I’ve had fun, these past couple of weeks, working with my photography. I left my previous job (consultant geologist to the mining industry) ten years ago to focus on my outdoor and nature photography, both here in Clayoquot Sound and around the world. After a few years, I started writing, too – I found it easier to sell my photos to magazines if I could offer an article with them. In 2004 I published my first book, The Wild Edge, which I both wrote and photographed, and since then it seems I have been gradually spending more of my time on writing and less on photography.
But last month, the West Vancouver Memorial Library contacted me and asked if I wanted to put together a show of my photos. What an opportunity – of course I said yes! So I’ve been frantically preparing images, getting them printed, and now I am framing. And what a good feeling it is, seeing these images printed large.
I remember when I first started to print and display my photos, a decade or so ago. I had been photographing “seriously” for twenty years by then – I’m not saying I was “good” that whole time, but I had been working hard at improving myself: learning the technical stuff, and being ultra-critical about my own work so I could continue improving. But all of that time, all of the photos that I had taken were slides stashed away in little boxes. Once I started doing slideshows, and printing and framing my works – once I started showing them to people – I realized that’s what it’s all about.
I don’t photograph for myself. I photograph because I want to share what I see and what I feel when I am out there; I want to put a frame around a little part of it, and take it back home to share with others. Not many people get to see wild animals in the wilderness these days, and that’s something that’s really important for me. To show wild animals living where they belong: in their natural setting – not captive, not on the “wild game farms”, where so many “wild” animals are photographed these days – but to show the extensive habitat they need to survive. (We need those wild areas to be intact, in order for us to survive, too).
So I’ve had some good fun these last few weeks, going through images and readying them for exhibition. I still haven’t made the final selection of what will and won’t be shown – there will be between 30 and 40 prints on display all together – but I’m offering you a sneak preview of some of them here.
And if you are in or around Vancouver, I invite you to come down and see them all! They will be on display for all of June and July, at the West Vancouver Memorial Library (1950 Marine Drive), open daily (and free entry, of course!). And please, leave a comment here and let me know what you think…