June 25, 2024

Ron Breault AKA Swifty Paddler – Photographing from a Canoe, Essential Backcountry Gear, and Inspirational Nature Photographers

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A headshot of Ron Breault

I’m not trying to be the best wildlife photographer, the best bird photographer, or the best street photographer. I love all of those things and I like doing them. But what I want to be good at is taking pictures of canoes, of canoeing, and of canoe adventures.

Ron Breault AKA Swifty Paddler

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An image by Ron Breault

Ron Breault, known as Swifty Paddler, is a landscape photographer and avid canoeist. He captures stunning natural vistas during his backcountry paddling adventures, successfully blending years of photographic experience with a passion for exploration. Through his captivating images and humble written content, Ron inspires others to pursue their own outdoor photography journeys.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How photography became so prominent in his life
  • The gear and challenges he faces in the backcountry
  • Why he draws inspiration from those around him

& much more!

This was an interview between two passionate outdoorsmen and landscape photographers, filled with insights about traversing the wilds with technology in tow.

Here is a preview of my conversation with Swifty

A landscape image by Ron Breault

Q: I know you’ve recently returned from a trip in the last couple weeks. Could you share some highlights from it?

Swifty: I just came back from, I guess it’s a little over a week now, from a trip to a perennial favorite—Algonquin Park in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. We—I went with a friend of mine, Trevor. He’s really into fishing, so we went to a lake called Lynx Lake. It was a unique trip in that it involved an awful lot of portaging and, as Trevor joked, it was really a weekend of hiking with our canoes. It enabled us, though, with that type of portaging, to get further away from civilization and get more into the quieter places. It was a fantastic weekend.

An image by Ron Breault

Q: Where did the moniker Swifty Paddler come from?

Swifty: Working with Instagram, I thought, okay, what am I going to call myself? It just sort of stuck in my mind. While I paddle Swift canoes, I was thinking of something to do with Swift Canoes. So, I started trying different things that fit. And ultimately, Swifty Paddler was available, and I liked the ring to it. It’s something that’s sort of, I would say, kind of more personal. There’s nothing really formal about it, but it fits, so I went with that.

A landscape image by Ron Breault

Q: In your opinion, what makes a great landscape photo?

Swifty: To me, something that really pulls your viewer into the scene, and in particular, I’d say, something that solicits an emotion from them. Where they feel somehow connected or they place themselves into that scene. Telling a story is really what makes the difference between, I think, just a snapshot and a photograph.

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