Hi, I’m Rik. I’m a landscape photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. I was always fascinated by that transcendent and esoteric quality of light, from the sparkly frosty winter mornings of Northern Ontario as a child to growing up on the prairies a short distance away from the big city where I got to experience the wonder of the open sky and those ultra beautiful prairie sunsets. Vancouver has such a variety of subjects that there’s never really a shortage of things to shoot, from waters and mountains to industrial and urban.
I got into photography because I’m moved by the things I see around me – the quality of light that can seem magical or awe-inspiring at times. Photography can be a very creative form of expression for those who pursue that passion, and it’s a great way to explore the world around you. It’s not easy teaching yourself to record something that’s so ethereal and changeable just as it’s not easy to learn other forms of expression such as painting or dance. Every once in a while I’ll be out shooting with friends and point something out and they’ll be amazed they never saw it in that way before. You really have to just stop and look around, taking it all in. It’s a journey that I love taking – it means taking life at a different pace and looking at the things around you in a different way. Photography is a way to show others how beautiful the world around us truly is.
For cameras I’ve gone from the Pentax K1000, a fully manual SLR film camera which I got in my late teens to the Canon A1, Canon’s advanced amateur camera at that time. I moved into digital with the 5Mp Nikon C5400, an advanced compact camera which I still own. I’ve been a Nikon fan ever since and moved up to the Nikon D200 SLR then more recently onto the Nikon D7100. My shooting style is more purist – i like to capture the light as it really is and as such I don’t like a lot of manipulation. This is not to be confused with processing. Cameras have their limitations and I use the tools available to make my vision come true. All photos are representations and imperfect and all photos are processed slices of reality. Cameras record both a moment in time and also record only half truths which are open to interpretation. The type of equipment you use affects the outcome as do other tools like Photoshop. Keep in mind that all images are processed, which means that they’re either processed in camera by the camera, in a lab with chemicals or in Photoshop. I prefer to not let the camera do this as I would lose too much valuable information that way, so I use mostly Photoshop. My HDR images are done in Photoshop and that is done to work around the light gathering limitation of all cameras but this requires the most amount of work, ranging from 2 to 30 hours per image or any value in between. The result if done right can be so sublime or ‘wow’. My goal is to not just show you what it looked like at that time but to also leave you with a sense of what it really felt like to be there. That is the most intangible aspect of photography and the hardest to master.