How about a winter circumnavigation by sea kayak of Vancouver Island? That’s what Calvin Croll is up to. Check out his website and follow his journey:

Thank you to Tofino Sea Kayaking Co. for letting me use a picture of Calvin, stopping by in Tofino for supplies. Stay safe out there Calvin!

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My friend and Biologist Sadie Parr from Wolf Awareness Inc. will be offering a presentation discussing the science, ethics, and ecology regarding B.C.’s Wolf kill program. Admission is free, seating is limited, so RSVP at info@oceanadventures.bc.ca

Time: January 27th, 2018 – 1:00 pm

Location: The Fallen Alders Community Halls – 3595 Royston Road, Courtenay, British Columbia

(One of my Wolf images will be available at auction with 100% of proceeds going towards Wolf Awareness Inc. an organization I have worked with and supported in the past and will continue to do so in the future.)

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An Editor from Explore Magazine – Canada’s source for outdoor adventure, hiking, camping, gear, travel and skills was recently referred to me: explore-mag.com One of my images from The Salish Sea Marine Trail Grand Opening in September may be used for an upcoming feature article, celebrating the trail. To find out more about The Salish Sea Marine Trail, go here: bcmarinetrails.org/…/salish-sea-marine-trail26233158_10159838422655055_7282325293152079344_o.jpg

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So you think you’ve created a great image and you can’t wait to share it on social media, only to be disappointed by the feedback you receive after the post. Feedback is in the form of likes, hearts and comments. Has this ever happened to you? Next, you post what you think is an “alright image” on social media and you get inundated with comments, likes and hearts. Has this ever happened to you? It’s in our nature to compare ourselves. So while you’re looking at images from others, you can’t help but notice that images which are over saturated, poorly composed and with crooked horizons are featured on mainstream blogs and other far reaching forms of social media. They’re insanely popular with viewers. You’ve noticed this too right? Confused?!

Don’t let this discourage you. There’s a difference between popularity and the truth, just as much as there is a difference in creative expression, even if it means poorly composed images with other worldly colours. Just be thankful that you know the difference and can maintain a sense of integrity. This is a little harder to do than it might seem though.

What’s happening, is photographers are being caught in a dopamine feedback loop caused by the digital media and social media frenzy that is now a part of our lives. This may also hold true for society at large and in other realms. Former Facebook Executive and Billionaire, Chamath Palihapitiya was quoted just this year and said “the short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works: no civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.” Many other esteemed individuals and scientists are starting to take this phenomenon seriously. A quick google search will bring up lots of interesting points of view, backed by science.

What I’m noticing is that photographers are sacrificing really great images and showcasing poor images or grossly exaggerated ones simply to get noticed and to be popular. The more likes, hearts and comments we get, the more dopamine that gets released and the more we want it to happen again and again. Sometimes at any cost. Don’t forget, that over time we become desensitized. It’s hard to break this habit as an individual but imagine what happens to society as a whole and the damage it does? All you’re doing is sacrificing your integrity as a photographer and simply contributing to this vicious and contagious cycle.

If you’ve created an image and you think it’s great, if it’s true and if it’s realistic, that’s all that matters. I’ve often said that the greatest risk that I face as a photographer is for someone to be inspired by one of my images only to be disappointed when they visit the same scene because it’s not anything like what I created.

My advice, start liking, sharing and commenting on images that have class and integrity and ones that are technically correct. Also, put the phone down and start looking at what’s around you and “be here now.”

Grizzly Bears in particular haven’t had many friends over the last couple of hundred years. Thankfully, on December 18th the BC NDP Government became one and ended this atrocious trophy hunting fiasco once and for all. I do not necessarily support any one given political party but I certainly do support this legislation and I applaud those elected to office for making a humane decision. This is certainly cause to celebrate this holiday season!

Thank you to all my followers! 2017 has been a great year filled with some exciting experiences. There’s more to come in 2018! My best to you over the holiday season.

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Do you paddle on the west coast of British Columbia? Chances are you’ve visited a BC Marine Trails campsite or you may already be familiar with the work that the BC Marine Trails is doing? We have various opportunities within our organization for those passionate about paddling and who want to help us build the World’s largest marine trail network. It’s these volunteer efforts that help keep our trails and campsites open. Our stewardship committee and site condition reporting is an integral part of that process. Find out more here: https://www.bcmarinetrails.org/how-to-help/stewardship

Help us prevent things like this from happening…

(Photo credit: John Knight)

The recent images and video of the starving Polar Bear on Baffin Island are heartbreaking to say the least. It’s a reminder that we must start changing our ways, if it’s not already too late. As difficult as it was to observe, I applaud my friend Paul Nicklen and his team for their efforts in showcasing this for the World to see. Let’s start doing something about it!

A little bit of pool action during a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. All images created with my iPhone 6S Plus.

Anyone with even a slight interest in adventure, geography and Canadian history will really enjoy this book. I just finished reading it. Adam Shoalts provides a very interesting and unique perspective on what it took to put Canada on the map. What stood out to me is just how recent all of this took place. As Canadians we have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Check out the book trailer here: