Interview with Antarctica Wildlife & Landscape Photographer David Merron

For today’s post, we talk to Canadian photographer David Merron. Originally from Anmore, British Columbia, he now lives in Toronto. Merron has been taking photos since he was a kid, but has been shooting professionally for five years. Self-taught, he says it’s all about trial and error.

penguin photography

Cotton Carrier: How long have you been taking photographs?

David Merron: I’ve been taking photos since I was 10 years old. Originally with my dad’s Canon film camera on trips to Europe for the Tour de France. I loved it. However, travelling my whole 20s I only ever owned disposable cameras or less than adequate digital cameras. Definitely nothing I took seriously until I bought my first digital DSLR and 50mm 1.8 lens 10 years ago.

CC: How would you define your style as a photographer?

DM: I find it difficult to describe my style as something specific. I don’t take myself too seriously, I’m just constantly trying to find a scene that will tell a good story, with unique, special moments. My photography style has evolved with each year and will continue to do so as I continue to photograph.

penguin portrait

CC: What is your favorite place or thing to shoot?

DM: I’m lucky enough to work in Antarctica as a photography guide, so I would be crazy not to say there. More specifically, the island of South Georgia, which is a sub-Antarctic island in the south Atlantic. That would be my all-time favorite place.

I like to photograph wildlife and landscapes, but specifically, penguins and South Georgia is a mecca for penguins.

Photography has somehow transported me to extremely remote places that I could only dream of visiting 6 years ago. Antarctica, Remote Atlantic islands, Canadian high arctic. I’ve experienced some of the most remote places on earth filled with amazing wildlife and landscapes.

arctic photographer

CC: What camera(s) or lenses do you use?

DM: I use Canon and Sigma equipment.
Canon 5D Mark III’s as bodies.
Canon 70-200is 2.8L II
Canon 35 1.4L
Canon 24-105 4.0L
Canon 16-35 2.8L
Sigma 50 1.4 Art
Simga 85 1.4 Art
Sigma 150-600 Art

CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “the shot”?

DM: With the vast majority of my wildlife images, I like to take them from a low angle, more or less eye level. To do that at some penguin colonies can be quite a challenge due to the fact the ground is absolutely covered in penguin guano or poo. So, you have to make that decision, do you want that shot, or is it OK just taking the shot from a boring angle…from above looking down on the penguin. So, you do the natural thing and lie in the guano and get covered in very foul smelling material. And hopefully, the ‘shot’ was worth it!

penguin in a landscape

CC: What advice would you have for an aspiring photographer?

DM: Do your own thing. Find your own style and go for it. The more you shoot, the more you will mold your own style and figure out what you like and don’t like. If you like a certain style of photography, research how it was done and figure out how to do it yourself. And shoot in Raw.

CC: What photographic resources do you use?

DM: My main resource is the Internet. Lots of different resources within the Internet. 500px is a great site for looking at all types of amazing photography, a great place for inspiration, especially for researching areas that you may be visiting. F-stoppers is another great website with lots of great articles on all things photography. And, of course, Instagram.

bird photography

CC: How does photography shape your day to day?

DM: Photography has forced me to look at the world differently at pretty much all times. For example, walking around the city here in Toronto, I am constantly noticing interesting lines in buildings, nice light at certain times of the day, and finding myself taking mental pictures when I come across these scenes.

david merron

About the Author:
Andy Cotton set out to design a camera-carrying solution that was comfortable, secure, and accessible – without moving parts that could fail, jam, or break. So, he designed Cotton Carrier Camera Systems with top-quality materials that are functional and reliable in all situations.

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