As a biologist turned fine art nature photographer, Jason Leo Bantle is continually focused on capturing unique moments of Mother Nature’s images while respecting the wildlife and nature in those moments. A passion for nature has defined Bantle’s life since he was a child, and his photography seeks to share stories from his journeys and allow audiences to be transported, if only for a moment, to enjoy those wild spaces and the species that call them home. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Bantle studied biology at the University of Saskatchewan, and went on to complete a master’s degree before setting his sights on becoming a fine art nature photographer. Bantle’s masters thesis focused on Arctic Fox ecology, and it was during his time in the Arctic that his interest in photography first developed.
“What motivates me is that mother nature is beautiful and She is simply amazing. I want to share that beauty with people. These moments in nature are SO special, I know I am privileged to experience and see them, I want to capture these moments and share them with the world. I hope my images and work help the world to gain an appreciation of this natural world, aiding in its conservation of space for all species on the planet.”
For over 20 years, Bantle has been focused on capturing and creating pure images with no digital alterations other than those that would be achieved in a dark room setting. Bantle was originally taught photography on 35mm film, and translates those roots over to his more current works. Bantle’s artwork has been shown internationally, and can be found in his seven “All in the Wild” gallery locations throughout Canada where their mission is to “bring an appreciation and awareness, respect, and enjoyment of nature and the wildlife that inhabit it to all our gallery visitors and friends. To limit our footprint on the planet and share our successes through the purchase of land to be set aside for conservation".
“My husband and I have been collecting Jason’s art for over 10 years. Jason has an amazing ability to capture the essence and spirit of the animals he photographs. His stories surrounding the pictures make the art that much more special! Jason’s landscapes are able to transport the observer to a tranquil mountain scene, prairie grassland, or the beautiful change of colours of autumn - all beautiful gifts from this country that we love and cherish. I can’t thank Jason enough for the beautiful pieces of nature that grace our home!" - Lori and Andre Giesbers, Calgary, Alberta
Bantle describes his artistic process as “motivated by Canada and its wild places and spaces”. The photographs feature organic scenes, in the wild and focused on upholding a respect for the subject matter. Bantle prides himself on the philosophy of respecting Mother Nature and giving back to the planet we inhabit. In fact, 6% of every sale at the galleries goes back into a Conservation Land Fund, currently totalling 1600 acres and “growing”. The Land Fund was created in 2010 when the first parcel of land, near Clavet, Saskatchewan, was acquired, protecting a lekking area for sharp-tailed grouse. The leinshare of the 1600 acres was purchased and contains both boreal-forest and extensive natural wetlands, which houses a variety of wildlife including raccoons, black bears, white tail deer, elk, moose, black bears, great grey owls, wolves, and numerous bird species.
“I have walked some of this land. Just last fall, I walked one of the parcels of land, and I entered a meadow where 36 elk stood up and it was awesome to see that this was going to be their home, they were going to sleep there, eat there, and have their young there. They have a place to call home just like we do and that was awesome to see that there will be no encroachment or development -- it’s going to be theirs forever.”
The entire “All in the Wild” team prides themselves on caring and giving back to the planet that provides them with so many incredible opportunities to create and capture these unique moments in time. This philosophy is one that drove Jason Leo Bantle to being recognized as a “Highly Commended” wildlife photographer (along with 49 others out of 48,000 entries total) in the 2019 World Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, hosted by the Natural History Museum of London, UK.
Bantle’s accolades do not end there as he has published a total of seven books -- five coffee table books and two children’s books -- two of which are Canadian bestselling books. It should come as no surprise that all of Bantle’s works, including his publications, are Canadian Made with the sole focus of simply providing an experience. Volume I of Best of Bantle covers Bantle’s photography career from his beginnings in 1995 to the present day. Bantle’s newest book features classic works from Bantle’s collection such as Having a Bad Feather Day, Sweet Dreams, and Peek a Boo, along with amazing recent images like The Guiding Sisters – plus four new images revealed for the first time! Bantle’s commentary on each photo makes this collection not only beautiful, but also educational, entertaining and inspiring.
Profit is never at the forefront when it comes to Bantle’s work, as his sole purpose is to provide great client service and produce art that is made in Canada -- with all components sourced in Canada-- which provokes appreciation, awareness, respect, and enjoyment of nature. Bantle’s thankfulness and appreciation of all of the moments and opportunities that nature and this planet have given to him are imminent in all of his works. Every single image is captured in the wild and with a deep and obvious respect for the subject matter - which he hopes to pass on to others through his endeavors and works of art.
“My work is important because the world is changing -- climate change is real and development is encroaching on nature-- meaning there are less places for mother nature and her beings. I hope someone purchases my work and shares it with others and shares the story, telling them about the species and how little changes to the way we live can add up to a greater effect.”
The moments and scenes that are captured in Jason Leo Bantle’s photographic art invite the audience to be transported around the world, to natural and unique events, a sensation which is welcomed by all, especially in this time. Bantle’s works can be found at any of his seven galleries located throughout Canada in Banff, Canmore, Niagara-On-the-Lake, Saskatchewan, and Toronto.