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Our Vision and Mission

We envision a world where our connections to nature create a healthy, flourishing planet. We see a critical role for the arts in fostering these connections.
Our mission: to inspire young people to explore and connect with nature through photography.

Focus on Nature Summer Camp

Hello! Focus on Nature will be holding two 5-day photography camps at the Arboretum’s Taylor Nature Centre this summer. The dates are July 21 – 25  and August 11 – 15 for all students from ages 8 to 16. It will be a great opportunity for young photographers to develop their skills while exploring all […]

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About us

Focus on Nature student participant

Focus on Nature is a Guelph-based, non-profit photography program created in 2008 to nurture creativity and inspire young people to explore and appreciate nature. Aligned with the Ontario visual arts curriculum for grades 4 – 8, our workshops focus on teaching the “elements of design”, and using these as a focus for exploring, observing and […]

The Big Picture: Children and nature

Photo taken by Rachel, grade 8

Development of Focus on Nature was inspired in part by Richard Louv’s 2005 book “Last Child in the Woods” and numerous research findings about the long-term consequences of a growing disconnect between young people and their natural surroundings. As human beings, we need nature. Nature experience is essential to our physical, mental and emotional health. […]

Photography: The Art of Seeing

Photo taken by Sadie, grade 7

Photography has been called “the art of seeing” (Freeman Patterson) and as such it can be a powerful tool for cultivating our observational skills, enticing us to slow down and pay attention to the details we might normally pass by. Photographer Chris Orwig put it beautifully when he wrote: “Learning to see is about approaching […]

What people are saying

“I think it’s really good to take pictures of nature because it gives away all your bad feelings.” – Grade 6 student at St. Mary’s, Elora    •    “I liked seeing the world differently and finding things that may not look like anything until you look at them through the camera.” – Grade 8 Waverley Road PS Student    •    “I don’t know why but the camera just makes nature more exciting!”- Grade 6 Waverley Road PS student    •    “The kids were given the opportunity to be self expressive, connect with nature and feel passionate about their world.” – Bob Crosby, Willow Road PS    • “Students loved the hands-on component of capturing the world around them through photography, and they also loved the analytical part of critiquing their own and their peers’ photographs.” – Sara Furnival, grade 6 teacher  Read More

Latest Posts

New Role at Focus on Nature

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself with this my first blog on our website.  I’m the new executive director at Focus on Nature.  Many of you may know me already through my role as lead instructor with FON for the past two years, and before that as publisher/editor/photographer with SNAP Guelph newspaper.  I will still be acting as a FON lead instructor in the classrooms – it’s a lot of fun – while working to expand the reach and raise the profile of the organization. ... 

The Nature Cure

Great piece in Outside Magazine about the therapeutic effects of walking in a forest: http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/wellness/Take-Two-Hours-of-Pine-Forest-and-Call-Me-in-the-Morning.html  Read More

Connecting with nature through photography

Just spotted this great piece by British landscape photographer Joe Cornish about art (and specifically photography) facilitating an interaction with the natural world. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/may/02/art-nature    Read More

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