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Prof’s pic takes long journey to bestseller list

The Boys in the Boat cover

It’s not the first time that Ron Erwin’s photography has shown up unexpectedly, but it is the first time it’s been on the cover of an international bestseller.



The Independent Digital Photography professor’s work is featured on countless stock photography sites, where it is available for purchase. In this case, it was a photograph taken in Belleville when Ron was visiting his mother. He woke up early in the morning and set out with his camera, looking for interesting images to shoot. It was just before sunrise when he noticed the mist rising on the water. As he started shooting, he suddenly knew the shot would become even better when, in the distance, he heard rowers coming his way. Once they were in his frame, he snapped away.



The shot of the rowers was taken in 2006 and added to his growing collection of stock photography. He didn’t think about it again until very recently, after his wife visited a bookstore and saw a familiar image: His shot of the early morning rowers was on the shelf displaying best sellers. Editors at Penguin Books had purchased the photo from a stock site and used it for the cover of The Boys in the Boat, the dramatic true-life story of the U.S. rowing team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.



A few weeks ago, the book captured the number one spot on The New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller list and was named the Nonfiction Book of the Year in 2014 by the American Booksellers Association.



“I was pleased to see this image in print and even more pleased to see it go to number 1 on The New York Times list,” said Ron.

For more than 20 years now, Ron has been translating his love of nature and passion for photography into photographic images of Canada. His work has been used commercially and in corporate interiors, and appears regularly (and sometimes unexpectedly) in countless publications.