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Photographer’s love of adventure helps in capturing images that captivate and inspire

Community ProfilePhotographer’s love of adventure helps in capturing images that captivate and inspire

Heather Cardle has always been interested in photography and has been successful in capturing many distinct images, especially ones of nature and wildlife.

Cardle, who originally hails from Scarborough, Ontario, explained her early beginnings in photography.

“I’ve always been interested in it as a child, but I didn’t have access to a camera. As a teenager, I picked it up and I enjoyed it, but then you know other things in life were going on and I put it aside, and eventually, I started doing it again and it just kind of snowballed into what I am doing today,” said Cardle.

As Cardle began to get more involved in photography, she embarked on a 365-day project which was to take a photograph every day for a year. However, it would turn into a more complex long-term project.

“I started this photo-a-day project [and] I used that as my thing for social media. Now here I am, 12 years later, and over 4,300 days in a row!” Cardle continued. “It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy doing it…It’s also opened many doors for me.”

Heather Cardle is pictured here on her 12th anniversary celebrating for 365day project in November 2023 which morphed into her ‘ChickPicotheDay’ Project across over 4380 days in a row posting photos from her journeys including nature scenes, people, wildlife and other unique subjects. Photo courtesy Heather Cardle.

Cardle, who would make Brantford her home for many years, has many fond memories before moving.

“Brantford had a great network of people and friends. I met so many nice people and I miss them and participating in some of the events there.” Cardle continued, “But with COVID, [I started to] think more about what’s important in life. And family is important and [so I decided to] move a little bit closer to [them].”

Now making her home in Tweed for close to three years, Cardle has embraced the small-town lifestyle. 

“I’m a country girl now [and] I’ve got new roads to explore and a new community to immerse myself into. I have also found opportunities to earn a little bit of a living doing real estate photography,” said Cardle.

This shot of a Bald Eagle in flight was captured by Cardle around the Grand River area. It was featured in her ChickPicoftheDay Project for day 3,054. Photo courtesy Heather Cardle.

However, while still living in Brant County, Cardle enjoyed discovering the region using the trails, while bringing along her camera.

“I explored a lot of the trails…there is such an amazing trail system there that you can walk or cycle. We did some kayaking down the Grand River [and] even into Norfolk County. I had a cottage down at Turkey Point [and] just loved exploring these places,” noted Cardle.

Cardle captured a Merganser with her ducklings riding her back through the water. This was day 3,857 of Cardle’s ‘ChickPicotheDay’ project. Photo courtesy Heather Cardle.

Although she didn’t have a camera as a child, Cardle remembered soaking up those experiences while traveling.

“As a child, I used to sit in the backseat of my dad’s car and look out the window. And I think now, that’s what I still do…just looking at different things that people maybe take for granted when they’re driving by. And sometimes you get lucky and find some pretty exciting stuff like when I discovered an Eagle’s nest down on the Grand River,” Cardle explained. “I did a little project there, where I would go down once a week to the Eagle’s nest…and then [one day] there were two little heads popping up out of the nest! So, I did [that] project from start to finish for a year…and that was just so gratifying.”

In 2017, Cardle photographed the late Walter Gretzky in a series of photographs celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary. Photo courtesy Heather Cardle.

Like her Eagle project, Cardle is always finding inspiration from her surroundings which has connected her with many interesting people including doing a project with a Brantford icon for Canada’s 150th Anniversary.

“We had painted our garage Canada flag red and used a birch bark stick to craft ‘I am’ with the Maple Leaf. I got different people to pose in front of it and had asked a favor of my friend…to ask Walter Gretzky to come down in my backyard for my Canada’s 150th birthday project,” said Cardle.

In 2014, on one of her nature outings, she discovered an Eagle’s nest on a Sycamore Tree. Cardle would start a project photographing the nest at least once a week around the Wilkes Dam. Photo courtesy Heather Cardle.

Cardle, who just finished her end-of-year calendar project, explained, “Every year for the last three years I take my favorite kind of a census of what the most popular picture each month was and I put it in the calendar. I donate some proceeds from every calendar sale to a local charity.”

However, Cardle is looking forward to some travel in the new year and perhaps producing some new photographic works.

“I’d like to do a few more trips further away in the new year. A lot is going on in our province alone and there are lots of beautiful places to go to. So hopefully, I will get an opportunity to explore a little bit more of the province,” said Cardle.

For many years, Cardle lived in Brantford and journeyed across Brant County, Norfolk County as well as around Southern Ontario. In the process, she has captured many photos of birds including Bald Eagles. Photo courtesy Heather Cardle

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