Biography

Merle Somerville

Master of Photographic Arts Degree

Merle has been photographing landscapes for over thirty years. His passion for finding the perfect image has led him to photographing more than one hundred British Columbia parks and over thirty parks in the United States. He has scouted and photographically documented locations in Australia, Central America, the Mediterranean and the South Pacific.

A traditionalist by heart, Merle will always love film over digital. His early work was strongly influenced by Ansel Adams for whom Merle shares a passion for nature and sharp, detail-oriented imagery. Today Merle shoots almost exclusively with digital. He embraces the various effects made possible by the digital darkroom such as HDR (high dynamic range. Used subtly, this technique allows for his images to include all the highlight and shadow details in a photograph).

Since receiving his Canadian Master’s in Photography in 1988, Merle’s work has been published by several national magazines, tourism marketers and the Knowledge Network in celebrating British Columbia’s 150th Anniversary. In 2014, Merle achieved his American Master of Photography, becoming one of fifteen in Canada to receive this coveted honor.

Merle’s first solo exhibition was in Vancouver in 1999, followed by several other exhibitions in British Columbia. His solo exhibition featuring images of America’s National & Monument Parks taken using his large-format Fujica G617 panoramic, film-based camera, was one of his most memorable.

In 2007, Merle moved to Penticton in the South Okanagan to pursue his creative work. His Okanagan landscapes have won him awards and high praise from his peers including being selected by Fidelis Art Prints for their prestigious “Vineyard Art Collection”. Merle’s large, archival, canvas landscapes have been exhibited in many local galleries and wineries, and are enjoyed by many private and corporate clients throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

Asking him what matters most for him in considering his artwork he says, “No greater reward exists for me than to produce a photograph that expresses my thoughts and emotions—and to have those felt and understood by someone else.”

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