FILER — Shari Hart hasn’t called herself a professional photographer for long. Hart was the Filer City Clerk for several decades before retiring in 2015.
But after being chosen for the Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 national artist-in-residence program in Idaho, the formerly “serious amateur,” now calls herself a “pro,” albeit reluctantly.
During her residency program, Hart spent a week photographing the Owyhee Canyonlands.
“It was a fantastic experience and I loved it all,” Hart said. “The rangers were awesome, and I got to see and experience some country I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’d do it again tomorrow if I could.”
The program is a homage to the many artists who inspired the need to protect and preserve public lands. Painter Thomas Moran’s landscapes of Yellowstone National Park and Shoshone Falls are examples of art speaking louder than words when depicting the beauty of the land.
“It’s a really cool opportunity to get (artists in residence) out there and help them share our story,” BLM spokeswoman Krista Berumen told the Times-News in 2016. “The more we can promote understanding and dialogue about these scenic places, the better.”
The Owyhee Canyonlands were designated a wilderness area as part of the Owyhee Public Lands Management Act of 2009, which named six wilderness areas, totaling 517,000 acres and 16 wild and scenic rivers.
For most of the photographers in the Magic Valley Camera Club, the experience of getting out into the country to see things from a different perspective is what it’s all about.
Most know Hart’s work by her “silky” treatment of moving water. It’s a trick she learned to do, using a long shutter speed.
“The first time I saw water softened in a photo was through one of Shari’s beautiful photos in an art show,” said photographer and club member Cathy Wilson. “It inspired me to try new things.”
Hart’s photos are also known for her two canine companions and models, Cedar and Grisham.
She was a founding member of the camera club when it started in 2010, and has enjoyed seeing the club evolve. She started her hobby with a little pocket camera growing up, then picked up an Olympus OM10 film camera. Twelve years ago, she went digital.
“Then I got more ‘serious’ about learning all I can,” she said.