Open Vistas & Close Capture
The Photographs of Laura Tucker
I am a storyteller - and photography is my medium.
I have always been a lover of stories; a voracious reader, an enthusiastic writer and teacher. Whether I'm photographing a person, place or thing, my goal for every image is not just to tell a story, but to reveal its character.
My photography has been influenced primarily by three masters - Ansel Adams, Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant. I discovered my attraction to outdoor photography in the most unlikely place - a poster sale on the downtown campus of University of Toronto. I had never travelled; never seen a mountain. And yet, each passing year, I would be rooted to the spot, staring open-mouthed at posters of Adams' work. Years later, when I answered the call to pursue this visual art, I traveled to New Brunswick to learn with Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant, two brilliant Canadian photographers who have taught me to follow my instincts and shoot what I see.
When I photograph, I work primarily in colour. I try to tell a story with every image or series of images I create, so I am drawn to subjects with depth and character. While there is nothing like creating a successful big landscape image, I often find that the most compelling story is found at closer range; in the shadows and corners and textures of a place or thing.
As I approach a subject, whether it is an open landscape or an old barn window, I tend to start working with a wide perspective, taking in everything I see. The images of Highway 3, Zimmerman's Gulch, and the barn window are good examples of this type of image. The subject matter is complicated, with many layers waiting to be revealed. When my appetite for these images is finally satisfied, I like to move in close to capture the detail and texture of each subject. The result is often an image more abstract or ominous than the original vista that attracted my attention.
I choose to live in the Okanagan Valley for its unique character and the diversity of landscape within a relatively short distance. There is no other place across Canada remotely similar and I have barely scratched the surface.
This past year, I had the opportunity to see a large exhibit of Adams' original prints. While those posters impressed me years ago, there was nothing like seeing the real thing. As I crossed the threshold into the gallery, I was transported through time and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. At that moment, I realized that I am, and will always be, an idealistic student at heart.
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Laura Tucker studied photography at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in southern Ontario before relocating to Kelowna in June 2005. Laura will facilitate a workshop at the Okanagan Photographic Art Workshops this August in Kelowna. A collection of her work can be found at www.lauratucker.com.