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Photographer runs website and welcomes first book

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 03 2008

RANKIN INLET - Visitors to the kivalliq.com website see more than a collection of great photographs - they see a labour of love for the past decade.

Doug McLarty has been continually developing the site since back in the days of dial-up service in Rankin Inlet.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Doug McLarty of Rankin Inlet displays one of his wellknown photos of the Northern lights earlier this month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

He said it's a whole lot easier to maintain the site now than when he started.

"The main reason we started the site was to draw attention to our photos, show the beauty of our area and use it as a central starting point for people wanting to learn about the Kivalliq," said McLarty.

"We cover an awful lot of sports activities, as many people in the region know, and this year I decided to add the Rankin Inlet Senior Men's Hockey League to the site.

"People can see shots of all different types of sporting events by clicking on the gallery."

McLarty's father, Hugh, was a newspaper reporter in Terrace and Kitimat, B.C., so there were always cameras around the house as Doug grew up.

He said cameras grew to be almost constant companions throughout his life.

"About 95 per cent of the pictures taken of me show a camera around my neck.

"I wasn't born with one, but just about."

Doug - the Nunavut government's regional informatics manager for the Kivalliq - and his family moved to Rankin about 16 years ago.

Doug said he and his wife, Karen, tend to focus on wildlife and scenic shots from the Arctic tundra with a good deal of their photography.

He said they chase a lot of foxes, and take a good deal of photos of the Northern lights and Arctic birds.

"We spend a lot of time on the land and find photography a good way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Kivalliq.

"Hopefully, through the website, we can introduce more folks to that beauty."

The website is hosted in the south, but Doug does all the work and continues to learn by trial and error.

He said he's been hired by the Nunavut government to shoot the Arctic Winter Games, and he also covers many of the events hosted in Rankin like the Laura Gauthier Memorial volleyball tournament.

"When it comes to the business side of things, the site has been well worth the time and effort.

"We've had photo requests from many different publishers and we've had our photos included in text books, magazines and ad material.

"It's also helped us with our card-and-print business, portraits, family photos and weddings."

Doug recently got involved with self-publishing and is eagerly anticipating the arrival of his first book, Listen to the Silence.

He said it's 45 pages of Arctic images and, if it looks good, he'll order more to sell online and at craft shows.

"People often ask what keeps us here and I tell them to come on up and listen to the silence, because that's one thing we've always loved about here.

"You can sit out on the land for hours and not hear anything but the birds.

"It has to be experienced to be appreciated, but I hope people can view the images in the book, close their eyes and really feel the Arctic come through."