Story by Stephanie Hounsell
Photography by Sarah Lyndsay
Snapshots in time
Favourite photos capture important milestones in landscape photographer’s life
When Sarah Lyndsay looks at two of her favourite photos side by side, she sees an ending and a beginning — and she can’t help but feel a bit sentimental.
That’s understandable. After all, almost every image the Salmon Arm, BC photographer takes has a story behind it. So she can appreciate her photos on two levels — the photos themselves, and the memories behind them.
The image featuring a lone person walking in the snow toward a sheet of fog came about rather unexpectedly and, for Lyndsay, marked the official end of a relationship. She and that friend, who had been high school sweethearts and once engaged, were driving around Salmon Arm a few years ago, shortly after she had moved back to British Columbia, she explains. Suddenly a special sort of light illuminated an “ugly old farmer’s field,” Lyndsay remembers, and it took her breath away. “Whenever light cuts through fog, it’s just magical,” she says.
Thinking fast, she instructed her friend to get out of the car and start walking in the snow to create a path. “It had to be really quick,” she says, before the lighting changed. All she had to work with was the snow, she says, and she knew a trail of footprints would nicely direct the viewer’s eyes. Including a person in the photo would give it a sense of scale and lend a bit of mystery, she says.
She took the picture, and to this day it remains one of her favourites. “That photo was like an ending,” she says, explaining she knew the friendship was drawing to a close. Sure enough, they both moved on to marry other people and are no longer in each other’s lives.
Lyndsay took the winter mountainscape image last year while honeymooning with her husband, Matt, in Banff, AB. When Lyndsay looks at the photo of Moraine Lake, which is in Banff National Park, she remembers the happiness of the time, she says, which marked the beginning of a new chapter in her life.
Something else that makes the image special is it’s one most photographers wouldn’t have an opportunity to take. Road access to Moraine Lake is closed in the winter, making it rather unlikely to get a snowy scene. (Only photographers willing to make the kilometres-long trek via snowshoe or ski would). Surprisingly, Lyndsay took this picture at the tail end of summer, when, days before and just a couple of hours away, she was still in shorts and a t-shirt.
There was quite a substantial snowfall that took everyone by surprise, Lyndsay says, and afforded her this shot. “It’s the middle of summer and it looks like winter,” she says. “I just feel happy that I got a shot not many people can get. It’s a fond memory during that honeymoon. It’s a moment I’ll probably not get to experience again.”
For more exclusive interview with Sarah Lyndsay pick up the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of OPC. To never miss an issue please subscribe today!