Ask Peter McKinnon to describe his work and two words immediately come to mind: eccentric and cinematic. But, really, what makes his style distinct is that he doesn’t have one distinct style. Ever-changing, ever-evolving, McKinnon equates being comfortable with being bored, and enjoys the challenge that comes with pushing himself to be better. His most memorable experiences—and the best landscapes he’s photographed—have come here at home. At the top of the list: Two years ago he realized a childhood dream of shooting at Moraine Lake in Banff, Alberta, capturing the view once seen on the $20 bill.
“My favourite lens is the EF 24mm f/1.4L II. That lens has been everywhere. It’s missing pieces. The paint is gone. The weather seal is gone. It was almost run over by a Formula 1 car. It’s been everywhere from the water in Maui to the sands in Africa. It’s been to the top of mountains. It’s just a beast. And it still works beautifully. Camera-wise, the EOS-1D X Mark II has a complete animal of a body, and I love it in every single way.”
If Paul Zizka had a choice, he’d be somewhere wild and remote set up under the stars. It seemed only natural then for him to want to document and share that feeling with others. The adventure and nighttime photographer has a style that plays with the magic of the nighttime and the use of the human element—it’s about the interaction between people and landscape. And it’s about being ready when Mother Nature puts on a show, like the night Zizka was shooting ice climbing in the Athabasca Glacier and the Northern Lights came out to play, the sky exploding. Many of his best shooting experiences are tied to mountaineering trips, where at the apex of a climb, Zizka bears witness to weather phenomenon not seen on ground level, making him feel like part of it all.
“The lenses I use extensively for nighttime photography allow me to create images that would not have been possible even five years ago. The setup is just so versatile; I can go climbing in the mountains with a 5D Mark IV and the 16-35, the wide-angle lens, and I rarely wish I had something else. It’s incredible how many opportunities you can take advantage of with that one setup.
“The 5D Mark IV, and the latest version of the 16-35 and 2.8, allow me to shoot the big, wide epic scenes of people interacting with the mountain environment. The vast majority of nightscapes can be shot with that same lens too. It’s definitely my workhorse.”
Driven by curiosity about what’s happening around her, Jackie Beale seeks to tell a story through her images. For her, it’s not about capturing the perfect moment but rather chasing a specific one. It’s showcasing something through her lens that’s different than what can be seen with the naked eye. Photography provides Beale an entrance into situations—say, paragliding—that she otherwise would never find herself. Having a greater goal—capturing a moment on film—gets her out of her comfort zone.
“The last thing you want to think about is your camera not working or it breaking. You quickly become completely redundant when your camera doesn’t work. My gear being reliable and durable, and knowing I can count on it, is really important. That’s why I keep coming back to Canon."
Focusing mostly on portraiture, Renée Rodenkirchien looks to find the in-between moments with her subjects, the flashes that show people’s personalities. To capture those unguarded glimpses, she travels light: less gear invites more intimacy, and mostly sticks to using a single flash or natural light. Shooting mostly in people’s homes or on location, Rodenkirchien has shot the world through her lens—in 2017 alone, that’s included Thailand, Russia, Taiwan, Japan, China, the United States and Switzerland.
“My dad is an art director, so I grew up on set. Canon was our household brand. I feel a lot of brand loyalty to Canon. Photography and being creative is a very personal experience. The tools you’re working with become your friends in a way. Once you start that relationship, it’s something that spans over your lifetime. I love my 70-200mm lens. I get the most beautiful photos with that lens.”
Patrick Di Fruscia aims to convey a feeling of inner peace, calm and serenity with each photo he takes. Looking at his photos offers a chance to unplug from the stress of everyday life. He rarely shoots man-made objects; he looks for natural beauty, something that makes people dream and see the world through his pictures. A fan of epic landscapes offered by places like Iceland, Norway and New Zealand, Di Fruscia believes every destination procures its own feeling, and for that reason, he simply lives in the moment.
“I’m looking for that sharp yet, soft fairy-tale look. I tried the EOS 5DS R, and that look I wanted to capture was there. My [go-to] combination is the EOS 5DS R with the 11-24mm L Series lens. With landscape photography you want to shoot extremely wide, and I love the way the lens renders the images. That’s my workhorse, the lens that is on my camera 90% of the time.”
Right from a young age, John Marriott loved getting outside and looking for wildlife. It only made sense that he’d turn that into his trade. Now a wildlife photographer, he aims to capture portraits that convey emotion or connection with an animal: images that are up close and personal enough that you can see an animal’s eyes but without invading its space. Marriott enjoys the spontaneous, unpredictable nature of his field. There’s nothing choreographed; it’s photographing what an animal does all on its own in its natural environment. And particularly meaningful encounters—with Delinda, a wolf he followed for a year and a half who opened his eyes to how the animals truly are; with Frank the Tank, a grizzly bear who was not only tolerant of humans but allowed them close enough for his close-up—have got him into the conservation side of wildlife photography as well.
“The EF 500mm f/4 IS II USM is a nice, sharp, gorgeous lens. It’s light enough that it’s handhold-able at times, and it provides that reach you need for wildlife photography. With my EOS-ID X Mark II, I can shoot at ISOs that I could never shoot at before, which is a real benefit because animals are often active at dawn and at dusk. The high frame rate allows me to capture action I may have missed with other cameras. And I love the quality of the files with EOS 5D Mark IV. To have 30 megapixels, it’s wonderful to be able to crop out of and still end up with a magnificent-looking file.”