Tamar Griggs

Tamar Griggs was practically born with a camera in her hand! Remember those Brownie cameras with the 620 film and the 12 photos per roll?

In the late 60’s, with a Pentax Camera in hand, Tamar managed to take a few photos while being shipwrecked on a 66 foot Gaff Rigged Ketch off the coast of Spain with a bunch of hippies. (Franco’s Guardia Civil was pacing the shore with machine guns, and there was Tamar with her camera snapping photos instead of helping in the chaos and pretty scary situation!)

She began photographing in earnest when her daughter, Maya, was born in 1981. Since then she has been recording her island life, the people and wildlife that are the gifts of living on Salt Spring Island.

“I love waiting for hour after hour in an eagle blind, when nothing happens, because that is the life of the birds. I get a glimpse of their life that no one can get through watching the superb action shots one sees on TV. Sometimes I capture a bird in a photo in a position I’d never see with my naked eyes, and this is exciting. I also learn about Nature through taking photos. Until I started photographing the full moon setting every month over Vancouver Island, I had no idea of the wanderings of the moon during the seasons and how it mirrors the setting sun.

“I love documenting Island life. My friends sometimes get annoyed with me when I constantly point a camera in their faces – year after year – but then they all love receiving the photos. So, I think I am forgiven. Nevertheless, it is a challenge to be a “photographer” and an involved member of my community. It is hard carrying on a spontaneous conversation with someone, and pointing a camera in their face! Just yesterday, there was Derrick Lundy, the Driftwood photographer, having a conversation with me in Ganges, and oh, the light on his face! But I didn’t have the courage to interrupt the conversation to get the photo!”

Tamar’s work has appeared in several Conservation magazines, and she has shown at the Photosynthesis Show for a number of years. She has also exhibited in the Sooke Juried show on Vancouver Island.