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Wednesday 16 April 2008

The Landscape

Perce, Quebec
I guess it’s what I do. I’m a landscape photographer. It seems so simple. Get up early, get into position and hope for fabulous light. There is the odd issue that crops up: long drives, bad food, cheap motels, or a leaky tent. And then there’s the bugs - lots of bugs, leaches, spiders and ticks. I have been covered in wood ticks. Lori calls me a “tick magnet”. Clever girl.

I started with a modest amount of equipment. It easily fit into a small backpack – just a couple of camera bodies, a wide angle to medium telephoto and a macro lens. I would head out for a week or two at a time, sometimes by car, sometimes by canoe. I would look, listen and learn. I didn’t have a long lens. Often I would see animals and birds and think, that would make a beautiful photo but it’s out of my reach. Instead I concentrated on the landscape and the beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

After a few years I could afford a big lens. I bought a used manual focus Canon 500 f 4.5. It was real sharp and I got pretty good with it. So I started to shoot both landscape and wildlife. I joked with a friend, “When I’m looking for landscape images I see wildlife. And when I’m looking for wildlife I see landscapes.”

I started to go prepared for everything. I got a huge backpack and added medium format to my tool box. This meant I had to have one set of lenses for my 35 mm equipment and another for my 6X7 system. I have to admit, I did get some good images because I carried all my equipment with me, but it wasn’t much fun with all that stuff on my back.
I seem to have lost my way in the past few years. I have lost touch with what I do.
With high-resolution digital cameras, I only carry one system now so it’s easier for me to carry everything. But more and more, I want to get back to the landscape. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love photographing animals and birds. I just don’t think I can do both really well. For the first time in ten years, we don’t have a big road trip planned. I’m hoping to wander in Ontario and get back to what I think I do best - waiting and dreaming of light touching a beautiful Canadian scene.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whichever you do, landscape or wildlife, you do a beautiful job, Ron. I admire the hard work and rough living you go through to find the perfect photo. I always enjoy seeing the results!

16 April 2008 at 15:29  
Blogger Beck said...

EEEEEEEK! That TICK! Have you heard MY tick story, how I went camping for the first time as an adult and got sick and had to be treated? Now I'm TERRIFIED of them....

I hope you find lots of great, tick-free landscapes.

16 April 2008 at 18:21  

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