Interview With Darwin Wiggett

Darwin Wiggett is a landscape and nature photographer best known for his images of the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian prairie. He has been photographing the Canadian Landscape for more than 25 years

You seem to be in love with the Canadian outdoors and especially the Rockies; how did this all start?

As a six-year old I spent time one summer with my grandparents in the Canadian Rockies in an area known as the Kootenay Plains. That time was a huge influence on me and stamped me with a love of nature and the outdoors ever since.

Some photographers have a moment where they know that photography will be their future job and love affair. Have you had such a moment and how did it affect your life?

That moment came in the early 90’s when I captured this image. For me this image of a busted up fence in the prairies told me that, if I could make such a plain subject look beautiful, given the right light and photographic techniques, maybe I could do this hobby as my living.

Working as a professional photographer, what are the pros and cons you come up against on a daily basis?

The biggest con working as a professional is that I shoot only about 25% of the time; the rest of my time is spent on the business of photography. In the past, in the glory days of stock photography, I was able to shoot 50% of the time and the stock agencies did all the work of marketing my photos. Today, photographers need to be everything; marketers, web designers, writers, software gurus, social media experts, accountants and videographers. This leaves little time for actual photography. But, in the end, having your own business and doing creative stuff as your job still makes it all worth the while.

To what degree are your own emotions reflected in your pictures?

I always consider myself a documentary photographer of my emotions. My photographs are not a document of nature but of my head and heart space.

I noticed that you have used a “Gold and Blue” polarising filter on some of your pictures. Can you tell me a few things about this filter, the pros and cons perhaps?

The Gold-n-Blue polariser can make scenes with ‘mundane’ light, e.g. grey overcast, look colourful and inviting. The Gold-n-Blue polariser colours reflective highlights in hues of blue and gold and really makes the image pop. But quite easily it can be a filter that gives garish results; it needs to be used with restraint.

Many of your pictures portray Abraham Lake. Can you tell me what the special attraction is?

This is the area of the Canadian Rockies that I was first exposed to as a six-year old. This is the least developed section of the Canadian Rockies and there are no crowds, little in the way of tourist facilities, and the nature is raw and beautiful here. This area of vast grassy plains in the mountains was once a huge refuge for ungulate and their predators, but now the man-made Abraham Lake has flooded the majority of the plains. This area needs to ...

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1 Comment

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    Daryl-Hunter on

    If you are planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies fill your iPad with Darwin Wigget’s photography guides. I had one heck of a good portfolio filling 6 days there because I know just where to go because of Darwin’s help.

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