Today, I’m a full-time rabid nature photographer whose major focus is conservation. I reside in the southern Columbia Valley of British Columbia, wedged between the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Purcells to the west, with my longtime partner Patti and our two almost human Portuguese Water Dogs – Jose and Poncho. The area in which I live has been called the “Serengeti of North America.” It’s not a bad place for a nature photographer to live, I say with my tongue firmly in place in my cheek!
I currently concentrate my photographic efforts in North America and, in particular, western Canada.
I use the term “nature photographer” to describe myself, rather than the more limiting terms of “wildlife photographer” or “bird photographer” or even “bear photographer” (though I suspect some of the locals in the community in which I live probably think I’m a bit of a “bear nut”). I’m keen to aim my camera at anything “natural”, though I rarely shoot landscapes, mainly because I don’t feel my preferred camera format – the SLR camera – is the right tool for quality landscape work.
My photographic goal is to extract and expose the natural art that is all around us. My workflow is driven totally by image quality, not speed. The approach that works best for me is to concentrate on locations that are “close to home” where I can become intimately familiar with the local flora and fauna, their annual cycles, and the area’s lighting characteristics. I normally take one or two annual trips to slightly more exotic locations, such as BC’s Great Bear Rainforest or Churchill, MB (also known as “Polar Bear Central”).
A few of my personality characteristics directly impact on my photography: I’m incredibly determined and persistent (some would say stubborn), somewhat anal (although I prefer the term “perfectionist”), observant and analytical (which comes from spending a lot of time studying birds in the field), and very comfortable with technology. And, more important than anything else, a natural early riser.
What pathway led me to where I am today? A somewhat indirect one, but it all makes sense to me: Biologist, Lecturer, Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner, Communications Consultant, Hi Tech Worker, and finally, Nature Photographer.