Art Displays

May & June 2019

Main Lounge: Richard Hill

Wildlife Photography


Technical expertise meets the perfection of nature in a new exhibition at the Nelson Public Library. “Big and Small: Birds Found in the West Kootenay” is a photographic exhibition by Richard Hill that asks us to slow down and appreciate our avian neighbours. The work is on display through May and June.

As the owner-operator of High Five Maintenance, Richard Hill spends much of his time trouble-shooting the mechanics of the City’s buildings and not nearly enough time, he says, out of doors. But when he gets to spend time in nature, mechanics play a role—in this case, the mechanics of photography.

“F-stops, shutter speed, depth of field, ISO, white balance, the optics, and how to apply them all in each situation and understand the outcome,” he says, are the mechanical aspects that offer endless possibilities for creating the perfect image. But it’s the subject itself that provides the spark for Hill: the wild creatures captured by his lens.

“While the more linear mechanics of photography can be inspiring, with wildlife photography there is the connection with nature, the organic side of this form of photography that gives so much, far more than what small role I play in creating something visual,” Hill explains. “It’s this combination of mechanics, technique, and connection to nature that I find extremely satisfying.”

Images in the Library exhibition are printed on canvas and include birds as small and exquisite as the Rufous Hummingbird and as imposing as a Bald Eagle. For Hill, every encounter is special. “It’s this connection with nature that gives me so much. Whether I capture a worthy photo or not is secondary. The gift is just in participating.”