Photography is Duane Allen’s passion

Sherry Bezanson shares Ladysmith digital photographer Duane Allen's story in her Community Art Showcase column.

Ladysmith Arts Council member Duane Allen's work is first on the list of artists on the Canadian Nature Photographer website.

Ladysmith Arts Council member Duane Allen's work is first on the list of artists on the Canadian Nature Photographer website.

Wildlife is his penchant and the West Coast, his pallet.

Duane Allen has been a Ladysmith Arts Council member for several years. He is a digital photographer whose works have been exhibited in the 2011 Mid-Island Photo Expo at the Ladysmith Art Gallery.

Allen took a photography class in high school and was also guided by his father, who was a hobbyist photographer. Having a darkroom at home inspired learning the art and skill of this medium. He started his work on a 35-mm camera and developing his photos in the home darkroom.

His interest and learning continued to grow as an adult, and he started his business, Kermode Art, three years ago. He said he based the name on the illusive Kermode bear, the white spirit bear, but he admits he’s never seen one. His work on boats has allowed him extensive travel in coastal B.C. waters and near the stomping grounds of the Kermode.

Allen is inspired by wildlife, landscapes, industrial abstract, portraiture and the exploration of HDR photography. HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is the rendering of computer graphics by using lighting calculations done in a larger dynamic range. This allows the preservations of details that could otherwise be lost due to limiting contrasting ratios in regular photography. In HDR, bright objects can be really bright, dark things can be really dark, and details can be seen in both. This gives the photo greater depth and perspective.

Allen describes himself as a largely-self-taught still photographer. He uses the computer programs Light Room and Photoshop, DCR Affects Pro and Photomatrix.

Allen’s work is first on the list of artists on the Canadian Nature Photographer website.

Allen describes photography as his passion; it provides him with a deeper relevance and exploration than other forms. He enjoys masking objects into backgrounds or foregrounds, perhaps an animal or bird that is hidden at first glance. He will situate these objects in a similar shade or subject that encourages a deeper study of the piece to see it.

His artist inspirations are Ansel Adams, Robert Bateman, Robert Burden, John Marriott and Dave Brosha.

He prefers to use simple black frames primarily but likes the industrial look of aluminum as well.

His trusty sidekick that accompanies him nearly everywhere he goes is a Nikon D-90. The D-90 is a 12.3-megapixel digital SLR reflex camera that has won awards for the advanced best D-SLR.

Currently, Allen’s art is on display at the Printingdun Beanery in Ladysmith.

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