Member of the Month
Full Name: Bill Fell
Medium: Black and white film photography.
How long have you been doing your art: I started doing my art in the mid 1980’s.
What got you originally interested in the art you do: My father gave me my first 35 mm camera when I made my first back packing trip to Europe in 1972. In those days I used Kodachrome slide film. The processing was prepaid when you bought the film. A mailing envelope to the Kodak processing plant in Rochester, NY, was included. I mailed the exposed film from Europe as I travelled. When I returned home to Ontario the processed film was waiting for me. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing and showing the slides to others that I had taken to document my trip.
What is something you have learned about yourself through your art: The photos I take now, although they are mostly nature and landscape, document to me the places I have been and the things I enjoyed seeing. You don’t have to travel great distances to document your experiences. Some of my favourite, and memorable photographs to me, have been taken within walking distance of my home now in Sun Peaks.
What do you enjoy the most about your art: I use a large format film camera that requires a large black cloth over the back of the camera. You go under the cloth to view the image you are composing on the ground glass. While you are under the black cloth you are ‘cut off’ from all distractions around you so you are able to immerse yourself totally in what you are doing and concentrate on the subject matter in front of you. This process can take several minutes up to hours while you compose, focus, adjust camera settings and wait for the proper lighting. There are times you record on the film what you had visualized and there are times you pack everything up without taking a photo because all the required elements just didn’t come together. Either way it gives you time to enjoy and connect with your selected subject matter.
What is your favorite joke/quote: A quote from Ansel Adams that I use on the home page of my website:
“You don’t make a photograph with just your camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, all the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
If you could teach everyone one art medium or method, what would it be, why: No art medium in particular. Just something you enjoy doing even if others don’t consider it art. But something that allows you to immerse yourself in it and be with yourself and your own thoughts without distractions.
What do you think makes art important: The process the person goes through to make their own ‘art’ whatever it may be.
Why are you a member of the Kamloops Arts Council: KAC gives me an opportunity to see art created by other, mainly local, people and an opportunity to display my own art.
What are you looking forward to the most in this upcoming year: I have an small exhibition coming up at the Old Courthouse from March 26 to April 17 and another one at the Revelstoke Art Gallery for the month of July.
But more importantly I look forward to the opportunities to be outside wherever it may be to concentrate on whatever subject matter may be at hand that interests me.