My love of photography began years ago as a kid. Our family had a cottage on Whitestone Lake in Dunchurch, Ontario. My dad, Jim Sr; was an avid photographer and traveled the world on business. It seemed that after every trip to Japan he would arrive home with a new lens for his Asahi Pentax SLR, film camera. So, yeah, I learned the “hard way” in manual mode with film.
Every chance I got, I was out in the forest with his camera. Since then, I have done a significant amount of work for the US Military in Iraq as a dual contractor. When I say dual contractor I am being a little evasive. I took somewhere around 200,000 photos but at the same time I specialized in ballistic plate and the aftermath of roadside bombs...IED’s…it’s a long story that really can’t be told. At the end of a day, I would turn in my memory cards to the “spooks” better known as the CIA. They, in their wisdom would delete the photo’s that they felt were too sensitive to leave with me.
During one session I took some photo’s of a large oil tank. I was about 500 yards away, standing on a sand dune. I turned in the memory cards and early the next morning I was summoned to the intelligence office. They had one of my photos blown up on a blueprint table. Far to the lower left of the photo there were 3 individuals kneeling down. The intel officer asked if I knew them. I told them that I wasn’t even aware they were in the picture; it was a long ways away. Turns out that they dispatched a squad and found a roadside bomb. They said I may have saved some lives. When I arrived home from one trip I had a fax waiting offering me a 2 week contract to do some work for them. So, I accepted and turned around and went back. I am still doing freelance work for them with a couple of projects in the works.
Today, I live in Magnetawan, Ontario with my wife Cyndi and our three Newfoundland dogs, a Maine Coon cat and tanks of tropical fish.