A new lens to our surroundings


By: Frank Green

Ice laces the glass on a window pane early on a winter morning. Sun briefly sets a mountaintop on fire. And, decades ago, a bridge gets built.

A new photography exhibit the Valley Museum & Archives is about memorable moments in the Robson Valley, and each of the featured photographers had their own take on the theme.

Bill Arnold took snapshots of history and Marilyn Wheeler photographed nature. David Marchant took closeups of plants that were like seeing them for the first time, Darwin Paton captured glorious collisions of sky and earth, and Matthew Wheeler took photos of fleeting moments.

“We have this amazing pool of talented people,” said Dannielle Alan, the local rep for the Regional District who organized the show. “The Valley just seems to be a magnet.”

Mr. Wheeler is well known for his photographs captured through lenses made of ice. It’s a method that emphasizes the frailty of each moment. The subjects of Wheeler’s photographs is changing—and so is the camera itself, as the ice shifts and melts. He explained that the photos explore “the idea of ephemeral things that last just long enough for the camera to click them.” And his pursuit of that ephemera, like the ice lacing the glass, is consuming.

“Every morning I couldn’t even stop for breakfast. I had to capture these photos,” he said. “It was quite exhausting.”

David Marchant spoke similarly about his relationship to photography, which he said helps him to see his surroundings anew.

“If I don’t have my camera, oh my gosh.” “Now I really open my eyes,” he added. “I’m constantly looking.”

Cameras from present and long-ago past are also featured at the exhibit, most of which are on loan from the museum’s archives.

The exhibit will run through late May.

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