Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Nature photographer finds natural beauty in everyday places

Published on

Journal Staff

You can travel to the deepest Amazon to see the world’s natural wonders but you’re just as apt to find them in your own backyard, says Sarnia nature photographer Ronnie D’Haene.

“There is so much to see all around us. Seriously, you just have to stop and smell the roses. You just have to take the moment to look.”

D’Haene admits he learned that the hard way. He took up photography as a hobby after suffering debilitating injuries in a 2000 pipeline accident.

He is entirely self-taught, and it was a slow process. But eventually his work began appearing in newspapers and magazines and in art exhibitions and private galleries.

And teachers began inviting him to demonstrate his technique to senior students at Hanna Memorial School.

“They were saying to them, ‘This guy can do this and he never read a book or took a course. And if he can do it, you can do it.’”

D’Haene, 59, believes the keys to a good shot are the choreography of its elements and attention to background details.

He said there is an almost unlimited supply of natural beauty to record within the boundaries of Sarnia itself, as the images here attest. In recent weeks he’s been recording bird life at the Wawanosh Wetlands.

He also shoots at a 99-acre bushlot he owns in rural Lambton, a place he refers to as The Project.

But getting Grade ‘A’ photos requires vigilance, he added.

“The beauty is in your own backyard, but it will show up when you least expect it.”

Hey mom, it's getting a little crowded in here! This image was taken in the backyard of north-end Sarnia home, where a growing family of five racoons had nested in a tree. Ronnie D'Haene
Hey mom, it’s getting a little crowded in here! This image was taken in the backyard of north-end Sarnia home, where a growing family of five racoons had nested in a tree.
Ronnie D’Haene
Like fireworks exploding in slow motion, the flowers of a yellow lily open and fizzle in ascending order. D'Haene was out walking his dog in Sarnia when he happened to notice this plant in a passing flower garden. Ronnie D'Haene
Like fireworks exploding in slow motion, the flowers of a yellow lily open and fizzle in ascending order. D’Haene was out walking his dog in Sarnia when he happened to notice this plant in a passing flower garden.
Ronnie D’Haene
Da da da da da da da Batman. A cormorant swoops in for a landing on a small pond at D'Haene's Lambton County bushlot.
Da da da da da da da Batman. A cormorant swoops in for a landing on a small pond at D’Haene’s Lambton County bushlot.

More like this