What started as a photographic journey encouraging viewers to consider the diversity and fragility of the natural world has evolved into an inspiring, cross-country Canadian adventure, celebrating the natural beauty of our country during Canada’s 150th year.
Nikon D750 1/800 at f/5.6 on a 200-500mm lens
The Take Your Seat initiative began when photographer Randy VanDerStarren realized the need to take ownership of his own life’s direction. He left behind a prominent role as the president of a wealth management organization and set out with his photo gear, eventually travelling across several countries and capturing over 8,000 photographs. Using a film director’s chair, a symbol of being in control of one’s own destiny, Randy’s inspirational photography encourages us as viewers to reconnect with the more intricate and delicate aspects of our world – and ourselves.
On April 12th, 2017, VanDerStarren launched Take Your Seat Canada,a 39 day quest to capture one iconic image from each of Canada’s provinces and territories.
Hopewell Rocks (New Brunswick) Nikon D750 1/60 at f/4.5 on a 24-120mm lens
Quebec Nikon D750 1/30 at f/8.0 on an 18-35mm lens
Henry’s, in partnership with Nikon Canada, is proud to support Take Your Seat Canada.
“I can’t think of a better way to highlight the beauty and the diversity of our land than by capturing it through photographs that can be shared across the country and around the world for everyone to view, as if they are sitting there themselves. Photography can inspire conversations about our country, from the environment to our people and to our culture.
We are thrilled that Henry’s can be part of this initiative that celebrates our wonderful country with the power of photography.”
After 15,000 kilometers on the road, a myriad of animal sightings, a few runways and even a chopper, our Canada 150 photographic expedition is now complete! The driving and hiking may be over but the photographic journey is just beginning.
A restless night has left me equally restless to shoot … The rain subsides. The waters become still and reflective. We do the same.
The Millenium Trail takes us right to the Yukon River. Basalt cliffs line the shores of an emerald green river that lives up to our welcome. There is no room for tired as we trek with footsteps lighter than air … Shooting becomes second nature to a Nature that is far from second.
Snow takes over where rain leaves off but cannot penetrate our convictions. If our beliefs have anything to do with tomorrow’s weather, we will have a perfect day. We have travelled to Marathon, Ontario to retrace the steps of the Group of Seven. Bad weather has no chance against good Karma.
The gate to the stairs is boarded up. We scale the wall and descend two flights of metal stairs only to find the final set hoisted up ten feet from the ground. We retrace our steps, scale the wall in reverse and hike further. Another gate is chained. We climb this one and cautiously make our way down slippery rock to the shore. No barrier, natural or otherwise will keep us from our goal.
We see a black bear, perhaps Winnie’s Grandson, ambling along the roadside. We catch a moose considering a road crossing. Wildlife is everywhere. We feel a bond with Nature often forgotten in the city.
Yet, there is a beauty to the Saint Lawrence even in this poor light as she silently makes her way inland. I return to the Cartier Motel wondering how Jacques must have felt when he first set eyes upon this magnificent waterway over 400 years ago.
It’s as if the island is brimming with good folk just waiting to share their hospitality with us. Despite the severe weather warning, the sun follows us with the same warmth of the locals. … We leave the island with the distinct feeling that the world, at least this corner of it, is a very good place.
There are no wheat fields. There is no enduring horizon. Instead, rolling hills and valleys compete for our attentions. … We climb a steep hill, 45 degrees straight up into the sky. The sun is at her best behaviour. She has corralled a few clouds to show off her rays. We are tantalized by the possibility of an incredible sunset. … We shoot for four hours until both sun and cameras have finally fatigued.
Like everyone, we are drawn to the ocean. Despite this beauty, we opt to shoot on the leeward side of the dunes, a side so often passed over. There is an intimate moment with Nature as she realizes we see a side of her too often overlooked. Last season’s reeds line the shore of an idyllic pond like forgotten sentinels standing on guard for three. An impenetrable wall of pine trees flanks the water on the far side hugging the shoreline gently in its green embrace.
The road swerves in sensual curves. The mountains seem to approve.
Flocks of Whooping Cranes glide over frozen, nameless lakes. We disturb a Timber Wolf as it devours a fresh kill. We are acutely aware that this is a Canadian wilderness few get to see. As the tree line fades, our anticipation heightens. We cross the imaginary boundary identified only by its coordinates; 65 00 01N,109 33 03W
Blue, it turns out, can be happy. The sea air is brisk; -1C feels like whatever really really cold feels like. But the sun shines on us. The gentle surf coaxes us to relax and ignore the numbness in our fingertips. Cold takes a backseat to the sheer joy of capturing the shot we came for. … Three hours later, the clouds turn angry. It begins to snow. For that brief window, however, we have been given a rare opening to share a part of Canada that defies description visually or otherwise.
‘No luck today, boys’ she offers with condolences. We scramble back to the car as the rain pelts us. We start to convince ourselves that lightning and rain could make for a dramatic shot. We drive back to the Falls. Miraculously, as if on cue, the winds shove aside the storm. The sun dances on the crests of the waves. We stifle our urge to dance given the proximity of roaring water
Henry’s has long been known in the Canadian photographic industry as the source for the best and newest products, informed Imaging Experts, award-winning customer service and competitive pricing. Henry’s, a family owned and operated business, first opened its doors in 1909 and has evolved into Canada’s largest independent photographic and digital retailer.