Photographer Spotlight – Glenn Bartley

January 27th, 2011 by Chris Klapheke

Bursting on to the scene of professional nature photographers just a few short years ago, Canadian born nature photographer Glenn Bartley has quickly established a reputation as one of the best bird photographers on the market.  With books, articles, workshops and of course wonderful images, Glenn stays busy pursuing his career in nature photography.

Glenn has been enchanted by nature and wildlife for as long as he can remember.  Growing up in Toronto, Canada, Glenn, like many of us, spent many hours with National Geographic magazine and natural history books.  Glenn's favorite TV show at the time was David Suzuki's "The Nature of Things".   Glenn says "It may have all started in the backyard of my childhood home. I'd spend hour after hour lying underneath a hummingbird feeder trying to capture an image of one of these amazing birds with a simple point and shoot camera".

Glenn obtained his first “real” camera in college….A Canon Elan 7 film SLR.


In college, Glenn had an incredible extended travel opportunity.  He took part in an exchange program that had him swapping places with a student from Brisbane, Australia.

Australia kicked Glenn's nature photography interest into full gear:  "I was obsessed with exploring the land down under and taking pictures, experimenting, and above all else learning.  Being in a different country with so many exciting things to photograph was wonderful.  it  was a phenomenal place to really dive into the world of nature photography".


Returning home to college, Glenn managed to get a job running the school's darkroom and got to spend 3-4 hours a week experimenting with exposing film and making prints. Glenn is grateful for the time he spent with film: "Looking back, and reflecting upon the fact that nowadays now every new photographer goes straight to digital, it was a fantastic opportunity to really master the basics of photography and create a more stable foundation upon which to build".

After completing his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies, Glenn took a year off to travel to Costa Rica. It was Glenn’s first big photography trip and it was an eye opening experience that revealed his career choice:

"Leaving the distractions of every day life behind and focusing on nothing but nature photography changed me and made me certain that there was nothing else I wanted to dedicate my life towards.  I knew that I still had a lot to learn, but I had a plan for how to do so".


When Glenn returned home to Canada he took a job as the lead photographer for a research project in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. His job for three months was to hike up mountains and take pictures.  It was a dream job for Glenn, and it afforded him yet another opportunity to continue to learn and master his craft.

Glenn spent the next three years taking his photography to the “next level”. He immersed himself in books and online forums, met and learned from other professional photographers, and spent copious amounts of time in the field.

Glenn moved out to Canada’s West Coast to pursue his Master’s of Science Degree in Ecological Restoration as a backup plan.  But his backup plan was more than that. Glenn's project was working on restoring habitat for migratory birds. A big part of his research was field work,  And every time he went out monitoring his study site, his camera was never far away.


As Glenn entered his final year of grad school the tropics tugged at him again.  As soon as he defended his thesis, he headed off. This time his destination of choice was the bird-rich country of Ecuador, where he spent 5 months traveling around the country and photographing many of the amazing tropical birds that live there.


Today Glenn is perhaps best known for his intimate portraits of birds in their natural habitat, with specific focus on tropical birds and hummingbirds.

In the past year Glenn has published two books in his "photographic journey" series:

"Birds of Ecuador" highlights some of the most beautiful birds of this small Andean nation.  One of Glenn's major goals for this book was to raise money for habitat conservation in Ecuador. Because of this goal, 50% of the proceeds from this book are being donated to the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation in Ecuador.

"Birds of Vancouver Island" celebrates the birds of his home area in the pacific northwest.

Glenn writes a column for the Canadian magazine Photolife, called “The Joy of Bird Photography” where he shares tips, locations and information about bird photography.

Glenn's small group workshops travel to fantastic destinations such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Churchill and Vancouver Island. Glenn’s workshops are almost completely sold out for 2011.


Where to Find out More about Glenn

You can learn more about Glenn’s books, workshops and articles at:

Find out more about Glenn's Workshops here.

Glenn's Blog with many informative articles and videos is here.

Glenn is on Facebook here and on YouTube here.



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2 Responses to “Photographer Spotlight – Glenn Bartley”

  1. Louis Figueroa says:

    Beautiful images on the birds well done!


  2. Nick S says:

    Good for you bud !

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