I’ve always wanted to be a photographer. When I was twelve, my parents gave me a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye for my birthday. The year was 1960. That got me started on the journey to learn the process of photography. Then when I was 15 I asked my father if I could have an SLR. Popular Photography was my favourite magazine and from browsing those pages full of articles and ads, I concluded that the single lens reflex with interchangeable lenses and through the lens viewing was the way to go. With the limited amount of money I had at the time, I chose a Petriflex and got my feet wet. I learned how to get good exposures without the aid of a light meter until I bought one of those. Yes back then light meters were separate handheld affairs. Today automatic exposures and instant results thanks to digital technology is taken for granted while back then we had to learn to see how light and film work in combination together to create an image by balancing shutter speeds, apertures and film ISO. 

In 1968 I entered the 3 year diploma course in Photographic Arts at then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now university) in Toronto. There I studied in depth most aspects of photography before graduating in 1971. That connected me with Pringle and Booth Studios where I commenced a career as a studio product photographer shooting catalog and advertising using large format film cameras. Among a host of other clients, I can say that I shot for the Eatons Christmas Wishbook in the early 70’s before they stopped catalog production because of the enormous production expenses of photography, artwork, printing and distribution.  My commercial photography career spanned until 1994 when I moved to Vancouver where my life took a shift in a different direction. My fascination with computers tickled my curiosity to add graphic design to my list of skills plus I was ready for a change. I thereupon purchased my first Mac computer and learned to use Photoshop and initially Pagemaker which was the layout program that got me started in desktop publishing to accompany photographing whatever was required for displaying brochures, annual reports and posters.

While still in Toronto, I was introduced to commercial quality digital photography using a digitized Hasselblad that required shooting through red, green and blue filters. This was the early years of digital photography and cameras such as this cost in the tens of thousands of dollars and whose quality is only suitable as bookends compared to what is available today. It wasn’t until 2005 that I purchased my first DSLR, a Canon 20D, and let go of film. After 34 years of using film and darkrooms I was thrilled with the change of using a computer as a darkroom instead of smelly corrosive chemicals. The loss of dynamic range of the digital camera over film (which has vastly improved since 2005 because of advances in digital technology) was overcome by the incredible flexibility of the digital sensor plus computer.

Although I have always enjoyed shooting landscapes, it wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to sell and display my photography. Before that I just did it for fun as down time from working in a studio, but suddenly I was being encouraged to sell my photos at galleries and craft events. What you see on this website are some of the images that I have shot over the years including portraits and photojournalism that I recently worked at. I now consider myself to be retired but I have never lost my love for photography. Discovering new ways of looking at life through the lens of a camera is still a passion that keeps me forever young at heart as the 12 year old who was excited with his first camera.

Many of the photographs on this website were shot with a Canon 5D Mark II using 5 lenses: 17-40mm f/4, 24-105mm f/4, 70-200mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and a 50mm f2.8 macro lens. I previously used a Canon 40D and Canon 20D. I currently use an Olympus OM-1 with 12-40mm f2.8 and 75-300mm lenses. I purchased the Olympus to lighten my load. Some photographs were taken with an assortment of film cameras and digitally scanned with a Nikon film scanner. These were captured with either a Hasselblad, Mamiya RZ 6X7, Pentax 6X7, Pentax 6X4.5 and Nikon or Canon 35mm film cameras all of which I no longer own.

I am one of the featured photographers in Howard White’s new version of “The Sunshine Coast”. It is available at many book stores or online through Chapters and Amazon or directly from Harbour Publishing.

All photographs on this website are for sale. You can download them as you would on any stock website with prices based on the download size. Go to the dropdown menus under Photo Galleries to view a selection of my photographs. The highest resolution photographs can be printed yourself or if you contact me I can arrange to have them printed in any manner that you wish.

Warm regards,
Allan Forest

I am currently featured on pages 32 and 33 of Zoom magazine.