He's an award-winning wildlife photographer — and he's only 13
Josiah Launstein takes you on a shoot with some bighorn sheep and shows off some serious camera skills
Since we've found out that this country is populated by some seriously talented young people, we've decided to bring more of their stories to you. So: this is Art Kids. And in today's edition, you're meeting Josiah Launstein, a 13-year-old with a knack for silent observation, a keen eye and deep empathy for the animal kingdom. He's barely a teenager, but he's already become an accomplished wildlife photographer who's garnered international acclaim for his photos.
Launstein's artistic life began when he was only five and started playing with his dad's camera — and since starting to take photography more seriously at age seven, he's been devoted to mastering both the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography. This drive was provoked by a tough moment: once, after an exhilarating day of photographing bald eagles in action (not an easy feat), Launstein captured a moment when an eagle swooped to catch a fish. It was the perfect shot. Or it would have been — when he looked close, he realized that the focus was on the eagle's tail instead of its beak. The disappointment was enough to make him strive to never let the perfect shot get away again.
In this video, part of the Art Kids series, you'll tag along with Launstein on a trip to photograph bighorn sheep (his favourite animal to photograph or, you know, just to hang with). He spends hours observing the animals and chasing the perfect moment to capture with his camera. In fact, he passes so much time with them that he's given some of them names, like Brazen and Poser.
Josiah Launstein was named Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year in 2014 (he was 10) for his photo "Bighorn Battle," and this year he was recognized in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for his photograph "Raindrops". That photograph will be on tour this year in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition making its way to 50 countries. It's at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto until March 18, and you can see it at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria until April 2.
Art Kids is a CBC Arts series that travels the country to find the next generation of groundbreaking creators in arts from painting, to dance, to poetry. Their accomplishments will amaze you — and might make you feel a little bad about yourself. But that's okay.
Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.