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Photographer Captures Images Close to Home
December 01, 2009 10:35 AM

By Amanda Persico

It looks like a giant painting of a photograph.

But it's really a photograph printed on canvas.

"Canvas gives better depth," Aurora resident and photographer Rob Schuetze said. "The light hits it in a different way and it gives a bit of texture."

Mr. Schuetze had more than 40 pieces hanging in the Skylight Gallery in Aurora's town hall during November as the month's featured artist.

His photographs bring to life local landscapes - places where people don't often sit and enjoy the view. Many of his images are created in Aurora and King Township.

"These are places nestled somewhere, where it says, 'don't park'," he said. "Of course, you park. Otherwise you'll miss it."

He approaches nature with a camera, lens, tripod and time.

"A picture is about the time of day, the subject and the use of a good lens," he said.

Mr. Schuetze photographs landscapes just before dawn and again at dusk, which he calls the magic hours.

"There is a different mood in the morning. The dew, fog and mist create a mystery," he said. "Then the sun sets and changes everything."

There is a set of photographs on display featuring the same view - the front of Mr. Schuetze's cottage. One is gray and shot at 3:30 a.m. while the other has intense purple hues and was shot at 7:30 a.m.

"The first one (creates) more of a murky and mysterious mood," he said. "The second one caught the sun at the perfect moment. The dew sits on the needles, giving a glowing effect like glass. Around 8:30 a.m. you pack up and grab a coffee because, at that point, the magic dries up."

From envisioning the image to the final print, Mr. Schuetze reproduces his own work.

His printer has eight different colour cartridges and costs about $1,200 to refill.

"Printing is a whole new game," he said. "You may think what you're printing on is white, but it could be slightly off-white. And the tricky thing is, canvas likes to shrink."

After printing with certified archival inks, Mr. Schuetze builds his own canvas stretcher and seals the photograph with another layer of archival coating.

"This piece of art will last you 100 years without fading," he said. "Producing your own work give you more control over how it comes out and how it looks on the wall."

He doesn't hide his large canvases behind glass.

"This is art with nothing in front of it," he said. "With glass, you lose something. Canvas gives a different esthetics to a home. It's warmer and it's original art."

Mr. Schuetze teaches day-long workshops during which enthusiasts can learn how to capture nature in the same slow fashion. He also hosts workshops on how to print materials on canvas.

For more information or to register for a workshop, e-mail Rob Schuetze or visit

Staff photo/Sjoerd Witteveen
ROB SCHUETZE: Photographer prints his work on canvas to give his images better depth.