About me. If you have landed here at www.nickdidlick.com you have either been given a business card and wanted to know more, searched the internet, or taken one of his digital imaging classes. Any which way you got here you are on the home page of Nick Didlick, a Vancouver, Canada based commercial and editorial photographer, digital imaging consultant and web designer.
Nick Didlick’s extensive career in photojournalism has spanned over three decades, two continents and staff photographer positions at United Press Canada, Reuters, the Vancouver Sun and the National Post. He has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and is a National Newspaper Award winning photographer.
While at the Sun, where he served as both photographer and Director of Photography, Nick led the photo department’s successful switch from film to digital.
He is now a widely sought after speaker on digital imaging workflow, counting Nikon, the International Olympic Committee and International News Agencies among his many clients, he is a contributing photographer to Getty Images and the European Press Photo Agency and was most recently the Photo Chief for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
Nick Didlick currently is a Vancouver based contract editorial and commercial photographer and digital photo consultant.
Into 2010 and beyond: Nick Didlick, having completed his role as the Photo Services Manager for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is back taking on photo assignments, consulting and lecturing. His two year role at the Olympics was to manage all aspects of press photography from determining the best photo positions at each of the venues to cutting edge technology the over 700 press photographers used to file their pictures world wide from the Olympic venues.
Today Nick works for a number of editorial and commercial clients (see recent photography look here) as well as being a Digital Imaging Consultant. For more on his digital consulting and instruction look here. See Nikon USA’s profile “Photojournalist Turned Digital Pioneer Travels the World Taking Pictures” linked here.
The 1970’s: He began his career in photojournalism by working for a small weekly newspaper, The Progress, in Maple Ridge, B.C. in 1975. From 1976 until 1979 he worked at The Progress, The Coquitlam Herald and then the Edmonton Sun, a daily tabloid newspaper in Edmonton, Alberta.
Nick didn’t waste anytime during these early years learning and perfecting the profession that he says chose him. “I love making pictures and the camera chose me, I just hung onto my camera straps tightly and went along for the ride!”. When pushed to elaborate he said “I am a curious person by nature and I love to meet people from all cultures and walks of life and learn a little bit about them, what better way is there to do that than as a photojournalist”.
The 1980’s: In December 1979 at the age of 22, Nick joined United Press Canada (the UPI affiliate in Canada) and traveled widely for the next 5 years on assignment in North and South America as well as Europe. In April of 1985 he moved to the newly formed Reuters News Pictures Service in Brussels, Belgium later transferring to London, England as Deputy Chief Photographer for the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Nick was the Reuters Journalist of the year in 1988 (the first time the award was given to a photojournalist) and was twice nominated for a Pulitzer award by Reuters North America; for a picture from the 1985 Heysel Stadium Soccer Riot, and for a picture of Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev at the completion of the Reagan/Gorbachev Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986.
The 1990’s: Didlick returned to Vancouver and the Vancouver Sun in 1990 (after living out of a suitcase for nearly ten years) to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle the Canadian west coast offers. He covered many National and International assignments for the Vancouver Sun, Canada’s largest Western most newspaper.
Nick had been working with digital photography since 1986 when Reuters took delivery of their first electronic picture desk.
In August of 1994 the Vancouver Sun published its first all digital photograph using the Associated Press’s NC 2000 (News Camera 2000). The front page picture taken by Nick (below), showed Queen Elizabeth arriving for the XV Commonwealth Games. That year marked a major change in photojournalism as newspapers and print news organizations looked at integrating still digital cameras into their workflows to meet deadlines with breaking news. Quipping to competing news photographers during the Commonwealth Games Nick was often heard to say “If it ain’t digital, It ain’t News” referring to the speed his new digital camera could deliver images to the Vancouver Sun.
In 1995, he was one of the lead members of a team responsible for converting the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers to a completely digital photo operation, the first newspapers in the world to do so. The newspapers and their staff of 18 photographers converted from film based photography to electronic photography using 20 – NC 2000 (News Camera 2000) digital cameras. Since then he has been a digital photography consultant and lecturer to a number of clients in Canada and the United States while at the same time working on a number of photographic projects.
Always intrigued by new forms of communication combined with a thirst to know more, Nick started in 1994 to experiment in the World Wide Web, by teaching himself web design and, more importantly, the integration of high quality images on the web. “The Web is one of the most captivating forms of communication in the world today,” he says. “It is a visual extravaganza, a perfect showcase for still photography”. For Nick that means blending still photography with sound, making Virtual Reality scenes and other mixed media content to be served up on the web for readers, web surfers and viewers. “The print media has a limited reach and it’s very expensive to produce a printed product. What could be more exciting than placing work on the web which is relatively inexpensive and has an almost limitless audience?”. In 1996 he launched the PixelZone, his personal photo website, which has always been a work in progress and a place for him to display and experiment with web content delivery.
In 1996 he became the Photo Editor of the Vancouver overseeing the day to day operations of the 17 member photo staff and a pool of freelance photographers. He also lectured and consulted widely on digital imaging and started his own consulting business.
Looking back at the 1990’s it’s hard for him to pin point one highlight. He recalls 1999 as one of his most productive years, he set up Canada’s newest daily newspaper’s photographic department at the National Post based in Toronto. He won a National Newspaper Award and a British Columbia Newspaper Foundation Award for his photography on the Vancouver Sun’s Fate of the Strait series, and a Feature Photography Award from the BC Newspaper Foundation. He remembers photo assignments in Russia, Korea, England and Switzerland with particular fondness.
The New Millennium 2000: In the fall of 1999 he joined the photographic staff of the National Post after ten years at the Vancouver Sun. Didlick moved on to the National Post to look for new challenges going into the millennium, and he also started an online Fly Fishing magazine “A River Never Sleeps” in March of 2000 with writer and colleague Mark Hume.
In September of 2001 after two years with the National Post, Nick moved on to pursue other career challenges making his private consulting and photography business his main concern. Working alone or with other companies he began teaching and consulting on digital cameras, photo applications and photo workflow.
During this time he worked with many companies to assist them to stay at the forefront of the ever growing and changing world of digital photography in both its still and motion forms. Most notably he has been a key member of Blue Pixel Inc, became a faculty member of the Nikon School and developed a world wide training program for the 600 photo staff of the Associated Press.
He also was busy shooting both Editorial and Commercial photo assignments requiring both still and video imaging to be produced. Looking for new challenges outside of Digital Imaging and Photography Nick became a licensed Fly Fishing Guide running a white water raft on rivers near Vancouver. He holds a Workman’s Compensation First Aid certificate and a Enhanced Standard First Aid certificate along with a Swift Water Rescue Technician certificate. When asked why he he started this new venture he said “I wanted to do something that was as far away from computers, cellphones and web-servers as I could. Besides I love to learn new things its keeps your mind sharp and isn’t it everyone’s dream to make a hobby into a lifestyle.” His Fly Fishing Guiding service website is Fly Fishing Vancouver.
In August of 2007 he became the Photo Chief of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics responsible for every aspect of still photography at the games and the 700 press photographers attending the event. It was the perfect job for Didlick as it required a mix of photo managerial skills with an expertise in press photography and technology.
As 2009 came to a close and the 2010 Olympics loomed Nick was in charge of 38 staff and 250 volunteers and he had created and managed a few Olympic firsts. Nick had planned and implemented a modern Photo Services Centre which hosted Nikon, Canon, Apple, Microsoft, Lexar and SanDisk and had engineered a Olympic Wide Private WiFi network to allow reliable direct filing of wireless still cameras to the internet. He also helped develop a “high tec sled” to enable photographers to file from the side of the Olympic Downhill to the world before the skier had crossed the finish line.
Looking Back: He has covered Royal Tours, Olympics, Super Bowls, Super Power Summits, man made and natural disasters, riots and other conflicts. When asked about about his favourite picture he says “I don’t really have one favourite picture, but I do have a collection of favourite memories”.
These favourite memories come from the many photographs he has taken and the experiences he has had while hanging onto his camera straps. “Like walking through the snow-covered forest in Akademgorodok, Siberia in 1992 with a grade five student on her way to school, or standing alone amongst the 25 mortuary totem poles of the Haida’s Ninstints Village in the Queen Charlotte Islands on Canada’s remote and rugged west coast”.
It is clear Nick has a deep respect for those he photographs and a fiery sense of adventure when telling these stories whether it’s riding a “tourist camel” in front of the Giza Pyramids near Cairo or photographing rock star David Lee Roth in a seedy dark Vancouver hotel with whipped cream and ladies of the night.
Didlick’s photos have appeared in many of the world’s major newspapers and magazines, including the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Times of London, The Sydney Morning Herald and Stern, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone Magazines.
Into 2010 and beyond: Never one to look back, Didlick says “I relish the prospect of new challenges that might come my way”.
When asked to look into the future, Nick laughs and says “the future, I don’t want to know what’s coming. That takes all the fun out of life! Life is a curve ball, it’s how you handle it that is important”.
Currently Nick shoots Commercial and Editorial Photo assignments and is a Digital Imaging Consultant. He also teaches workshops around North America helping others to push their own digital photography boundaries.
If he is not to be found on a river or lake with a fly rod in hand he will probably be shooting photo assignments or consulting from his home base in Vancouver, Canada.
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