Lifestyle

Alternate perspectives of the Valley

North Bend photographer Rusty Rae has captured images all over the world, from the Great Wall of China to St. Paul's Bay in Malta.

His latest exhibit brings his work closer to home.

Rae's "Valley Visions" exposition, featured at George's Bakery & Deli until the end of December, showcases natural scenes from the area, including a multiple-exposure image of a moonrise over Mount Si.

The images, ranging from a close-up of a flower to a wide landscapes shot from behind Snoqualmie Falls, represent "how I see the Valley," said Rae, whose day job is with a technical training company.

Noting that photographers must use one lens to represent what humans see with two eyes, Rae said his challenge is to make a two-dimensional image do justice to three-dimensional scenes.

"We want to try to make a picture that matches what the mind sees," he said, adding that by combining multiple exposures of a lunar shot, he can "tell the story" of a moonrise.

He also aims to give viewers an alternate perspective, using a fish-eye lens to photograph a cupid's dart bloom, and shooting the view of Snoqualmie Falls from behind the cascade.

After practically growing up in a darkroom — his father was a professional photographer — Rae has spent more than four decades capturing images.

Half the battle of photography is being at the right place at the right time with your camera, he said.

"I can tell you the aperture and shutter speed combination for every Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, and that is, 'f-8 and be there,'" he said.

Rae carries his trusty 5-year-old Nikon D100 with him just about everywhere, and has been "blown away" by the images it's produced.

The operator's talents are important, too.

"Photography is a combination of artistic eye and technical ability. You can improve in both of them, and I'm living proof of that," he said.

Rae has also embraced technological advances in the field.

"The magic of the darkroom is really cool, but it was so inconsistent for me," he said.

All those lessons learned in the darkroom practicing "wet photography" are applicable to Photoshop, which Rae now uses to process images.

"When I find a combination now, it's consistent from image to image, and it has really, I think, made me a better photographer," he said.

Rae has shown his photographs, including shots of hydroplanes and a tour through the British Isles, at George's several times over the years.

He hopes his images of the Valley will capture the imagination of locals and visitors alike.

"They can come have a coffee at George's, get a donut, take a load off, enjoy, breathe in the fun of the images," he said. "That's what it's all about."

Kathy Stokersberry, who owns the bakery with husband Joe McKeown, said her establishment regularly serves as a gallery space for local photographers and other artists.

"We have a lot of interesting people in the Valley: artists, musicians, writers. And of course, photographers — it's a very photogenic area," she said.

• George's Bakery & Deli, located at 127 W. North Bend Way in downtown North Bend, can be reached at (425) 888-0632. Rusty Rae's work can be seen on his Web site, www.photobyrustyrae.com.

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