Al Mechler retired from Great-West Life four years ago. He never expected to walk the halls of 60 Osborne Street again. And he hasn’t, really. More like deck the halls with his nature photography.
Mechler’s exhibit is on display for staff until August 28 in the GWL cafeteria. The gallery can be viewed online: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98558556@N03/sets/72157653813979454
“Some of my favourite times are just getting away with my cameras,” says Mechler. “There is nothing more relaxing for me than spending a day on the lake or in the bush photographing nature.” He has also travelled in Europe and Asia and he will tell you that his photos are his favourite souvenirs.
Mechler discovered photography as a teenager at the drag strip using his parents’ Kodak Brownie. But his photography didn’t really come into focus (deliberate pun) until he met his wife Debbie, who grew up in Sioux Narrows, Northern Ontario.
The first time she took him there, the beauty of the place overwhelmed him and he wanted to take some of it home with him. Not to say the least of Debbie’s beauty. Mechler fell doubly in love. He has been with Debbie and shooting nature ever since.
As a retired IT professional, Mechler appreciates how the technology of photography has progressed.
“I love shooting digital because it’s instant gratification. You don’t have to wait to get your film developed to see what you shot. Digital also lets you experiment and try different techniques without worrying about running out of film.”
Mechler is equally impressed with modern photofinishing options, taking full advantage for his exhibit.
“The [images] on metal and metallic paper have to be seen to be appreciated. I’m frankly amazed at how well they turned out.”
Mechler plans to continue pursuing his passion, and show his work publically. “I would love to be part of a public exhibition. My prints are available for sale but, for me, it’s more important to share my perspective on the beauty and wonder of nature.”