Alister Benn is a Scottish artist, writer, musician and educator. He runs his company Expressive Photography with his Norwegian wife, Ann Kristin Lindaas. Alister's approach to expressive creativity is one closely tied to personal development and sustaining positive mental health. His new book Out of Darkness explores the relationship between the landscape and the aesthetics of emotional engagement. This fusion of inner and outer landscapes is a gateway to our subconscious and self-acceptance.
Alister’s ebooks, Luminosity and Contrast, The Colour of Meaning and Creativity Superpowers offer game-changing approaches on how we look at landscape photography and his YouTube Channel offers thoughtful explorations on creativity and our ability to curate emotional resonance through our photos, as well as interviews with some of the biggest names in nature photography today. We’re honoured to have Alister as our Keynote Speaker for this year’s event.
Rebecca Simrose is a landscape photographer with a fierce dedication to exploring wild places. Photography is her passion and obsession. Two years ago, she left her 30-year career in medicine to pursue photography full time and hasn’t looked back. She’s spent weeks in the Summers camped in a tent or bivy high in the remote mountains, she’s hiked many kilometers with a backpack half her weight, ventured to glaciers and frozen lakes in Winter, and near froze in the predawn on mountaintops - and never has she felt more like this is where she belongs. This is where she feels most alive.
Rebecca’s stunning photography takes people to places few will ever venture to themselves. She hopes her photography will inspire people to connect with this beautiful planet and love and protect it. She hopes she can inspire people to get out to the wild places, because she believes that they will find there the peace and happiness that she has found.
Viktoria is originally from the UK and a resident of BC, Canada since 2007. She is heavily influenced by the beautiful environment that surrounds her.
She has a background in fine art and anthropology. This combined with her love for the natural world, brings a unique perspective to her photography. Her ethos is to tread lightly; observe and document the subtle visual story within whichever photographic genre she is working.
Viktoria’s work covers the fields of landscape, portrait, wedding, event, promotion, editorial, stock and photography education. The diversity of her work allows cross pollination of skills and experiences between these different photographic genres and allows her to stay creative and excited about the projects she undertakes. She loves nothing more than sharing her passion for photography in an educational role – whether that is over a cup of coffee and a chat or on a multi-day back country workshop.
Viktoria is proud to be a Nikon Canada Ambassador, a Global Ambassador for Lowepro Bags and an Ambassador for Kase Filters Global. She has been published by numerous media outlets around the globe, both online and in print and is a regular contributor to Photo News Magazine.
Dara Ojo is a macro photographer who takes incredible, well-detailed pictures of tiny creatures.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1990, Dara grew up playing with his dad’s broken Nikon camera but didn’t discover his passion for photography until he was an undergraduate student at Covenant University in the UK. While studying, he’d use his point-and-shoot to take photos of his classmates and landmark areas inside the campus. He moved to China after getting his master’s degree in information technology in 2018 and as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in late 2019, he found the boredom of lockdown unbearable so on a rainy day in January 2020, he ordered a Nikon D3500 - his first DSLR camera. He opted to photograph birds but due to the restrictions in place he couldn’t move around to shoot as much as he wanted to. A photographer friend suggested he try macro photography because, in his words, “bugs are everywhere”. Over the past two years, Dara has built an impressive portfolio of wonderful insect portraits, published a book, and has twice been featured on the United Nations Biodiversity Instagram page for week-long takeovers.
Alex fell into photography and into climbing at the same time. The two fed each other: he had to climb bigger and wilder mountains so he could get better images, and he had to become a better photographer so he could do justice to the epic scenes unfolding in front of him. Over ten years ago, Alex made the decision to drop out of his computer science studies and move to the climbing mecca of Chamonix, France to be a full time adventure photographer.
Highlights of Alex’s career include sailing an expedition yacht around Cape Horn, being invited to an Ethiopian coffee ceremony in Dadaab Refugee Camp, photographing Usain Bolt at the Olympics, skiing to the North Pole, naming three (small) mountains in Greenland, adventure racing through Tierra del Fuego, climbing on K2 and getting winched from a rescue helicopter at night.
Though he works in other genres of photography, from portraiture to humanitarian, automotive and industrial work, he remains passionate about using the still image as a powerful tool to tell stories and convey emotions. Alex currently lives in Canmore, Alberta, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, with his wife and two children. He misses Chamonix too much to stay away for long, though, and frequently travels back to the French Alps.
Abbie Reilander is an 18 year old, award-winning wildlife and nature photographer based in the vast, intriguing, ever changing prairies of Saskatchewan. She has been taking photos for just over three years, focusing primarily on wildlife for the past two. Abbie is also an avid writer and travel fanatic; she applies both through her unique photographs, conveyed in ways never done before to truly encase the beauty of Canada through her own life experiences.
Abbie recently graduated from a small, secondary school in the city of Saskatoon, SK. She is planning on attending the Okanagan campus of UBC for Environmental Evolutionary Conservational Biology (or EECB), in hopes of becoming a wildlife biologist as her love of photography led to her undying love of wildlife. Through her crafted photos and careful expressions, Abbie hopes to spread awareness of the delicate conservation world to better both the animals and the environment as well as the larger world itself.
Rare Earth Outreach’s Billie Lang and Hope Walls
As careers hung by a thread and a second round of late-2020 pandemic lockdowns threatened to bury the tattered remains of sanity, people in the photographic arts community were desperate for both creative stimulation and meaningful interaction with colleagues.
In response, a group of creatives ran two seasons of The Shooting Range: A Photography Challenge, Canada’s first and only elimination-style photography competition. Co-creators of this online event, Billie Lang and Hope Walls, stumbled upon profound similarities about the struggles they and their colleagues experienced, leading to the establishment of Rare Earth Outreach, a Foundation dedicated to calling in (instead of calling out) people who work with, in, and for the photographic arts community. They are very excited to share their uplifting, funny, and inspirational discoveries about what happens when the race to create and the pressure to stand out become secondary to finding your own voice and telling your own story.
Kase Pro team:
Jim Brompton, Chris Gibbs and Brett Michaud
Hosted By Shane Turgeon
Shane Turgeon is an award-winning nature photographer and the founder of the Lightchasers Nature Photography Conference. His work is primarily focused on landscapes, the night sky, storms, and wildlife but he also enjoys his time working in concert and event photography. His work has been featured by Canadian Geographic, the Natural Landscape Photography Awards, PhotoLife magazine, Black Rapid, the CBC and in 2022 he was short-listed for the prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year award from the Royal Museums Greenwich in London.
While pursuing nature and landscape photos for his own personal pleasure are his primary focus in photography, he also has a keen passion for sharing both his art and the mental health benefits of nature photography and passing on his experience and knowledge to other photographers.
Shane is a proud ambassador for Kase Filters, f-stop gear and McBain Camera.
Jim Brompton has had over 44 years of experience as a professional and award-winning nature photographer. He has owned a photography business since 1978 and over the years has been featured by Outdoor Photography, Canada Magazine, Photo Life, Nature Canada, Outdoor Canada, Canadian Sportsman, B.C. Outdoors and more! In May of 2018 Jim received the prestigious Master Fine Art designation from Master Photographers International and is among less than 100 photographers in the world with this title.
Jim's work is featured in many galleries across Canada that display and sell fine photographic art. He is known as a master for his understanding of light and for displaying incredible depth and detail in his images. Jim is a Brand Ambassador for Kase Filters Global and a Pro Member with Arcteryx clothing.
Special Appearances By:
As a photographer, Monika Deviat is best known for her distinctive and award-winning nightscapes. She is driven to capture unique scenes under the night sky and inspire a sense of wonder, especially in those who cannot see the stars where they live. Monika's photography does not fit into a single niche, though. She is also a concert, portrait, and commercial photographer, a dynamic workshop leader, speaker, and writer based in Alberta.
Monika's start in photography began with her love of heavy metal. On the world's largest heavy metal cruise, she has had the opportunity to photograph many of her favourite bands, from local shows to many festivals across North America and even to international waters. While travelling in 2014, Monika had the chance to try photographing the Milky Way, and in 2015, night photography had hooked her in. This passion for night photography led her to the outdoors, and she has become an avid mountain explorer in the Canadian Rockies.
For nearly three decades, Joe has been immersed in the world of photography. He began his career as a studio photographer in Northern Ontario, Canada. Growing up in this remote area afforded him the opportunity to learn his craft while exploring the outdoors, making nature photography a perfect fit. Today, Joe works as a professional photographer out of Calgary, Alberta, focusing on wildlife and landscape photography. He loves to share his knowledge and enthusiasm of photography with others through teaching, workshops and speaking engagements.
“There is nothing more rewarding than when a fellow photographer (student) comes away with an image they are proud of,” says Joe.
Joe is an award-winning and nationally published photographer who has earned multiple national accreditations in a variety of disciplines including equine,landscape, nature, wildlife and more. Joe has also garnered the designation of Master Photographer (MPN) in Nature Photography with MPIO, Master Photographers International, is Kase Filters Pro Team member and an Ambassador for f-stop.
Mark Jinks is an award-winning nature photographer and educator based in Leduc, Alberta, Canada.
His main photography focus is on capturing beautiful landscapes and wildlife, the energy of severe weather, and the mystique of the night sky.
Mark's work is highly regarded and has been featured by Travel Albereta, The Globe and Mail, CBC, Westjet Magazine, Canadian Geographic, Outdoor Photography Canada, and many more. He has won numerous photography competitions, and his imagery has been licensed by agencies all over the world.
Each and every speaker were absolutely amazing! When working on composition I now have a plethora of voices in my head giving me inspiration! The whole conference was a positive experience.Bea Kachmarchyk
Stay Tuned for More Exciting Speaker Announcements in early 2023!