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Local photographer featured as guest artist at Victoria Park Gallery

July 5, 2024

C. Susan Carnahan finds great joy in taking pictures of nature and landscapes.

“The colour, beauty and design of the natural world speak to me of God,” she says. “Taking nature and landscape photographs can be challenging but gives me great joy and wonder, which I try to share.”

Born in Canada, Carnahan has lived most of her life in Michigan but now spends four months of the year at the Bluewater Trailer Park in Kincardine, and five months of the year in Arizona.

“My mother, Helen (Mahood) Heal, was from Kincardine,” she says, “and many of my favourite photographs have been taken here.”

Until recently, Carnahan specialized in individual portraits, high school seniors, home and business interiors and composite photography.

She is mostly self-taught, but her uncle and her father were both photographers, and at an early age, she had the idea of doing her own photography.

The name of her studio, Glen Doone Photography,” comes from the name of her grandparents’ house in Cheddar, England. Her uncle had a photography studio right next door, and she and her family spent summers there when she was young. She also spent time watching her father develop photos in the dark room.

For the past three years, her photography has focused on landscapes and nature.

“I love nature,” she says. “My style is to simplify things, making everything soft around the main subject. I consider it somewhat painterly.”

And when you first look at her work at the Victoria Park Gallery, you could easily mistake the photographs for paintings.

Carnahan shoots with a Canon digital camera and then adds the artistic touches by using Photoshop on the computer.

“When you take a photo, the camera is limited, but the human eye sees it all,” she says. “I want to bring that to the photo; I want to make it beautiful.”

Many of the photos in the guest gallery were taken in Kincardine, while a couple were taken at Shenandoah National Park in Arizona.

“I love living on the water,” says Carnahan. “Here, I’m surrounded by nature’s beauty and I love taking photos of it.”

She is currently learning to make her own frames, working with an instructor at a workshop in Arizona. “It’s a work in progress.”

Initially, Carnahan was going to join the gallery in Kincardine. However, she is not able to fulfill the obligations of the art co-op, so was asked to be the guest artist for the month of July.

Victoria Park Gallery is located inside the Kincardine Arts Centre in downtown Kincardine. For more information, check the Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/pg/victoriaparkgallerykincardine/posts/

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