"One Man, One Camera, One Tripod" is the newest exhibit at the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum. The exhibit opened this evening with a reception featuring Byron Fichter that had a great turnout with many of his supporters.
Read the exclusive interview below:
Hodgson: What are you exhibiting this evening?
Fichter: This exhibition is based on my backpacking trip through Costa Rica. The theory of it is that after the trip I put together a photo book and I keep a journal when I travel, so the show kinda exposes my photo book and my journal of my backpacking trip to Costa Rica.
Hodgson: What inspired you to take the pictures?
Fichter: I have some inspirations in art one, of them is my favourite photographer is Peter Lik, a great landscape artist. Another one of my favourite wildlife photographers is Steve Bloom and then late great Anthony Bourdain is just a traveller, self-promoter, he's a chef also which doesn't have anything to do with photography, you wouldn't think. A part of it is just the storytelling behind the photos, he’s a storyteller and traveller and those are the people who are my inspiration to travel and get more out of my travels.
Hodgson: How did you get into photography?
Fichter: I've always been really artistic, I've tried painting and I've done digital media. I actually went to school for animation and none of those things really kinda jived with me. One time I was in Las Vegas with a good friend of mine and we walked into an art gallery which was owned by Peter Lik, whom I mentioned earlier. I walked in there and was like I can do this, the next week I bought a camera and I started doing photography. That was 2011 and I've been doing it since I love it so much, I can't stop thinking about it ever. I found my outlet to get my creativity out.
Hodgson: What do you try to convey to the audience who see your photos?
Fichter: I think it means something a little bit different to a lot of people, obviously just very beautiful. I've been developing some photography classes and so part of the interesting thing about this is it's called "One Man, One Camera, One Tripod" is because I had one camera, one lens and a little travel tripod, I just wanted to show that you don't need the biggest fanciest gear, you don't need to travel with a whole backpack filled with camera gear. You can make one camera work as long as you change your mind around your subject, maybe you have to get closer, maybe you have to this or that. If you really want to you can use what you have to make something beautiful.
Hodgson: Which photograph is your favourite out of your collection?
Fichter: Of all my pieces here, the one of the toucan is my favourite one, that's not the most technical as far as photography goes. One of the things behind this trip was to go to the middle of nowhere, somewhere beautiful, somewhere tropical, somewhere with wildlife and kinda just recharge my soul. Get away from living on a phone, on a screen, just the riggers of life. Being out there I was told we'd never get close to a toucan, I'd never get a photo of a toucan. After spending a few days in the jungle essentially the toucan came to me and I think that was the moment and this may sound corny and maybe some people don't believe it but that was the moment my soul got reset and I got recharged. Nature provided that for me, that's what I thought about that. It means a lot to me personally, that photo.
Hodgson: Do you have anything planned in the future?
Fichter: I actually have nothing concrete as far as what I'm shooting in the future. I'm kinda developing some classes and I want to give back to the artistic community and start teaching photography class or just hosting photography night at my studio in town. I want to continue with the travel photography aspect and there are a few places on my bucket list of places to travel. I want to continue travelling, I want to continue experiencing the different culture, language and different way of life. That is part of Costa Rica that changed my life to was how eco-driven they were and how forward thinking they were when it comes to recycling and preservation of nature. You would think as a third-world country that we would be more advanced than them but that's something they are more advanced in then we are and that struck home to me. I want to continue to learn more about our planet that I can't learn from here.
The show had a great turnout with many people. The exhibit will be on display until January 18, 2019.
Fichter added, "I hope everyone comes and checks the show out and support the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum. I'm really thankful that I got the opportunity to show my work here, it's really cool. Hopefully, it inspires someone to travel and go stay somewhere and not be on a resort or not be afraid to experience a different place for what it is instead of just what the touristy side of it is, or challenges a photographer to get outside of their comfort zone and try something different."