Archive for Photographer of the Month

Photographer of the Month – Michael Bednar

Posted in Photographer of the Month with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2009 by Darwin

I have been lucky to meet some really amazing photographers on my photo tours. Often I am surprised that photographers of world class calibre sign up for my field sessions. I mean really…what can I offer them that they don’t already have? But then I realize the reason they sign up:  these photographers know that learning never stops and that we all have something to learn from each other. They are open and giving people who do as well as they do because they don’t let their egos trip them up. As photographers, we all grow by sharing. Photographers who ‘keep secrets’ are the ones I see wither up and get bitter. The photographers who share, who network, who give as much or more than they take are the ones that blossom. And best of all, the photographers who are genuine, who are decent souls and who care about other people are often the photographers who create work that matters.

I first met Michael Bednar from Vancouver on one of my tours, and I was struck not only by his amazing work but also by how wonderful he was as a human. If you do not know of Michael’s stellar photography, please check out his website. And also please check out his Real People, Real Lives project. Not only is Michael a photographer who matters, but his photo projects are stories that matter. Thanks Michael for the inspiration!

©Michael Bednar


Photographer of the Month – Frank Grisdale

Posted in Photographer of the Month with tags , , , on September 7, 2009 by Darwin

When I first stumbled across the fine art photography of Frank Grisdale I was floored. I have seen many attempts at ‘painterly’ photographs that fail, or worse, that look like samples of Photoshop’s art filters gone bad. Frank’s work trancends gimmicks, and has power and resonance. It is impressionistic, abstract, moody and ephemeral. The compositions are spare yet full of space. Frank truly paints with his camera and knows how to swirl and dab with colour, line and form. A visit to his website will confirm that photography is art, and this artist is masterful! I am super inspired – thanks Frank!

©Frank Grisdale

©Frank Grisdale

Photographer of the Month – Bruce Percy

Posted in Photographer of the Month with tags , , , , on June 14, 2009 by Darwin

I was introduced to Bruce Percy’s work by a fellow photographer who told me “you need to see this guy’s podcasts they are stunning!” Indeed when I checked out the podcasts, I saw amazing imagery, wonderful narration (a calming and captivating voice), and high production standards. Later I found out that Bruce produces his own slideshows and writes and performs the music. This is one talented fellow! Even without the podcasts, the imagery of Bruce is ethereal and moving. And Bruce shows us once again that it not the camera nor the medium that matters but the vision of the artist. Check out Bruce’s work, you’ll be glad you did!


Photographer of the Month – May 2009

Posted in Artistic Development, Photographer of the Month with tags , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by Darwin

A few months ago I thought I had a brilliant idea. I walk my dog, Brando, three times a day and it finally dawned on me that if I took a camera on our walks I could capture those little things I usually notice on my walks. So I started taking my Canon G9 with me and gave myself a project called “Walks with Brando”. I have already made a couple of really nice photos and am excited by the idea. I was feeling pretty clever!

Well… then I stumbled upon the photoblog of Diane Varner and guess what? She has been doing a Daily Walk  with her dog Boomer and posting the resulting pictures on her blog since 2005!  And the photos are not just happy snaps but top tier work that showcase the mystical, the quiet, the intimate and the openness of her surroundings. Few photographers I know of have created such an amazingly diverse body of work from their local surroundings. Closeups of insects, intimate moments in the lives of people and animals, graphic details in small scenes, to robust and dramatic grand landscapes; Diane can capture it all in her evocative style!

Besides being talented behind the camera, Diane is adept at Photoshop which she uses to accent the beauty of her sensitive in-camera captures. And for you guys who think it is all about gear, Diane’s arsenal consists of a Canon 30d,  and 17-40 F4L, 70-200 f4L and a 100mm macro lens. Just goes to show once again that what you need for fantastic photography is an eye and motivation… not expensive gear.

Bookmark Diane’s blog and be surprised and moved by her new additions each week. Diane please give Boomer a pat from all your fans and thanks him for inspiring you with a daily walk!

©Diane Varner

©Diane Varner

Photographer of the Month – April 2009

Posted in Image Processing and Software, Photographer of the Month with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by Darwin
©Tony Kuyper

©Tony Kuyper

This month I want to highlight the amazing work of Tony Kuyper.  Tony’s work in the deserts of the American southwest is not just more of the same old, same old. Tony offers a fresh eye and perspective on this oft photographed landscape. I love Tony’s abstract, graphic images and his feel for colour, light and design. His vision of the desert is fresh and exciting.

When you look at Tony’s images, you immediately notice the finely crafted compositions and the sensitive eye to capture, in a stunning way, what most of us would simply overlook. Look closer at Tony’s images and you will notice immaculate and superb processing skills. Tony knows how to use Photoshop to translate his vison of the world into a fine print. I have several of Tony’s prints and they are absolutely stunning!

The great thing about Tony is his open and willing nature to share with others. Many photographers that develop a specialized technique for shooting or processing images guard their ‘secrets’ jealously. Tony does just the opposite; he happily shares his in-depth knowledge about Photoshop and offers numerous tutorials  on his unique processes for digital darkroom work.

I have seen many tutorials on Photoshop by many photographers and most often these tutorials add nothing useful to my own workflow. But Tony’s Photoshop tutorials and actions are different, they are incredibly useful and functional especially for landscape photographers. I particularly like his luminosity masks and the automated actions he created for masking have been one of the most useful additions to my processing workflow! I now use luminosity masks on about 75% of the images I process. I am not sure how I lived without using Tony’s luminosity masks!

If you want to take your image processing to the next level and if you use Photoshop, I highly recommend all of Tony’s tutorials. Thanks Tony, for the great ideas, wonderful images and your sharing nature!

Photographer of the Month – February 2009

Posted in Photographer of the Month with tags , , , , on February 6, 2009 by Darwin

This month I am pleased to feature the photography of Paolo de Faveri. I first became aware of Paolo’s photography over at Nature Photographers online forum. It is not often that I actively await and search out a specific photographer’s work online but Paolo’s work is amazing–I just can’t wait to see what he posts next!

Over the last little while Paolo has posted some winter work that just floors me with its elegance and mood. Check out his Winter 2009 – The Frozen Landscape gallery! The B+W photos of ‘lines of trees in snow’ are particularily evocative for me .  But don’t stop there, see Paolo’s recent works and Essentials galleries as well.

Paolo has a large format book available for purchase that looks really great (mine will be ordered shortly!) and of course a stunning collection of prints from this Italian master of landscape photography. Thanks Paolo for the constant inspiration! Darwin 

Photo by Paolo de Faveri

Photo by Paolo de Faveri

Photographer of the Month – January 2009

Posted in Photographer of the Month with tags , , , , , , on January 16, 2009 by Darwin

Each month I highlight a photographer who has work I really admire. This month I want to introduce Youssef Ismail. I first noticed Youssef’s work over at Nature Photographers , one of the best nature photo sharing sites on the net. Every image that Youssef posts floors me! His work is full of inticate detail and flawless design. And the images are anything but stagnant nor simple technical perfection; there is a life and ‘spirit’  in his work that often defies description–amazing! His work resonates perfectly with how nature makes me feel. I wish I had such a sensitive eye. Many of the images Youssef does best are things that most photographers would just walk by or worse, step on! He really knows how to make intimate scenes come alive.

And… for you gear junkies, he is old school. Youssef shoots with film and a 4×5 camera.  Just confirms to me that gear is really the minor component of fine photography; the eye behind the lens is what really matters. Great work Youssef! 

Youseff Ismail Website

Youseff Ismail Website