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Canmore photographers zoom in to unique mountain perspective

A Canmore photography duo have exhibit their intricate, detailed photographs of the Rockies in artsPlcae till July 28.

CANMORE – Landscape photography is often used in conjunction with a wide lens to take in the vast scenes of dramatic skies, peaks, lakes and trees.

But what happens if you get closer?

With 100-500mm super telephoto lenses, two Canmore photographers got a new perspective to focus on.

Textures, colours, lines and curves that were captured are now in the spotlight at artsPlace till July 28 in the exhibit It’s All In The Details.

“A lot of the top photographs you see of the Rocky Mountains are the great big, beautiful vistas that we all love,” said one of the photographers, Pam Jenks. “I can see the beautiful vista but when I pull my camera out, I can’t take that picture.”

Lee Nordbye echoed Jenks’ comments.

“When I first started photographing the Rockies like everybody else, my first lens I bought was 14-24mm wide angle, and I spent years trying to make that thing work,” he said.

“I could never come home feeling satisfied.”

After a trip to Vermilion Lakes with his 70-200mm lens, Nordbye found a new way to photograph the iconic Rockies.

“From then on, I just became more and more drawn to the more detailed, intimate nuances of the Rockies,” said Nordbye.

Nordbye’s images strip the landscapes from their colour leaving a simple scene that focus on lines, textures and light.

“I took, of all things, a portrait black and white workshops several years ago, and became inspired to come away and try that in my landscape photography,” said Nordbye. “Over time, I just grew to loving tones and challenging myself to find stories and compositions that rely on other things than colour.”

In the other half of the exhibit, Jenks’ photographs are a juxtaposition to Nordbye’s with vibrant pops of yellows and blues.

“I'm drawn to colours, I like bright blues and yellows,” said Jenks. “I actually do a little bit of black and white but not as much, it's not what my main focus is.”

When Jenks is trekking in the mountains, she keeps a keen eye for interesting lines and textures.

“If you look at a lot of my things you’ll see, not every one of them but quite a few of them, you’ll see some diagonal lines,” said Jenks while pointing to her photos.

Nordbye, while has a similar approach, looks for “natures sculptures” made by the elements, as well as light and shadows, and textures.

“I spend a lot of time in the snow and ice,” he said. “Often I’m drawn to what I describe as natures sculptures, that are these creations of nature through wind, rain, sun, snow, ice, [which] can sculpt these beautiful or amazing structures.”

The pair are feeling grateful to exhibit their work at artsPlace as Jenks says not many galleries consider photography to be art.

“We found that a lot of galleries don’t consider photography to be art,” she said. “It’s really nice to find it the gallery but that celebrates all kinds of art, including photography.”

Jenks and Nordbye met through multiple photography workshops where they were asked to start hiking with another Canmore photographer, Amy Liu.

Since then, the three photogs, alongside others, have been marching through the landscapes capturing their own take of the photogenic scenes. Jenks, Nordbye and Liu recently were exhibited together early in the year in the Three Sisters Gallery at Elevation Place for the Exposure Photography Festival.

“I just love to print and so anytime to exhibit is awesome, but then to exhibit with a great friend who shares a similar interest in adventuring, and a similar interest in photography is that much better,” said Nordbye.

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