Artist Conversations: David McColm on Dusk till Dawn

Artist Conversations: David McColm on Dusk till Dawn

Arts Whistler is excited to present the newest exhibit to grace The Gallery at Maury Young Arts Centre, Dusk till Dawn.

The show brings together the work of six Sea to Sky photographers, presenting their unique perspectives on the quiet wonders that hide on the outskirts of daylight. Running from July 20 – August 21, Dusk till Dawn will encourage attendees to bask in the enchanting magnitude illuminated by alpenglow and the mesmerizing magic of aurora borealis, revel in the ethereal glimmer of the Milky Way, and meditate upon the hopeful glow of zodiacal light and the ephemeral grace of first light.

We caught up with one of the exhibit’s artists and Whistler local, David McColm, to get the inside scoop on the show and his contribution.

Give us the 60-second elevator pitch on Dawn till Dusk. What do you want people to take away from this show?

OK I’ll give it a go: come explore the magic of last light, (almost) no light, and first light in the Dusk till Dawn photo exhibit featuring the work of six sea to sky photographers, Mason Mashon, Eric Poulin, Jeremy Allen, Andrew Strain, Nathan Starzynski and myself. Expect to be enthralled by the wonders that come before, during and after “deep sky,” from the northern lights, the milky way, zodiacal light, shooting stars, the moon and the sun, all set against incredible sea to sky landscapes. Of course, we’re hoping that what people see will inspire them to “look up” more often, especially at night and … imagine!

Also, please join us Thursday, August 2 for the opening reception, 7 – 9pm, at The Gallery. Some of the photographers will be giving a talk during this time – I’m really looking forward to hearing their perspectives on shooting the night sky and, in general, a bit about their photo journeys.

Who or what has been the biggest influence you in terms of your work?

My influences are many – from being inspired as a youth while watching the first moon landing (now that’s dating myself!), to at one time being interested in becoming an astronomer, to basically being a bit of a space geek my whole life!

While also a camera nerd from a very early age (my first camera was a Kodak Instamatic), once I had my hands on my first digital camera, it seemed like anything was possible. For example, it was then possible to explore shooting once challenging subjects, like the night sky, without breaking the bank on film processing costs!

Of course, once “the force” we call social media exploded, there has since been a never-ending stream of inspiring imagery (in both photos and films).

Can you tell us one thing people might not know about you?

I like to think I’m a bit of a baker.  Maybe I’ll bring a few samples for the opening reception on August 2!

What is your favourite part about being a photographer?

I love being “out there” in the dark, watching and shooting as the universe does its thing – and it’s a pretty crazy, magical thing it does!

What is your favourite thing to photograph?

In terms of how powerful it feels to personally experience it and, of course, to shoot it, it’s pretty hard to beat a strong overhead aurora show.

What’s your best adventure story while getting “the shot”?

I don’t know if I have one best story but more an accumulation of experiences, generally influenced by some crazy weather. There was the time I returned from checking my time lapse setup on top of Sproatt Mountain only to find that my tent had blown away! (I eventually found it)

There was also the time I was shooting in the Whistler back-country in 100 km/hr winds, holding down my tripod for an hour hoping to obtain a usable time lapse (I still haven’t processed it, so not sure if it worked). Like these, pretty well all of my stories happen at night, generally during the winter, but at the end of the day, I feel fortunate to have been able to experience each and every one of them.

Do you have any tips or advice for photographers who are just starting out?

I’m not sure I’m one to give much advice as many days I feel like I’m just starting out myself.  Man, I have so much more to learn, to discover!  That said, my constant advice to myself is remain passionate, be persistent, and don’t be afraid to be a little bit (safe) crazy.

What made you pick the theme Dusk till Dawn?

Basically because it’s all I know and the “only” time I shoot.  Plus, it helps that Whistler and the Sea to Sky area in general have so many incredible landscapes and skies to shoot, especially from dusk till dawn!

If you could recommend some other artists Instagram feeds for people to check out, who would they be and why?

Of course, everyone needs to check out the amazing feeds of the photographers in the show:

Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor have an abundance of incredible visual artists, all of whom inspire me. Many, if not most, could easily have been a part of this show. I feel crazy fortunate to be in this place, in this time, and to be able to share this visual world with all of them and you!  I, like the other photographers in the show, look forward to meeting some of you during the opening reception and talking about “what’s out there”…

David McColm is a landscape and night sky photographer based in Whistler, BC. He has spent the past 10 years experiencing & photographing Whistler’s stunning and ever changing landscapes.

David likes nothing more than to head off into the Whistler alpine to spend a night capturing the last light of the day and the night sky, in both photos as well as time lapses. #lookup


Find out more information on the show and check out other artists featured in Dusk Till Dawn:

Visit the exhibit event page

Make sure to join us on August 2, from 7 – 9pm, when all are invited to attend a free event to explore the exhibit, take in talks from some of the photographers in the theatre starting at 7:30pm, and enjoy a drink and a sunset view of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts