Bride exploring The Elements 

Action sports photographer makes a foray into the realm of fine art with The Elements exhibit, running from Sept. 10 to 30

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What: The Elements, photography exhibit

When: Friday, Sept. 10, 6 p.m.

Where: Paul Bride Gallery

Cost: Free!

From a quick visit to Paul Bride's website it's clear that this photographer is in his element in the great outdoors. Whether shooting ice and rock climbing, standup paddle boarding, bouldering, surfing, kayaking or sailing, Bride seems able to capture the beauty, skill and thrill associated with each sport.

Bride has called Squamish home for almost eight years but his work has taken him around the world - to six continents, so far. He's gone to Asia eight times, climbed the Himalayas, visited India, Thailand and even lived on a makeshift raft in the South China Sea.

"The only continent I haven't been to so far is Antarctica and that's my dream, Antarctica," he said with a grin.

Clearly an avid adventurer, Bride was originally inspired to pick up a camera and start documenting his escapades when he was heading out on a six month trek to Asia.

"My first camera was actually loaned to me," Bride admitted. "It was a point-and-shoot camera that was - now she's my wife - my girlfriend's at the time.

"So I took it and I came back and was like, 'wow, these images are actually pretty good!" he laughed.

While those first few rolls of film showed that he had something of a natural knack, and eye, for photography, he still had to work hard at mastering the craft.

"Actually, any information I could get, I was reading, reading, reading and it was like a light just came on one day and I was like, 'I want to be a photographer.'"

Slowly, his interest grew to obsession, and that obsession blossomed into a career. He upgraded to an SLR camera and managed to start selling a few shots and marketing himself to magazines.

"I was always skiing or climbing - I wasn't very good at the nine-to-five gig - and then my images just started getting better and better."

In the 10 years since he started shooting, Bride has amassed an impressive collection of equipment to replace that old point-and-shoot. He's also had some great success in the industry - he is sponsored by a wide range of companies, his shots have graced the covers of 19 magazines, and his adventure editorial work was also featured in a book, Carte Blanche. But it's a very competitive industry, one that seems to require a huge amount of dedication and risk - after all, he has to get out into the often-treacherous terrain alongside the athletes.

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