About Mike Grandmaison
Mike Grandmaison is a talented, award winning, full time Canadian photographer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the "heart of Canada". He was born in 1954 in the northern community of Sudbury, Ontario, where he graduated from Laurentian University with an Honors degree in Biology in 1976. For the next 20 years he pursued a career in water quality and forest entomology and pathology, based first in Edmonton and later in Winnipeg. Countless days and nights spent in Nature provided the opportunity to spend early mornings and spectacular evenings immersed in photography - a natural launch to his subsequent career as an outdoor stock and assignment photographer.
Looking back to my childhood, I have always had an affinity for the ‘natural world’. Coming from a land ravaged by mining, lumbering, and forest fires, I understood very early the need to preserve our natural heritage. While Canada has always been blessed with a healthy environment and varied wildlife, it also faces a growing loss of habitat and species. We must not only acknowledge this fact but act now to preserve what we still can. We owe it to our children to leave this world in a better state than it is now. And we must be vigilant about this.
I feel very fortunate to have been born in Canada, as I firmly believe that I live in the best country in the world - bar none. What I love most about this country is its sheer beauty and diversity; Canada’s vastness truly boggles the mind. Photography has allowed me to explore the subtleties of the natural world in a way that complements the academic knowledge I gathered during my formative years. By walking a little slower, waiting a little longer, looking a little closer or deeper, I have been rewarded with the discovery of countless nuances of color, line, form, texture and pattern that can be so easily missed. Photography is the vehicle through which I was able to discover this great country. As a result of looking through my camera’s viewfinder, I have become much more aware of my surroundings. Photography has literally heightened my ability to see and feel.
My lifelong commitment involves the constant search for evocative images that reflect the beauty and essence of this great land in images that speak to the heart. I am always seeking that often-fleeting but eloquent light that bathes our glorious landscape; the quiet, contemplative, intimate views of a road less traveled; the fascinating patterns of nature’s myriad and minute details; the unexpected appearance of one of nature’s elusive and secretive creatures. What often triggers my memory of a place has to do with the senses; other times, it might be the way the light gently caresses the edge of a tree, or hearing the haunting cry of a loon. While I often seek and wait for the “sweetlight” - that time of day in the morning and evening around the rising and setting of the sun when the light is warm and inviting - I photograph frequently during other times of the day too. By keeping an open mind, I find that I am able to continually discover creative opportunities nearly anywhere I may find myself. For me, enjoying the outdoor experience is as important as creating the image. A photograph can never replace the experience of photographing or of actually experiencing the moment. Yet while the memory may fail, the photograph will be a constant reminder of a moment in time, an experience cherished.
As more people migrate to the cities, fewer people experience the natural environment. As a species, we are less and less connected to the natural world – our land, our skies, our water, our forests and our creatures. Our existence on this earth represents but a fraction of the earth’s existence, including that of many of its other inhabitants. Yet, we make decisions daily that are threatening the planet’s health and even its very survival. While the plight of the human condition deserves our attention, the devotion to our natural environment is no less noble. Not only is our own health dependent upon a healthy planet but so is that of all the other species; we have been taking this for granted for much too long.
As an artist, my focus in photography is to capture the beauty of this great country and to share it with others to remind us all of the importance that a healthy environment brings to the richness in our lives.