About Mike

Mike Paterson, the photographer, started taking photos back in 1985 while living in Waterton Lakes National Park. I can remember all my life enjoying great photos. I always thought that the people that took these photos must be something special. They would see a scene that others would pass by. I think the first time I picked up a camera was when I was 15 or 16. Those pictures were for the time were cutting edge. Technology was making huge strides and photography was coming to the masses. Cameras were coming out that could do so much more.

First Camera

The first camera that I can remember was a Kodak 126 camera. It was simple and easy to use. Problem was that it was so limited. I started looking for a camera that would allow me to grow as my knowledge grew. One issue that I found immediately was ho much misleading information was pushed as truth. This was even before the Internet. It took years of research before I was comfortable enough to buy a camera and start taking pictures.

“I always had a love for the outdoors. Nature and wildlife photography was a way for me to capture what I found and to share it with others”.

Mike Paterson

After living in Waterton Mike moved to a ranch outside the park for a short time. This allowed him to continue enjoying his love of nature and photography.  A couple years later and Mike found himself moving to Calgary. Working with a photography company and living only minutes from the mountains. A perfect time!

“My time in Calgary allowed me to escape to the mountains weekly if not daily. To explore and take images of the magnificent scenery I found. From Kananaskis to Banff and up the ice field parkway to Jasper”

Return to Lethbridge

After moving back to Lethbridge Mike continued to enjoy the outdoors and his photography. Soon after returning Mike found that a growing family and photography business kept him away from his fine art photography. “When you work six days a week taking pictures for clients when you have a day off it was a day away from the camera with the family”. Now some 34 years later Mike is back outside shooting every chance he gets!! “It really is amazing to see all that God created and to be able to capture it for others to enjoy!”

Experience

Mike is an award winning photographer and has done just about everything in the photography industry. He worked for The Lethbridge Herald for many years. Has had work published in numerous magazines and publications including Readers Digest, Alberta Report, The Calgary Sun, as well as many, many other magazines and publications.

I have run E-6 (slide) labs, negative and print labs, enlargement labs and digital labs. This not only allowed me to print my own work but it allowed me to fine tune my shooting techniques. I was printing large prints from 35mm negatives at a time that it was almost impossible to do it. It all happened as I found ways to maximize the negatives that I was shooting to reduce the grain and hold the sharpness.

During this time Mike took many courses with industry experts. I had access to representatives from all the big companies – Kodak, Fuji, Nikon, Canon, Epson, Konica, Adobe and more. It helped me to stay on top of new products and happenings in the photography world.

Fine Art Prints

Mike has a number of his fine art prints in private collections around the world. I love selling my prints so others can share in what I have experienced.

Each time a print leaves for a new home it is like a member of the family is leaving. For some photographers they may sell just a picture. For me it is a time, a place and many memories going with the print. I remember so much about each print it is like a part of me is venturing out.

Teaching

Today in addition to just taking pictures Mike regularly teaches photography. Sharing his love of photography with students, teachers, photographers and graphic artists. Teaching them to take better pictures and get the most out of their photography equipment. “I got involved in teaching before other photographers were offering courses. At that time the only place to take a course was at a College or University. When I first started my goal was to help other get through the minefield of misinformation. I didn’t want to see others get frustrated like I was when I started out”.

A picture from 1988, shot on slide film, scanned and printed in house!
A picture from 1988, shot on slide film, scanned and printed in house! Still hangs on the wall of the office as a reminder of days gone by.