I turned to landscape photography in the 1970’s. Being the quieter type, with the pressures of life, I just felt I had to find an outlet for expression. I love science and I love form and design, so photography was a natural choice. Working with both optical equipment and art was a pleasure.
Before long I found my prints being accepted by local galleries and art exhibits in the Chilliwack area. I had no desire to enter into the field of commercial photography, but remained solely a fine-art landscape photographer.
Upon moving to the prairies in 1989 it became apparent to me that the normal methods of capturing an image would be inadequate to capture the immense sprawling landscape and the sweeping skies of Alberta. Turning to panoramas, I never looked back. A proper panorama presents the landscape as no other medium can do. Fortunately my background in print-making and film photography gave me that natural progression into panorama landscape and eventually into digital fine-art photography and a digital lab.
I continue to be involved in many markets, shows, and exhibits throughout Alberta each year, and display work in several galleries in the province. You may always find the artwork and events at gordonhiebert.com.
I have now adopted the panorama style of photography because the sheer breadth of the captured image is so impactful. Through this all-inclusive medium I feel I am able to transfer my own personal and spiritual experience directly to the viewer in a much more effective way than with other more accepted standard formats.
For subject matter I am attracted to stormy, changeable, weather and rainy days – in other words typical inclement prairie weather. By doing that I can demonstrate the vibrancy of natural life and the great drama found in upheavals in the atmosphere—in the very clouds, in the pressing wind. These wonderful dynamics make one feel all the more intimately the life within and without; I create my photography to help the viewer feel a powerful intimacy with life.Along with dramatic lighting I look for strong perspective, enabled by the use of very wide-angle photographic techniques. Also my work is not studied for the most part but tends toward the spontaneous, capturing moments in landscape that last for fleeting seconds.
Influences are always from the world of painting and drawing, and I never find myself considering other photographic styles. As a result I have come up with an individual style that conveys for me real meaning and powerful expression in the final print. It is rewarding that I am often told by the viewer that they feel as if they could fall into a particular image, as if they were actually there. That is what I want!
Since 1978 I have printed all my own images in the home lab. After all, that is the best way to learn and grow. Working with one’s own mistakes and failures first-hand is the best teacher, I highly recommend this kind of path.