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I am Nikonians

Fred Laberge (labtrout) Interview

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Keywords: fred, laberge, labtrout, is, a, nikon, advanced, nature, photographer, he, started, in, the, early, 70s, and, became, photojournalist, for, six, years


Fred is a nature-focused photographer who you will run into frequently, particularly on the wildlife forum.  It is obvious that he is a passionate photographer who can be found posting striking images, expressing views on the work of others and asking for opinions of his own work.


Wildcat Brook. Jackson, New Hampshire
Nikon D610, 24-85 f/3.5 VR @ 24mm, f/15, 1/3s, ISO 100 on tripod
Click for an enlargement


“…I live in Bristol, Connecticut, about 20 miles west of Hartford. I was born in northern New Hampshire but my wife Susan and I have lived in Connecticut since 1974, the year I finished graduate school. I worked at three newspapers over the years as well as in communications at Aetna in Hartford before retiring a few years ago.


Yellow Warbler, Canton, CT
Nikon D7100, 300mm f/ AF-S + TC14e-II @ f/8, 1/500s, ISO 400
Click for an enlargement


Connecticut has surprisingly plentiful opportunities for the kinds of photography I enjoy. There are several state parks, bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges within a 50-mile radius. The shoreline along Long Island Sound offers many possibilities as well.”


Moose Pond Morning
Nikon Coolpix 3100, f/4.91/1500s
Click for an enlargement


In describing his favorite areas of photography he relates, “I enjoy wildlife and landscape photography most, anything relating to nature, really. Like many Nikonians, I also enjoy traveling to take photographs with friends and family.”


Eastern Bluebird
Nikon D7100, 300mm f/4 AF-S + TC14e-II @ f/5.6, 1/1600s, ISO 800
Click for an enlargement


An internet search is what brought him to Nikonians; joining in 2011. “I’ve learned so much from reading and viewing the forums, interacting with members and researching the various reviews on techniques and equipment.”


Snowy Egret
Nikon D7100, 300mm f/4 AF-S + TC14e-II @ f/8.5, 1/1600s, ISO 110
Click for an enlargement


Fred’s professional career had quite an impact on his photography. ” I shot film for several years in the 1970s and ‘80s as a photojournalist. In fact, my wedding gift from Susan in 1973 was a Nikkormat FTn, my first SLR. I've always used Nikon cameras, mostly F2's in the late '70s. But over time I transitioned into becoming an editor and writer. Then my job at Aetna took me in a new direction, managing the company’s financial and crisis communications, so my cameras and any serious photography got put on the shelf for a number of years.


Pileated Woodpecker
Nikon D7100, 300mm f/4 AF-S + TC14e-II @ f/6.7, 1/1600s, ISO 720
Click for an enlargement


“My transition to serious digital photography, therefore, was delayed until around 2007, when I got my first DSLR, a D50. Nikonians has been essential helping me through that transition, especially understanding the equipment (cropped sensor cameras and lenses vs FX, for example) and also especially post-processing. In addition, my rekindled interest in making images of nature, birds and wildlife has been greatly enhanced by the many terrific photographers who share their experiences and knowledge on Nikonians.”

Fred shares the following by way of encouragement and advice. “Hone your stalking skills. I’ve learned I get much better results if I take the time to work my way closer to the subject, while considering the direction of light, the background, etc. Of course, it doesn’t always work and the bird, deer or whatever takes flight. You have to be patient and willing to accept disappointment.” 


Baltimore Oriole
Nikon D7100, 300mm f/4 AF-S + TC14e-II @ f/5.6, 1/750s, ISO 800 on a beanbag
Click for an enlargement


When asked to share a memorable moment Fred stated something to which any ardent photographer can relate, “It may sound corny, but every day out shooting is a good one for me. I worked long and hard to get myself into a position where I can now take the time to do what I love, so I’m grateful for every day in the field, whether I am hiking, fly fishing and/or taking photos. I am also fortunate to have the energy and good health, so far, to pursue my interests.”


Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
Nikon D610, 24-85 f/3.5 VR @ 24mm, f/16, 1/3 sec, ISO 100, on tripod
Click for an enlargement


As for the future – Fred’s plans include, “More travel, for sure. I promised myself that once I retired I would visit as many National Parks as possible. I’ve been to three in the past three years, Mount Rainier, Everglades and Acadia. We are scheduled to visit Great Smoky Mountains NP in the fall.

Our thanks to Fred for his good hearted participation on the community and an expression of a hope to see many more of his images in the future.




Originally written on March 2, 2017

Last updated on November 29, 2017

Marsha Edmunds Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Lethbridge, Canada
Team, 6791 posts

More articles by Marsha Edmunds

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Harish Subramanian (Harish1957) on March 31, 2017

Very well written article with good images. The Baltimore Oriole shot is my pick of the images - so sharp and clear. Regards Harish.

John David Hutchison (Kipmm) on March 10, 2017

Awarded for his high level expertise, specially in Wildlife Photography 
Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Thanks Marsha again you bringing a talented photographer Fred Laberge (labtrout) to the for front in this wonderful interview. Fred you have come along way and what I mean by that is every capture you post gets better so this tells me that you push yourself for betterment in this hobby.. Thanks also for sharing your personnel background with us all and from this we know you much netter ,you have talent Fred as can be seen from your photo,s posted here. Cheers Kip...

John McGarry (jtmcg) on March 6, 2017

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife, Macro & Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Awarded for his win at the Nikonians Best 2016 Photo Contest Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the 2017 fundraising campaign

Hi Fred, Nice article and great images as always. John

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) on March 5, 2017

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

This has been a fun series to work on and it was great to get to know Fred a little better. Glad you are enjoying Fred's work.

Don Roarabaugh (NatureDon) on March 4, 2017

Nice job Fred (and Marsha). Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences. Beautiful and thought provoking photography! Don

Fred Laberge (labtrout) on March 4, 2017

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his constant sharing of his skills and continuous comments of encouragement in the Nikonians spirit.

Miguel, Donna, Sarah, Tom and Dale, Thank you so much for the very kind comments. The camaraderie of Nikonians is its greatest attraction; a blend of great photography, helpful advice and friendly, civil discourse. And a special thanks to Marsha Edmunds for the terrific effort she puts into making these interviews a shared resource for the members.

Dale Maas (marnigirl) on March 3, 2017

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his generous contribution to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign

Fred, so nice to read your interesting background. Sounds to me that you have always had your two feet planted solidly. Congratulations on a wonderful interview. I have always admired your images and your comments when I got lucky once in a while. If you decide to visit AZ please let me know and perhaps I can help you find some out of the way places. If you do come to AZ send me a PM and we can make some arrangements, it would be great!!! What more can I say but 'Keep Clicking', you have a great talent. Take Care and best to you and yours, Dale

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on March 3, 2017

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest

Absolutely gorgeous shots Fred, ans so good to get to know 'the person behind' a bit more. Like to give you another great applaus for always helping others out and enjoying the conversations here, that's really nice. And Marsha, thanks, goes without saying for another great article. Tops both of you. Cheers,

Sarah Boser (Sarah9) on March 2, 2017

Thank you, Fred for sharing your story and your images. I love the serenity of your landscape shots. I look forward to seeing images from the National Parks as you continue your retirement travels.

Donna Knodle (dgknodle) on March 2, 2017

Ribbon awarded for her very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

It's nice to get to know more about you, Fred. You are an excellent photographer in so many areas. I always appreciate your encouragement to me and you also freely share your knowledge with other Nikonians. You've certainly handled many different cameras and photo challenges over the years. This article is another great opportunity to know more about active members of Nikonians. Thank you Fred and Marsha for putting this one together!

Miguel Lecuona (miguellecuona) on March 2, 2017

Awarded for his generous contributions to Nikonians Articles

This is what I love about Nikonians. Was literally just about to post a question in forums about the viability of utilizing a Teleconverter on a crop sensor with a 300mm lens, and voila -- image after pristine image of exactly that combination here in your profile of Fred Laberge. Answered before even asked, and in context with a great wildlife photographer to boot. Thank you for the post!