1—31 July

Tori Butt: On The Rock


Every year since discovering Newfoundland, I return to the Bonavista area to photograph the puffins and when I’m not at the puffin site I find myself focusing on the clouds, the sky, the water and the icebergs — all phenomenal. One summer, I focused on capturing what became the elusive puffin portrait. But when the time was right my eye to eye contact with Peter puffin whether in flight or on the rock took my breath away. Another summer, I immersed myself in the playfulness of these seabirds. I know I have captured the essence of the puffin when I find myself smiling and laughing as I edit my own images. I am here to stay. ON THE ROCK rocks!

About Tori Butt
I grew up with a camera in my hand. My professional photography career began in landscape and garden photography. I worked at the New York Botanical Garden for over seven years and shot for various magazines as a freelance photographer, Then life took over. In 2011 I broke my neck in a cycling accident, and I instantly knew I had to find my way back to photography. After taking a break since 2000, I was afraid that I would not know how to ‘see’ again. What would I photograph? How could I make a difference with my photographs? How would I make the leap from large-format photography to digital photography? One dinner conversation about puffins turned into a day-long Google search, which led my partner and me to Elliston, Newfoundland. I had no idea how my life was about to change.

Photographing Atlantic Puffins — being outside from dawn to dusk, smelling the sea air, feeling the breeze on my face, and smiling and laughing as I watched these wonderful birds socialize with each other — became my new obsession. I would wait and wait for the right light. I could wait in one place all day for one photograph. I was totally in my element and my heart was once again open to seeing. I absolutely love these little 12-inch tall diving sea birds. They have a personality that is larger-than-life. If I can bring a little of my own ‘puffin awareness’ to the public I will be helping these amazing creatures that are continually subjected to our global warming, oil spills and predators of nature.

Every year since discovering Newfoundland, I return to the Bonavista area to photograph the puffins and when I’m not at the puffin site I find myself focusing on the clouds, the sky, the water and the icebergs — all phenomenal. The army of 12,000 year-old icebergs from the last ice age are breathtaking to observe and at the same time a little unsettling. They are amazing art objects that can unexpectedly explode. “Poof!” and the berg is demolished, returning to the sea.