Remember this Name: Wayne Simpson

The day I met Wayne Simpson, I remember him blindly following me down into a dense, snow-covered willow thicket in the hopes of finding a good spot to photograph a very large bull moose we had spotted coming our way across the meadow below us.

As the moose began to climb out of the meadow towards us through the willows, I remember thinking, "Geez, it's getting kind of close." Sure enough, when I looked up from behind my camera, the big bull was indeed getting "kind of close" and in fact, was beelining straight for us. Wayne quickly turned around and plowed his way through the willows back towards the car, while I stepped in behind him and went as fast as I could with my camera and big lens in tow. The thrill of being that close to such a big animal was offset at the time by a distinct feeling of nervous energy and fear, yet thankfully the moose veered off at the last second and started munching on twigs less than twenty feet away from us.

I spent about four hours that morning with Wayne, and another photographer I had just met, Lynn Amaral from Vancouver, chatting about photography and photographing several big bulls. There must have been something in the air that morning, for not only did I get a pile of great pictures of the various moose, but I also gained two new friends that I still keep in touch with.

Lynn and Wayne (right) with the big bull moose in Kananaskis Country

When I got home later that day, Wayne emailed me and I remember going and looking at his website and thinking, "Wow, this guy really does some amazing work for someone just getting going in the business."

And in the years since, he's only picked up steam.  As his portfolio expands and his creativity grows, I often find myself wondering if I'm not looking at the work of someone destined to be one of Canada's next great nature and landscape photographers.

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks highly of Wayne's photography.  Check out the current issue of Outdoor Photography Canada magazine (Fall/Winter 2010) for a 6-page profile of his images.  And better yet, check out the cover, which features a great shot of Wayne's from Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario.

Just 35 years old and based in Calgary, Alberta, Wayne only began photographing eight years ago and had just turned to photography full-time when I first met him chasing that big bull moose in 2007. At this point in his career, Wayne supports himself with a variety of photo work that's not all nature-related. He also does weddings, portraits, and commercial work, as is evidenced on his beautiful website, (Wayne does all of his own graphic design and web work, too).

However, his true passion lies in nature photography. And while his wildlife work is sometimes limited a bit by the length of his lenses (his longest lens is a 300mm), his photographic vision is clearly not.  Whether it's the juxtaposition of shapes and textures in a sunburst reflected on a muddy shoreline, or a pine needle resting calmly across the crazy textured pattern on an old piece of driftwood, Wayne Simpson's work simply shines.

I hope you enjoy this brief look at Wayne's amazing photography and take the time to explore more of it on his website.

An elk herd along the Minnewanka Loop in Banff National Park

Subtle dawn colours along the Vermilion Lakes in Banff

A sunburst reflected along a muddy shoreline

Kettle Point, Lake Huron, Ontario

Killarney Provincial Park, Georgian Bay, Ontario

Moonlight at Upper Kananaskis Lake, Alberta

Pine needle on a piece of driftwood
Happy shooting everyone, and remember to contact me if you're interested in becoming the next Remember this Name photographer.


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