About BobSmith & RiverMarshImages - Robert W. Smith
  • About BobSmith & RiverMarshImages

Bob


I live in the old fishing and farming village of Ladner on the SW corner of British Columbia. Those industries arose out of the river delta environment around us. The  alluvial soil provides rich farmland and the Fraser River is the route for multiple salmon migrations each year. All this, in turn, supports one of the richest bird environments on the planet. Each year millions of shorebirds and waterfowl come and go with the seasons. Thousands of eagles pass through each year and many of them nest here. Other raptors abound, also coming and going with the seasons and we have large numbers of wading birds feeding in the fields, salt flats, and river marshes, with several nesting colonies in the vicinity. 

I have been a waterfowler since my first memories. Pursuing waterfowl and being in the waterfowl environment has been the passion of my life and still is, only now it has been made  much broader and more absorbing by the camera. Photography lets me bring the whole experience home with me and share it with others. It takes me afield 12 months of the year instead of just five. Since I was sixteen the marsh has been my favourite environment. I have spent much time climbing, skiing, and hiking in the mountains, wandering the prairies , exploring the ocean, both above and below, and traipsing about the forest world--but I always come home when I get back to the marsh.

In nature, photographic opportunities abound, but the wild birds of the salt and river marshes are my favourite subjects. While living and working as a ski patroller in the southern Alberta Rockies in the early seventies I dabbled in photography but never really understood it. I let it go during my years as a lawyer and even for eight years after I retired. Sure, I took pictures as I pursued the various outdoor activities I have been involved in over all those years but I was a snapshot photographer and made no effort to learn the technical intricacies or to explore the artistic depths of my little pocket cameras.

That all changed when I got my first DSLR four years ago. Slowly I began to see the potential I held in my hands and in the last two years I have finally started to learn and understand the technical side of photography and the processing of the digital image that comes out of the camera. It is a steep learning curve and I am only beginning to ascend the lower slopes of that mountain. 

I have started this website so I can share with family and friends more of my photographs than comfortably fit the medium of Facebook where , until now, I have been publishing some of my images. It's not all birds because the environment I frequent is surpassing beautiful and varied and landscape photography provides a challenging diversion from the difficulties of getting good avian images.

There is much artistry and poetry in the flight and behaviour of birds and I hope that as I learn more of the technical photographic and post-processing skills  I will grow into an ability to capture and express my own unique artistic presentation of their images. I find it particularly enjoyable and challenging trying to capture and present birds interacting in an artistic way, whether in flight as a pair or a small grouping or living with each other in their non-flight environment. In the meantime my goal is to take the visitor to this website on a journey around and into the marsh with me. Enjoy.

[Thanks to my pal Oly Kringhaug for letting me use his great shot of me and Jessie silhouetted against the sunset on the Brunswick dyke.]