Thursday, June 21, 2018
Semiahmoo Library is proud to be displaying works by Randall Epp for the month of July.
From Imagination to Image
Reality leaves a lot to the imagination - John Lennon
Randall Epp is a retired landscape architect living in Surrey, and when he’s not writing about himself in the third person, he’s using his camera and his computer to manipulate the world around him.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Epp ended up in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba where he spent 9 years flitting about from faculty to faculty, before finally leaving the with a Masters in Landscape Architecture, some student loans, and some ridiculous notions about making the world a better place. After re-entering the real world, he found jobs as a landscape architect in Winnipeg and Regina, before migrating to Surrey and working for the City for 22 years.
Having realized that reality is greatly overrated, Epp decided to use his photography to create an alternate reality. (Kind of like “alternative facts.”) Most, but not all of his photographs are staged, or at least thought out and composed in advance. Until recently when asked what he photographed, his response was always, “anything but people.” But recently he’s been forcing himself out of his comfort zone and doing some portrait work as well as quite a bit of event photography for various charities and friends. He still dislikes event photography, but has found that portrait photography can be quite satisfying (at least, when you have a patient and accommodating model).
Epp's interest in photography began in his teens (the days of negatives, darkrooms, and slide film). But he didn’t get serious about photography until he got his first digital camera in 2003. He has also had a long-time interest in computer graphics, starting out with Corel Draw around 1990 and migrating to Photoshop CS3 when it came out. A merging of the two interests was inevitable. Epp currently shoots with a Nikon D750 and works primarily in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC.
Whether his images are simply a real life scene enhanced through processing, or the final image is a composite created out of numerous different photographs, the end product is always something different from what the eye would have observed in the real world. Sometimes very different. For Epp, “photographs always lie.” But the lies are invented to find beauty where it was hidden, to evoke an emotion, to pique the viewer’s curiosity, or sometimes just to get a laugh.
Winner of a CAPA gold medal, Epp has been published in several Canadian publications, including the cover of this summer’s Spotlight on the Arts, which is currently available at various civic facilities; and his images have been included in several local art exhibits. He is an active member of the Surrey Photography Club and encourages anyone interested in photography (whether a seasoned photographer or a novice) to come check out the club meetings. Club information is available at www.surreyphotographyclub.com.