The Call of the Wild with Gwen Berthiez - Anacortes Magazine - Art, Music, and Community

The Call of the Wild with Gwen Berthiez

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An Interview with nature photographer Gwen Berthiez

1. Why wildlife?

GB: I shoot wildlife because it takes me outdoors and brings peace & quiet to my soul, and wonderful, non-political, honest wildlife beauty to my senses – besides – it’s an excuse to be out in the woods and doing whatever I want to do – far away from offices & human nonsense stuff.

2. What was your first wildlife photograph?

GB: An American Bald Eagle

3. Your favorite wildlife subject?

GB: Raptors and whales of all kinds 

4. Your favorite wildlife location?

GB: Absolutely anywhere in the PNW

5. Most dangerous shot?

GB: Cape Kiwanda while avoiding the sizable & unpredictable rogue waves

6. Luckiest photograph you captured?

GB: A shot of a humpback whale in full breach lined up in front of Mt Baker & Mt Erie – awesome luck!!!  It will never happen again for me.

7. Most memorable?

GB: A beautiful little red fox, who thought I had something for him to eat, so he ran straight up to ‘speechless’ me.  I had never seen a red fox before and was awed in the first place just to be near one, much less to be able to capture a very unsteady shot with a completely new & unfamiliar camera.

8. Technique tip

GB: Especially with wildlife, if you are not out there – you cannot catch that image.  Be there and take lots of photographs.  When you go out, decide exactly what you are looking for & want to photograph. Take the right equipment all prepped to catch that shot.  And even more important – know your equipment thoroughly. 

9. Equipment tip

GB: Keep it simple & don’t weigh yourself down with lots of unnecessary, heavy stuff – travel as lightly and as efficiently as possible.


I never hefted a camera before about five years ago and had no clue how to operate a ‘real’ camera – too complicated.  And I was working too – no time.  So when I retired, had discretionary time,  and the awesome digital camera became available, I started taking pictures.  The digital camera provided a wonderful creative outlet, which had had to be push to the background during the working stage of my life.  So now I truly enjoy myself – no apologies.  And I don’t have to dress up in the corporate uniform to do it.

For me the Pacific Northwest offers a spectacular parade of entrancing images – a never-ending kaleidoscope of shapes, textures, and colors to entertain and delight the senses.  I find Nature in all forms – landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, birds, – to be perfectly beautiful just as She is without any artificial enhancements  Through my photography I attempt to capture and render Nature as  simply and as accurately as possible.

Gwen’s website

Karla Locke
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