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.