Guest Speaker - Guy Boily
"The Euphoria of Winter Photography"
(Monday, December 05, 2016)
Winter is the season to not shy away from. Why, you ask? There are several reasons. The season is short, there are no crowds, no bugs, fantastic light, later sunrises, lots of white mist, fog and -30°C temperatures. What more could you ask for?
Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed the winter season. It’s hard to explain but I feel so alive when that biting cold wind hits my face. In order to get certain images, I have to be gone for several days at a time and that means camping out. You have to prepare in advance and be ready for any emergency. My equipment starts with an old magnesium army medical sled, a four-season tent, -40C sleeping bag, a ground sheet, a stove and lots of high energy food. On a typical day at -30C, I can easily eat 4000+ calories just to keep my body heat.
Most camera equipment nowadays is extremely tolerant of, and reliable at, extreme cold temperatures but you still have to take certain precautions. I plan my outings by doing research beforehand — but nothing is 100% foolproof. I will share information about how to keep warm and recommend what photo equipment to use. Keeping warm depends on your health and what type of person you are. Some people just don’t like the cold but there are ways to make the experience more
My first experience in -40°C temperatures was in the 90s. Back then, we all worked with slide film which had a 5-stop latitude. With digital technology, we have a 13- to 14- stop latitude. What a difference! But I still take as much care as in the past to get the image right while I am on site. If I need to adjust anything with post-processing, it is easy because I already have the best information possible with my initial capture.
As I look back on my work, I can truly say that light has been the main component in my photographs. A great subject with poor lighting will result in a mediocre image but even a poor subject with great lighting can become a work of art. I consider myself as more of an artist than a photographer, or maybe I should say I am a “pursuer of light".
Guy Boily took up photography at an early age but only began to pursue it seriously in 1995. He is very much an outdoor photographer whose work has been widely exhibited and published. He is well known for his numerous photo workshops and he teaches photography in Montreal libraries and at various photo clubs throughout Quebec.