Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Photography Tips By An Adventure Travel Guide
















Wouldn't it be fun if you could have two hobbies and make both of them your profession? Well, I guess some of us really, really like to make investments or trade in options so they call their profession "a hobby"! But for some, this has become a reality in every sense of it.

Meet Eric Rock. I met Eric when he was my guide on a recent trip to Churchill to view and photograph Polar bears. I always like to chat with my guides because then my own life looks--well--so boring and eventless! It's very exotic to be one day in the sub-Arctic and then go on a trip to Africa, all the while guiding people about the hobby you really love - photography. So, here's a short interview with Eric Rock.

Q: Why don't we start by trying to recall all the places you've been to in the last six months, with one breath?

Eric: "Let me fill up my lungs! I spent most of July traveling around Alaska leading photo safaris and nature tours for my employer, Natural Habitat Adventures. I began August by catching up with Brad Josephs, a Natural Habitat Adventures guide working in Alaska. I accompanied him on one of his coastal Katmai bear viewing trips.   At the close of August, I was back in the Bella Coola Valley of British Columbia for our bear viewing season in the Great Bear Rain Forest. I followed up the BC bear trips with a chance to co-guide a September trip with my wife Melissa Scott through the Colorado plateau’s Grand Staircase - a geophysical province of the American southwest. 


"We both had a fairly quick turn around at home in Montana then were off to Churchill Manitoba for the first week of October and the entire polar bear season. I finished up my fourteenth Churchill PB season on the 22nd of November and made it home for a short rest. In December, I was off to Papua New Guinea to lead our NHA Exploratory trip."















Q: Now let ME catch my breath! What about photography and guiding? I understand you've been interested in both for many years?

Eric: "I have enjoyed a number of careers during my life but have had only two passions - nature and photography. I have always been interested in the natural world and as a kid, if I wasn’t in school, I could be found exploring around the forest of my home state of Pennsylvania. Thus, it goes without saying, that my first paycheck ever earned went to purchase my first camera. The two seemed to mesh quite naturally, exploring and photographing what I would see. I often had these photographs sold and published in local magazines even while in high school. 

"The professional guiding part did not come until much later after a series of wildlife research jobs in Alaska. While working in the field I was lucky enough to be witness to many amazing natural wonders but often out on my own. I felt a need or desire to share these wonders so eventually gravitated toward guiding natural history trips. When I had time between trips, I took what ever photographic assignment work I could muster up. When I did not have a trip to guide or an assignment to shoot, I explored for photographs wherever I happened to be and I still  enjoy doing this today." 























Q: I shot the pictures above during my trips in the Arctic. I think they're nice, but I still have a lot to learn. What advice would you give an aspiring photographer?


Eric: "These two paths - guiding and photography - fit very well together if I do not try to pursue my own images when guiding guests. Instead, I concentrate on helping my travelers get the best shots possible.  At that moment, my two passions can come together to truly enhance someone’s enjoyment and understanding of the subject. Some of my favorite moments from a photographic adventure come from looking over travelers shoulder and helping them to capture the essence of the experience in an image that they can be proud of.


"What I would say to anyone wanting to improve their photography is to try not ot concentrate on equipment. Spend your time and money taking photographs. Hone your eye and your skills while spending time around other photographers that are interested in the same things you are - watch and learn from them. Likewise, be open to sharing your ideas. I have always found this to be the best way to learn about all aspects of photography and the whole experience becomes much more than a photographic opportunity. My favorite parts of a photo expedition are often looking over the travelers' shoulders and celebrating the images they just captured."










See Eric's beautiful photography by clicking here

See some of my Arctic pictures by clicking HERE








3 comments:

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Mary Walker said...

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Harper michach said...

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