Celebrating the 16th year of writing this photographic Newsletter.
In this months Newsletter, two short photographic adventures near home are combined with a new Exhibition to further explore the remote Chilcotin Ark, an extraordinary place of immense power.
As always, I work to improve my craft in the endeavour to create photographic art. These visual adventures are gifts from the Mother; I treasure each and every one of them.
1. Our First Visitor to the Studio Gallery in 2021.
I was enjoying a sunny afternoon cup of tea on the front porch when something along the road caught my eye. I looked and saw nothing. Five minutes later a Great Grey Owl rose from a snow bank (where it had caught a mouse) and perched on our gallery sign.
With the owl facing the evening light, I thought to myself, ‘what a photographic opportunity’. However, how could I get close; it was a long way away.
After two cars passed within metres (neither driver noticing the owl!) of the owl, I realized I had nothing to lose by trying to get my image. I got up, went into the house, got my camera, pre-set my settings, and then, as quietly as I could, hiked through a snow filled aspen forest to the road. With its swivelling head, it watched my every move without budging from the sign.
When I reached the road, I raised my camera and made the above image. As soon as my camera clicked, the owl took off for the woods behind our home. As it launched, I made two more images.
I was thrilled. It seemed as if the Great Grey Owl wanted to give me the most famous marketing image I would ever make; truly a gift from the natural world.
2. Seeking New Ways to Perceive the World
Two weeks ago, I woke up to see a dusting of snow outside my bedroom window; nature’s one last attempt at winter. Excitedly, I dressed, grabbed my camera bag, and drove off down the highway. I had no idea what might resonate with me until I saw a marsh of cattails. I pulled over on to the shoulder, and went to work.
As a representational photographer, I could have walked back and forth along the highway seeking new perspectives of the above reality.
I believe, however, that the art of photography is so much more than what we perceive to be reality. How can I capture the imagination of my viewers if I show them what they already know?
No matter what the medium, an artist’s job is to challenge their viewers pre-conceived perceptions of reality. With this idea in mind, I set out to investigate my subject, to show it as no one has even seen it before.
Every time I photograph, I attempt to learn my craft better. I am always exploring the potential of my camera as a tool of photographic expression, always seeking new ways to perceive the world.
3. Chilcotin Ark IV: Jacobsen Lake; Expressions of Ice Exhibit
I was introduced to Jacobsen Lake from the air, and in its centre was a huge iceberg drifting slowly away from two retreating glaciers. Over the headphones, Duncan Stewart, my pilot, told me that as a young pilot in the area he couldn’t land here. The lake was too small at the foot of these rivers of ice. Today, the glacier has retreated more than one kilometer and the lake is large enough to land on.
At that moment, I secretly promised myself, I would one day return to this lake to paddle where no man had paddled before, and to explore the narrative of climate change.