Newsletter #208: February, 2024
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved
It’s mid-winter, and there is hardly a drift of snow to be found. It feels more as if autumn is transitioning into winter, or winter into spring. The textures of the landscape are mixed with muted greens, browns, and white.
Seasonal Textures of the Cariboo Landscape
On December 30th, two friends and I drove out toward the Fraser River Canyon and the Churn Creek grasslands for a day of photography. As always, I was excited and hopeful of discovering a new expression of beauty.
Along the way; a roadside expression.
The day, however, seemed dark and dull, and the light was flat. My imaginings of that spectacular discovery, were beginning to deflate. We drove on.
Just when I began to feel a little hungry, and started looking for a suitable stopping place, we turned a corner and…voilà! Wow, I said excitedly. Look at the yellow.
A partly frozen calcareous lake had trapped the late fall colour of yellow algae. The sun began to break through, reflecting an unfamiliar landscape. In thirty years of driving this dirt road, I had never seen anything like this before.
Knowing that this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I set my mind to visualizing beyond the familiar. Through different styles of photographic expression, I have come to see and understand reality in new, different and exciting ways. I look at all the elements and ask myself, what am I looking at, and how am I responding?
My approach these days when photographing new subjects is to move across a visual continuum of photographic styles; from Representational, through various forms of Expressionism, and ending within the mysterious realm of Abstraction. It becomes a journey of discovery. The tools of my craft have become the tools of my imagination.
The images below describe my visual journey of discovery.
You can image how excited I was! As the ice melted, the colours changed.
I scanned the viewscape, looking for strong elements of composition.
The simplicity of three rocks trapped in frozen colour was a visual gift.
At high-noon, strong front-lighting caused colours to lose their impact. I turned my world to black & white.
With evaporation came texture and a morsel of colour
As the ice melted, hues changed.
As I continued to investigate reality, abstract elements began to appear.
The flow of time
Eventually I began to create compositions of the imagination. This was my favourite photograph of the day.
As I explored different focal-lengths, I noticed how divisions of space effected my interpretation.
Water, shadows, and ice
Tones of texture
Perspective: People in the Landscape
As I explore and photograph my adventures, I carry lenses of varying focal lengths; from 16 to 400mm. Each image requires a creative choice; each focal length and each composition is designed to communicate a different response to my surroundings.
In the following three images, I portrayed my relationship with the planet through a sense of scale; my fellow adventurers, Rita, and Mike Duffy, appear small and insignificant while the earth appears immense, boundless, and all-powerful. It’s how I felt; humble and in awe. I might call these images ‘inscapes’.
Mike hiking into the core of the Rainbow volcano.
Mike in the towering canyon grasslands.
Rita hiking over a new landscape as Coast Mountain glaciers retreat.
Interested in Photography? Check this Out.
Through photography, I invite viewers to share the nuances of visual discovery.
During the past 35 years I have had the good fortune of exploring, photographing, and published 13 books on the Cariboo Chilcotin region of central British Columbia. As I begin to curate my entire image bank, I will be adding and subtracting images from my three website Portfolio’s; sharing Visual Narratives, and hanging new Exhibitions.
As viewers, you are invited to join the adventure of seeing my world as a sacred landscape; as an emotional response; as an artistic philosophy; or as a creative expression.
Enjoy the journey.