Sue Harper


Oh, the birds! Herons and eagles and hawks and ducks and seabirds of all kinds. Sue Harper’s photographs are full of the passion and affinity she feels for her natural subjects. Combine that with patience and an instinctive eye for balance and composition, and you get some truly outstanding images.

Sue Harper’s love of the outdoors and photography began early, with family camping trips in the provincial parks of Ontario. A little Brownie camera got her started, and she has been studying the work of other photographers and chasing the perfect shot ever since. She always shoots ethically, waiting for a shot, rather than trying to set it up or contrive it. Maybe this is how she achieves so much depth and intensity in her shots. The viewer really feels her respect for the subject’s peace and dignity. Harper feels so strongly about this that she includes the Code of Birding Ethics on her website.


“Wildlife photography gives you a great appreciation of nature,” Harper says, “especially in today’s fast-paced world. I personally feel honoured every time a bird allows me in its presence, to witness and photograph it in its home.” Studying her photographs, it is amazing what we see in a bird’s eye: determination, triumph, resignation, softness, pride, concern. We think we see reflections of ourselves and our own moods. Or maybe we are just moved to recognize that we are all fellow creatures on this earth.

Now a resident of Victoria, some of Harper’s favourite spots to get great photos include Esquimalt lagoon, Swan Lake in Saanich, and Ruby Lake on the Sunshine Coast.

“There are so many beautiful areas all around BC that have so much to offer, whether you are behind the camera lens or just out enjoying the wilderness. Many don’t realize what we’ve got, and how important it is to preserve and protect the natural environment and those animals that live within it. I only hope that my photography helps in some small way to open people’s eyes to what beauty we can find in nature.”

See more of Sue Harper’s work at

Words | Nancy Pincombe

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