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Victorian Nights

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For me, photography is both amazing and inspiring. Aside from continuously improving upon the technical aspects of the art itself, photography allowed me to discover myself in the process. Through my images, and those of other photographers, you’ll gain a sense of my perspective or my point of view. All my life it has been a form of expression and a view into how I see the world. Over the years, photography has taught me to “see.” Similar to rewatching a movie, it won’t matter how many times you view an image, if you look close enough, you’ll always uncover something more – something interesting, valuable and beautiful. Photography consistently introduces a sense of gratitude into my life, reminding my always to truly ‘see’ what lies before me.

‘Victorian Nights’ is a reminder of my journey into photography. It was the rooftop of a condominium building in Victoria, BC, Canada called The Falls that essentially kick-started my career. Standing on the roof of the 19-storey building, staring at the cityscape below me, I became completely consumed with making photographs, spending night after night perfecting my craft. I wanted to know everything there was about how to take or make photographs. Over time I learned to work with different times of the day, varied lighting, and various bits of equipment. All in an effort to acquire the first image I’d ultimately capture with professional equipment, and the very first image I’d print and hang. To this day, ‘Victorian Nights’ still hangs in my office – reminding me of the beginnings of my dream.

Photography has revealed the multidimensional nature of my identity. It also serves as my companion as I walk through new experiences in life. Photography has taught me to live in the moment. I am always watching the world and looking for photographic opportunities, ready to fire the shutter at a moment’s notice. These images also help me reminisce, looking back, I can experience the emotions I felt when I took the picture. The entire process is my key to unlocking the treasures of a life of purpose, desire, and peace within.

At the end of it all, I do not want to understand just how to take pictures. I want to understand how to think about the pictures taken, dig into them, and decrypt them as my goal is to continue to discover myself through photography continuously making better pictures. I also want to make a good living from my profession to provide an amazing life for my family and to contribute to philanthropic endeavours. In my dream, I want to leave the world a better place with the amazing images, like this one in Victoria so many nights ago.

Although the sky was hazy on this night, I had new gear – my first professional camera – that allowed me to take the shot. It took the sun dropping below the horizon to rid the landscape of the otherwise hard light – leaving the horizon and city lights nicely balanced with the sky. It turns out the haze came in handy too as it provided the perfect backdrop allowing the sun and the sky to work together and show their natural colours.

‘Victorian Nights’ looks west with the Sooke Hills seen in the distance. The British Columbia parliament buildings are visible and brightly lit. Mid-photo you see the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel surrounded by other landmarks such as the Royal BC Museum, Undersea Gardens and on the far left the Iconic ‘Blue Bridge’ that makes Victoria so recognizably unique. The upper right side of the image is a small tip of land that depicts Vic West, Esquimalt, and, if you had a microscope, you would also see CFB Esquimalt (the Canadian Forces Military Base).

The inner harbour while looking calm and untouched is rarely this serene. Its bustling waterway is home to the Coho Ferry which runs vehicles and passengers from Victoria to Port Angeles. The float planes work on one of the most rare, and busiest airport waterways in Canada, (the Victoria Inner Harbour Airport), traversing passengers conveniently to and from Vancouver and Seattle. Common too on most days are small boats called Harbour Ferries, with drivers pointing out notable landmarks to visitors along the way.

With a nod to its English heritage, British Columbia’s capital is filled with colonial architecture and vibrant new shops. The city is an intoxicating combination of old-world charm mixed with modern experiences. This unique vantage point offered me a different perspective on the city view that I love.

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Sean Schuster Fine Art Photography Victoria BC Sign up for latest news on our new releases and in-gallery events.