Check out the new Live Preview feature on your phone or tablet.  It allows you to see a photo to scale on your wall!

Your shopping cart is empty.

Your shopping cart is empty.

About Ray > Meet Ray

Meet Ray

Ray is a nature photographer, who when not traveling is either in Cameron, Montana or Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He likes to say that he has "bookended" his life with photography.  Ray's interest in photography began when he had to stop playing high school sports--and roller skating--when he developed a knee condition.  His dad gave him an old Argus C4 film camera and Ray fell in love with photography.  After high school, he was hired by Ed Boden of Boden Studios in Georgetown, KY while he attended college.  In addition to his work with Ed at weddings and studio work, Ed also arranged for him to be the photographer for the campus newspaper and yearbook.  Ed was generous in making sure Ray stayed busy with enough photography jobs to pay his way through college. "Ed was my first photography mentor, and ultimately became a friend," Ray says with gratitude. "I owe a lot to him."

After college, Ray enlisted in the US Army as a Psychology Specialist (his major) during the Viet Nam war. After a 9-month assignment at Letterman Army Hospital, Ray was selected as one of the people to go to Camp Zama, Japan and help establish the Army's drug and alcohol program. "I had planned on continuing a career in photography, but I really became fascinated by addictions," he explains.  After leaving the army in 1973, Ray was hired by the state of KY to set up the first community-based nonmedical detox program in the state--only the 3rd such program in the nation.  A year later, at the ripe old age of 24, Ray was hired as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Alcoholism Council. When he attempted to instutute stateside alcohol and drug education program he realized there was a problem. While treatment seemed to be working, there were no alcohol and drug education programs that had demonstrated success.  Worse, some actually led to increases in use.  So, Ray set out to figure out why.  After three years of reading hundreds of studies, and conducting some original studies with researchers at the University of KY and Eastern KY University, Ray figured it out.  He developed a new paradigm of how addictions develop, and a small group motivational intervention that seemed to work. After a year-long controlled study, evidence suggested the program did indeed bring behavior changes with both adults and adolescents. Ray then founded the nonprofit, Prevention Research Institute and began making the Prime for Life program available nationally--and ultimately, internationally.

Over the next 35 years, Ray's work took him to all 50 states and 24 countries--and he usually traveled with camera in hand. After a time, it became apparent he had a body of images that people wanted to see.  He then created Our Beautiful World to share his work, and with it, a "retirement" career. Ray tells the story of how  on a two-week photo expedition photographing bears and whales in Alaska, he realized he wanted to bookend his life with photography--this time with it being nature photography.  "I was spellbound by the whales bubble net feeding, and by the Coastal Brown Bears in the wilderness.  I stood at my tripod watching the bears one day, and knew this was how I wanted to live out my life." 

Ray has a unique approach to nature photography that was influenced by what he learned about addictions. "When a brain researcher shared with me her images showing how the brain 'lights up' when a heavy user sees even a photo of a glass of beer, I knew it had broader implications. As research progressed, it demonstrated that this is not unique to drugs.  Anytime we see something that excites us, our brain reacts in that way.  I knew that was how my brain responds when I see a compelling site I want to photograph," says Ray.  "I then realized that the brain sees the world in symbols--pictures if you will.  Not only that, our brain is designed to filter out anything other than what has captured our attention.  We look at something that grabs us and our brain zooms in, blurs out  what is irrelevant to our experience, and captures an image." Ray explains,  "The most sophisticated camera we will ever own is the one in our brain.  The task is to figure out what image our brain has captured--that is what we are responding to.  It is not the scene that moves us, it is what are brain has selected from that scene and served up to us. Once we learn to decipher that image, and then learn how to make the camera re-create that image, that is when our photographs can become art."

Ray is happy to share those images with you, and welcomes your comments.  Go ahead--send him an email:



1c crunched snajej
1c crunched snajej

Trusted Art Seller

The presence of this badge signifies that this business has officially registered with the Art Storefronts Organization and has an established track record of selling art.

It also means that buyers can trust that they are buying from a legitimate business. Art sellers that conduct fraudulent activity or that receive numerous complaints from buyers will have this badge revoked. If you would like to file a complaint about this seller, please do so here.

2b crunched ctmrym
2b crunched ctmrym

Verified Returns & Exchanges

The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this business has provided a returns & exchanges policy for all art purchases.

Description of Policy from Merchant:

We provide a lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship. In the event you are dissatisfied, call us at (502) 603-2888. Learn more at:

3c crunched udpkob
3c crunched udpkob

Verified Secure Website with Safe Checkout

This website provides a secure checkout with SSL encryption.

4b crunched foaiql

Verified Archival Materials Used

The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this Art Seller has published information about the archival materials used to create their products in an effort to provide transparency to buyers.

Description from Merchant:

Only archival materials are used in printing and storing all art from this site. For more information see: and

4b crunched foaiql
Saved Successfully.

This is only visible to you because you are logged in and are authorized to manage this website. This message is not visible to other website visitors.


Import From Instagram

Click on any Image to continue

Create a New Favorite List


Badge ar compatible

The above preview shows how to use the live preview on this website. The image displayed is just an example, and is not available for sale.

Badge ar compatible

This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!


Manage Favorites

Below, select which favorite lists you would like to save this product into.


Sign Me Up!


To receive my free blogs, enter your email below and I'll email you a 20% OFF CODE right now!

  • Ray's Photo and Travel Blogs
  • E-mail only specials
  • Notices of new images added

= required