Gordon’s Bio

Gordon Portrait, Albert Edward
On the summit of Albert Edward

The photographer, then & now

I love to witness people and places and I love to tell stories with images.

A photographer despite an initial setback

My journey with photography began in grade 7 which, oddly, wasn’t a great experience. I shot a whole roll on an SLR (single lens reflex) camera and no images turned out. I can still remember that deflated feeling when I discovered that my film was blank. And embarrassment, too, when my teacher made fun of my attempt. I wandered away thinking photography was beyond me and that I just wasn’t smart enough.

Through a series of films connected to the art of photography and my own desire to document my experience and express myself, my yearning to be a photographer kept resurfacing. Initially, I used a point-and-shoot camera to avoid the then dreaded SLR. In hindsight, the point-and-shoot camera freed me to concentrate on composition rather than the technical aspects of photography. That was key because it allowed me to express myself unhindered by technological hurdles.

A camera salesman is the catalyst

Years later, I went to a camera store to buy a simple camera to document a scientific expedition that would take our team onto the arctic ice of the frozen Beaufort Sea for a month-long campout. I had planned to purchase another point-and-shoot but the salesman knowing where I was headed and that I was interested in photography, pointed me in the direction of SLRs. My first reaction was, no, I’ll go with something simple, something I understand. Ever the good salesman, he persisted and asked me for 15 minutes of my time for a mini lesson on shooting with a SLR. After his short lesson, he indicated that if I still thought it was beyond me, then we could strike the SLRs from the list.

A good camera can change everything

I did buy an SLR, a Pentax K1000, and my arctic images turned out great. Afterwards, that rugged camera went with me everywhere. To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

After photographing seemingly countless people and places, I land here with select images from my photographic journey. Happily, it never got dull for me. It actually became even more interesting and nuanced. I’m fortunate to have found a passion early in life that just never quit.

Gordon Ross