I am a self-taught nature photographer based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ten years ago I moved from China to Canada as an oversea student to pursue a master degree in computer science from University of Calgary, at that time I didn’t realize that I could become a nature photographer rather than a computer scientist. I have to admit that the city’s great location changed my point of view. Being able to live so close to the Canadian Rockies offered me great photo opportunities and my previous training in painting gave me an artist’s eye.
After I graduated from UofC I purchased my first DSLR, the Nikon D80, and then I started to take photographs as a hobby. I went hiking, mountain climbing and kayaking on weekends and holidays. My camera became part of my life, recording every moment of my outdoor activities, at the same time the love of nature was growing inside of me. I became fascinated by snow capped mountains, mirror like lakes, streams, waterfalls, bears, deer, mountain goats, hovering eagles and so on. The endless beauty of nature drove me crazy, and I couldn’t stop pressing the shutter tens of thousands of times to capture it. Soon I realized I needed a better camera (part of the reason being I almost killed the shutter on that D80) and a better plan for my career as a photographer.
It’s been three years since I switched to a Nikon D700 and in these three years I have sharpened my shooting techniques and gained knowledge in meteorology, zoology, botany and geology. I consider this knowledge necessary to be a great nature photographer.
I can feel there is a power inside my heart pushing me forward which I believe is the love of nature. I want to show the beauty of our planet, through my lens and my eyes, and most importantly my understanding of beauty which is inspired by many forms of art, including paintings, music, architecture and literature.
My major interest in photography is landscape, from the macro world to large scale, from daylight to star trails. I love standing in the middle of nowhere, watching all kinds of light dance in the sky, reflected in lakes or cast on mountain peaks. Every time I set up my tripod in front of an incredible scene I feel like I am standing in front of a secret door, and all of sudden, the door opens and the beauty of nature is just pouring over me. I prefer to shoot landscape photos at sunrise, not only because the light becomes gentle and colorful, but also it often comes with fog and mist. I love foggy and misty scenes, everything looks so different and especially under a golden morning light which creates great contrast between warm and cool tones.
A lesson I have learned since I started to take photographs is never to ignore or underrate a certain scene. There are always subjects, moments or lighting conditions not suitable for photography according to certain rules, such as star trails on a full moon night, shooting landscape on a overcast day, or photography under a strong noon light. I have been successfully accomplishing my ideal results under all kinds of “wrong” conditions. My experiences tell me nature never lacks beauty, we just need the eye to find it.