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Friday 22 June 2012


Red Canoe in Algonquin
Red Canoe in Algonquin - Click for larger

(Above image published in the Summer 2012 issue of ON Nature magazine)

It's not always the fun part, although I love getting paid for what I do. The business aspect of photography takes up the majority of our time. If it were just clicking the shutter this would be a very simple business. It is a lot of hard work and grueling hours at the computer. Phone calls, emails and dealing with clients can eat up your day. Not to mention, backups, processing and adding the captions, keywords and other metadata. Labrador Iceberg
Labrador Iceberg - Click for larger

(Above image selected as Editors Choice, National Association of Photoshop Professionals June 21, 2012)

It's not why we got into this. It wasn’t for recognition or the money. It was for the shear joy of capturing a moment, a slice of time that inspires and shows the wonder of the world. But eventually, you have to sell to keep doing it. Publish or perish.

I remember the first time I had a nature image published. It was very exciting. I think I got $50 for it. It was a cow moose from Algonquin. That image is no longer in my database of images. I probably still have it somewhere but it is not as good as the moose images I have now. Still, it was the beginning and holds a special place in my memory. I'm still a regular contributor to that magazine 20 years later.

There is an energy that is released when you get published. It's validation and yes; it helps the ego although it is best to keep that in check. You must remember there are so many great images out there. I am just a very small part of a very large industry. St. Lawrence River
St. Lawrence River - Click for larger

(Above image published in the May 2012 issue of Canadian Geographic Travel magazine)

I often don’t get to see my published images. If they are sold by one of our many agencies, we get a quarterly statement and a cheque. The statement indicates what image sold, what rights where sold and how and where geographically it was used. It does not list the company or publication. So we rarely see most of our images in print. If we sell it directly to a client, we ask for copies. However many of our sales are through an agent. Killarney Provincial Park
Killarney Provincial Park - Click for larger

Many years ago, a photographer friend of mine saw the above image in the United Airlines in flight magazine. Photographers often read the credit line. He noticed my name and grabbed several copies for me. He knew it was very important to have examples of published work and I'm grateful that he sent them along.

We continue to establish new clients on our own: Meadowlark

(Above image published in the October/November 2011 issue of National Wildlife magazine)

Getting and keeping new clients is what it is all about when it comes down to business. That takes time and hard work. There is no way around it.

Selling your work changes the dynamic of your photography. In some ways it takes some of the fun out of it. In other ways, it adds joy and a sense of accomplishment.

Dinosaur Provincial Park
Dinosaur Provincial Park - Click for larger

(Above image published online at: National Geographic Travel Trip Ideas)

Whatever you do, there is a cycle. The cycle of photography is not really complete until you show the image somehow. Whether it is published or printed and hung on the wall, it all starts with your eye and what is in front of you.

After all these years, the process is still fun, challenging and rewarding.

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Sunday 17 June 2012

Pent-up Energy

Lately we have been doing a lot of reorganizing of old images to consolidate our database and spending far too much time indoors for my taste. I felt like I had my creative edge back and yet here I was sitting at a computer. But last week we finally decided to get out of town for a few days. We risked the bugs and the weather and headed to Killarney Provincial Park. Georgian Bay Islands
Georgian Bay Islands - Click for larger
Our friend James Toth joined us for a few days of paddling and photography. It's difficult for us to travel with non-photographers. Most people do not want to get up before the sun and risk extreme blood loss from all the biting insects. But James being the fine photographer that he is was up for the adventure. James Kayaking in Killarney
James Kayaking in Killarney - Click for larger
We did a bit of hiking and paddling. There was a lot to see: orchids in bloom, bears, loons, frogs, and some wonderful scenery. Pink Lady's Slippers
Pink Lady's Slippers - Click for larger
Female Black Bear
Female Black Bear - Click for larger
Bullfrog - Click for larger
 Cranberry Bog, Killarney
Cranberry Bog, Killarney - Click for larger
I tried to use my 500mm f4 lens in the canoe. It is so difficult to do. Great when it works but it is so big that using it on a tripod really limits the angle of view. Sometimes it is worth the aggravation and sometimes it is not. I used my 70-200 quite a bit as well. Common Loon on Nest
Common Loon on Nest - Click for larger
Our intention was to get some new loon images. James spotted the one above sitting on a nest on top of a beaver lodge. We saw several and they would swim quite close. We could even watch them swim under the canoe! I didn’t get a photo of the loons underwater but I will never forget the sight. Common Loon
Common Loon - Click for larger
There was so much going on, it was difficult to leave. Lori and I extended our stay for a few days. We had an event to attend in Toronto on Friday so eventually we had to head back. All in all, we had a great week and have many new images to prep. This was a nice warm up for the summer shoot. Female Common Merganser
Female Common Merganser - Click for larger
When we arrived home, the cardinal nest in my backyard had 2 hatchlings. The parents were busy feeding the young. I set up my camera in my dining room and spent most of the day photographing their activity out through the back window. Northern Cardinals at Nest
Northern Cardinals at Nest - Click for larger
I have so much pent up energy. I’m really looking forward to getting on the road!

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