MELVILLE, NY, July 27, 2021 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced it is adding five photographers to its famed Explorers of Light (EOL) program. For more than 25 years, members of Canon’s EOL program have shared their knowledge and vision with the photographic community and consumers alike. As photography evolves, Canon continues to search for visual creatives with exceptional talent who bring new and creative ways of seeing while maintaining the program’s longstanding tradition of education, collaboration, and learning. Effective July 1, Canon is proud to include Blair Bunting, Laretta Houston, Krisanne Johnson, Natalie Keyssar and Keith Ladzinski as the program’s newest members. Each photographer brings their own unique blend of art, energy, and perspective and will join 32 current members of the program.
“We are very proud of the Explorers of Light program, the incredible talent who have participated, and the platform it created to educate and inspire photographers at all levels for the past 25 years,” explained Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “As our industry continues to evolve, the need and desire to educate and share ideas remains intact, which is why we are so proud to welcome our newest class of Explorers to the program. They bring a fresh and exciting vision to the art of photography, along with a new perspective on education.”
Blair Bunting: Advertising
About Blair: Blair Bunting’s career began with his father introducing him to photography and gifting him his first camera. That camera sits on Blair’s desk to remind him of the humble beginnings of his career. Even with the success and recognition that Blair has received in the photographic world, which includes photographing scores of athletes, celebrities and autos, he believes his most important legacy will be helping other photographers excel in their careers.
Even for productions that see nearly 100 crew members, Blair insists that everyone on set is equally important, and all their time and input is equal to his own. He describes his life as “quite a random existence” with many of his accomplishments coming outside the world of photography. From being chosen as an honorary commander of a US Air Force fighter squadron to being recognized as an ambassador in the watch industry, his life has been anything but ordinary. However, he will always consider his greatest honor to be that of marrying his wife, Erin.
Notable clients include Google, Apple, Netflix, Disney, Proctor & Gamble, Adidas, Li-Ning, Discovery Channel, AT&T, Pepsi, Chevrolet, Ferrari, British Petroleum, TIME, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Billboard.
- What’s in His Bag? EOS 1D, EOS R5, RF 28-70mm f/2, RF 85mm f/1.2, RF 50mm f/1.2
- Thoughts on Photography: “To me, photography exists as an expression. I have always been shy, but what I can create with a camera helps me to show others what my mind sees and is a way of talking to the world around me.”
- What it Means to be a Canon EOL: “Being named as a Canon Explorer of Light is an accomplishment, but also a great responsibility. As an EOL, I want to serve the photographic community that I love dearly. Being able to help refine the cameras that many will trust their livelihood to, means the world to me.”
Laretta Houston: Beauty / Fashion / Commercial Lifestyle
About Laretta: Laretta Houston was born in Angeles City, Philippines to a black father who was in the military and Filipina mother. From struggle and poverty evolved an inspirational vision of beauty and life all around her. Laretta's story could easily have taken such a different turn if not for her determination and strength. After losing her mother at age 13 to Lupus, she made her way through the foster care system, and eventually to the U.S. where she was determined to change the course of her life. Struggling to balance work, school, and being a single mother, she found her love in photography. Having a multimedia background would also prove to be an invaluable asset in marketing her passion as well as providing incredible insights into the world of advertising and marketing.
Notable clients include ABC (Dancing with the Stars), Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, LA Magazine, Modelland (Tyra Banks), Spanx, VH1, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Sebastian (Proctor & Gamble).
- What’s in Her Bag? EOS 5DS R, EF 24-105mm f/4L, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens
- Thoughts on Photography: “Photography is an ever-growing career. It’s fascinating and intimidating at the same time because advances in technology change year to year. But the most beautiful part of being in the industry is that it gives photographers freedom of expression through the camera and lens. It’s wonderful to notice how every photographer gives their own perspective on how they see the world or life itself. I guess that is why I am drawn to the work I do because not only do I get to show my own perspective of what I call “art,” but it also gives me the experience to broaden my view based on each individual’s life experience.”
- What it Means to be a Canon EOL: “To be a part of Canon’s Explorers of Light is a huge accomplishment for me. As a photographer, I’ve admired the talented members of the program and watched how the program expanded in terms of genres and diverse backgrounds yet remained exclusive in size. This will give me opportunities to help promote growth in equality, equal access and opportunities for all in the industry.”
Krisanne Johnson: Documentary / Photojournalism
- About Krisanne: Based in Brooklyn, New York, Krisanne Johnson is best known for her black and white photographs examining the intimate, daily life moments and complexities of youth culture. From the underground NYC Vogue/Kiki scene to young women coming of age amid the HIV/AIDS epidemic in both the U.S. and southern Africa to post-apartheid youth, her work looks to document the nuances of their multifaceted, shifting lives.
Notable awards include W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography (and Fellowship), Pictures of the Year (POYi), Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography.
Notable publications include the New Yorker, TIME, The New York Times, CNN, and US News & World Report.
- What’s in Her Bag? EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM, EF 28mm f/1.8 USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM lens, Speedlite 600EX II-RT
- Thoughts on Photography: “I look forward to the interaction with others above all else. The human connection and shared storytelling allow you to capture the quiet nuance and immediacy of the moment.”
- What it Means to be a Canon EOL: “I have used Canon equipment since I first started as a photographer in college. My dad even gave me his old Canonet to try. It means the world to me to have the support of Canon and I’m so thankful and honored to become a member.”
Natalie Keyssar: Photojournalism
- About Natalie: Natalie Keyssar is a documentary photographer whose work focuses on inequality, youth culture, and the personal effects of political turmoil and violence in the Americas. She holds a BFA in Painting and Illustration from The Pratt Institute, has taught New Media at the International Center of Photography in New York and has instructed at various workshops across the U.S. and Latin America.
Notable awards include grants from the Pulitzer Center, the IWMF, and the Magnum Foundation, the winner of the 2018 ICP Infinity Emerging Photographer Award, and the 2019 PH Museum Women Photographer's Grant.
Notable clients include Rolling Stone, TIME, The New York Times, National Geographic, and the New Yorker.
- What’s in Her Bag? EOS 5DS R, EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 35 f/1.4 II USM, EF 50 f/1.8 STM, EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM, EF 135 f/2.0L USM, Speedlite EL-1, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT (Version 2)
- Thoughts on Photography: “For me photography is a practice full of contradictions. I do this work because I want to be fully present, while contributing to a lasting understanding of history. I find myself constantly searching for beauty in really difficult situations. I make pictures about things that make me furious, or make me fall in love, or sometimes both. More than anything I make pictures because I'm curious and it allows me to go around learning from people as a perpetual student.”
- What it Means to be a Canon EOL: “There are a lot of photographers, particularly women photographers in the EOL program, who I’ve admired since I first picked up a camera, and being among them is a real dream. I'm endlessly grateful for the support and the gear which I depend on for being so tough and reliable, which allows me to focus on the story even when I’m working in difficult situations.”
Keith Ladzinski: Outdoor/Adventure, Advertising
- About Keith: Keith Ladzinski is a National Geographic Photographer and Emmy® nominated director. His work primarily focuses on natural history, climate change, extreme sports, fine art, and advertising campaigns. His photo and film assignments have sent him to the furthest reaches of all seven continents multiple times. Keith is a founding member of the Sea Legacy Collective and has worked for clients globally including Apple, Disney, Google, Nike, Toyota, Adidas, among several others.
Notable clients include Apple, Disney, Google, Nike, Toyota, Adidas, Oprah Network, Discovery, Red Bull, The North Face, The New York Times, and National Geographic TV.
Notable awards include 1st place honors from Communication Arts, PDN, The International Library of Photography and National Geographic.
- What’s in his bag? EOS R5, RF 15-35mm f/2.8, RF 28-70mm f/2, RF 85mm f/1.2, RF 70-200mm f/2.8, EF 600mm f/4
- Thoughts on Photography: “Being a photographer has been the red carpet to seeing the world and meeting unique people. There is no greater playground for creative experimentation and refinement than working with a camera. It’s been the greatest addiction of my life.”
- What it Means to be a Canon EOL: “Becoming an Explorer of Light is a dream come true. To be among a peer group of legendary photographers is truly an honor.”
Blair Bunting: Advertising: EOS 1D (4MP), EOS R5 (45MP)
Laretta Houston: Beauty / Fashion / Commercial Lifestyle: EOS 5DS R (50MP)
Krisanne Johnson: Documentary / Photojournalism: EOS 5D Mark IV (30MP)
Natalie Keyssar: Photojournalism: EOS 5DS R (50MP), EOS 5D Mark IV (30MP)
Keith Ladzinski: Outdoor/Adventure, Advertising: EOS R (30MP)
Looks like the 2 Photojournalism specialists are already shooting with higher MP bodies. (In fact, they all are.) It does not appear to be stopping them from doing great work with Canon bodies.
Even Jeff Cable decided to take 2 R5 bodies to the Olympics and the 1DXiii as "backup", so the high MPs are not appearing to get in his way, either.
It will be interesting to see if any of the Explorers become heavily involved in the marketing for the R3. Either they will be there to tell everyone "it's ok, 24MP is going to be fine, we were shocked at first but we made it work," or they are examples of pros who like higher MP capable bodies, suggesting 24MP is not the max output.