A few years ago, action sport photographer Paul Bride had an idea: he wanted to branch out from the outdoor adventure industry and into the contemporary, fine arts side of the trade, taking an up-close-and-personal look at four of the world's most hostile and powerful natural forces through the lens of his camera.
So, he spent almost two years trekking around the world, visiting four locations to capture some of the world's most hostile and powerful natural forces at work.
This theme took him to Teahupoo, Tahiti, home to the heaviest waves on the planet; Ilulissat, Greenland, which has the largest icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere; Sossusvlei, Namibia, which boasts the largest sand dunes and oldest desert on record, with no sustainable water source for 55 million years; and Kilauea, Hawaii, where the planet's most active volcano erupts.
The subsequent collection, dubbed The Elements, was unveiled to the public in September at Bride's own gallery, which is located in downtown Squamish. The collection was definitely a departure from Bride's typical outdoor adventure work, but was warmly received by the public nonetheless, with almost 130 people showing up for the opening.
"We had a really good turnout and I was able to sell a lot of work," Bride said during an interview at his gallery last week. "I've been getting really good feedback."
Now, the positive feedback is coming from the international photography community.
Last summer, Bride decided to submit The Elements to Silvershotz: The International Journal of Contemporary Photography , a glossy coffee table journal featuring inspiring folios from around the world. The primary goal of the publication is to help emerging and newly established photographers promote their work within the international community. In October, he found out that his application had been successful.
"When I was accepted to that, that was a big deal for me."
The 2010 collection features photographers from Australia, the US, Sweden, UK, Greece, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Croatia, Turkey, Norway, Malaysia and Canada. Bride is actually one of just five Canadians included in the collection: other Canadians include Joan Frick, André Gallant, Ugo Magni and Hannah Minzloff.
"This one takes a look at international galleries and museums, and is sort of more along the lines of up-and-coming artists. Some of them have been in the business for a long time and I've been in the photo business for a long time, but the gallery business, I haven't been in for a long time," he pointed out.
"I wasn't really sure if I was going to be accepted, and I guess they had over 2,000 applicants."