Oliver Steins, Cobourg Member Since February 2011 Artist Statement Oliver Steins... was born in 1958 in Toronto of Latvian immigrant parents. Oliver credits his vision and ability to having grown up in a home where his father, a graphic artist, was always working on some artistic project. Oliver feels this constant exposure to his father’s art and to an artistic way of seeing the world has influenced his ability to see images that most would take for granted. Oliver is a self-taught photographer who feels that possibly this has allowed him to bring a fresh approach to his images and not be totally restricted by someone else’s vision.
Oliver purchased his first SLR camera in the 70’s and took it with him when he went to live in the Yukon. His camera was ever present at his side and the images he documented of the northern landscape and its people well chronicled his time there.
Upon his return to Toronto in the 80’s, Oliver spent his time working in the film industry and in live theatre. Looking for a place to raise their three children, Oliver and his wife settled in the Cobourg area where Oliver continued to pursue his love of photography and was for a time employed in digital restoration and graphics. Oliver credits this time with when he adopted digital as the new media.
Oliver’s style is that he has not restricted himself to one particular method. Oliver’s approach truly is eclectic. Many have commented that he brings a clean vision to the photographs he takes. Whether his photos involve an extraordinary portrait or an innovative angle on a well known image, Oliver makes these photographs reveal his voice and perspective.
“I believe in serendipity when it comes to capturing images, I don’t plan on any particular project or theme or for that matter get bogged down with the technical aspects of picture taking. I might use a very expensive digital SLR or I might use a $20 toy camera depending on the effect I’m looking for. The point I’m getting at is that I create images for the pure enjoyment of it and I don’t let gadgetry interfere with that process. Once I have an image on the digital canvas that is where the creative development begins.”