Friday, January 06, 2017

Landscape of Light

That was the name of my first photography exhibition of my Canadian landscape photography back in June of 1989, photographs that I had created with my newly acquired Tachihara 4 x 5 large format view camera and various lenses. The show was held at Kelowna Art Gallery's 'outreach' gallery at Kelowna City Hall on Water Street and included eight of my landscape photographs, all printed 16 x 20 inches in size. The art gallery lent me some frames to exhibit my work.

 The show came about after a chance meeting with the late Elinor Yandel, who was the director of the Kelowna Art Gallery at the time. While working as a Kelowna Daily Courier staff photographer I would often be over at the art gallery covering various shows and other events. Elinor had a great passion for the arts and loved photography and thought that my work should be seen. I had only been seriously shooting with the view camera for a couple years. At the time I shot my day to day work with 35mm film, the landscape work and other subject matter is what I created on my days off and holidays.

 I had some interesting and varied reaction to the show, mostly positive, one man who saw my pictures at City Hall wanted to buy one of the prints right off the wall that very day for his wife's birthday, but I had to leave the prints up till the end of the show which ran for about a month. ( note to self: always have extras prints on hand ) I recall another man who chatted with me during the opening reception who admonished me for photographing landscapes in black and white, because he thought that only Ansel Adams was allowed to make such pictures. This was about 5 years after Ansel Adams had passed away so there was still some sensitivity to his passing and his great work.

 I have always thought myself as a Canadian photographer, not having any great desire to photograph in the tripod holes of Ansel Adams. My inspiration has always been the great and varied wilderness of British Columbia and Canada from Vancouver Island's coastal ruggedness to the desert-like interior of the Okanagan Valley to the sharp and jagged peaks of Rocky Mountains. I also love the flatness of the Prairie landscape with the gigantic looming skies overhead especially when there is a thunderstorm. It never ceases to amaze me how incredible it all is and that I am so lucky to live in this part of the world.

The photo posted is from the opening reception invitation that featured one of my original photographic contact prints made from my 4 x 5 negatives. This one being Lake Oesa in Yoho National Park that I made in September of 1988. I think I made up a couple of dozen of these invitations at the insistence of Elinor who thought it would be a great idea.

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