Jay collier, canon collective ambassador
By any measure the Canon Collective program is an ambitious one. The key objective is to assist photographers at all levels to improve their skills, but the program’s scope and extent is unlike anything that’s been seen in Australia before. Jay Collier, who is a Canon Collective Ambassador, explains, “Canon Collective provides outstanding photographic experiences and workshops which cater for all levels of photography, from beginners to intermediate to advanced, and across every type of photography you can imagine, providing around 50 workshops across Australia each week.
“As a Canon Collective ambassador, my role is to develop and deliver photographic workshops across Victoria weekly. Workshops span a wide array of subjects and styles, and cater to anyone with a passion for photography regardless of where they are with their experience as photographers. Ambassadors also produce high-end experiences and international photo tours, taking guests to some of the greatest photographic destinations in the world with a complete complement of Canon gear.”
One of these high-end experiences was a recent trip to Lake Eyre to witness a rare flooding (see the images on these pages).
“The recent four-day tour to Lake Eyre was a concept I had been developing over the past two years. The tour itself was to take a small group on an aerial and landscape-based tour of Lake Eyre that would provide all the guests with ample opportunity to create some truly unique images from the air and on the ground. With ten hours of airtime available, we were able to shoot with the aircraft’s rear cargo door open, which is a great advantage when taking aerial landscapes for uninterrupted views. This allowed four guests to be seated with clear views out of the door, and also for guests to rotate seating positions when the door was closed mid-flight. Each flight gave guests three hours at a time to explore Lake Eyre South, Lake Eyre North and also the truly unique painted hills.”
Additionally, the Canon Collective supplied fullframe 35mm SLRs and various lenses for the guests to try out — although Jay says many members already have either their own EOS 5D Mark IV or EOS-1D X Mark II. The lenses available included the 16-35mm, 24-105mm, 70-200mm and 100-400mm.
Jay Collier has been a keen photographer since his days at high school.
“I started back in Year Nine when photography became an elective subject. I recall the day I shot and developed my first roll of black and white film, seeing the first photo appear under the red safe lights of my high school darkroom. I was instantly hooked.
“From school I worked extensively in the music industry, photographing live music and doing PR work for many of Australia’s and overseas' biggest bands. From 2004 I travelled Africa and found my true calling as a wildlife photographer. I've been leading photographic tours to Africa since 2009 professionally, and have worked for Canon Australia since 2006.
“African wildlife is my biggest passion as a photographer, having travelled year-on-year since 2004 to many of Africa’s great wildlife locations. Having worked with Canon and also working as a photo guide for Denis Glennon from Iconic Images International since 2010 has seen me specialise in this field with many hours under my belt.
“As a Canon Collective ambassador I teach many styles of photography and I’m just as comfortable teaching studio lighting techniques as I am longlens technique on safari… and every other type of photography in between. I truly feel that while the technical side of photography is important, the creative side is far more important. I feel great photographers are not too far removed from great musicians and it’s those with a natural flair or eye or creative composition and work that stand out above the highly technical. Photographic style is what I feel makes all the difference when work jumps out at me.”
For more information about the Canon Collective and details of upcoming events happening around Australia visit www.canon.com.au/collective