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- Bob Taylor
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Robert “Bob” Ross Taylor was born on June 16th, 1940 in Toronto. He earned his diploma in science photography from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in 1963. Taylor was a photographer his entire working life, renowned for his vivid nature photography. Among his favourite subjects were polar bears, grey owls, and other wildlife and nature scenes.
At the age of 14, Taylor spent a summer as a junior volunteer at the Royal Ontario Museum. This experience affirmed his interest in photography and led to his career as a nature photographer. After his graduation, he worked at the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History, where he helped develop the audiovisual department. In 1967, he transferred to the Manitoba Museum as head of the photographic department for six years. Taylor also served as a wildlife extension specialist for Manitoba Natural Resources for a year before embarking on a career as a freelance photographer. He set up his own photography gallery in downtown Winnipeg in 1975. From that point, Taylor devoted his time to conducting photography lectures and workshops and leading arctic and sub-arctic tours in Canada and safaris in Africa. His photographs have grazed the pages of national and international publications including <i>Equinox</i>, <i>International Wildlife</i>, <i>Life</i>, <i>Reader’s Digest</i>, <i>Airone</i>, <i>Photo Life</i>, <i>Birder’s World</i>, <i>American Birds</i>, <i>Photo Digest</i>, <i>Birds of the Wild</i>, <i>The Beaver</i>, <i>Art Impressions</i>, <i>Wilderness Canada</i>, <i>Native Canada</i>, <i>Ontario Naturalist</i>, and <i>Canadian Geographic</i>. Taylor's work was also featured in several books by various publishers before he established his own publishing company, Windermere House Publishing. Taylor published books depicting the beauty of Manitoba and his favourite subjects, polar bears and grey owls. Publications by him or that feature his photographs include: <i>The Yellowhead Route</i> (1980); <i>The Manitoba Landscape: A Visual Symphony</i> (1990); <i>The Edge of the Arctic: Churchill and the Hudson Bay Lowlands</i> (1992) which was revised as <i>The Edge of the Arctic: Hudson’s Bay Region</i>; <i>The Great Gray Owl: On Silent Wing</i> (1997); <i>Manitoba: Seasons of Beauty </i>(2002); <i>The Great Gray Owl: Smithsonian Nature Series</i> (2004); and <i>Tales from the Tundra</i> (2005).
Taylor used his work to promote Churchill, Manitoba as a polar bear sanctuary and helped transform it into a popular tourist attraction. Through his photography, he was also able to showcase the landscapes of Manitoba and other Canadian provinces. Taylor helped launch the Prairie Canada Carvers Association in 1986 and served as president of the Professional Photographers Association of Canada and vice-president of the Professional Photographers of Canada and of the Canadian Science Film Association. Because of his love and respect for nature and his dedication to his profession, Taylor received numerous awards, including a fellowship from the Professional Photographers Association of Manitoba, an honour award for Master of Photographic Arts from the Professional Photographers of Canada, the Queen’s Silver and Diamond Jubilee medals and a Bronze Award from the Columbus Film Festival for the film <i>Assiniboine Forest</i>. Taylor was also given an award for Creative Excellence from the US Industrial Film Festival for the film <i>Prairie Insights</i>. A few weeks before his death, he was also awarded the Order of the Buffalo Hunt for his achievements and contributions to Manitoba. Taylor was one of the few photographers who were accepted into the prestigious Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Robert Taylor died on August 15th, 2013 at the age of 73.
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