Background

I was born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in the beautiful Annapolis Valley. I am University medalist in Theatre Studies from Acadia University and studied acting at Circle in the Square Theatre School on Broadway in New York City. I currently reside in my hometown of Wolfville preferring to raise my daughters here in a small town community. I have worked as an actor and chef and currently as a counsellor with adults that have intellectual disabilities.

My self-taught journey into landscape photography evolved from documenting rockhounding adventures on the shores of Cape Split and Blomidon.  The years of intense rockhounding gave me an outstanding collection of gems and minerals but with the treasure hunt came many risks I could no longer ignore. I turned my attention to the landscapes and seascapes I had become intimately familiar with, seen at dawn and dusk in every season and variety of weather imaginable. The desire to capture these scenes became far more important to me. I quickly felt the benefits of simply being outside with my camera, the perfect remedy for the stresses of every day. I have other interests including collecting records and wild fermentation but photography of the natural world is my means of artistic expression and passion.

I consider myself in essence a fine art photographer more by approach than the content of my work. Labels are difficult. I don't pretend that all of the images I make are fine art photographs but my goal is to share an image that reflects me as an artist with an emotional message to give and vision to share.

The oldest photograph in my portfolio is from 2013 so the work spans a period of only four years in which I was furiously studying photography, the technical process, creative development of digital negatives and immersing myself in the art of landscape photography. My photographic Journey is ongoing as I study what works and learn from my experiments.

I am at some of my healthiest and happiest when I can be out with my camera engaged in the dynamic process of making fine art landscape photographs. The time is often difficult to find these days with the responsibilities of work and raising a kids but chasing the light is always in the back of mind. I see great value in visiting local places frequently and in all seasons as my portfolio illustrats. 

I hope you enjoy the work and I am grateful for the opportunity to share these photographs with you. They represent adventures and truly unforgettable moments. I remember capturing each image with vivid clarity.

Chris Sheppard

Wolfville, Nova Scotia

November, 2017

 

The Process

Every photograph I make, whether from a spontaneous discovery while on an adventure or patient previsualization, is the result of careful observation and composition. Most recently I have been favouring a 4X5 format for my work. I am after a quality that is subtle and difficult to achieve. I want my photographs to have a personal and lasting effect.

This process is time consuming and at times frustrating beyond belief. I must overcome the fear of the unknown. I often hike solo in the dark over difficult terrain in all weather and seasons trusting in my knowledge of local tides and conditions.  I will sacrifice comfort and sleep to put myself in a location that might offer up a glimpse of the sublime if all of the elements come together. This has happened a few times in my photographic journey and the rewards are incredible. With these photographs come memories that will last a lifetime. The potential to capture something special keeps me going and trying.

A familiar landscape or seascape can be transformed by a fleeting moment of extraordinary light, the right weather or tidal conditions or everything at once! This process only begins with the capture. If I have previsualized an image I will certainly have an idea which direction I will take the digital negative in post processing to create a final photograph I feel is worth sharing. It may look substantially different than the Raw file I started with.

My tastes are constantly evolving and I will favour using different lenses at times and change the way I shoot and process my images to keep things fresh and interesting.

The Technical

I rely on modest equipment including a crop sensor Nikon D5500 DSLR I favour for compactness, quality of build and lightness. I use a selection of Nikkor DX lenses including a 40mm prime micro lens, 55 – 300mm telephoto and a 10 – 24mm ultra wide angle zoom. I routinely use a polarizer filter and never make a photograph without my Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod.

I shoot only Raw images and process the digital negatives using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop, preferring to do the majority of my work in Photoshop CC.