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Steve Speer

Steve Speer has been photographing the landscape consistently since purchasing
his first camera in the mid 1970’s. He is a respected photographer and teacher
whose work is hung in corporate offices and private residences both nationally and internationally.


“I have been a practicing landscape photographer for my entire adult life. For me,
seeing the natural world through the lens of a camera has been a consistent thread in my life and has contributed immensely to who I am as a person. I purchased my first camera (a Nikkormat) in 1973 and connected immediately with the idea of seeing the natural world through the viewfinder of a camera.”


He studied photography at the Alberta College of Art in the early 1980’s and returned there as a sessional instructor in 2008. He has published two photography books; one on rural China (CHINA - Guangdong Province Portfolio) and another on the visual history of commercial real estate in Calgary (Building on the Bow - Landmarks of Calgary Commercial Real Estate). His portfolio of 43 industrial images was included in LensWork Extended #92 along with Michael Kenna and Huntington Witherill.  He also contributed to LensWork Publishing’s – Looking at Images-A Deeper Look at Selected Photographs and was the profiled photographer in Freisens Printing’s prestigious, 2015 Engagement Calendar.


“I am grateful for the visual path I have chosen. Life seems to move forward at a
relentless pace and photography, at least for me, has a mitigating effect to that
forward momentum. There is nothing more pleasurable than being in the moment,
and connecting with the world on a deep visual level. When you can look at old
images and are taken back to the time the shutter was tripped, to hear the sound of birds singing, breezes blowing and the fragrances wafting up from the grasses . . .Is there anything better!”

“Photography as a Recollective Device”

I photograph as a therapeutic necessity. Growing up in rural norther Ontario, nature was right outside my door so I naturally gravitated to landscape photography. My early work explored dark forest landscapes shooting Kodachrome 25 which was a notoriously slow ISO film. My handheld images were often blurry so I started working with a tripod fairly early on. This served a couple of purposes. Most importantly, my images were no longer blurry but the secondary benefit was that I could really study my images in the viewfinder and I wound up spending more time “in the moment” engaged with my compositions. This process was reinforced when I started shooting large format (4x5 and 8x10) film in the early 1980’s and even though I now have adopted a digital workflow, I still prefer to use a tripod and the slow methodology that is associated with this style of shooting.


In determining the content for this show, I have decided to revisit my 4x5 film negative library which contains images dating back to the early and mid 1980’s. The images on display are important to me in that they focus on a time when I was finding my photographic vision. When working with the individual images I have chosen for this show, I am transported back to the moment the images were captured and I can recall the experience with intimate detail. I can remember clearly the temperature, sounds and smells and the remarkable moment of experiencing the landscape through my lens(s). And this is what I love most about photography; is its service to recollection. When you experience a moment worthy of notice, it sticks with you in mind but over time the memory can begin to fade as it is clouded by more current memories. Photography brings back memories with complete intimacy and detail.


I have been shooting with enthusiasm since purchasing my first camera in the early 1970’s and have integrated photography into my lifestyle over the past 50 years. Although the technical aspects of the craft have changed dramatically in recent years, the process has not and this is something I am grateful for. When out shooting my process is the same as it was in the early 1970’s and I feel fortunate to be on this path of perpetual gratification..

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INDOOR PLUMBING


Mossleigh Alberta 2001
Printed on Hahnemuehle William Turner Etching
30" x 40" (40" x 50" framed)

$2,400 Framed

FEDORA, RAYMOND SEWING MACHINE


Etzikom, Alberta 1993
Printed on
Hahnemuehle William Turner Etching

30" x 40" (40" x 50" framed)

$2,400 Framed

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EXTERIOR


East Coulee Elementary School 2001
Printed on
Hahnemuehle William Turner Etching

30" x 40" (40" x 50" framed)
$2,400 Framed

SNOW FENCE


Delia, Alberta 2001

Printed on Hahnemuehle William Turner Etching

30" x 40" (40" x 50" framed)

$2,400 Framed

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ANGLICAN CHURCH

Dorothy, Alberta 1989

Printed on Hahnemuehle William Turner Etching

30" x 40" (40" x 50" framed)

$2,400 Framed