If you don't already know, I'm the guy in the photo above, and my name is Mark. Mark Bernards 3. Believe it or not, the 3 at the end isn't just a number I threw at the end because "markbernards@gmail.com" was already taken when I decided to make myself a grown up email address. Okay... that was a contributing factor, but I am actually Mark Bernards the 3rd!
I've always been fascinated by the natural world, especially animals. When I was younger, I fed that curiosity with frequent visits to the Toronto Zoo with my grandmother. So many amazing animals to see, and so much to learn about their behaviour, diet, adaptations, and most importantly, about conservation. Seeing all these incredible creatures, learning about how special and unique each one is, how could I not develop a passion for nature and the desire to preserve it? But there was still a bit of a disconnect.
With the most amazing animals I had ever seen being in captivity, I grew up with the idea that "wildlife" was something mysterious, far-off, and remote, and my only viable option to see it was the zoo. It wasn't until I picked up my first camera (the Nikon D3000) - whose initial purpose was so that I could take photos at the zoo - that I started to realize that wildlife is everywhere!​​​​​​​
From there, I dove into photography as a way to get closer to both common and uncommon species, and as a tool to continue my learning about the natural world. It's rare that I come back from an outing with my camera and don't immediately hop on the internet or open our Birds of Canada book to try and learn more about a new-to-me species that I saw or a behaviour I had never noticed in a species I've seen a million times before.
Over the past decade or so, I've been upgrading my gear (see my list of toys below), improving my camera technique and understanding of photographic methods so that I can get to a point where I feel my photos might inspire others to look for the beauty of nature around them. With daily walks through a small patch of forest in the middle of the suburbs where I live - which I lovingly refer to as my Neighbourwoods - I think I've finally reached that point, where I can use photography to show that there is so much beauty and so much biodiversity, even in the most unlikely of places.
People protect what they love. So my goal is to help people fall in love with nature, starting with the recognition that nature and wildlife is everywhere, you just have to look for it.
Whether it's a small forest or a big forest, a pond or a lake, a public park or even high up in the mountains, or even your back yard! Find your Neighbourwoods.
My main setup:
Carrying system - Cotton Carrier CCS G3 Harness (use code MARKBERNARDS3 for 10% off!)
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