The World Photographic Cup is a competition in which a team of photographers represent their home country. This one of a kind international team competition features the best photographic art from around the world.
Nations across the globe, including Canada, meticulously curate their countries images to create a collection of 18 amazing images to enter in the World Photographic Cup. For Team Canada, the gruelling process began last summer, when submissions came in from coast to coast, vying for only 3 precious spots in each of the six categories.
The final 18 images went on to represent Canada at the World Photographic Cup. Of those a select few may make it to Top 10 in the World and have an opportunity to reach the WPC podium with individual Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals. Then depending on their final ranking, these images have a chance to help Team Canada win the World Photographic Cup!
Every photographer on Team Canada is excited to celebrate our Canadian medallists, and we thank them for propelling Canada on to the world photographic stage.
“What an incredible honour. Having my husband (Scott MacLennan) and my fellow Canadian teammates at my side, made it even more special.”
The Great Bear Rainforest is a global treasure that covers 6.4 million hectares on British Columbia’s north and central coast – equivalent in size to Ireland.I went there in search of the elusive Spirit Bear. The Kermode bear is a colour variant of the North American black bear.Due to a double recessive gene, a small percentage of black bears in the area are all white. Because these bears mostly live on isolated islands, the gene continues to be replicated. The Indigenous legend says that “The Raven made one in every ten black bears white to remind the people of the time when glaciers covered this land”.
One morning, I was crouched low at the river’s edge; my knees were on the rocks in the water. I had 3 Nikon mirrorless camera bodies, I was ready for all encounters – however, I didn’t anticipate Boss standing 15 feet directly in front of me.
Boss lowered his head into the river and, without realizing it, I too instinctively ducked my head a fraction. From several metres away, I was watching the elusive Spirit Bear through my viewfinder, holding my breath and trying to remember to exhale. He pulled his head up and shook, droplets spiraling in a circular windmill around his head. He looked at me for an instant, and plunged his head back into the water, searching for salmon roe on the bottom of the river. I felt a catch in my throat. The photographer in me knew intuitively that it would be a memorable photo. The human in me felt that, in that moment, I was part of Boss’ life, as he was part of mine. We were deeply connected in a way that is hard to describe.
I continually dig deeper to find that moment and meaning to share with my viewers so they can create their own story within my image. Perhaps it ignites their curiosity or desire to learn more, or if successful, it makes them feel more connected to the natural world. Photography can blend art and science and ignite viewers to be more engaged. As a wildlife photographer, I take this mission seriously and it is always a significant part of my process of creating. Using photography for social awareness, wildlife conservation and inspiration will always be my continued mission.
In 2019 Michelle Valberg’s photographs of a Spirit Bear, Black Bear and Polar Bear were featured on Canadian Stamps.