Pho­tog­ra­phy com­mu­ni­cat­ing with na­ture

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - PJ WIl­son

even dur­ing “the drabbest fall ever,” there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for shut­ter­bugs to pre­serve mem­o­ries with their cam­eras.

“the colours are not par­tic­u­larly vi­brant,” Paul chivers ex­plained to a group of cam­era en­thu­si­asts satur­day at the Lau­rier Woods trails at an in­ter­pre­tive hike fo­cus­ing on na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy for the novice.

chivers, who has been a na­ture pho­tog­ra­pher for al­most 40 years, told the small group that de­spite dis­mal con­di­tions satur­day morn­ing, it’s still pos­si­ble to find some breath­tak­ing shots.

you just have to make al­lowances for the con­di­tions.

there was heavy over­cast, he ex­plained, so the em­pha­sis in those con­di­tions is to avoid the sky and “con­cen­trate on the details.

“Iso­late lit­tle pieces of the for­est,” he said, any­thing from in­di­vid­ual leaves to bark, the pat­terns that present them­selves among the tree trunks or on the board­walks.

chivers says more peo­ple are turn­ing to pho­tog­ra­phy as they be­come more aware and con­cerned about the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Pho­tog­ra­phy al­lows peo­ple a cre­ative out­let, and a lot of peo­ple, na­ture pho­tog­ra­phers, find in it a way to com­mu­ni­cate with na­ture.”

Pho­tog­ra­phy, he says, “helps ex­plain the con­nec­tions be­tween peo­ple and na­ture. I look at it as a jour­ney in dis­cov­ery. It opens your eyes to things you might not oth­er­wise no­tice.”

Pho­tog­ra­phy, he said, is highly in­di­vid­ual.

“to­day, we might all stand in front of the same scene, and we will all come back with a dozen dif­fer­ent pic­tures. I think that in­di­vid­ual in­ter­pre­ta­tion, that op­por­tu­nity for in­di­vid­ual in­ter­pre­ta­tion, is what at­tracts peo­ple.”

the ad­vent of dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy has also had a pro­found ef­fect on photo en­thu­si­asts, he said.

“you look at the back of the cam­era and right away you can see what you have cap­tured. you can get im­me­di­ate feed­back, and that al­lows a pho­tog­ra­pher to grow quicker. It al­lows the skill level to ad­vance quicker.”

a pho­tog­ra­pher now, he said, can see what they have done right – or wrong – im­me­di­ately and mod­ify their ap­proaches, in­stead of wait­ing a week for their ex­posed film and prints.

It has also pre­vented a lot of “dashed hopes” for what was some­times a once-in-a-life­time shot that didn’t quite work out.

“those kinds of things are now avoid­able,” he said.

this fall, chivers said, has been a dis­ap­point­ment colour-wise. the nor­mally bright reds and yel­lows of the chang­ing leaves have been ab­sent, while there are a lot more browns in the leaves.

the ses­sion was one of a num­ber of in­ter­pre­tive hikes of­fered by the Friends of Lau­rier Woods through the sum­mer and au­tumn.

there is no charge for the in­ter­pre­tive hikes, and par­tic­i­pants are re­minded to wear ap­pro­pri­ate footwear.

PJ WIl­son / THE NuGGET

Pho­tog­ra­pher Paul Chivers takes aim at Lau­rier Woods, Satur­day.

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