Compelling photos featured in local exhibit

A photography exhibit is showcasing the outstanding skills of a local resident who has long had a passion for capturing life on film.

Harvey Brink practices psychology in Red Deer, but during his time away from the office he loves to hone his photographic skills. A current exhibit at Café Pichilingue features many striking shots of outdoor scenes, and he’s preparing to launch another exhibit on April 1 in the Velvet Olive.

“I’ve been a closet photographer since I was about six,” laughs Brink who was raised on a farm near Spruce View. He was always drawn to the art form, and over the years during his education and career he has always taken the time to keep up with equipment advances as well.

“Photography has always been an enjoyable hobby. As I have gotten older and thought about cutting back on work a bit, I’ve been into it a bit more.

“It gets me out and about. I just love to take photos of subjects from an angle that maybe I wouldn’t have normally looked at them from, or get some detail. I also really like black and white pictures, so if I take one in colour I’m always putting it into black and white to see if I like it better. Black and white helps take away some of the distractions and lets the power of the photo show through.”

Brink loves to shoot scenes of nature and wildlife. Capturing that perfect wildlife shot can involve plenty of waiting – but it’s worth it when the opportunity surfaces.

“I also like to take pictures that capture the details of old things. I’ve taken several pictures of the Nordegg mine – the old machinery and equipment.”

Photos placed along the wall of Café Pichilingue reflect Brink’s talent for spotting a range of superb subjects as well. “Some are older and some are more recent, but I thought they were all interesting pictures.” Outstanding examples abound, from the pale, ethereal qualities of to the timeless pop culture of Is It Really Her? – a shot of a Marilyn Monroe look-alike driving a convertible in a Studio City lot in Los Angeles.

What adds to the magic of the photo is the expression on a young onlooker’s face, it’s a mix of astonishment and wonder.

A photo called Petit Point Window shows the starkness of an abandoned Nordegg building’s interior highlighted by bright, sunlit colours visible through a window. “What caught my eye with that one was the trees through the metal screen window. It reminded me of my mom’s petit point.

“I also love the texture of old wood, and the contrast of the light and dark.”

Leaf Thief is a close-up shot of a intricate stem with leaves entwined around a door handle. The contrast of colour again is an empowering feature to the work with the vibrant green of the foliage shimmering against the muted, dark colours of the door.

Looking to next month, the Velvet Olive show will feature photos taken during a trip to Yucatan. He’s tackling the task of going through about 500 photos and choosing 17 or so for the show.

Ultimately, photography offers a means of unlimited self-expression.

“I love to share my work.”