Saturday, 31 August 2013

Storm Carroll Photography

     On show at Calicos Coffeehouse on Bay Street are images so strong that one can forgive the photographer for not framing the works. With a campfire by the lake, a fish, eagle, bobcat, and canoes, Canadian heartstrings are pulled along with feelings of nostalgia, ecology, relaxation, and adventure.
     At 26 years of age Storm Carroll has been a full time professional photographer for the last five years. He got his first film camera in Grade nine and at St. Patrick’s he studied darkroom photography where students used good ol’ film and chemicals to print. He took courses in broadcasting at Confederation College. Friends dropped some knowledge on him and he switched to digital photography and got the computer programs needed to create great images.
     Of big photographic influence was National Geographic magazine. Amongst all the great photographers Storm admires he’s a big fan of Cole Barash, a young photographer famous for his magazine covers of snowboarding stunts.
     Storm got his career going by taking shots of his buddies fly-fishing, canoeing and camping. Those pictures got noticed and he discovered a market for great nature shots. Ontario magazines and government agencies have been updating their image banks with digital and HD photography.
     And later his career was bolstered twhen he did a half hour video documentary called, North Shore Diaries, about three gentleman fisherman, Ian, Paul, and Brennan, fly-fishing gurus from the North Shore. Storm joined them for an entire fishing season between the border of Pigeon River and Wawa, with a base in the Terrace Bay area.
     This video helped rocket Storm further into the outdoor magazine business. He works for CG Emery International who own Streamside, a fly-fishing company, and the hunting supply company, Backwoods. Their magazines use Storm’s photography in their advertising.
    Two weeks ago Storm returned from Iqaluit and Nunavut where he worked with James Smedley, a writer for Ontario Out of Doors magazine. They were working on a story about fly-fishing and tourism. “The fishing was unreal,” says Storm.
     Storm adds, “You don’t have to travel very far here to see pristine country. I think the North Shore is one of the most beautiful places going. People just need to get out and explore. There’s a good sum of people that do, but there could be more.” Storm adds, “A lot of people look at my pictures and say ‘where’s that?’ They think it’s British Columbia, but the shots are all from here.”
    The art show at Calicos is Storm’s Ode to the North Shore, where many shots were taken while he was filming North Shore Diaries.
     Storm likes that his photography might inspire greater respect for nature. He’s not a fan of any mine or the Tar Sands, “But I drive a car… so I can’t complain a lot about that.” He’s worried that mining operations, present and future won’t abide by better environmental regulations.

    He likes photographing fish, especially trout. “There’s nothing like a beautiful fly-fishing rod lying next to a rainbow trout.” Yet Storm has a good time taking wedding photos. He does up to twelve weddings a year. He finds these shoots challenging. “Every photo shoot is different and you have to learn to react to people and assess the situation. It’s completely diverse, compared to a fish. People talk back. But I do love it.”
     Storm talked with awe about his favourite shot of sturgeon spawning. He saw about a hundred of them one day at Rainy River near Fort Frances where many were nine feet long. “Not too many people have seen that before,” he says. “Normally they stay at the bottom of the lake. They can get really old, a hundred to a hundred-and-fifty years. They come out of Lake of the Woods for spawning. The rivers constantly pump nutrients and oxygen into the lake. This is when you can see them, and then they head back to the bottom.”

         In Portage Creek, while part of a cooperative wrangler program with John George, Storm caught a rainbow trout that weighed 16 pounds and was the biggest steelhead the cooperative had seen in that river system in 25 years. In this catch-and-release program, George collected the data, tagged and clipped the fish.
     The show at Calicos was originally going to be filled with pictures of fish, but Storm’s girlfriend, Trish, advised him to add more variety. If you can’t make it to Calicos, Storm is posting images on a blog on his website at     

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