TJ Watt shows a print of his photo of a man on a stump in the Gordon River valley that won first place in a Outdoor Photography Canada magazine photo contest.

Metchosin photographer earns national recognition

A stunning photograph by Metchosin photographer TJ Watt has gained national recognition.

Watt’s earned first place in Outdoor Photography Canada magazine’s “human impact on the environment” photo contest.

The image is of a lone man standing on the stump of an ancient tree in the middle of a clear cut in Gordon River valley, near Port Renfrew.

“This shot I feel summed up the factual aspects of what’s happening and the emotional aspects,” Watt said. “It summarizes the whole impact in the photo.”

While shooting in the Gordon River valley, Watt said he’d come across stumps with circumferences of nearly 50 feet.

The photo was taken about a year ago after Watt discovered this area.

He uses his photography to spread word on environmental activism. Watt is a founding member of the Ancient Forest Alliance, a group that has highlighted the so-called Avatar Grove trees near Port Renfew.

“I think the main thing is these places are actually so close to us, but seem so remote. They are finally getting out to the world through photos,” Watt said.

Watt’s photo may be on the cover of an upcoming environmental documentary and possibly even in a museum exhibit. Both projects are still in the works, Wats said.

The same photo also earned Watt first place in the Metchosin Day photography contest.

“It’s also been in many different newspapers,” Watt said. “It’s been travelling around and I get many requests by e-mail for it. It’s not just about pretty pictures now. There is a higher cause to my photos.”

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