I have loved birds and photography for as long as I can remember. This is a perfect combination of interests. Birds are everywhere and active during the day when there's light to photograph them! And of course they are exceptionally beautiful and photogenic. Bird photography is not without its challenges though- they are generally small and fast moving which makes it hard to produce sharp, frame-filling images. But if it were easy, it wouldn't be so much fun!

Birds live with other animals and plants, and so for me their photography extends in a continuum to photography of the habitats, ecosystems and communities in which they live. I think of this as “natural” photography in the same broad sense that the term “natural history” was used in former times. I avoid "hand-of-man" elements in my photographs: something that is getting more difficult all the time as our environmental footprint grows bigger every day.

Birds have been the subject of my professional career as an ornithologist for the past several decades (see my scientific publications here). I first made images- not of birds- with an old Vest Pocket Kodak camera bought at a jumble-sale for 6 pence (!) and have gone through several camera systems in the intervening years. After 10 years using Canon photographic equipment I have moved to mirrorless and now use the excellent Sony Alpha full-frame line of bodies and lenses. I am supported by Vortex, maker of Storm Jackets.

My photographs have been published in books, magazines and journals, brochures, conservation materials and the like, and in permanent installations in Canadian national parks, government offices, interpretation centres, conservation areas and trails. I invite you to have a look at the recent Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of the Maritime Provinces for which I acted in various roles including Photo Editor. I am resident artist at Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB.

I continue to guide on board expedition cruise ships - something I have been doing for over 30 years.

John Chardine, May 2024