Behind the lens with Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray

When Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray isn’t busy bringing compelling local stories to Calgarians, he’s out in the woods, camera in hand.

Gray says photography has always been a hobby and this year, a “refuge” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He says there’s a “thrill” that comes with hunting down the perfect image.

“To wander and wonder in the woods with all your senses acute, free of devices and social pressures, now that is my idea of an escape,” he said.

Gray says he mainly focuses on photographing both wild creatures and wild spaces.

“I have been fortunate to be able to travel to many of our planet’s more remote corners, both as a journalist and as a fellow with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society,” he said.

“Over the years I’ve loved finding images of street scenes in Europe and Asia, and glimpses of daily life in the Middle East and Central America.”

Despite the extensive travel, he thinks Canada has some of the most amazing treasures.

“I’ve photographed wild horses on Sable Island off our far east coast, grizzly bears in B.C.’s Khutzeymateen, orcas in the Broughton Archipelago, polar bears on the ice floes of Frobisher Bay,” he said.

“And there’s so many places I still want to see.”

Gray says right now, he’s using the Sony A9 body with the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS lens, but he’s still learning as he goes.

“Every photographer knows the best camera you own is the one you have ready at the right time. It’s amazing what you can capture with a smartphone these days,” he said.

Check out some of his favourite shots below! All of the photos selected were taken within a couple of hours drive of Calgary, between February and May this year.

In this picture, Gray captured some black-necked stilts. (David Gray)

A robin perched on a branch gets ready to take flight. (David Gray)

Two redpolls rest on this snowy branch. (David Gray)

Here’s a shot of a red-winged blackbird with the wind at its back. (David Gray)

Gray captured this shot of a pileated woodpecker. (David Gray)

A Lewis’s woodpecker, named after American explorer Meriwether Lewis. (David Gray)

Gray captured this lovely shot of three tundra swans in mid-flight. (David Gray)

This shot of two wood ducks shows off the waterfowls’ stunning colours and patterns. (David Gray)

This white-faced ibis stands on one of its red legs, the other raised in the air near its long curved bill. (David Gray)

The bird of prey known as a redtail hawk surveys the scene. (David Gray)

A yellow-headed blackbird is captured in mid-flight, showing off its striking golden head to which it owes its namesake. (David Gray)

Two long-legged American avocets wade through shallow waters. (David Gray)

A pelican angles its long beak downwards while standing in front of a body of water. (David Gray)

Gray captured this gorgeous shot of a bald eagle, wings unfurled. (David Gray)

A pine marten curiously peers back at the camera. (David Gray)

A shot of an osprey offers a close up look at this fish-eating bird. (David Gray)

A flock of Canada geese take to the skies. (David Gray)

A stunning photo of great gray owl, offering a great look at this distinctive owl with yellow eyes. (David Gray)

A small bird known as a tree swallow catches some rays on its deep blue back. (David Gray)

Two hooded mergansers dive into the water. (David Gray)

Four bohemian waxwings perch in a tree surrounded by berries. (David Gray)

Another close-up capture allows this crossbill its glamour shot. (David Gray)

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