Doreen Jung: Betty Johnston – Through The Camera Lens

By on January 7, 2013
Betty Johnston

By Doreen Jung. Abbotsford photographer, Betty Johnston has found that there is more to discover in your community when it is viewed through a camera lens. [Click On Image For Full Story]

Her love of photography has helped her to see beauty throughout the city whether she is in a park, strolling through a neighbourhood, or checking out a community event.

With majestic mountains as a backdrop, Betty has showcased the farmlands around the city. She has created a pictorial history of Abbotsford with her images of local businesses and events. Betty’s photography has captured the vibrant mix of urban inhabitants and scenic beauty that gives Abbotsford its unique personality.
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A love of her community is evident in Betty’s work. Her images of Abbotsford’s landscape and it people allow viewers to see it as the thriving cosmopolitan city that it has become. Photography gets her out into the community and looking for things that make good images. Recently a friend told Betty about the beautiful sunrises she was seeing on her way to work. Inspired, Betty got up before dawn and went for a drive. She was rewarded with a stunning view of the sunrise over Sumas Prairie. “Photography gets me going to places and looking at things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” says Betty. “ The camera gets you out of the house and gets you going.”
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When Betty was 12, she started taking pictures with an old Brownie camera. Now she has a collection of old cameras and photography has become a way of life. “It takes all my time,” admits Betty. “It is my life.” Betty worked for Abbotsford’s Parks & Recreation department for 30 years.
During that time she was constantly involved in community events. Now she finds that these events offer great opportunities for her to take pictures. Her photography has led her to explore the many attractions of the Abbotsford community. She now looks at the natural scenery and urban landscape around our city from a new perspective. She has discovered that there is enormous appeal in our community, drawing tourists, businesses, and new residents to Abbotsford.
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One of Betty’s favourite techniques is HDR or High Dynamic Range photography. In this technique the photographer take multiples photographs at varying exposure levels. Using computer software, the photos are merged into an HDR image that reveals highlight and shadow details. The final picture is closer to what the human eye actually sees. Her photo, “Discovery Trail” was taken in Fishtrap Creek Park and is a combination of nine photos which allowed Betty to show the warm sunlight that was coming through the trees. Each photo was shot at a different exposure which allows all of the light to be correctly exposed.
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Wildlife is one of Betty’s favourite subjects to photograph. Her travels have led her into unforgettable experiences and allowed her to capture some heart stopping photos. “The Most Dangerous Animal in Africa” was taken just before a narrow escape. “The reason the ox peckers were flying away is because this hippo was starting a charge in our direction,” describes Betty. “Apparently we were between it and the deep water.”
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The 2010 Olympics gave Betty the opportunity to explore the beauty of Vancouver. Its architectural lines formed striking images in Betty’s camera lens. The spot lights that remained active throughout the Olympics created spectacular patterns against the Vancouver skyline. Betty captured these dazzling bursts of light in “Vectorial Elevation”.
Showcasing the beauty and unique character of Abbotsford and the surrounding region is a passion for Betty. With camera in hand, every day is a new adventure. To see more of Betty Johnston’s photos, visit www.flicker.com/photos/bettyjoh.
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Doreen Jung

Doreen Jung

Editor’s Note: Doreen Jung is a member of the Abbotsford Arts Council and former Arts Administrator. Her columns appear here regularly.

About Editor

Mike spent 20 years in the newspaper business as a journalist, editor, sales manager and publisher before moving into public relations and business consulting. In 2008 he became founding editor of the Abbotsford Post and he is co-owner of Today Media Group. Mike graduated from the University of Alberta in 1970 with a BA in Political Science and Economics and has since pursued graduate studies in both Federalism and Journalism. He has a Diploma in Web Design from Academy of Learning.

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