Behind the Lens
Storyteller: Seattle Dredge, Canada
I have been taking photos for as long as I can remember. Aside from often “borrowing” my Mom’s camera when I was young, I saved up babysitting money and purchased my very own analog film camera when I was 11 years old, and took that thing with me everywhere. Not just on camping trips or special events–that camera came with me to friends houses, wandering around town, and even to school. I started a photo album/collage book at that point, and continued adding to it with my film camera until the age of 17. That photo book was the one item of my own I had that I considered to be the most valuable–the one thing I would save in a fire, and the one thing that I treated as a priceless possession. There was nothing better than the excitement of finally getting your developed film back, and getting to see the photos for the first time since looking through that tiny viewfinder. Each film roll was like Christmas to me.
Then, came my first digital camera.
It was some low-tech chunky Kodak thing, which at this point in time wouldn’t even compare to a camera phone. But, to me it was perfect. I could essentially take as many photos as I wanted (or as many as my SD card would fit), and pick and choose my favorite shots to keep, right there on the screen. It was a whole new game. It was also at this time that I started to plan my first ever trip abroad, and couldn’t wait to bring my new camera along for the ride. I would be spending my summer in Italy. Thus began my journey into travel photography. The digital camera became an attachment of myself. I never left home without it, and took photos with it every single day–practising and learning. I tried to keep up with continuing to print photos, creating a scrapbook of my trip to Italy, and the odd print of every day life, and even started a 365 day photo project while in University. I’ve been through several cameras since then, from starter point-and-shoots to professional full frame DSLRs, along with GoPros and DJI drones. I took my camera on more travels, and even worked as a wedding photographer for many years. Over the last 8 years, I began to get more serious with travel photography, starting a blog (Seattle's Travels), and always upgrading my equipment. I’ve taken my camera to more countries than I can count on my fingers and toes, and have taken more photos than I can even begin to estimate.
What is your favorite image in the book and why?
This might be impossible to choose, but I particularly love the photo of the leopard in Kenya, and basically all of the Morocco images because of the deep warm tones. I also love looking at any of the underwater photos, especially from Tahiti and Philippines. And, it’s nice to look through some of the images from home at the end.
What is your favorite story behind a single shot in the book?
The image of the leopard in Kenya is pretty memorable - while the entire safari group was looking one way, I happened to climb up through the roof and my eye caught a movement directly below me, and basically made eye contact with a leopard. Not only are they my favorite animal, but they are super rare to see, and I felt incredibly lucky to have that experience.