With the art of photography somewhat lost, in part due to heavy editing and filters, a man from the Semiahmoo Peninsula lets his photos speak for themselves.
To regular readers of Peace Ark News, the name Geoffrey Yue might be familiar. The amateur Ocean Park photographer has made a habit of emailing photos to the editor’s office if he gets a sitter. He is one of many exceptional photographers on the peninsula who share their photos with STOVE readers.
Last week, STOVE reached out to Yue to discuss the art form, get photography tips, and learn more about connecting to her camera.
Yue started playing with cameras and darkrooms in high school. He went to college in the 1980s with the dream of working for television news, but eventually worked a 27-year career in the advertising industry.
After focusing on his career, Yue said he sold his darkroom equipment and rearranged the space in his home office.
“I was looking for dollars and forgot about photography,” said Yue, who is now 60.
It wasn’t until about four years ago, when a family member of Yue asked if he could photograph their wedding, that he got back into the business. Yue said he initially declined the offer, telling his cousin he didn’t even own a digital camera.
Her cousin insisted and allowed Yue to borrow her camera.
“I was one of those people who denies digital photography. I thought, no way,” Yue said.
But the inconvenience of having to develop a film ended up taking its toll. After retiring, Yue turned her home advertising office into a digital photo editing studio.
“I love it. I don’t get too crazy with the equipment, I just have two fairly simple Fuji cameras and lenses,” he said.
Yue’s photographs remain faithful to the scene he documents. It tends to avoid heavy post-processing, which is common practice in the age of smartphone photography.
“I totally believe in it. The software is very smart and of course the camera equipment is really crazy… I wonder why spend 30 seconds or a minute typing a whole bunch of pictures and then spend 20 minutes on the computer. I guess if you don’t take the photo correctly, you probably don’t want to save it or try to save it while editing.
I am a photographer above all, I am not a graphic designer. They are talented, people who can do all the fantastic things, it’s a business venture.
A photo idea that Yue had, he said, took eight months to come to fruition. He said he wanted to photograph Aboriginal art near the South Surrey Athletic Park roundabout.
“But I wanted to take a picture when the flowers were blooming. So I researched what kind of flowers it was – lavender – they bloom in July,” he said.
Another challenge that photographers face in standing out is not just filters, but the simple fact that billions of people around the world have a quality camera in their smartphone.
“It kind of bothered me because what they did was they made too many people quote photographers, image takers… There are too many people taking pictures average,” Yue said.
To help his photos stand out, Yue said he avoids using lenses in the 28mm or 50mm focal range because that’s the lens on most cellphone cameras.
“There’s no point in me having these lenses, although that’s probably what I’d use the most,” he said. “It’s not that I cheat, it’s just that I protect myself. I must have something that looks a little different.
The beaches of the Semiahmoo Peninsula and the historic Stewart Farm are among Yue’s favorite places to photograph, but what he really loves is documenting daily life.
He found this passion after talking to an editor in the 1970s who told him that newspapers wanted photographs with people.
“I kind of always had that in my head,” he said. “Like the photo of the snowbirds. I try to make it related to White Rock, or to people, or what’s the connection? »
“I think images should tell a story.”
Yue’s photographs can be found at https://www.geoffreyyue.com/