Abstract photo by Ron Bouwhuis

As I see it, being a good visualizer is essential to being a good designer. Being able to draw, paint or sculpt allows us to express new ideas. It’s also what helps separate us from cut-and-paste artists. Sadly, I don’t paint and can’t sculpt to save my life. I can draw pretty well, though – both analog-style with paper and pencil, or digitally with a mouse – but wouldn’t label either ‘my calling’.

No, my artistic passion is photography, and has been since receiving my first camera – the kitsch-classic Diana Deluxe – way back in 1970. I’ll be the first to admit that my early efforts were dreadful, though at the time I placed the blame squarely on the Diana’s ‘Plasicion’ lens, wonky flash, or less-than-light-safe back. As the years rolled by, however, the cameras got better and a little schooling in the subject (as part of the design curriculum) helped a immensely. A multi-day lecture from the great Freeman Patterson made a huge impact, as did being regularly exposed (I know, such a terrible pun) to the work of other luminaries in the business.

Eventually all of this influence began to net some halfway decent results, and by 1984 I began to sell images with commercial appeal through a small stock photography agency that served Canadian designers, publishers and ad agencies. In 1999, I moved to a larger agency – First Light, of Toronto – which opened the doors to international sales through partners such as Getty Images and Corbis. My current collection at First Light includes both rights-managed and royalty-free images. To view my rights-managed images, visit First Light and search for my name under Advanced Search.

Nonetheless, stock represents a fraction of what I like to shoot and as such I’m looking to broaden the potential of my existing catalogue while seeking opportunities for new assignments.

My main themes cover transportation, scenics, nature and architecture, while other subjects get varying attention. ‘Vintage’ material (film images from 1980 to 2008) is mainly Kodachrome, with lesser amounts in later years shot on Ektachrome GX, Provia, Velvia, Scala (b&w), and even Polagraph (high-contrast b&w transparency). Most are open to licensing, depending on your needs. Use of some images may be restricted due to visible trademarks, private property or individuals.

Looking for a specific subject? Drop me a line and I’ll let you know if I can help. Pricing is based on usage – be it editorial, commercial or otherwise. My online galleries will give you a sense of the subjects and style I shoot or have shot: check out my Flickr photostream for a broad overview.

I’m looking for interesting assignments that mirror what I do in my personal work: simple, available-light scenarios that can be handled by one person. If it’s something that’s going to involve complex lighting, stylists, models, assistants, studios, smoke machines, or crying fathers-of-the-bride, best to call a specialist. (I’d happily art direct, however.) Suffice to say that photographers who do those types of work are highly specialized, and I’d be joking if pretending to be equally qualified.