Gérard Delisle

Ottawa, ON Canada


Gérard Delisle
a few notes about me...

When out in the community with my camera, I am often asked: are you a professional photographer? My response is always the same: photography is my passion, not my job. In the 70s, I spent many hours in my improvised darkroom making black and white prints from negatives of photographs I made as a child using my mother’s good ‘ol black box camera.

In 1966, at the age of sixteen, I bought my first 35 mm camera, a Minolta rangefinder. With that camera, I documented my trip to Vancouver, part of a  three-week exchange program sponsored by the St. John Ambulance Cadet Corps to celebrate Canada’s centenary in 1967.

In 1972, I purchased another 35mm camera, this one a SLR: the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic II, f1.4  That camera was my faithful companion for almost 30 years. My four children, Stéphane Delisle along with Maxime, Mélanie and Catherine Poulin-Delisle, regularly saw their dad towing his camera, always eager to capture important moments of the family. Stéphane, my oldest, was only five when he took his first photos of me using my Pentax.

In 2001, I made my first digital images as the official photographer for the 25th anniversary of Montfort Hospital’s Mental Health Program. In 2003, I acquired a NikonD100, a digital SLR. I now work exclusively with that wonderful tool and my digital  ‘’darkroom’’ Photoshop 7.

When I describe my work, I often use the theme Le monde tel que je le perçois et que je l’imagine - The world as I see it and imagine it. I am fascinated by people and the world we live in. I have things to say about myself, my family and friends, my community, etc. that I can’t fully express except through my photography.

When I have my camera in my hands, I feel alive and able to communicate my joys, my fears and those of the places and people I cross paths with when I decide at a very specific moment to press the shutter release.

Now retired, most of my time is spent on photography. With the support and encouragement of my children, family and friends, the passionate artist in me is exploring and expressing himself. My photographic journey is made more pleasant by rubbing shoulders with the members of the Club de photographie Polarisé de l’Outaouais.

I was born in the City of Welland. The Rose City is the geographic centre of the Regional Municipality of Niagara, in the southern part of Ontario, Canada, near the American border. Except for a one-year stint in Montréal in1967, when I was 17, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Welland.

During the seventies, I worked as a community development worker within Ontario's half million strong French-speaking community. During five years, I was a Social Development Officer the Department of Secretary of State (now Heritage Canada). I also worked in Sudbury for Radio-Canada, molre specifically at CBON, a radio station with the French-language service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Later, I worked in Hamilton, with the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services; first as the area office's French-language Services Coordinator and then as a Program Supervisor. More recently, I worked in Timmins for Ombudsman Ontario.

Now retired, I spend as much time as possible exploring my passion with photography.

My photos reflect my wide range of interests: my four children (aged 19 to 33), my interest in the arts, graphics, collages, media, cycling, mental health, the French-speaking community in Canada, cinema, new technologies, reading, simplicity living, cooking, the outdoors, gardening, woodwork, etc.

I regularly accept invitations to speak about healthy living and my personal experience with depression.