Earth and Sky shares stories from Alberta, Montana

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Stephen Legault aimed at 300 wild horses madly galloping just out of reach and then he snapped.

Sitting in the flatbed of a moving truck, the Canmore author and photographer captured an image of the untamed and rumbling animals in spectacular full charge.

This raw moment for Legault became a chapter in the 20-year passion he’ll share with the Bow Valley next week.

As author and photographer of Earth and Sky: Photographs and Stories from Montana and Alberta, Legault will host a reading and book signing at Canmore Public Library’s program room on Thursday (Nov. 16) at 7 p.m.

It is free to attend.

Earth and Sky is filled with a collection of Legault’s stories, told in first-person, and 225 colour and black and white images exploring the range of wildlife, landscapes, wooden infrastructure and people encountered through Legault’s journey along the Rockies’ eastern slopes where the mountains meet the foothills and prairies.

“I’m looking forward to sharing stories with folks in the Bow Valley,” he said.

“My plan is to do a short reading of one of the essays in the book, and a slideshow, and show the story behind five of my images in the book.”

One of the extraordinary stories in the 189-page book is of the charging wild horse in Montana that were being rounded up by cowboys on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Legault documented the exhilarating experience as riders moved the horses across the land and through a small town.

“The photos were taken in the back of flatbed pickup going 50 miles an hour,” he said. “I’m going tell the story of how I got those shots (on Nov. 16).”

It’s been a labour of love for Legault, who dreamt about creating a project such as Earth and Sky back in his high school days, where he’d miss classes and head to the school’s darkroom to work on his black and white photography.

“I shoot images to see and, importantly, to feel, the beauty of our landscapes,” he said.

“Some favourite images are black and white because I think they capture the starkness and, in some cases, even the harshness, better than colour does.”

Legault’s the program director of Yellowstone to Yukon conservation initiative and has authored more than 10 books. In 2016, Earth and Sky was published by Rocky Mountain Books, although, this is the first chance a busy Legault has had to speak about the book and its images and stories.

“I’m a year behind right now,” he joked. “I’m wildly excited about this project. Rocky Mountain Books did a phenomenal job and exceeded my expectations.”

Earth and Sky can be purchased at Canmore’s Café Books for $40.

For more information about the author and photographer, please go to www.stephenlegault.com.

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