The teal blue of the Okanagan Lake; the luscious rows of grape vines; the snowy peaks and vibrant chalets of Silver Star Mountain. These views and more define the Okanagan Valley, and are views that have been captured and bound by fine arts photographer Marty Gilbert.
The Vernon realtor has turned out a book of photography, The Okanagan Collection, which features 100 images that are available in acrylic, aluminum or fine art paper.
“I’ve tried to capture all of the Okanagan at different seasons and in different light conditions,” says Gilbert. That includes a combination of urban and natural landscapes.
Originally from Calgary, Gilbert worked in a political office before moving to B.C. with plans to live in Vancouver. He didn’t end up making it that far west, and settled in Vernon. He now lives near Silver Star Mountain with his wife and three kids, and when he’s not busy working as a real estate agent at Re/Max (as he’s done for the past 16 years), he’s out surveying the landscape.
The search for picturesque angles and viewpoints takes Gilbert to Rocky Mountain heights, coastal lookouts, and city rooftops – and the search for ideal light gets Gilbert out of bed early.
“I will often go and shoot my images in the early morning or evening to capture the light as it is dimming over the horizon,” explains Gilbert. “I’ve always seen the Okanagan portrayed with sunny skies and the lake, which can seem one-dimensional. I find the exploration comes in capturing sights that are not typical postcard images.”
It takes dedication to get shots that are beyond postcard grade. “It can sometimes take a few hours to get the shot, and there are lots of failed attempts when the conditions don’t cooperate.”
“Often I have to go back and repeat my attempt until I am happy with the result.”