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Photographic nature

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 29/05) - Photographer Bronwyn Watters is a poor choice for a hiking partner.

She doesn't get very far before a frozen mud puddle or a tuft of fireweed distracts her from her walk. She uses a macro lens to zoom in on things many of us never take the time to see.

NNSL Photo

Bronwyn Watters is exhibiting her photos at the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre until late Saturday afternoon.

Playing with over-exposures, double exposures and out-of-focus images, Watters explores the feeling behind her subjects. Her photos stray from strict representation of her subjects to depict a familiar, cheerful serenity.

For example, instead of merely shooting the beautiful bright yellow leaves of a tree, she'll overlap two exposures to soften the image.

In this way she captures the gentle calmness one feels resting in the shade on a lazy, sunny day.

One of her photos gives new life and dignity to a rusted-out pick-up truck, abandoned in a field. The criss-crossed lines of the broken windshield are superimposed over the truck, wrapping the image in the warmth of glistening sunlight.

"I experiment and try to see what works," she said.

Watters' lens turns a fluffy dandelion into a "starburst" and transforms a flower basket into "a summer dream."

Much of the beauty in her photos comes from her playful creativity and her artistic eye deserves more credit than her camera lens.

One of her most captivating works shows the magical moment when an upturned canoe reflects the shoreline of Great Slave Lake across its bow.

"I like to take photos that share things with people that aren't seen readily," she said. "If I can make other people smile with my photos, then I feel good."

Watters sells her framed photos to cover her costs.

"I'd like to share my photos more, but I don't have the instinct for marketing," she said.

And that's all right, because her photos speak for themselves.

Watters' photos can be viewed at the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre today and Saturday.

When she's not out taking pictures, Watters works as the assistant deputy minister for the GNWT Department of Justice.