Lethbridge photographer Michael Lenaour has landed a southern Alberta scene on the cover the current issue of Canadian Geographic.
The image shows a cow moose and her calf drinking water at Akamina Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park, taken on July 18.
“I got up early in the morning,” said Lenaour. “I walked in there in the morning, it was super foggy, and just off to the right side of where I came in at, I could hear the splashing in the water come towards me. I was a little bit nervous not knowing what was coming my way. And there was this cow calf and mom, so I kept my distance and it was pretty cool, a neat experience.”
Modest and humble about his talent, Lenaour says the image on the cover came from interest when he uploaded it to the Canadian Geographic Photoclub, after which he was first approached to use the image for a calendar which then evolved into being entered into the running for the cover.
“I was shocked,” said Lenaour. “I tried to downplay it in my head, I’m not much of a promoter myself. But when they got a hold of me and told me that, it was pretty cool.”
Lenaour says his photography is a like a hobby, doing it for the people that can’t get out and see the areas he captures in his lens. He was drawn to photography at an early age when his parents got him a camera.
“It was a little one with the roller on it. I just liked taking pictures, there was always a thrill to it. Once you took the picture on a film, you had to wait for the thing to get developed to come back to you,” said Lenaour. “Now with this digital age, it’s so easy. You can take the picture and see them, delete them, and take a bunch of them. It’s gotten a lot easier.”
But for Lenaour, it’s not a matter of ease but a learned skill. Being blue-green colour blind, he is able to capture vivid colours and landscape with his camera which he shares on social media, like Instagram @mike_lenaour.
“I don’t see what most people see colour-wise. I see colours, but it’s different,” said Lenaour. “I actually have a colour-blindness changing lens I put on once in a while. When I look at my pictures with that on, it’s so different. Maybe that’s why people like my stuff.”
Hoping to share the pictures he takes, Lenaour, who operates One Shoe Photography, says his imagery is for all to enjoy.
“I don’t do it for money. One of my main reasons for doing photography is just sharing it with people to appreciate it. I know there’s lots of people that aren’t able to get out, see the world. Hopefully they can live vicariously through these pictures,” said Lenaour.
Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald