iN PHOTOS: A Kelowna love story, images of a changing city | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Kelowna News

iN PHOTOS: A Kelowna love story, images of a changing city

In this photo called "Bridge To Nowhere" the William R. Bennett bridge captured from Knox Mountain during an inversion in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

Kelowna resident Neil Thacker takes early morning walks through local parks and late-night strolls along well-worn streets to photograph artistic views of the city he loves.

Since moving to Kelowna in 1982, Thacker has watched the city rapidly growing and changing around him and is working to hold parts of it still through his photographs of the iconic gems to the most ordinary views.

“It’s about casting a light on things we walk past and don’t even notice, or we do notice but we just take for granted,” he said. "I take the direction of an art piece instead of just a photo."

The Bankhead Convenience store in Kelowna is captured at night by photographer Neil Thacker.
The Bankhead Convenience store in Kelowna is captured at night by photographer Neil Thacker.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

Thacker takes advantage of the way views change at different times of the day and in different kinds of weather, often returning to the same tree, landmark or building numerous times to get a capture.

“I’ve seen such a change since I’ve been here, it’s taken off in the past 15 years,” he said. “It’s sort of a way to document the city but in a more artistic way.”

He recently took advantage of a foggy week in February to gather a collection of City Park photos.

“I’ll go back to places year after year at different times in different seasons and sometimes I get lucky,” he said. “In the fog I got images at City Park I never would’ve got, they’re the best ones.”

"A View Of Nothing" is photo taken in the fog in City Park in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

A couple of years ago Thacker started shooting night photography in late fall and winter, focusing on old buildings and corner stores around town.

“At dusk places were still open and the lights were on, it had a more interesting vibe,” he said. “I tried to capture the old corner stores and older businesses that were maybe disappearing, shot maybe in a snow storm, night, fog or just after the rain as they have a more interesting look to them.

“Places get torn down for a more densified living space and I get it, but in the process the old Kelowna is being removed and there is little of it left.”

Originally from England, Thacker first moved to Canada in 1972. He lived in Calgary for several years until settling in Kelowna. With an interest in landscapes and nature, Thacker was originally a painter.

“I was taking photos of nature and painting off of them, but found I could capture things with photos easier and get the messages across so that’s where I’ve gone with it.”

Thacker is the master framer and manager at Picture Perfect, a custom frame shop.

Four of his Kelowna images are going into the Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport and he sell prints privately. He's in the early stages of planning a book collection of Kelowna night photographs.

Go here to see more of Thacker’s work.

"Shadow Walker" was captured in the early morning in downtown Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

"The Dolphins" is an image of The Dolphins sculpture by Robert Dow Reid in downtown Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

"The Lamp Post" was captured on a very foggy morning in City Park in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

"The Calm Of Morning" is photograph of a sailboat taken along Westside Road in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

"Snowfall And Reflections" was captured during a late evening wander in falling snow in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Neil Thacker

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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