Art Walk Artist - Bruce Walter
Bruce Walter is Art Walk Artist #4, and has been a photographer since 1976 when he first picked up his Olympus OM -1! He has been featured several times locally at the Courthouse Arts Gallery and also participated in the 2013 Art Walk. This year, Bruce was awarded “Best in Show for his piece, “Canadian Classic”, which sold at the NVCAC’s 11th Annual Community Arts Show in March. Bruce is once again back at the Courthouse Arts Gallery with a great selection of his work.
The Courthouse Arts Gallery is located at 1840 Nicola Ave open & , and to , , now until .
And, hey, while you’re there, remember to post a photo and add #nvcac #ArtWalkMerritt #ExploreMerritt, so we can check it out, too!
More of Bruce's work can be found on his Flickr page. I asked Bruce a couple of questions about his work and learned a lot of new information about his work and process.
What inspires your work?
Group of Seven
Any number of National Geographic photographers that I currently follow on social media like Instagram
Things that inspire me include:
Weather – big weather, unusual weather events, big clouds. I usually try to combine big weather with some subject of interest – person, place or thing.
Natural beauty in nature – flowers, trees, geographic formations.
Who is your favourite visual artist and why?
I am surrounded by art and art books. When I was in my 20s I was an owner of the Chilliwack Art Gallery which included a picture framing shop (Albri Industry’s). This just to say I have had a lot of exposure to art and it is hard to narrow down my favourite visual artist. I am a big fan of Robert Genn so he may be my favorite. I tend to lean towards landscapes or nature scenes in oil or acrylic. I met Robert Genn at his studio and was amazed to learn how many pictures he could turn out in a day – probably 3 or 4 as I recall.
From a photography perspective my favourite is probably Ansel Adams. Adams said that “The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways”. I consider the raw digital file my negative and I consider myself the composer as I attempt to tease out of the negative what I saw and what was important to me when I captured the image.
I also find some video very inspiring. The musical “Across the Universe” is full of visual imagery that I have marveled at. That imagery combined with the Beetles music is great.
What is the most amount of time you’ve spend editing a photo?
This depends. I usually spend less than 30 minutes to run an image through what has become my fairly standard work flow. The result typically might represent 90% of what I want to do. It is the going back and reworking things that absorbs the time. It is a matter of putting things down and picking them up later when you realize what you missed with your rose coloured glasses.
My editing is 95% related to exposure, contrast, sharpening and those kinds of things in Lightroom. In Photo shop I create panoramas and sometimes add elements to fill out the edges. This is essentially copying elements of sky, grass, shrubs from one place to another). The ultimately the finished image is my interpretation of what I saw and what I want to emphasize.
Also, I have literally thousands of images since buying my first digital SLR. I often find myself going through older photos and suddenly being inspired to editing and creating.
I have to say, getting the image “right” in the camera can save a lot of time on the computer. I have learned a lot over the last few years in that respect. I used to bracket all of my photos 1/2 stop above and ½ stop below. Now I don’t and rarely feel the need. The result is far fewer photos to handle.
Regardless, for [my son] Rhys’ wedding I probably took 800 photos edited 600. Some took a great amount of time and some were very quick. Regardless, I spent many many hours in Lightroom editing wedding photos. I have done the same for a number of events like Branding and Bull Riding.
It is not really work though as it is something I enjoy.
Enjoy Art Walk!
Chelsea Werrun, NVCAC President