INTERVIEW WITH RAYMOND J BARLOW
Raymond J Barlow, a self taught photographer from Ontario, Canada. He has gained an extensive knowledge in Nature and Wildlife photography. His love and respect for nature and wildlife is heart whelming. He always quotes – “Nature is my mentor. Nature will teach us, and solve life’s problems. We all can learn so much.”
He is here to share his expertise and experience with us.
When did you start your photography? What inspired you to get into it?
Growing up, our family went on nature excursions, fishing and camping for holidays.
I was overwhelmed with interest 52 years ago, constantly questioning with enthusiasm to learn as much as possible. A keen interest in photography came along when I could afford my first SLR, after watching my older brother having fun with camera and lenses. I began with the technical understanding of photography which seemed fascinating and understood the concept of light and shutter speeds. We studied the human eye in high school, so I was able to relate that information to the camera technology.
How did you learn this art? Do you have a Mentor? Who has been the biggest inspiration?
So many friends and guests have helped me along the way. Endless discussions which shared information has helped me become who I am now. I owe so much to my true friends.
An internal passion for doing the best I can, will explain most of what I do. Our best efforts multiply into happiness. A true love for nature, color, composition, art, blended with enormous respect for my subjects. Those subjects see the respect in my eyes; they become comfortable around me, and act naturally.
Respect for nature is everything. As much as possible, I will sit and wait for good things to happen. Nature is my mentor. Nature will teach us, and solve life’s problems. We all can learn so much. I enjoy sharing the beauty of our nature, if people enjoy my images, and realize the beauty that surrounds them; we all might be more considerate. Taking care of our planet will help take care of us. This is undoubtedly my prime motivation. I have no need for personal adulation. I will never enter a contest, or try to be better than anyone… I just do my very best at this craft, and hope people will enjoy my work. Nature gets all the credit.
What are the hurdles you have faced in the journey of your passion?
Every day, every hour, every shot presents difficulties. The fun is about solving the problems. We continue to learn each outing. If we can learn from our mistakes, and solve issues in the field quicker, the results continue to improve. We must have patience. If you can stand still, or sit for an hour – 2 hours or 3, you improve your chances for a good shot. I find that people who can’t sit still, and are eager to keep moving make the biggest mistake.
In nature, we need to evaluate the opportunity. The better your evaluation is, the more likely you are to succeed. Know when to stay, and when to go. Experience and a good memory will teach you.
What is your area of specialization in Photography? What inspired you to do specialization in that stream?
Nature and wildlife keeps me busy. Any other kind of photography, I find boring. I need a challenge, the more difficult the success is; the more fun I would be having. Finding the best possible shot for each chance helps me keep my interest.
What are your goals and future plans?
Slowing down with my business of travel tours, and spending more time with my family is my future plan. I truly enjoy helping others become better photographers, helping people understand and respect each other along with our natural world always keeps me busy.
Click on the images to view them larger.
What advice and suggestions would you like to give to the amateurs who have begun their journey in this field?
Best advice I received was to understand one simple concept as mentioned earlier.. “Do your best at everything you do, and life will be good.” Learn from everyone. Never ever be like “know it all!” Anyone who acts like they know everything is fake.
Discuss everything with the perspective of Opinions! There are few facts involved with Art. Share opinions, and listen to others. You are never doing anything wrong so long as you follow good ethics, respect and enjoying yourself within the laws of your land. Above all, promote conservation, take care of nature, and realize tenacity is your best friend.
Special thanks to Raymond J Barlow for sharing your experiences with us.
With Love & Passion
Smile Art Beats.