Ethical photography…

we need to make a shift.

Any tool can be used for good or bad. It’s really the ethics of the artist using it.

John Knoll

It was a beautiful winter day. The snow had stopped falling and the temperature had inched up to just past the point where it was no longer holding the landscape in its frozen clutches.

I decided to go for a drive and check out some local parks. It seemed like I was not alone with that idea and it gave me some insights.

The biggest being just how disruptive some photographers can be. Often I will park my Jeep and just sit for awhile, watching, getting a feel for the space, seeing what animals may be in the area.

If nothing appears, I might head out in search of sign: I love to photograph tracks and fresh snow is such a perfect opportunity to do so.

The internet is full of stories about staged wildlife shots: animals glued so that they remain stationary and the photographer can then get that “perfect” one in a million wildlife shot. I was surprised at the lack of consideration shown for the wildlife on this day. Drivers speeding by, others leaping out, cellphones in hand and in the process scaring the animals.

I think as photographers we need to become more respectful of the environments that we’re photographing in and give animals a little space, keep the wild in wildlife. Become more respectful too of other photographers who may be waiting patiently for wildlife to naturally enter their frame.

I almost always travel with my telephoto lens on my camera and a wide angle in my pack. If something of interest appears, I can easily grab the shot without disturbing the wildlife and if nothing appears I can switch over to the wide angle for some landscapes.

A national park recently began not publishing bear spottings because of the hoards of people that would show up and stress the animals by following them and invading their space.

Each year we hear of animals having to be euthanized because of their habituation to humans. Something to think about…

Note: The image above was shot with a telephoto from inside my vehicle.



black and white landscape with snow and blowing wind

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.

Henry David Thoreau

The wind chill was -29 degrees Celsius, -20 Farenheit. Bitterly cold and bone chilling but as we descended into the valley I couldn’t resist jumping out to capture this minimalist landscape.

The hills were reminiscent of waves and I was reminded of my times at sea. Only during winter could a prairie landscape take on the characteristics of the ocean.

Nature is amazing…make time for it.


in the snow.

What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.

William Albert Allard

One of the reasons that I absolutely love winter photography! It’s like having a clean canvas, uncluttered and primed.

Today was bitterly cold with periods of heavy snow but it was also the perfect day to spot pheasants: often overlooked as they blend so easily into ground vegetation.

Freezing fingers, wet gear…all so worth it! I believe that’s part of the magic of photography. Heading outdoors with no expectations and finding a little magic somewhere.

And tired out dogs…that’s a good thing too.

What?? Dale Chihuly…

in Waterton?

Choose only one master-nature.


Some weeks are tougher than others and it’s hard to not take on what others may be going through. With that in mind today called for a road trip and as always we were not disappointed.

Some of you know me from my past life as a glass artist. My years of learning the technical side of product photography, when I had to photograph my glass for exhibit entries, reminded me of just how much I loved photography and nature, so I followed my heart and packed up my glass for good.

Today was a reminder of that past life after the right combination of wind and freezing temperatures created a glass sculpture like effect upon the shores of Waterton Lake in Alberta, Canada. Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculpture artist and much of his work lies in environmental artwork.

I remain in awe of what nature creates and today was one of those memorable ones that reminds me that it’s almost always about the water.