We are back with another talented local photographer from our neck of the woods up North in British Columbia, Canada. A passionate conservationist and knowledgeable guide, his photos show his commitment to his craft. So without further ado we present the next installment of our "interview with a photographer" series featuring Anthony Bucci!
Cotton Carrier: Where do you call home?
Anthony Bucci: I lived in the Fraser Valley my entire life but recently moved to the Northern end of Vancouver Island.
CC: How long have you taken photographs for unprofessionally and professionally?
AB: I have been taking photos for 6 years, 3 Years as a hobby, The last 3 years I started professionally doing Workshops, Photo tours and Print sales.
CC: How would you define your style as a photographer?
AB: My style as a photographer would be wildlife first as my main interest, Im also a sports photographer. I like a bright fresh look to my images. I do like to crop my images but I still like a bit of environment around my subject. Im not much of a fan of extreme closeups for my wildlife images. I want my followers to enjoy the subject and the environment at the same time. When I’m out taking photos I’m very hard on myself. My images have to be perfectly composed, perfectly sharp. If they’re not then I just delete them and try again, I like my images to have a natural look, I like them too be true to what Im seeing, through the view finder.
CC: Have you ever gone to photography school?
AB: I’m a self taught photographer, other than taking a photography class in high school developing film in a dark room.
CC: Where is your favorite place or thing to shoot?
AB: My favourite subject to photography is Owls. I really enjoy the challenge of finding them. You never know what you’re going to get with them. Each encounter is magical. My favourite place to photograph owls would be Scottsdale, Arizona. Nice weather, lots to see and really nice landscapes, the owls like to sit in. I also really like bears a lot but owls are number one and always will be.
CC: What Camera(s) / Lenses do you use?
AB: I’m a Nikon fan. I have a Nikon D850, D500, D4s I have a variety of lenses I use while I’m out and about. Nikon 500mm F4 FL/E Prime, Nikon 200-500 5.6, Nikon 70-200 FL 2.8 and my Nikon 1.4x TC III Teleconverter
CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “The Shot”?
AB: Hmmm, Thats a tough one. I actually don’t have many, One I can think of is driving 4 hours each way to Kelowna BC to get one picture of a Flammulated Owl then turn around and come home. I don’t have many owls left for my North American owl species list, Im sure there will be some crazy moments in the future.
CC: Who has inspired you as a photographer?
AB: The one person that really stands out for me as an inspiring wildlife photographer would be John Marriott, His images are incredible and what he does for wildlife conservation is remarkable.
CC: What advice would you tell an aspiring photographer?
AB: For new upcoming wildlife photographers I would say is to get out and take lots of pictures and practice, Be willing to learn your camera gear and research your subjects to understand their behaviours. I think the number one thing with wildlife photography for anyone is to stay humble. Wildlife photography isn’t a competition to who gets the better image, Learn the basics and progress from there. I prefer to have quality images over quantity. Ask lots of questions and set personal goals. You don’t get better by sitting at home.
CC: Can you share a photographic resource you personally use?
AB: Some photographic resources I use would be Facebook - I have a great follower group with lots of support from people all over the world.
CC: How has photography shaped your day to day?
AB: Everyday I think about photography, I think about how I can be better. I surround myself with photographers, I like talking about the gear and wildlife. I like presenting to public events about my experiences with photography and chatting online with many people working hard to get great images and try their best to get published. I enjoy helping others as much as I can. Photography is my life. I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t out taking pictures or doing workshops. I just really enjoy it.
CC: Where has photography taken you and made you experience?
AB: When I first started getting into photography I had below average gear. I was super annoyed with terrible image quality. My biggest goal was to be published in magazines and win awards in photography. With a major equipment upgrade and more experience under my belt after each and every outing learning to photograph my subjects in good light as well as terrible light to all elements of weather. This past 3 years has been amazing for my photography and what I have accomplished. I have presented to over 1000 people all over the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. I have been published with National Geographic Magazine, Canadian Geographic magazine, British Columbia Magazine, BBC Wildlife magazine, Canadian Camera Magazine and many more. In 2018 I won bronze medal for Nature/Wildlife contest with CAPA Canadian Association for Photographic Art. Photography has presented many opportunities this last little while with a variety of sponsors from companies. I never thought photography would have gone this way with all the accomplishments I have achieved in such a short period of time.
CC: Any exciting photographic events in coming up you’d like to share?
AB: I do my yearly Winter/Fall Birds of Prey workshops and Photo tours in the greater Vancouver area as well as my Vancouver Island Bears and Northern Pygmy Owl tours. Im currently promoting my upcoming Newfoundland photo tour in June 2020.
CC: Anything else you’d like to add?
AB: I have donated thousands of dollars in prints, workshops for private fundraisers, silent auctions for the well being of wildlife in general not just Owls, Im a volunteer with O.W.L Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation centre in Delta BC. I pick up injured birds of prey and transport them to the facility for care. If releasable at a later time I take the bird of prey back to where I found them and let them go back into the wild. Being able to handle birds like Owls, Eagles and Hawks you don’t realize how big and powerful these birds are until you’re holding them. I really enjoy giving back to the wildlife in anyway I can. A this point in my wildlife photography journey there is more to just taking pictures. I have also been vocal online with the getting the word out about rodenticides and how it kills more than rodents. It's important for people to understand that this poison affects the wildlife that consumes these rodents.