Drumheller born pho­tog­ra­pher re­leases ‘Al­berta Book’ project

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Patrick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Renowned Drumheller born pho­tog­ra­pher Ge­orge Web­ber has spent decades tour­ing south­ern Al­berta cap­tur­ing and doc­u­ment­ing small towns.

His most re­cent work sim­ply ti­tled Al­berta Book is set to launch De­cem­ber 15. While the work spans many years and much of South­ern Al­berta, his home­town of Drumheller is promi­nently fea­tured. There are six Drumheller pho­tos in the col­lec­tion of more than 250 im­ages.

“The book was 39 years in the mak­ing. There is a pho­to­graph of the Elks Build­ing in Drumheller that was shot on Ko­dachrome slide film in 1979. The most re­cent pho­tos were taken in a place called Scot­field, not far from Hanna over the last Vic­to­ria Day long week­end,” ex­plains Web­ber. “Most of the pho­to­graphs that were taken from 1979 to roughly 2005, were shot on tra­di­tional colour film. Those taken from 2005 up to 2018 were taken with a Nikon Dig­i­tal cam­era.

The spark for a lot of this work came as a young man re­turned to his home­town at the be­gin­ning of his ca­reer.

“My par­ents and sis­ters and I lived in Drumheller un­til 1960, I was seven years old and then we moved to Cal­gary. I would oc­ca­sion­ally come to Drumheller to visit my grand­fa­ther.” He ex­plains. “About 20 years af­ter leav­ing Drumheller I started to do pho­tog­ra­phy. I think that know­ing it (Drumheller) in­ti­mately as a child and then be­ing taken away from it, that 20 year pe­riod gave me two things; One, when I go back I carry a sev­enyear-old kid’s sen­si­bil­ity, but also if I lived there all of those years I wouldn’t have seen any of it.”

“I think in 100 years from now when some­one looks at those pho­to­graphs, they are go­ing to tell an enor­mous amount about things like peo­ple’s val­ues, and peo­ple’s tastes. It is go­ing to tell them all about food and gaso­line dis­tri­bu­tion and all the lit­tle sub­tle things that peo­ple take for granted,” he said. “When you put them to­gether it’s like paint­ing a pic­ture of a cul­ture, and a time in the prov­ince’s his­tory.”

Al­berta Book is to be launched on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 14 at the new Cen­tral Cal­gary Li­brary. An­other project that is close to Web­ber.

“I was com­mis­sioned about 39 months ago to go down there on a monthly ba­sis and pho­to­graph it and it re­ally is ab­so­lutely spec­tac­u­lar,” he said.

To get a sneak peek at the Al­berta Book check out https:// www.youtube. com/ watch?v=jZuLd0nBbFU

sub­mit­ted

This image of the Elks Hall in Drumheller, taken in 1979, is one of the pho­to­graphs fea­tured in Ge­orge Web­ber’s lat­est re­lease. He says the col­lec­tion of Al­berta pho­to­graphs spans 39 years.

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