Prattan Mike Blair has spent the last five years putting together a new outdoors Kansas video series that will premier on KPTS Channel 8 on Friday, April 6 at 8 p.m. and at 10:30 p.m. on Fridays on KSN.
The images are striking and they reveal the abundant beauty in Kansas just outside the front door. Mike Blair of Pratt has assembled some amazing outdoor video that will start airing on TV this weekend.
The first of his 22 Kansas "Wild Edge" videos will show at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6 on Channel 8 and be shown every week at the same time. They will be also be shown at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday nights on KSN Channel 3.
Blair has had video on public television before but this is the first time he has had a sponsor. His series has also been picked up by Oklahoma Educational Television Authority.
"OETA is the gold standard. It's been accepted there," Blair said. "It's trying to take off and I'm working hard to help it do that. It's growing in the right direction."
Kansas Wild Edge will be shown on KPTS Positively Kansas, a 30 minute show that features the best of Kansas. Blair's Kansas Wild Edge are five minute segments that feature Kansas wildlife and scenery. There are very few wildlife programs out there that feature only wildlife scenes. Blair videos only show true wildlife. Nothing is done at a zoo. Blair has been working on this project for five years. He is just now getting it into broadcast. He's glad it's taking off.
His first show is Outdoor Connections that shows people enjoying the wind and weather.
On his videos, he does a voice over explaining what is happening and has music to embellish the video experience.
"I even write and produce a lot of my own music to avoid copyright hassles," Blair said.
Blair does all the production on his video. He spends many hours away from home traveling the state filming five to six hours a day and some times even after dark. He has to work in all kinds of weather in all seasons. Sometimes he has to wait a long time to get exactly what he wants.
"Animals don't want to work with you," Blair said.
Then its back home where he downloads his video then works on production, sometimes until 1 a.m. the next morning before he goes to bed. He spends a lot of days scouting out locations to make the most of his time.
Blair said he has been doing this for so long, it's easy for him to put a video segment together.
Everything on Positively Kansas has to be Kansas based and Blair's video is a perfect match.
Blair has been photographing and videoing the natural beauty in Kansas for decades and this series will concentrate on what's just outside the front door.
"Most people think they have to leave town to see something spectacular," Blair said. "My goal is to show the beauty and natural wonders in our own back yard."
People don't have to travel far so see some amazing things. There are minks learning to catch crawdads at the Pratt County Veteran's Memorial Lake.
About 90 percent of Blair's videos will be Kansas wildlife with the rest focusing on the land and weather across the state. His video captures wild turkey, prairie chicken, raccoons, water fowl and numerous other wildlife that can be found close to home.
Blair wants his videos to inspire and teach nature to children. He often uses his grandson in his photos. He wants to show with his camera how much a youngster can learn in the outdoor environment.
"There are stories all around us," Blair said.