About Sam Wirzba
I live in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. That puts me in close geographical proximity to agricultural landscapes (i.e., rangelands, crop fields, farms, ranches, and feedlots) and to a variety of natural landscapes including the prairies, foothills and Rocky Mountains – all of which provide great photographic opportunities.
I chose to pursue a college/university education over farming and construction work. Currently I am employed as a Natural Resource and Land Use Planner, Mediator, Facilitator, First Nations/Public Consultation Coordinator, and Project Manager with the Government of Alberta.
Photography is a big part of my life. I take photos whenever I can, scheduling photography around my day job, family responsibilties and volunteer work. I head out with my camera gear whenever good conditions exist or when a client needs a photo. It is a thrill to be out-of-doors when the air is clear, when the light is rich, and when there is drama in the sky.
I have a farming background and have worked with cattle in a feedlot setting. I studied environmental science at Lethbridge College and soil science and agronomy at Olds Agricultural College. My university education (beginning with a Liberal Arts degree) aroused diverse interests.
I have engaged in various activities and pursued wide ranging interests over the years including: hiking, backpacking, climbing, hunting, off-roading, table tennis, farming, framing, wood working, watching my youngest son play baseball, reading (particularly theology), camping with my two sons (in the Rocky Mountains and Cypress Hills), photographing my sons fly fishing (we love going to Montana), and traveling (especially in the Pacific Northwest).
Photography assumed a greater role in my life in 2003 when I had the good fortune to place well in 2 significant photo competitions: Natures Best International photo competition, and; Canadian Parks and Wilderness photo competition. That provided the motivation for me to take photography seriously and get into the photo business, so I started Last Light Photography. I chose agricultural photography to be my area of specialization, but I photograph other subjects as well. It is my goal to have the largest photo library of beef cattle in North America (at the end of 2016 I had well over 10,000 photos that feature cattle).
In terms of photo gear, I put my film cameras away in 2007 (I still miss the excitement and anticipation of looking at Velvia transparencies on a light table from time to time). I use primarily Canon digital cameras and high quality lenses to take the photos found on this website.
In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 my photography was recognized by the American Agriculture Editor's Association (Master Photography certificate; 1st, 2nd and 3rd place photo awards; and several honourable mentions).