Natural History

Monthly Archive: December Natu

Five Answers to WP "Y?"

Posted: March 18, 2016 - 12:19 , by Stacey Kerr
A red fox carries the smaller body of an arctic fox in its mouth that it has hunted and killed. The 2015 winning photo by Canadian Don Gutoski of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Jessica Gordon

We live in an age where almost anyone with a cell phone can take a picture and share it with everyone almost instantly. In spite of this we continue to take and fall in love with photos of nature and the wildlife that surrounds us. We continue to push the boundaries of where we can go while taking cameras along with us. The question becomes: why do we still carry on the tradition? Why is wildlife photography so important to us? Here are five answers to the question, "why?".

Wildlife Photography: Behind the Camera

Posted: March 15, 2016 - 12:24 , by Stacey Kerr
A bolt of lightning streaks across a purple sky over the mountains and rainforests of Sri Lanka

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication students Aisha Parkhill-Goyette and Jeff Dickie

Imagine you are deep in the jungle of Sri Lanka. You find yourself blinded by the pouring rain, knee deep in a rushing river, desperately trying not to fall in. Lightning strikes only meters away, but instead you are worried about the small tickle by your left elbow, and you are hoping that it is not one of the dozens of land leeches that keep falling onto you from the trees above. Not everyone has what it takes to be a wildlife photographer. It takes a special kind of dedication and a special kind of person - someone who is just as wild as the creatures they are trying to capture on camera.

EVC Students Jeff and Aisha interviewed a pair of up-and-coming wildlife photographers who travelled with ROM mammalogist Burton Lim to Sri Lanka last fall, to share some stories about what it's like behind the camera.

How Drone Photography is Saving Wildlife

Posted: March 3, 2016 - 15:41 , by Stacey Kerr
Research conducted by scientists from the NOAA Fisheries and the Vancouver Aquarium using the hexacopter to capture images of killer whales to assess their health. Photo from NOAA Fisheries.

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Lisa Milosavljevic

A number of photos in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibit make use of aerial photography techniques, including the use of drone photography. There is also a growing demand for its use in professional and academic fields as people are recognizing how drones can be a valuable tool in their work; one of these areas is wildlife conservation. Here we are going to look at the different ways in how drone photography is saving wildlife around the world, as well as some of the controversies and questions that this developing technology raises.

Have you got 15 minutes to be part of something BIG?

Posted: February 11, 2016 - 16:46 , by Stacey Kerr
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White-breasted Nuthatch, common bird of Toronto.  Photo by Mark Peck

Guest blog written by Bird Studies Canada's Toronto Projects Coordinator, Emily Rondel

What if you could be part of a global conservation project by standing in your yard (or local park, or well…anywhere) for 15 minutes? This coming Family Day weekend (Feb 12-15), be part of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a four day worldwide “blitz” of wild birds. The GBBC is an invaluable snapshot of worldwide bird abundance and distribution; and it’s only possible due to the participation of tens of thousands of “citizen scientist” volunteers around the globe. 

Mexican Cartel lands are home to a newly described species: Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise

Posted: February 10, 2016 - 12:00 , by Dave Ireland
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A new species of tortoise named Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise, described today by Dr. Robert (Bob) Murphy and colleagues in the Journal ZooKeys. Photo taken in Reserva Monte Mojino, Sonora, Mexico, 24 August, 2013 Photo by Taylor Edwards

ROM curator of reptiles and amphibians, Dr. Bob Murphy and a team of international scientists use leading edge genetic techniques and dangerous fieldwork activities to describe a new species of tortoise in Mexico and shine light on the conservation status of other rare and threatened tortoises from the region

Photographer thoughts: A conversation with Mark Peck

Posted: January 26, 2016 - 17:38 , by Stacey Kerr
An adult blue jay rests on a branch in the winter season in Ontario. Photo by Mark Peck

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Fatima Ali

In spite of his “im-peck-able” career as an ornithology technician in the Department of Natural History at the ROM, Mark Peck is also a world traveller and an avid natural history photographer with a special interest in breeding and nesting birds. Fatima interviewed Mark to get his thoughts on what it is that drives his passion for photographing birds and other wildlife.

Beneath the Surface: Photographing at the Edge of Imagination

Posted: January 6, 2016 - 17:54 , by Stacey Kerr
“Turtle Flight” is David Doubilet’s finalist photograph in the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the ROM.

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Samantha Phillips

In search of guidance from the master of photographing moments himself, EVC student Samantha Phillips called David Doubilet and his partner Jennifer Hayes, renowned photographers whose work can often be found among the pages of National Geographic Magazine to ask them about their work. Their perspective is filled with insights and stories that Sammy was thrilled to share in this guest blog post.

Blue Whale Update: From Trenton with Love

Posted: December 22, 2015 - 11:25 , by Stacey Kerr
It took a team of seven people to lift the blue whale heart enough to finish wrapping it. Photo by Stacey Lee Kerr

It’s that time of year where many of us are pretty focused on the holidays. Spending time with family and friends, baking and eating loads of treats, and - let’s be honest - the gifts. Finding them, buying them, wrapping them, and getting them to where they need to go, whether the destination is under the Christmas tree, or to be mailed to relatives somewhere else around the world.

So, given that everybody’s in this present-logistics state of mind, we have a gift-wrapping question for you… how do you ship a blue whale heart?

WPY - The Proof is in the Picture

Posted: November 20, 2015 - 14:10 , by Stacey Kerr
“Tundra Buggy and Sun Dog” Don Gutoski’s snowy view on a photography adventure in Cape Churchill, Manitoba.

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Kendra Marjerrison

For some wildlife photographers, a kill shot is the ultimate goal. It creates compelling photographs that highlight moments people don’t often get to see. For others, it’s a difficult scene to witness from behind the lens. Don, the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year, had no idea that the predatory behaviour captured in the photograph he took on the last day of his northern adventure would be more than just an interesting shot. It’s a powerful story about what can happen when the Earth becomes warmer and two competing predators, the red fox and the Arctic fox, are driven to cross paths...

 

Nature Stories through Photography: Insights from Connor Stefanison

Posted: November 17, 2015 - 13:33 , by Stacey Kerr
Connor Stefanison at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at Natural History Museum, UK

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Sean de Francia

Connor Stefanison is this year’s recipient of the Rising Star Portfolio Award, given to outstanding photographers 18-25 for images that will be featured at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibit. He was also awarded the Eric Hosking Portfolio Award in 2013. Here he shares his insights into producing powerful narratives through nature and wildlife photography.