McGeachy Pond Conservation Area — Erieau, Ontario
By Scott Proudfoot of London, Ontario
Having earned his degree in economics, Scott Proudfoot never considered himself a creative person. But, after his company announced its closing, the London, Ontario native felt it was the right time to stay at home with his son and let his wife start her new career. He quickly realized he would benefit from a hobby. “I needed to get out of the house and get some exercise,” he says. “I’ve always been one for nature. It just seemed natural to bring a camera with me.”
Proudfoot started out shooting wildlife, landscapes and then street photography. He started to enjoy his newfound hobby and wanted to improve. “This is fun, but how can I do better with this,” he remember thinking. “My photos are nowhere near as good as National Geographic.” Proudfoot began spending three to four hours a week reading books and listening to podcasts on the subject as he drove. “You reach a point where you say, ‘O.K. I am done taking pictures and I want to start making pictures,’ ” he explains.
And that’s exactly what happened when he took this winning photo in November 2013. Armed with his Nikon D800E, he drove an hour and 15 minutes from his home in London to McGeachy Pond Conservation Area in Erieau. “I could see this flow of energy going from the bottom left to the middle right,” Proudfoot says. “Everything kind of flowed in that direction. I like the sky and I like the reflection of light off the water.”
Proudfoot did have some difficulty in capturing the shot though. “What you don’t see is that beach is only like six, eight feet wide so, when the tide rises, you get chased back,” he recalls.
Even after his success capturing photos, Proudfoot still feels that the creative process — at least for him — does not flow naturally. “I’ve always had to sit and think deliberately before taking a photograph,” he says. “The challenge of photography, I think, is putting something together, looking at the elements and trying to make something good out of it.”
By Laurel Decker of Ohio
While only about an hour’s drive from their home, Laurel Decker and her husband, Ron, had not visited Put-in-Bay in more than 20 years. This past June, the couple decided to make a trip to check out the Heineman’s Winery and see how the island had changed.
Two years ago, Decker had picked up photography to capture the landscape and the many animals around her Lorain County home, including her own 14 hens. So, she brought along her Canon Rebel T3. She was driving behind the Frosty Bar when she noticed this American Flag in an old building and told her husband to turn around so she could snap a picture. “I’ve always been drawn to chippy, worn, broken things and that kind of fit the bill for all three,” she says. “People probably pass it up all the time or catch it out of the corner of their eye, but never stop and take a look,” she says.
Presque Isle Beach 10 — Erie, Pennsylvania
By Brianna Lindey
As sophomore photography major at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, Brianna Lindey enjoys taking all types of pictures, but her favorite subject to photograph, by far, is her 2-year-old green iguana, Lazarus. “I just grew an instant attachment as soon as I met him,” says Lindey.
On the day she took this photo last June, she easily captured this image of her pet on Presque Isle Beach with her Olympus E500. “I actually think he likes having his picture taken, he’s always looking directly at the camera,” she says. A month before this photograph was taken, Lazarus had broken his toe, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying his day at the beach. “He never acted like it bothered him, even the day it happened,” Lindey says. “He’s pretty tough.”
Ever since she took the iguana from a friend that could no longer afford to keep him, she brings “Lazzy” with her wherever she goes, even to the grocery store. She never ceases to gain attention as 2-foot long Lazzy usually sits right on her shoulder, rather than be transported in a cage or her purse. “He is good company, he behaves. There’s always something to bond over when you bring your cool pet. He’s always so nice and people love him, he’s more affectionate than you would think a reptile would be,” she says.
Fairport Harbor, Ohio
By Brian Fowler
After 34 years working as the chief of outdoor education for the Lake Metroparks, Brian Fowler knows a good photo when he sees one. Whenever he goes out paddle boarding, he always makes sure to bring his iPhone 5S in case he can catch a great shot, like this one taken in mid July of last year. “Not very often does it lay down and be that calm on Lake Erie, usually it’s the opposite. It was the perfect summer night,” says Fowler.
The photo was snapped as Fowler’s friend, Roxana, paddled between piling remnants from a factory that used to be along the shore. Fowler sees the photo as a connection between the past and present. “It’s like the reclaiming of Lake Erie,” he says. “It used to be industrial and now it’s more useful for recreation,” he says.