About the Artist - Darcy Monchak
Takakkaw Falls

About the Artist

I photograph wild places and wildlife of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and surrounding area, and hope that after looking at these images you'll get as excited about this place as I am. It's as simple as that, but to put it into a few more words...

Photography of the natural world, for me, was born of a desire to find and portray it's often hidden beauty and wonder.  After years of exploring and photographing this area, I have selected images from thousands, based upon their ability to invite exploration by having the viewer say "I wish I was there". These images are the result of looking for the artistry that is part of our natural world. Some were taken from well-known areas, but many are from more isolated, remote locations. I often visit locations numerous times until the conditions are right to create that special image. 

While all photography is an artistic interpretation of what's out there, I usually keep my photography true to an experience in the natural world, which can be a wonderland for the eye to see.  That means my artistic work happens more with the camera and less with the computer.  It's not necessarily a better or worse photographic genre, it's just my preference.  You can know that what you see in my images was really there. Digital darkroom image adjustments are usually kept pretty basic - such as exposure, vibrance, contrast, and image blending to have better sharpness and exposure.

It's not all about the images, but also the experience that was involved in getting those images - about being there. It's about planning and organization of field trips, to selecting the right square meter of ground to take the image from, and doing everything I can to enable the hoped for light and other variables come together. It's about the rush you get when you know you have only a few minutes or even seconds to take the image in fading light. But it is also about more predictble things, like being self-sufficient in the backcountry, that smell of pine needles on the trail in the spring, and knowing that you did not forget the coffee filter.

I have worked for decades as a professional forester involved with strategic planning for environmental, recreational and timber forest values. Most recently, I coordinated designation of old growth forest areas and recreational land use zonations for the East Kootenays (including areas adjacent to the 4 mountain parks), and worked with stakeholders regarding B.C. mountain caribou recovery efforts.

For further insight into my work take a look at the Manifesto

The view from Wastach Pass into headwater of Paradise Valley, Banff Park, Canadian Rockies

The view from Wastach Pass into headwater of Paradise Valley, Banff Park, Canadian Rockies

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