Shutter bugs show their top shots 

What: White Heaven photography exhibit

Where: Viseye Gallery in BBK’s Bar

When: Feb. 19-March 18

Three guys under 30 are turning their hobbies into firm career prospects. Rob Gallaher, Ilja Herb and Jesse Louttit are backcountry freaks who take their cameras wherever they go. With no set formula in mind for shots, they snap away when the moment’s right, revealing some breath-taking photos that look like they take days to get perfect.

Their natural, spontaneous style has been captured beautifully in the latest exhibition at Viseye photo gallery, titled White Heaven. The 18 photos on display focus on the snow sports these guys love to be part of and take you to backcountry hot spots only they know how to get to.

First up is 22-year-old Gallaher, a snowboarder who has been shooting related imagery for the last five years. He has had his pictures published in several industry magazines. Gallaher is inspired to create original and alternative imagery out of standard subject material.

"I like images that give people a different perspective, making them see something that with the naked eye they might not notice," he said.

Gallaher chose a mixture of shots for the exhibit including several snowboard jumps, a white water kayaker, a midnight sun he captured when flying over Greenland and a winter hang-gliding photo in a glacier in Innsbruck, Austria.

Number two is 27-year-old Ilja Herb, the winner of last year’s Pro Photographers Search at the WSSF. He has been shooting for about five years and continues to make am impressionable dent in the world of photography. Herb captures a strong yet serene essence in his subjects. Beauty and tranquility flow through his work, which is gaining recognition rapidly in various magazines and advertising material. Herb said: "Most of the subjects in my images are friends that I'm travelling with on that particular day. If something exciting or beautiful is happening why not grab a photo?"

Thirdly is 23 year-old Jesse Louttit, a recent transplant from Toronto. He’s a graduate from The Western Academy of Photography in Victoria, and worked for studio photographers back east. His passion is people, which even now that he’s shooting outdoors, is still his main subject.

"It’s gratifying shooting someone in their element because they get to see themselves in a different light. Not only do they get gratification but so do I," he said.

Louttit snowmobiles every weekend around the Pemberton Ice Cap, Rutherford, Brandywine and Powder Mountain, capturing some incredible imagery of people and their winter sports in the wilderness.

The Viseye gallery is located in BBK’s Bar in the Glacier Lodge. It’s open from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. every day. The only photo gallery in Whistler is supported by Chef Bernard and Bonnie Cassavant, with the combined efforts of curators, Ellen Atkin, Jon Faulknor and Nelly Levesque. The show runs until the March 19.

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