People & Culture

Photographing Vancouver Island with Ryan Tidman

Episode 62

Breaking into the business of wildlife photography is no easy task, but Ryan Tidman has experienced great success through his work photographing Vancouver Island’s iconic mammals — bears, sea wolves, marmots and more

  • Published Jun 20, 2023
  • Updated Jul 25
Wildlife photographer Ryan Tidman and one of his photographs of a Vancouver Island sea wolf. (Photos courtesy Ryan Tidman)
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Professional wildlife photographer Ryan Tidman has an up-close view of the damaging impact logging old-growth forests is having on Vancouver Island. The Trebek Initiative Grantee is investigating how cutting down the last remaining giant cedars and redwoods is taking away the dens of the island’s black bear population. On that rainy island, caves are too wet for bears to live in, so holes in giant trees are where they spend their winters and raise their young. But for how much longer, and what can be done?

Tidman also talks about why he loves photographing Vancouver Island’s sea wolves more than any other animal. And what attracted him to do a story for Canadian Geographic on Canada’s most endangered mammal, the Vancouver Island marmot. And there are some great lessons here about his experience breaking into photography, the importance of mentorships by legendary National Geographic photographers Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier, and why perseverance pays off.


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