Great White Egret

"Great White Egret" by Joe B. Guinn

Guinn goes "Off the Beaten Path" for nature photos

Joe B. GuinnPhotographer Joe B. Guinn knows he has to get "off the beaten path" for the best nature shots. A new exhibit at the Delta Heritage Center, Brownsville, offers a look at his work featuring scenes of West Tennessee. The exhibition Off the Beaten Path: Scenes of West Tennessee can be seen daily now through September 7. A special artist reception will be held Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m.

Birds and nature caught Guinn's eye at an early age. Once he got a camera in hand, this Tennessee native began to focus on his natural surroundings.

"My favorite photographic challenges are landscapes," says Guinn.

College and a career took him away from the area. When he returned in the 1970s, he discovered his beloved Hatchie River forest and wetlands had dramatically changed. And "not for the better," according to Guinn.

This prompted him to begin the project of photographing what remains of the Hatchie's fragile untouched wetlands and deep forest areas. Off the Beaten Path depicts life in the wetlands and river valleys that include the Hatchie, Reelfoot Lake and Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. Guinn captures this beauty using only natural light and his photos are untouched, except for an occasional cropping.

"Guinn is able to capture the heart of the river valley," says Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the Delta Heritage Center. "Through his photos, we are able to get a glimpse of life most would never be able to see."

There are also permanent photos on exhibit in the Hatchie River Museum at the Center, according to Clark.

His work has been featured by the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy and Environmental Action Fund. Guinn was awarded a Wildlife Conservation Award by Haywood County in 1996. His most extensive exhibit has been in Nashville at Cheekwood Museum.

The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. The public is also invited to meet the artist at a special reception Thursday, June 27, from 6-8 p.m. To learn more about the artist visit

Joe B. Guinn is a native West Tennessean who's love for birds and nature began at a young age. His photographs are on exhibit at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville through September 7.

"Great White Egret" is just one of over 30 photos, by Photographer Joe B. Guinn, available for viewing during the exhibition Off the Beaten Path: Scenes of West Tennessee now through September 7 at the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. Guinn's work features nature scenes from Tennessee to the Mississippi rivers and points in between.