil Perry, two of the most technically astute and artistically talented photographers whom I have ever met, to name but two. One of my most enjoyable breakfasts, which I have ever had, was with Brent and Sue Knight, who cooked from their tailgate and invited me to join them at Sunrise Point one early morning when shooting in Mt. Rainier National Park. I have been most fortunate to meet such wonderful people and to see much of our world with my camera in hand to capture treasured moments in time!

Welcome to my website, and I hope that you enjoy my art!

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments that take our breath away."

Author Unknown

Note: My thanks to my family and to Noel Wayne Baker, Rustic 22 - a former Air Force pilot with whom I flew during the War in Southeast Asia, known to most as the Vietnam War - and to his wife, Leslie, for their capable assistance in editing my "Artist's Statement." I am rich by anyone's standards in having such wonderful friends!




Southeast Asia

The Thunderbirds


American Wildlife

Arches National Park



Backyard Photography

Birds of the World

Black and White Photography

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Congaree National Park

Contre Jour

Crater Lake National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Everglades National Park


Flowers & Plants

Galapagos Archipelago

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Great Basin National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Honoring America's Fallen

iPhone 7 Photography

Isle Royale National Park

Jekyll Island Georgia

Joshua Tree National Park



Mesa Verde National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

National Monuments Forests Refuges & Other Parks


North Carolina

Olympic National Park


Petrified Forest National Park



Saguaro National Park

Seascapes Lakes and Waterways

Shibui Photography

South and Central America

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Shenandoah National Park


Sunrises & Moonrises

Sunsets & Moonsets

The Blue Hour

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Underwater Photography


Virginia Military Institute

Voyageurs National Park


Washington DC


Weather and Other Forces


Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park