My passion for photography began in the 1970’s with an old Minolta and a fixed 50mm lens which I carried with me in the wilds of Northern Ontario where I grew up. In those early days it was mostly landscapes that caught my eye however the cost of film processing was limiting so I could only afford to shoot rolls of 12 pictures and that might be over a period of a month. Fast forward a few decades into the digital era and I quickly discovered a whole new world had opened up, where shooting 100’s of images in a day was common place but those 2GB cards filled up quickly on a smokin’ 5MP camera.
What I really get jazzed about these days is wildlife photography, with a special fondness for owl photography. Gone are the days of sleeping in until 9:00 am, I’m now on the road or in my boat before the sun comes up looking for unique animal pictures and bird pictures. I no longer carry a camera with me just in case I come across something worthy of a picture, wildlife photography is the sole purpose of the trip, it is both the journey and the destination. Yes I am obsessed, there I said it.
Michael and I met by chance many years ago photographing a Great Grey Owl so the Owl-Images website is really special for me as it represents the beginning a great friendship between Michael and I. Our ultimate goal with Owl-Images is to share with our viewers the diversity of owls that can be found in North America, share some owl photography tips and continue to promote and be diligent in our conservation efforts for owls. Through our blog we will keep you updated on the owl scene, review gear and provide photography tips so be sure to sign up and share your experiences with us.
Michael Cummings Photographer
I was born and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. After high school I attended Algonquin College in Horticulture and Landscaping. My love of plants and gardening came from my maternal grandmother, I used to love looking at her house plants for hours on end, especially her African Violets. I have always had an affinity for nature in all forms and find beauty in just about any aspect of the natural world we live in. I joined the Rogers Television Ottawa team in 1995 as a freelance producer for their gardening show Planting Ideas. The first season was a learning experience for me and half way through the second season I was asked to take over their science series It’s in Our Nature. This was a joint production with the Museum of Nature and Canadian Geographic and was in production for two seasons.
I have been working in the broadcast industry for the last 16 years and have recently branched out into nature and wildlife photography when I created my gardening website www.mikesbackyardgarden.org. I purchase my first film SLR, a Canon EOS 3000 with a 50mm lens, when I decided that it would be nice to post photographs to my website. I had never really taken photographs before but working in video taught me the basics such as lighting conditions, framing and white balance. With the advent of digital photography I made the leap from film very quickly as the expense of developing and the time spent digitizing images was time and money better spent. My first DSLR was an entry level Pentax K100 with a couple of zoom lenses. Well, this opened a whole new world of Photography. Now many more things besides flower were with in reach of my lenses. But shooting wild birds and animals is not like shooting non moving flowers and I had to learn all over again how to take photographs. After trying out a few more camera makes I settled on the Nikon D-300 and mainly use their 200-400mm F4 professional lens.
I am self taught in both videography and now photography and I remember growing up watching just about every nature documentary on television. Being out in nature to me is one of the best things any person can do. The chance to see and capture photographs of nature has been a highlight in my life. The world is a grand stage with wildlife at the center of it. I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to get out and capture images of the various forms of life that surrounds us. I hope to be able to continue taking photographs and sharing them with people for many years to come.