David Zimmerly

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Southwest, US
  Native North
David's Weaving
Southwest, US

As an anthropologist and world traveler, David has long used his camera to record cultures from the Arctic to Africa, from India to Peru.  He is especially interested in photographing people and they are comfortable with him, resulting in memorable photos.

As part of his anthropology studies at the University of Colorado, David took a photojournalism course.  It stood him in good stead while doing his PhD research in Labrador where he became a stringer for the St. Johns Evening telegram.  

Following his Labrador stay, David became the Arctic Anthropologist for the National Museum of Man in Ottawa (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization) for 11 years.  Photography became an integral part of his work among the Inuit in Canada's Rankin Inlet, Broughton Island ., and the Yuit of Hooper Bay, Alaska. 

David left the Museum to roam the world in his cruising sailboat, ERASMUS, revisiting Labrador and Baffin Island by sea, surviving the stormy Northern North Atlantic, idling through Europe and the Mediterranean, transiting the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to spend time on the African East Coast and crossing the Indian Ocean to Thailand.

Photography is not a priority at sea, but landfall provides unique opportunities.  French canals, Egyptian pyramids, Kenyan safaris, Sudanese markets and the amazing Kandy Festival in Sri Lanka. were just a few of the many photo ops.

David and his wife, Helga, settled in the small town of Perth, Ontario after ten years of life on ERASMUS.  David soon became interested in digital photography and the pleasures of using his computer as a digital darkroom.  He presently uses a Nikon D70 SLR, a camera which gives him the best of both SLR and digital photo making.

David still travels frequently, but by more conventional means most recently for a month in India, and three weeks in Guatemala as photographer for a Perth-based charity, The Guatemala Stove Project.

Textiles are another of David's passions.  He first experimented with weaving in 1961.  Long interested in North American Indian culture, he learned Navajo and Hopi belt-weaving techniques.  After settling in Perth, he took up weaving seriously and now uses a 45" Leclerc floor loom to make Navajo-style double saddle blankets.  A workshop on the Navajo reservation in Window Rock, Arizona, fueled his growing interest, as did weaving workshops in Peru.  He loves to travel to areas where weaving is a normal part of village life.

David is also an acknowledged expert on traditional Arctic kayaks.  His kayak-related website can be found at

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Copyright 2005 David Zimmerly. All Rights Reserved.

This site was last updated 06/27/08

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