- Open House at the Chris Harris Gallery June 5: Enjoy our new Lava Landscape
- New Gallery Exhibit & Slide Shows: The Magma Series
- Hiking in Heaven: Part IV; It’s all about Composition
Landscaping with Lava
© Chris Harris
Two years ago when we started hiking over the rainbow colours of the volcanic ranges, we fantasized about bringing those colours to the wonderful gardens and landscape we had in process at our home and the gallery.
Our aim in creating our grounds the way we have, is first and most importantly, to accommodate the profuse and diverse bird population that were already at home here. These birds, and the wetlands across our road that are the base for their habitat, had been one of the major factors in our choice of this property to build on.
Then, while photographing the imagery for his upcoming book, Chris developed a friendship with Brian Wear, founder of Lava Inc. and his Nazko Cone operations. This volcanic scoria is used extensively in the agricultural, landscaping and green roof industries, and it was through Brian that we were able to bring in the beautiful colours of his lava quarry, and our fantasy became real.
Shortly, we will experience the wildflowers and barely controlled cultured beds of our naturalized garden, by which I mean the entire property, blooming extravagantly over the dramatic black, gold and terra cotta of the lava colours.
We are celebrating by opening the exhibition of Chris’ new print series MAGMA (see below) and inviting everyone to join us for refreshments in the garden during the day, any time from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
We were helped greatly in the garden project by our friend and landscape designer, and horticulturist, Nomi Levi, who will also be on hand to chat about her work.
It’s an exciting time for us; having brought this spectacular mountain landscape home, not only in imagery, but to our outdoor setting. We hope you can join us June 5th.
Sculptures of Lava
© Chris Harris
At the June 5th Open House, Chris will unveil his new fine art print exhibit titled “MAGMA”. This is a preview to the release of his new book Motherstone: British Columbia’s Volcanic Plateau, co-authored by Harold Rhenisch, which will be released on October 16th in 100 Mile House.
Chris will also make two slide show presentations; at 12 noon and 2pm. At both these presentations, Chris will talk about his new book and relate some of the stories behind a few of the exhibit prints.
In this exhibit, viewers will see landscapes that few if any have ever set foot on. As British Columbians, Chris Harris and his valued support network of family, friends and professional collaborators, understand and carry as their personal truth that this land that we are so privileged to occupy carries with it the responsibility of the most sacred and profound respect and reverence.
It is with this sense of reverence that Harris presents these images to the larger public.
The art is born of an understanding, gained in his now seventy years of living on and exploring our generous Earth, that our validity as a human family is found in our experience of oneness with all that is.
In this understanding, the viewer is invited to enter that sacred space and come home to the Earth, and be humble in Her presence again.
Everyone is welcome.
Also at the Gallery
We are putting a 25% discount on all in-stock print inventory. This includes prints on canvas, framed prints and unframed prints. We want the space!
These prices are in effect until June 30th, 2010.
Clearance Book Sale: Cariboo Country; Chilcotin; Barkerville; Tweedsmuir; B.C. Rail; and Kamloops books will be priced to clear.
This is the last of the ‘Hiking in Heaven’ articles which describes where Rita, Mike and I hiked for one entire day. It was the last day we hiked together in the Itcha Mountains, and it was one of my most memorable days ever as a nature photographer.
Rita Hikes Across a Land of Volcanic Shapes
© Chris Harris
Photographer’s Notes: Canon EOS-1Ds Mk.III. Using a tripod, I made this image at ISO 400, 1/160 sec., at f-22, and with a focal length of 31mm. To make Rita look small in such a vast landscape I used a wide-angle lens. I did this because I was more interested in the land she was hiking through than in her as a hiker. In the making of every image, you need to ask why you are making that image; then use your equipment to accomplish that goal.
© Chris Harris
Photographer’s Notes: Canon EOS-1Ds Mk.III. Using a tripod, I made this image at ISO 200, 1/30 sec., at f-32. In this instance I was more interested in the volcanic shapes, so I used a longer telephoto lens in order to compress distance and thus give them greater emphasis.
© Chris Harris
Photographer’s Notes: Canon EOS-1Ds Mk.III. Using a tripod, I made this image at ISO 400, 1/250 sec., at f-16. To compress distance even more, I used my 100-400mm lens at over 300mm. To avoid camera shake with such a long lens (even though it was on a tripod) you will notice I have raised the ISO to 400 and shutter speed to 1/250sec. F-16 provided just enough depth of focus to maintain sharpness in the foreground shapes, but allow the background to blur out and thus avoid any competition from other subject matter.
This particular day of hiking and photographing in the Itcha volcanic landscape was ground-breaking for me as a nature photographer. I recognized that it was a very special day because I felt it, emotionally, inside. I was compelled to somehow capture those emotions to bring them home and to share with others.
I have looked at all the images I made that day, over and over, individually and as a group. I have also thought a lot about my photography and what drove me to backpack for weeks in order to capture these images. What is it?
Here are a few thoughts:
It’s All About the Composition.
I have come to understand that the element that excites me most when creating an image is the compositional bones that I see when I look through the viewfinder.
Composition provides the structure for each image. By using the elements of composition; line, shape, colour, texture and tone, I am able to lead viewers into an image and then escort them around within the picture frame so that they too can feel what I am trying to express. If I don’t like how I can arrange those elements, I don’t take the picture. If the arrangement excites me inside, I click the shutter. It’s that simple. It either stirs me emotionally or it doesn’t. I either make the image or I don’t; either way, I know my decision instantly.
I made a lot of images on that particular day’s hike through the Itcha Mountains. The dramatic elements of composition were many and I was able to arrange some of them in such a way that excited me immensely. I look forward to continue sharing them with you, in these Newsletters, as fine art prints in my Gallery, and in my new upcoming book, Motherstone: British Columbia’s Volcanic Landscape, to be released here in 100 Mile House on October 16, 2010.
It’s not about the camera, the lenses or the tripod; it’s all about the composition of each image. This is what I have come to realize I love the most about photography.
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