Finding beauty through photography

Jodi Schellenberg
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A new exhibit at Amy’s On Second shows the beauty in life through photography.

Judy Relitz puts up some of her artwork at Amy’s On Second. Her photos will be up at the restaurant until Nov. 23. This piece, taken by her in New Mexico, is titled “Hello From New Mexico.”

Judy Relitz put up a collection of her work at the restaurant Sunday, and a reception of her work will be held on Sept. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Relitz hasn’t always been a photographer -- she picked up a camera 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back.

“I just picked it up by chance and I just loved every minute of it,” she said. “I’ve been a member of Northern Image Photographers for the same length of time.”

Although she has been doing it for years, Relitz said she had an odd start to the hobby.

“My husband had bought a camera, a high end Pentax camera with interchangeable lenses,” she said. “He used it once and it sat in the top of the closet for a couple years.

“I was cleaning (the closet) and I thought my goodness, what a waste this is,” she added. “I took out the camera and used it. Then I joined the club and he never did get the camera back. I used it from then on.”

Relitz finds the beauty in everything, from people to scenery.

“I’ve got pictures of trains and a demolished train, one under the viaduct,” she explained. “I love graffiti because I think graffiti is a true art form that a lot of people don’t appreciate and unfortunately when people do graffiti it is usually on other people’s property.

“Graffiti is beautiful. It is done with a great mix of colour, a lot of imagination and no structure, it is just done. I like that freedom of expression.”

Not only does she enjoy photography, she also likes the experiences that come with it.

“I think in one sense it is good to be with the photographers from Northern Image because you get their feedback, you get their ideas, their suggestions so it is good to be with he group,” she said. “I also like being by myself, just taking off with my camera and going to Little Red.

“Little Red is a beautiful place to do photography,” she added. “There is lots of nature there and there is structure in some of the old bridges and that, that you can (get) great pictures of. I kind of like everything about it.”

As technology changed, Relitz decided to take a step forward and invest in a new camera.

“I just got a digital camera four years ago,” she said. “It was OK, but I don’t know, I still like film and I don’t know why.

“I started out with film and I am still a film person,” she further explained. “I like film but digital is great because you can see what it is right away and if you don’t like it you can delete it right away.”

Unlike many photographers, Relitz doesn’t edit her photos.

“I don’t know how to Photoshop, so I never Photoshop -- everything is what it is,” she laughed. “I am not a big believer in Photoshop. I don’t like changing a child’s colour if you are doing a photograph of a child, I don’t like to change the colour on their cheeks or put the twinkle in their eye -- I kind of don’t like that. I just like the natural kids.”

She gets a lot of practice photographing children by taking pictures of her grandchildren.

“The ones I take of the granddaughters are very casual, very informal and nothing is posed,” Relitz said. “(For example) a picture of the child eating a peach, where it is all over their face and their hands and their eyes are sparkling and they are loving the taste of it, is my kind of photography.”

In addition to having her photographs up at Amy’s, where they will stay until Nov. 23, she also has a piece up at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.

The Mann Art Gallery purchased two of her for their permanent collection and she won the Prince Albert Winter Festival’s photography contest in 2000 and 2013.

Organizations: Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Mann Art Gallery, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Little Red, Photoshop, Regina

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