Canon Adds New Perspectives to Explorers of Light Program

Canon Adds New Perspectives to Explorers of Light Program

© Natalie Keyssar

Melville, NY—Canon USA added five photographers to its Explorers of Light program. For more than 25 years, Canon’s EOL members have shared their knowledge and vision with the photographic community and consumers. Moreover, as photography evolves, Canon searches for visual creatives with exceptional talent who bring new ways of seeing while maintaining the program’s tradition of education, collaboration and learning.

© Keith Ladzinski

The five new Explorers are Blair Bunting, Laretta Houston, Krisanne Johnson, Natalie Keyssar and Keith Ladzinski. Each photographer brings their own unique blend of art, energy as well as perspective; they join the program’s 32 current members.

“We are very proud of the Explorers of Light program, the incredible talent who have participated and the platform it created to educate and inspire photographers at all levels for the past 25 years,” explained Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon USA’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group.

“As our industry continues to evolve, the need and desire to educate and share ideas remains intact; this is why we are so proud to welcome our newest class of Explorers to the program. They bring a fresh and exciting vision to the art of photography, along with a new perspective on education.”

                  New Members of the Explorers of Light Program

Blair Bunting: Advertising

explorers of light program Blair_Bunting-Canon-Explorer
Blair Bunting

Bunting’s career began when his father introduced him to photography by gifting him his first camera. That camera sits on Blair’s desk to remind him of the humble beginnings of his career. Even with the recognition that Blair has received in the photographic world, his most important legacy will be helping other photographers excel in their careers.

“Being named as a Canon Explorer of Light is an accomplishment; however, it is also a great responsibility. As an EOL, I want to serve the photographic community that I love dearly,” said Bunting. “Being able to help refine the cameras that many will trust their livelihood to means the world to me.”

Even for productions with 100 crew members, Blair insists everyone is equally important, and all their time and input is equal to his own. Moreover, he describes his life as “quite a random existence,” with many of his accomplishments coming outside of photography. From an honorary commander of a U.S. Air Force fighter squadron to an ambassador in the watch industry, his life is anything but ordinary. However, he will always consider marrying his wife, Erin, his greatest honor.

© Blair Bunting

Bunting’s notable clients include Google, Apple, Netflix, Disney, Proctor & Gamble, Adidas, Li-Ning, Discovery Channel, AT&T, Pepsi, Chevrolet, Ferrari, British Petroleum, TIME, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as Billboard.

Bunting shoots with Canon EOS 1D and EOS R5 cameras as well as the RF 28–70mm f/2, RF 85mm f/1.2 and RF 50mm f/1.2 lenses.

Laretta Houston: Beauty/Fashion/Commercial Lifestyle

Houston was born in Angeles City, Philippines, to a black father who was in the military and a Filipina mother. From poverty evolved an inspirational vision of beauty and life all around her. However, her story could easily have taken a different turn, if not for her determination and strength.

After losing her mother at age 13 to Lupus, Houston made her way through the foster care system. She eventually came to the U.S. where she was determined to change the course of her life. Struggling to balance work, school and being a single mother, she found photography. Notably, her multimedia background proved an invaluable asset in marketing her passion as well as providing insights into advertising and marketing.

Laretta-Houston explorers of light program
Laretta Houston

Her notable clients include ABC (Dancing with the Stars), Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, LA magazine, Modelland (Tyra Banks), Spanx, VH1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Sebastian (Proctor & Gamble).

Houston shoots with an EOS 5DS R camera as well as the EF 24–105mm f/4L and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro lenses.

“Photography is an ever-growing career. It’s fascinating and intimidating at the same time, because advances in technology change year to year. But the most beautiful part of being in the industry is that it gives photographers freedom of expression through the camera and lens,” said Houston.

“It’s wonderful to notice how every photographer gives their own perspective on how they see the world or life itself. I guess that is why I am drawn to the work I do, because not only do I get to show my own perspective of what I call ‘art,’ but it also gives me the experience to broaden my view based on each individual’s life experience.”

Krisanne Johnson: Documentary/Photojournalism

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Johnson is best known for her blackandwhite photographs examining the intimate, daily life moments and complexities of youth culture. From the underground NYC Vogue/Kiki scene to young women coming of age amid the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. and southern Africa to post-apartheid youth, her work looks to document the nuances of their multifaceted, shifting lives.

Krisanne Johnson

“I have used Canon equipment since I first started as a photographer in college. My dad even gave me his old Canonet to try. It means the world to me to have the support of Canon; I’m so thankful and honored to become a member.” Johnson commented.

What’s more, her work has earned the following notable awards: W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography (and Fellowship); Pictures of the Year (POYi); Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund; and Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography.

They have also appeared in New Yorker, TIME, the New York Times and U.S. News & World Report; as well as on CNN.

In her camera bag are an EOS 5D Mark IV camera; EF 24–70mm f/2.8 II USM, EF 28mm f/1.8 USM and EF 70–200mm f/2.8 USM lenses; as well as a Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT.

Natalie Keyssar: Photojournalism

Keyssar is a documentary photographer who focuses on inequality, youth culture as well as the personal effects of political turmoil and violence in the Americas. She holds a BFA in painting and illustration from the Pratt Institute; has taught new media at the International Center of Photography in New York; and also has instructed at various workshops across the U.S. and Latin America.

Natalie-Keyssar explorers of light program
Natalie Keyssar

“There are a lot of photographers, particularly women photographers in the EOL program, who I’ve admired since I first picked up a camera; being among them is a real dream. I’m endlessly grateful for the support and the gear which I depend on for being so tough and reliable, which allows me to focus on the story even when I’m working in difficult situations,” she commented on what it means to be an EOL member.

Keyssar has garnered grants from the Pulitzer Center, the IWMF and the Magnum Foundation. In addition, she was the winner of the 2018 ICP Infinity Emerging Photographer Award and the 2019 PH Museum Women Photographer’s Grant.

Among her clients are Rolling Stone, TIME, the New York Times, National Geographic and New Yorker.

Her gear includes the EOS 5DS R and EOS 5D Mark IV cameras. She also shoots with the EF 35 f/1.4 II USM, EF 50 f/1.8 STM, EF 24–70 f/2.8L II USM and EF 135 f/2.0L USM lenses. Also in her bag are the Speedlite EL-1 and Speedlite transmitter ST-E3-RT.

Keith Ladzinski: Outdoor/Adventure, Advertising

Keith-Ladzinski explorers of light program
Keith Ladzinski

Ladzinski is a National Geographic photographer and Emmynominated director. His work primarily focuses on natural history, climate change, extreme sports, fine art, as well as advertising campaigns. His photo and film assignments have sent him to the furthest reaches of all seven continents.

In addition, Ladzinski is a founding member of the Sea Legacy Collective. He has also worked for Apple, Disney, Google, Nike, Toyota and Adidas, among several others.

“Being a photographer is the red carpet to seeing the world and meeting unique people. There is no greater playground for creative experimentation and refinement than working with a camera. It’s been the greatest addiction of my life,” said Ladzinski.

Ladzinkski shoots with an EOS R5 camera along with RF 15–35mm f/2.8, RF 28–70mm f/2, RF 85mm f/1.2, RF 70–200mm f/2.8 and EF 600mm f/4 lenses.