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Markus Thompson
Attended University of British Columbia
Lives in Vancouver, Canada
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Markus Thompson

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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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is the NP car accessible? or must rent boat?
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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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I gotta get up North more often.
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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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Clearly I need to do some hiking at Seymour this summer! :)
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Markus Thompson

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the thrill of capturing the perfect moment...
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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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I love this.  Amazing bokeh to offset the sharpness of the flicker's feathers and colors from the blue backdrop.
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Great blue heron carrying a stick back to the rookery in Boundary Bay, just south of Vancouver in British Columbia.  I haven't been back to this area in a while and I think it's time to visit again.

Canon 7D  Sigma 120-300  f3.5  1/320s  iso400
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Beautiful photo shot +Markus Thompson!
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A sliver of our galaxy photographed from Cirque Lake, an amazing destination in the mountains just south of Whistler in British Columbia. Living in Vancouver (that's the city glowing 100km away in the background) it's not often I get to stargaze - after seeing this so close to home I resolved to get out camping more.

Canon 7D  Tokina 11-16  11mm  f2.8  30s  iso3200
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…and me after the new Canon 11-24mm!
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Markus Thompson

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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

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Lovely shot!
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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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Great work!
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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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Beautifully done.
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A strategically placed purple urchin shell, found on Triquet Island in the Hakai Archipelago during a late summer kayak trip.  

Photographed with the Sony rx100, a brilliant little compact that I should have bought ages ago.

f4  1/200s  iso125  -2fec 
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Excellent!
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Work
Occupation
Biologist, Aspiring Naturalist and Wildlife Photographer
Skills
Can organized similar objects according to size.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Vancouver, Canada
Previously
Amsterdam, Netherlands - Port Douglas, Australia - Kijabe, Kenya
Story
Tagline
Curious Biped Primate, Naturalist² and Aspiring Photographer
Introduction
I live in North Vancouver, British Columbia - throwing distance from mountains, ocean and wilderness that provide endless opportunity to experience life and appreciate nature. I can often be found exploring the woods in Lynn Canyon with my dog Sprocket (although she would argue we are hunting squirrels), mountain biking somewhere in the local mountains or up at the crack of dawn stalking wildlife with a rather large telephoto lens.

If I am not lost in the woods somewhere I can typically be found working as a project marine biologist for a small environmental consultancy on the North Shore. Assignments often result in the fortune and opportunity to travel, photograph and dive remote locations throughout coastal BC - occasionally providing the inspiration to return with an ocean kayak or canoe. 

I have traveled extensively over the past two decades; living in Kenya, the Netherlands and Australia along the way. Every time I return home I am reminded of how unique this place is - the coast of British Columbia is without doubt one of the most beautiful and wild places on earth. Its continued natural and wild existence is in our hands - and we have an obligation as arguably the most intelligent species here (although sometimes it certainly doesn't appear that way) to conserve and protect it.

Current weapons of choice: 

Canon 7D and 7D ii - Canon EF 24-105 f4L - Canon EF 100 f2.8L - Canon EFs 17-55 f2.8 - Tokina 11-16 f2.8 - Sigma 120-300 os f2.8

Naturalist²:

1. an individual committed to the study and conservation of nature and wildlife (a biologist).

2. an individual who rejects mythology and accepts that the scientific laws of nature provide the best explanation (understatement) for the existence of the cosmos (an atheist).
Bragging rights
Born during a brief window in human history when effortless travel and personal freedom exist and pristine wilderness and nature can still be found and explored.
Education
  • University of British Columbia
    BC RPBio