CORNER BROOK Everybody with a camera and an ounce of passion for photography has probably dreamed of capturing that majestic image, as well as the admiration of those who see it.
Candace Cunning did just that Canada Day.
Nestled down with her Canon 5D Mark II and tripod on Three Bear Mountain, she envisioned capturing the Canada Day fireworks through the visage of scenic Corner Brook. She captured the explosion of light from the display, illuminating the hillside, and caught the smouldering smoke from the mill stacks rising away from the ensemble of light throughout the city.
Cunning said she didn’t necessarily envision, prior to capturing such an encapsulating photo, that taking the pictures was kind of a spur of the moment thing. She said she spent approximately 45 minutes adjusting the various camera settings trying to find the perfect match while awaiting the show.
“I find with my shots that I can’t overthink it,” she said. “For most shoots, I just have to let it happen. Especially with the sky and environmental conditions, you can’t predict anything, not in Newfoundland.”
The Corner Brook native realized she had a spectacular image, but never expected the reaction to it.
It was mid-to-late afternoon the following day by the time she half-heartedly put the picture up on Facebook, expecting to attract 20 or 30 “likes.”
She wondered how much attention it would garner so far into the day after the celebrations.
As of Thursday morning, she had earned 1,140 shares on Facebook, but, amazingly, more than 230,000 hits on her Flickr account.
It was the most viewed photo on Flickr the day it was posted, according to Cunning.
“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “I am so pleased to get such positive feedback. I keep waiting for someone to say ‘ha ha, we don’t like it.’ ”
The fourth-year visual arts student at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University takes great personal pride in the picture, but she is also experiencing a financial kickback. Thursday, she had received 45-50 print requests. A little overwhelmed by the orders, while she works at Sideways Boardshop, she has J.L. Gallery on West Street looking after that for her.
Cunning said the money she can make off the picture will go towards the final year of school.
With only a couple of years of serious photography under her belt, she accepts any additional notoriety this might bring her. However, she remains quite humble and realistic about the fame — especially realizing, since she did not place a watermark on the photo, there is more talk about the actual picture than the photographer.
“I want to keep it going, but I am not going to take it for granted,” she said. “I very much hope that in five years or 10 years I will still be hanging onto my camera.”
Weapon of choice
Particulars of the shoot
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: 35 mm, 1.4 prime
Shutter speed — 1/6 second
Aperture — 1.4
ISO — 1,600
Minor adjustment to white balance