ALCOA, Tenn. — Brian Shults discovered digital photography about 13 years-ago. The avid fisherman and hunter put down his bow.

"The hunting fell to the wayside when the photography came along. I would rather be in the woods taking pictures than sitting in a tree stand," he said. 

Oh, the pictures he takes. From tiny subjects to snow-covered landscapes to majestic creatures at home in the wild. 

Raccoon by Brian Shults
Raccoon by Brian Shults
Brian Shults

The latest TWRA Calendar features his shot of an elk wading through a stream. His photo is the only one by an East Tennessee photographer chosen this year. 

"It's always an honor to get published. But even if I didn't get published I would still be doing it. I just love it." 

It takes a good eye, patience, making the camera do what he wants. 

What does it take to get the perfect shot? 

"The perfect light," he said. "The sun and the fog that's what I love." 

Deer by Brian Shults
Deer by Brian Shults
Brian Shults

He captured a photo in the fog just last week. It's his favorite animal: a white-tailed deer. His portfolio includes a lot of deer. 

A photo of the three bears is his most popular and his bestseller. 

Three bears by Brian Shults
Three bears by Brian Shults
Brian Shults

"It's one of my favorites too," he said. "It was just one of those days where I was walking through the woods and there was a mama bear and three cubs and I was all alone with them and everything was just perfect and I just stayed with them for a little while." 

He took the photo from a safe distance, more than 50-yards away. 

"They were just playing and all the sudden I moved a little bit and they all perked up and looked." 

Brian Shults finds fewer places to publish his work, his art, his view of East Tennessee through the lens of a camera. 

Photographer Brian Shults
Photographer Brian Shults
WBIR

"Wildlife photography like I do, the magazines are just falling by the wayside. I've lost three good magazines I dealt within the last five years," he said. 

He will continue to capture wildlife in photos.

"I just love it."

RELATED: Tips to take great wildlife photos