'Wanderlust' showcases natural beauty

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Fine art landscape photographer Trevor Pottelberg opened his latest art exhibit and sale at The Station Arts Centre in Tillsonburg on Nov. 17.

Featuring unique and timeless scenic landscapes, Wanderlust will be on display at the Bridge Street Gallery until Dec. 17. The gallery is open daily and admission is free.

"A lot of people have said 'I feel like I'm standing right there beside you,'" said Pottelberg, recalling opening night comments. "That made me smile because that's exactly what I want. I want people to feel what I felt at the time of shooting. Some people get up close and say, 'I feel like it's three dimensional... I could just walk right into the scene.' That's good, that's what I want, to invoke some sort of emotion from people. If it strikes a chord, you've got their attention."

Some of his photographs actually look like paintings.

"Some people will walk right up and say 'there's no way that's a photograph.' They feel like they are there in the scene, but say 'you must have added some brush strokes or something on the computer.'"

Pottelberg smiles in response.

"No, all the colours were there when I shot it. I enhance them on the computer - that's kind of my digital darkroom. But I don't add anything, I don't take away anything."

Some are several photographs 'stitched together' to create a wider scene, although you won't notice it with your eye.

One viewer noted 'dust spots' in a deceptive night scene, which Pottelberg corrected, 'no, those are actually stars.'

"A lot of stuff can be done with long exposures," he explained. "Some people don't like it, other people say 'that's pretty cool' because you wouldn't see that with your eye, it happened over time."

Pottelberg wanted his exhibit to be theme-specific. It includes scenes from the Tillsonburg area and various locations in Ontario, coming together as 'Wanderlust.'

"Wanderlust suits me because even though I don't travel the world a lot, I've still got that urge to get out and see whatever we've got around us."

That is what the show is about, he said, showing people there is natural beauty in Ontario.

"We just have to look for it."

All of the Wanderlust photos are printed on archival canvas, which do not require framing, a format that has been gaining popularity in the past five-plus years. He noted all the photos can be reproduced as prints or canvas, at different sizes.

"These are printed on a high-end Epson printer - it's got the technology behind it to make it archival."

Wanderlust includes 28 photographs on display. He also set up a TV with a continuous slide show of current online photos, another 80-plus in total. It's 'work in progress', he said, updating his old website which had 500-plus photos.

Choosing his best 28 for the exhibit was a challenge.

"What I really tried to do, of course, was just represent our area - there's probably three from Tillsonburg and surrounding area - and I did pick a few from different locations that mean something to me."

He has 'two or three' from the Deep River area where his brother lives.

"I love going up there and it just kind of feels like home."

He chose familiar landmarks and some bygone landmarks - bridges or buildings that have since come down.

"For instance, that kiln... that's been torn down. And that Rainbow Bridge, I loved that bridge. It was a really nice arched bridge with wrought-iron rails up in Grundy Lake Provincial Park, in Britt, Ontario. We were going up every year camping, and the year after I had taken that, it was gone. They put in just a normal wooden bridge, but it didn't have that same appeal. So that's another one that means quite a bit."

He made a point of choosing different seasons and different times of the day.

"So I've got sunrises, sunsets, night scenes, day scenes, fog scenes, just showing a variety of different options."

Pottelberg, who lives in Brownsville, also adds a personal touch frequently visiting The Station during his exhibit.

"I've been in three times since the opening... maybe for a half-hour or hour, just to greet people as they're walking through, and if there's any questions they can ask me in person," he said, looking forward to being at The Station on Saturday, Nov. 26 for the Holiday Tour of Homes.

Pottelberg targeted the mid-November to mid-December exhibit slot to reach potential Christmas shoppers.

"I thought this might be perfect for getting the Christmas crowd to come in... anybody who is looking for a gift. We'll see how it goes, I've got until Dec. 17th." 



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