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Markus Thompson
13,544 followers -
Curious Biped Primate and Aspiring Naturalist
Curious Biped Primate and Aspiring Naturalist

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Hello G+ friends! My extraordinary partner, Alexandra Barron is setting off on an adventure to support endangered rhinos. This April she will be running the London marathon wearing the rhino suit pictured below. She has committed to raising $3,000 for the Save the Rhino conservation charity. Stephen Fry can personally tell you about her fundraising drive here: https://goo.gl/uFVD8h (also reflective jeggings and angry areolas) – and you can read about it here, on her website: http://goo.gl/iMW7Hx If you have been looking for a great charity, and supporting the rangers and dogs that are protecting rhinos from extinction is something that piques your interest – this is a good one!
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Broughton Archipelago - Autumn 2013. Time to start thinking about the next adventure. Haida Gwaii, Hakai or the west coast of Vancouver Island?
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Urban Coyote

I am typically up before dawn on weekends to find a little space from the rest of civilization - off into the woods or out with the canoe to enjoy the morning before the rest of the world wakes up. This morning was no exception - resulting in a brief encounter with a pair of coyotes who I imagine feel very much the same way I do (though they were almost certainly up a whole lot earlier than me). Our paths crossed, heading in opposite directions - and for a moment the three of us just stopped and watched, a little surprised at the unexpected encounter (at least I was)... 

Canon 7D  Sigma 120-300os  f3.5  1/160s  iso400  220mm

www.markusthompson.ca
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Sunrise at Brooks Point on Pender Island

This image was taken at sunrise late in Autumn 2013.  The location is beautiful, consisting of an untouched headland facing south towards the Canada/US border and the San Juan Islands.  

Shortly after I visited, the local community succeeded in purchasing the adjacent parcel of land to expand this regional park and connect it with Gower Point, protecting it from development. Considering that many of the most beautiful shoreline locations in the Gulf Islands are often purchased and subsequently developed, fenced and bordered with sign posts warding off the public (often by millionaires who spend only a few weeks a year at their 'cottage') - this is great news. Nature in locations like this should be available to everyone.

Canon 7D  Tokina 11-16    16mm  f8  1/30s  iso100 
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Photographic Lessons from Life Experience

I found myself on Cypress Mountain at a popular lookout over the City of Vancouver a few weeks back. It was early in the morning, just before sunrise, and the city was covered in a dense low fog - one of those rare opportunities to capture an iconic scene. The same scene thirty+ other photographers were about to capture...

This type of situation creates a conflict for me. I am aware the opportunity is rare and the scene is beautiful, however, the entire experience creating the image is not. I am standing in a crowd and competing for space (people are honestly shoulder to shoulder, huddled along a retaining wall) waiting to capture the same scene as everyone else. Perhaps I just need to have a little faith in my creative ability to produce something original - I think it's something more though.

The images that I have the greatest attachment to are those with a memorable experience behind them. Images attached to interesting stories, adventures or moments where I felt a connection with nature. Standing in a crowd waiting for the light to break is not somewhere I would choose to be to experience life - and, for me, not a place I am likely to capture an image that will have meaning or memorable attachment.

I find myself more often now in situations where the experience provides the inspiration and the opportunity for the photograph - and ultimately those are the images that are something more than just a collection aesthetic pixels. 

www.markusthompson.ca
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Summit in the Clouds

Seymour Peak photographed from Second Peak in North Vancouver, BC. Look closely and you can see a hiker standing on the summit looking out at the clouds.  This was shot on a gorgeous day at the beginning of winter - shortly after a fresh snowfall we thought might be the beginning of many more - unlike the rest of North America, we haven't had much since.

Sony rx100.  2 images blended in Photoshop and further refined in Nik Silver Efex.


A late addition to #mountainmonday  
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the thrill of capturing the perfect moment...

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Ice Landing

Photographed during a rare freezing event at the Reifel bird sanctuary, situated in the Fraser River estuary south of Vancouver BC.  The deep blue behind the duck is ice, resulting in some very comical landings.  This drake is about to land and I can only imagine the thoughts running through his head - 'O god here we go again!'

Mallards are the ancestors of most breeds of domestic ducks, and so common almost everywhere the climate suits them that it's easy to forget how stunning a bird they actually are.  The brilliant green head actually has subtle tones of blue as well, when seen up close or from the correct angle.

Canon 7D  Sigma 120-300  200mm  f8  1/1000s  iso400
I set these to be forgiving (large depth of field, and large frame - from which this is cropped).  I will be back to this location soon with the aim to improve the result (more detail, less noise).
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Short-eared owl photographed in Boundary Bay, BC.  This individual was cruising over an unused farmer's field searching for unsuspecting rodents, occasionally crossing paths and battling with a northern harrier who was doing the same.

Canon 7D  Sigma 120-300  300mm  f3.5  1/320s  iso400  
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Northern flicker perched at the entrance to home.  Little known flicker fact: individuals will often fence one another using their bills as "foils", both to defend territory and impress the opposite sex.  

Photographed in a wetland in Seymour valley, near my home in North Vancouver.

Canon 7D  Sigma 120-300 2x  f9  1/250s  iso400
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