Top Photographer - Issue 04
Top Photographer is a ranking based on the average score of a person’s best five photos in a given month. The winner will be awarded this section of the magazine to do with as they please. Last month’s winner was Jeff FitzGerald.
Who are you and what do you do when you aren’t taking pictures?
My name is Jeff, I originally come from Sault Ste. Marie, but largely grew up in Tillsonburg. If you’ve never heard of Tillsonburg then you need to listen to more Stompin’ Tom Connors. And if you’re Canadian and you’ve never heard of Stompin’ Tom Connors then you’ve been missing out and need to start questioning your Canadianism. During weekdays I am an engineer, and outside of that I find a variety of activities to keep myself busy including running, biking, skiing, drinking coffee or beers, and walking my dog Wolfgang.
Can you give us a tip on how to take a great photo? What kind of camera do you use?
By cracky, finally an opportunity to sound pretentious! Oh how I’ve longed for this moment ever since I was a young boy in the old country. Ontario was a fine place to grow up but eventually the photographic lure of the scenic West Coast mountains and ocean drew me in. I’ve mixed up cameras over the years, but currently shoot with a Canon 6D. To each his own on taking a good photo, but if you want people to really like your photo I’ve been told you just need to include a puppy or kitten somewhere in the frame. Or as one of my best friends constantly states: “just read the f@cking manual”. I, however, usually opt for the Google.
Who is your favourite local photographer and why?
I’ll have to plead ignorance to this question as I don’t have much exposure to local photographers outside of a few friends, work colleagues, and those whose names I am being introduced to through Archive magazine. I’m a big fan of landscape photography and shooting at night, there were some great photos in the November issue taken by both Chris Barker and Tim Barker among others.
What do you love about Vancouver?
I moved to Vancouver from Montreal for “just a couple of years” almost 10 years ago. I love the easy access to nature and unparalleled ocean and mountain views. And hey, I have friends here and they keep it entertaining. Vancouver is chill and has a good vibe, albeit it can be socially awkward but it’s gradually coming out of its shell.
What do you hate about Vancouver?
Hate is a strong word, but the thing I dislike about Vancouver is that it is a small city and at times it seems like it has an inferiority complex regarding some of the downsides of the city—I mean it’s okay, Vancouver, other notable cities have downsides too. An obvious downside at the moment is the soaring cost of living, which makes it harder to call Vancouver home. The thought of investing 30 years into an overpriced aquamarine-blue-glass condo marketed as an affordable 1 bedroom “home” with a “flex space” and Miele appliances isn’t for me. As an aside I too hate all the rants about cost of living, but I hear parts of Spain are nice this time of year. Hmmm.
Do you drink? If so, what’s your favourite place to have a beer in Vancouver?
I do drink and I’ll name a few of my favourite places in the off chance the proprietors of the following fine establishments read this and feel obliged to give me a free beer(s): the Alibi Room, oh the selection; Brassneck Brewery, the tastiest and freshest beer in all the land; Six Acres, who needs to read books when you can use their toilets; the Revel Room, great tunes by excellent musicians; My Living Room, it’s very affordable but arguably could be cleaner.
How do you feel about Donald Trump becoming the president of the United States?
Understandably there has been a lot of negativity coming out of Trump becoming president-elect but here is one potentially positive opinion: If a “successful businessman” can become President of the United States after running a campaign filled with misogynistic, racist, undiplomatic, discriminatory rhetoric, then I guess anything really is possible. So it should make us all feel warm and fuzzy inside to think that perhaps one day we too can follow our outlandish dreams without the prerequisite skill and or knowledge to carry them out—assuming we have billions of dollars in the bank.
If you could change one thing about Archive, what would it be?
I stumbled upon Archive Magazine, it’s a great concept and I hope to see it flourish. If I could change anything, maybe I’d put one of my photos on the cover. Or maybe as the number of users grow I’d limit the number of monthly photos participants can upload, I dunno, I’d probably just put one of my photos on the cover.
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