Written by Andrée Thorpe
posted on September 13, 2014 12:30
Editor’s Note: This summer I had the opportunity to meet a talented photographer, Andrée Thorpe. After living in Bermuda for several years, Andrée and her husband returned to Canada and rather that choosing a big city such as Toronto or Montreal, they chose the mid-way rural setting of Howe Island.
A tour through her webpage is a delight and it did not take long before I realized that it was time to introduce this photographer to our readers. Here is an except from Andrée’s blog page written early in 2014.
Andrée Thorpe’s Blog
Last September was the three-year anniversary of my new journey in the world of photography and my attempt to learn visual storytelling and landscape photography. I thought: What a perfect opportunity to reflect on why I decided to become a photographer, what I learned, and on my journey itself.
. . The reason I got into photography was not completely genuine. I did it so that I would have a practical use for my time when I was to retire from the insurance industry when I turned 50 years old. Then I took a National Geographic photography class from Raul Touzon in Miami and, before I knew it, my life had changed completely.
Photography is now a fundamental part of me. It gives me a sense of completion and, at the same time, it is a humbling experience. It makes me vulnerable. It shows who I am, what I live, what I feel, what I see.
With Raul, I not only learned the value of creativity, good techniques and perspective, but I was inspired. Suddenly, I had a new dream; I found a new passion. Photography opened a whole new world to me, and I discovered a side of myself I didn’t know was there.
. . . I believe photography is about your inner self. What you capture says something about what interests you, intrigues you, and amuses you; it shows who you are.
While an image is a snapshot of a moment in time, photography starts from within; it is a snapshot of your reaction to your environment, to what is taking place in front of you, to your subject and to the story you are trying to tell. There is nowhere to escape. It is you, your camera and what you are trying to express. If you fail, it is because of your own inabilities and limitations, and you have to own them…
Easter in Antique Guatemala
Andree’s Artist statement as a landscape photographer:
“I never knew how I would be so drawn to nature. It gives me the push to go out and enjoy its beauty, the energy to get up early in the morning and spend hours in search of beautiful images. Nature gives me peace in my heart. There are things in life we have no control over. When and where we were born, the genes we inherited, when and how you are going to die… These are aspects of our life we have no control over. I remember the morning I decided to stop living a life wishing for things to happen and I decided to make it happen. I understood it was all about choices that I had control over. I am glad I saw the light. What I love about photography is that it gives you the opportunity to dream, how you look at what is around you and create your vision. I never get bored when I am out there. I can shoot non-stop all day and I am never bored.I learned to stop and visually experience what is around me: to see the light, to see the magic. Nature has a way to make you humble, it is so much bigger than who you are. You need to appreciate the gift it gives you everyday:
gift of life, gift of peace, and gift of love.”
A photographer living on Howe Island:
“The Thousand Islands is just paradise as a landscape photographer. Right at my doorsteps, there are so many opportunities to create beautiful unique images. It is all around.”
“This past winter, I was shooting on the first sign of snow. I never imagined I would love winter. I love shooting when it is snowing, stormy; everything looks so magical. I had a good time shooting this past winter. It was very cold that is for sure, but at the end all worth it. Most of the time I was operating under brutal snowstorms and temperatures that reached -26 C. Each image was a gift.”
“Raul Touzon, National Geographic photographer (my mentor) was visiting. One morning we crossed the border into Cape Vincent in New York State, home of the Tibbetts Point Light House. Lake Ontario was frozen solid; a sea of white. We decided to shoot after walking about 1200ft. out on the ice and shot the lighthouse from the lake.”
“A Vulcan storm was knocking on my door. Big storm out there! Went out to shoot. It was absolutely awesome. I would have loved to keep shooting but 80/mph winds… In less than 2 hours, there were already snow banks as high as one foot. I couldn’t see the difference between the sky and the ground. Absolutely insane and was getting unsafe for driving.”
“This summer, I spent most of my time working on documenting farm life on Howe Island. This will be an ongoing project for the next couple years. I was back out shooting the colors of summer in the Thousands Islands and soon the fall colors. I love shooting after a rainfall as everything just glows. Shooting in the fog is the ultimate for me as whatever matters, just stands out. I love shooting when there is drama in the sk. Living on Howe Island is a great source of happiness from many levels. I cherish and enjoy every minute living here.”
By Andrée Thrope
Andrée Thorpe is an emerging photographer who has chosen photography as a mean to share with her viewers her personal expression. Andrée is nesting on Howe Island, in the Thousands Islands, Ontario Canada with her husband and biggest supporter. From there, she continues to pursue her passion to create and share her visual experiences through photography.
You can travel around the world with Andree through her website, Andree Thorpe Photography and can view her landscape work including images of the Thousand Islands on www.andreethorpeprints.com.