Despite its abundant natural beauty, North America had never been the source for the winning wildlife photography for the Eric Hosking Portfolio Award. Until now.
Twenty-two-year-old Burnaby native Connor Stefanison picked up the prize for his mesmerizing photograph of a barred owl, caught mid-flight and transfixed on the lens at night.
Stefanison has been following the owl and her mate for the past two years, and he memorized their flight paths so he could snap the perfect photo.
The award recognizes the best among aspiring wildlife photographers between the ages of 18 and 26 from all over the world. Stefanison submitted ten photos for the prize, and earned the award based on his six best, though the head-on shot of the owl is his own personal favourite.
An aspiring National Geographic photographer, Stefanison credits his Burnaby Lake upbringing for immersing him in such beautiful scenery for his interest in photography. He started off mountain biking and his observations of nature on the trails inspired his keen eye for composition.
For now a biology student at Simon Fraser University, Stefanison has some catch-up to do on exams he missed while attending the awards presentation at London’s Natural History Museum.
His work will now be displayed at the National History Museum until next March.
Of the event, Stefanison has his own observations on the wildlife photographers present: “It was all black tie, so you had all these nature photographers that never dress up, all dressed up,” he laughs.
All images courtesy of Connor Stefanison. Learn more about Connor and his work at www.connorstefanison.com.