Gwaii Haanas Field Notes-calling all photographers

  • Aug. 1, 2008 11:00 a.m.

Submitted article–Use your creative talents and capture the beauty of Haida Gwaii’s protected landscapes and you may win prizes and fame as part of Canadian Geographic’s 24th annual photo contest.Every year Canadian Geographic challenges budding photographers to submit photos that relate to different categories, including one for children. This year Parks Canada is co-sponsoring a category celebrating our national, provincial and regional parks.When Parks Canada staff travel to Gwaii Haanas, a camera is always part of their kit. Whether taking photos of whale-tails or orca dorsal fins to help researchers identify individual animals, to capturing moody landscapes drenched in dramatic light that can be later used in publications, photos help capture and communicate the values of this remote national park reserve. Unfortunately, employees of sponsors cannot enter the photo contest. Do you have what it takes to compose a great landscape image within Gwaii Haanas, Naikoon or other ecological reserves on Haida Gwaii? According to professional photographer Masset’s Jack Litrell of Jack Litrell Photography, there are five simple things you can do to improve your chances of capturing a great landscape photo: 1. Use a tripod to reduce camera shake and allow slower shutter speeds.2. A great landscape photo always has something interesting in the foreground and background3. Pay attention to the quality of light. The best ambient light occurs early in the morning or evening. Hazy days create more even lighting.4. It’s important to ensure the foreground and background are both in focus. In the world of photography this is referred to as depth of field, good landscape photographs have a large depth of field.5. If using a digital camera, shoot at the highest resolution, as this produces better print quality and reduces noise in the image.When your subject is a landscape that has been protected for its environmental values, minimizing impacts is important. The old saying, leave only footprints and take only photographs seems appropriate. “It is better to walk through the landscape rather than, for example, ride all-terrain vehicles, as this does not destroy the natural area that attracted you in the first place,” Mr. Litrell said. What’ his favourite protected landscape to photograph? “Around Tow Hill within Naikoon Provincial Park of course, as the landscape contains diverse settings from dramatic rock formations, flat beaches, rivers and forest”.For more information about the Canadian Geographic photo contest, visit www.canadiangeographic.ca. Entry deadline is September 30, and Canadian parks is just one five categories.

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