With its dramatic seascapes and awe-inspiring views, P.E.I. is a picture-perfect destination.
Over the years, photographers have trekked to Canada’s smallest province, dug their toes into the warm sand and tasted the sea salt on their lips as they’ve snapped pictures to their hearts’ delight.
have gone on to publish coffee table books, showcasing famous Island locations like Orby Head, Blooming Point, Cavendish, Greenwich, New Glasgow and New London Harbour, among others.
And while their books are often beautiful and their colour reproductions accurate, none have provided helpful information on how to photograph Prince Edward Island’s best locations.
That is, until now.
This month, two P.E.I. photographers are changing all of that. John Sylvester and Stephen DesRoches are sharing their photographs and shooting secrets in “A Photographer’s Guild to Prince Edward Island”, a new book published by Acorn Press.
Both authors felt the timing was right for the how-to guide.
“Over the past few years, there’s been an explosion of interest in photography because of digital technology,” says Sylvester, who gave workshops for more than a decade to enthusiastic camera owners.
Unlike days gone by, people are willing to share information, he says.
“It’s out there. It’s online, available in Facebook groups everywhere but not as a complete package.”
He has also been receiving emails from people across North America asking about when and where to get the best shots.
“So, having a resource to point them to can provide them with way more of an answer than I could,” says DesRoches, holding a copy of “A Photographer’s Guild to Prince Edward Island” in his hands.
With Charlottetown as a starting point, the 123-page book takes readers on a counter-clockwise tour around the Island, following the designated coastal drives.
“Each section is a location that we highlight in various seasons.”
The first stop is Point Prim in Queens County and the last is Egmont, Prince County, after a small detour through the interior.
The book includes photographs taken in over 40 locations, exposure settings and tips for shooting at the right time of day.
Images range from lobster traps on fishing boats in French River and the sun rising over Cape Turner to wildlife images such as an osprey returning to its nest with a fresh catch in New London and a sanderling running along the water’s edge at Brackley Beach and much more.
“P.E.I. is a very colourful province. It has several characteristics that photographers love – from farm fields to cliffs and the (water). So, anyone looking for scenic views can find them here,” says DesRoches.
Now, after a successful book launch, he’s looking forward to the future.
“I’d like to see a second book. I plan to keep doing the same thing – exploring new locations and photographing the same locations in different conditions.”
Tips from the pros
The whole thing about photography is being out there, says John Sylvester. “It’s about going out and exploring and be prepared for the unexpected. Usually when I’m out there by myself, I have a camera with a long lens on the seat beside me. So, if I see wildlife I will be ready.”
Ospreys are easier than other wildlife to photograph because most of their nests are manmade; set on pallets, near harbours, says Stephen DesRoches. “You just have to time it with their feeding cycles, which is typically in the evenings. They leave in the mornings.”
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