Michael Winsor’s powerful images of Newfoundland and Labrador are a result of his deep connection with, and love for, the province’s culture and many natural wonders. As he sees it, “every cove, inlet, tickle, island, bay, peninsula, point or arm is more beautiful than the next.” Born in Pool’s Island, Bonavista Bay, Michael has had an interest in photography – or, more specifically, Newfoundland and Labrador imagery – since his childhood.
"I can remember going on Ski-doo with my father cutting firewood and working hard by lugging a log of wood on my back while sinking in the soft snow. I can also remember catching some magnificent salmon in salmon nets. (back when there were licenses for salmon nets). I can also remember lobster fishing with my grandfather and an unbanned lobster grabbing my toes, and for the next couple of minutes I was beating the poor thing off the side of the punt for him to let go. All of these experiences provided me with a sense of place. I try to show these life experiences throughout my artwork so people can relate. I believe that the Newfoundland people have worked and struggled for so long off the rugged land, but it also has a unique beauty, like nowhere else on earth."
Armed with his trusty Canon gear , Michael will do almost anything for that one perfect photo. Of all the photos he’s taken, his favourite is a shot of the sun setting over Western Brook Pond Gorge. “ I had to hike to the top of Western Brook Pond Gorge with 85 pounds of gear on my back in the rain and flies (to get the shot) - it was one of the most difficult things that I have done. With all the food, camera gear, tents, sleeping bags and swallowing a few flies, it was quite the experience. However, the scenery on top is so breathtaking that I would do it again tomorrow. On a cloudy day the view is amazing, but if you happen to be there at sunset, it’s like you died and gone to heaven."
Michael explains that, "sometimes life as seen through a camera lens can bring people together over a shared love of a place." I never really saw Newfoundland until I placed the camera in my hand. Alone at 1:30 am when the golden crescent moon rises over the mirror-like ocean, when you can see the fishermen’s punts and wharfs right side-up or upside-down, it leaves you speechless, and you wonder why everyone is not here to see it with you. “Then I try to capture that moment in time to share with other Newfoundlanders at home or away that truly appreciate our way of life."
Downhomer Magazine - Vol.26. No. 12