Jarrett Lindal remembers the moment he was exploring with his friend on the northwest corner of Vancouver Island when he saw a cougar – and will fully admit he thought it was a deer.
“We were out looking for wolves and I saw something. Initially, she didn’t know we were there … once she noticed us and we saw her, it was very respectful. It was a really cool encounter – kind of a telepathic moment where we knew we’re not going to hurt each other.”
The Comox Valley photographer took out his camera just in time and took a photo of the cougar. The image of the young cougar, with her gaze forward walking on rocks, has now made its way into an upcoming edition of Canadian Geographic.
“I didn’t think that I’d have a photo in Canadian Geographic … it’s great,” says Lindal, who now lives in Victoria for work. It’s just a handful of times the Merville-raised photographer, whose other passion leads him to ride and photograph mountain bikes, has spotted a cougar.
“I’ve seen one – like many people do – driving at night, and then saw one once mountain biking in Cumberland. That was a really cool encounter and it took off in the bush.”
The photo originally came to the attention of the magazine through a photography contest via a photo club. The magazine was hosting an online vote of three submitted images of cougars for the cover of their May/June 2021 issue. Votes could be cast through their website, and while Lindal ended up receiving 60 per cent of the votes, he received a message last week from the magazine that his image will be used inside the edition.
“They reached out and said their senior staff and advisors decided to use another photo because it was more seasonal. I felt a little bummed out, but it’s still going to be used inside, and it will be in that edition.”
This is the second time this year where a Valley photographer has been featured in the magazine. In January, Cumberland photographer Sara Kempner took the top spot in their What is Home re: Location Photo Competition.
Growing up in the Valley, Lindal became fascinated with forests and beaches. He brought his camera on many adventures but now with a full-time job, he hopes to one day transition his career fully into photography. His goal is to not only have his photos published but to write stories alongside them.
“Ultimately, Canadian Geographic is great. My far-out goal would be one day work for National Geographic,” he notes.
This spring, Lindal and friends are set to go one a month-long kayaking expedition, where he hopes to add many more images to his collection, and perhaps a future magazine edition.
For more information, visit jarrettlindalmedia.ca.
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