Gary Fraser/Photographer

Unfortunately Gary Fraser and his wife Anne were convicted in 2014 of fraud and embezzlement of a substantial amount of money from their employer.
Here is a great piece about Gary Fraser, photographer.  Gary Fraser has lived in Bear River east all of his life, running the family business, Fraser’s Hardware, until the closure of the Cornwallis Base forced it and many other businesses to close down.    For the past few years,  Gary has been working at doing what he loves: photography….
Published on February 28, 2012 
Heather Killen  RSS Feed 
The Spectator
 Bear River photographer Gary Fraser has the patience to wait for the essence of his subjects to fill the frame – just when the chemistry of light and its relationship with the subject are exactly right. An exhibit of his portraits opens at The Rebekah in Bear River March 5 at 7 p.m.Heather Killen

Bear River photographer Gary Fraser capturing textures within the frame and time

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Bear River

By Heather Killen/The Spectator/

Some familiar faces may surprise themselves, hanging around the Rebekah in a special photography exhibit.

Gary Fraser, longtime photographer and Bear River resident, is showing his collection of black and white portraits. The exhibit of portraits and selections of still life, ‘Where My Father Lived,’ opens March 5 with a reception starting at 7 p.m.

Self-taught, Fraser says he started out shooting for every photographer’s list of quintessential sunsets and waterfalls, but as time went on he began to see the beauty in the smaller pieces of what he describes as the intimacy of the landscape.

After awhile with some encouragement, he began photographing friends and the usual people he saw around Bear River. He admits he often catches people off guard, asking permission to take their photo.

As They Are

“They tell me, ‘oh you don’t want to photograph me,’” he said. “And I say, ‘oh yes I do.’ Or they’ll say, ‘okay when?’ And I say ‘right now.’”

He added that one of his biggest regrets is that he didn’t start asking earlier. A few long-time residents like Benny Hill passed away before he had the chance to photograph the sitting, but he’s hopeful a few elders will still agree to a portrait.

For inspiration he’s looked at the work of master portrait-makers like Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange, and Richard Avedon and then set out to photograph his subjects as they are, where they are.

There’s nothing ordinary about the chemistry of light and shadows and he describes his photos as more of a study of the relationship. Making strong portraits isn’t so much about posing subjects in the best studio lights, he says, but about capturing the textures within the frame and time.

He says sometimes the moment is almost stolen with the light fingers of only one or two quick snaps. While other people are more willing and yet somehow more difficult to define, even after countless frames still remaining elusive and impossible to pinpoint.

Farmers Market

One of his first and favorite places to photograph people is the local Farmers Market.

“Everyone is in such a good mood,” he said. “It’s ordinary people in ordinary moments.”

“Lisa,” the study of a young fiddler from the French Shore, was taken one afternoon at the Farmers Market. He said the music seemed to float over the sights and sounds of the market and drew him towards her until frame after frame was filled with her.

“I’m not sure that other people noticed her,” he said. “She was playing with her brother and the music was surreal, it seemed to be filling everything.”

Another striking portrait is a low-key shot of musician Brad Hewey looking quietly into the depths of the lens.  In all there are about 20 photos in the collection that also features a tribute to his father who died in 2000.

“I want to show people something about themselves they’ve never seen, or knew existed,” he said.

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