Under the cover: Underground Edition

If you’ve picked up a copy of the latest edition of Highline Magazine, you’ve seen the beautiful work that Mark Unrau can create with great lighting, a camera  and a wondrous cavern just a little bit off the beaten path.

Photo courtesy Mark Unrau.

Photo by Mark Unrau

Our national parks are a photographer’s paradise. Timeless photos litter the shelves of gift shops in our mountain towns and fill the portfolios of photographers galore. So, how do you carve out your niche among so many other photographers?

For Mark it’s simple: get off the beaten path and explore. Of all the places he’s shot and compositions he’s created, what drives him is the thrill and excitement of adventure, and the possibility that his current adventure could lead him to another. “Everywhere I go,” Unrau explained, “it’s about the exploration, the discovery. As long as I’m discovering then I find challenges and excitement.” He views his work as a constant study and sees each frame as a lesson to learn from.

The Shot

The hidden gem that graces the cover of this summer’s Underground Edition of Highline isn’t a well-known landscape. In fact, we doubt many of you have been there (but we’re willing to bet you want to go now!) Strangely enough, you don’t have to venture far off the ever-popular Highway 93N to find it at Rampart Creek.

It wasn’t Unrau’s first visit to this specific cavern, and the trip wasn’t taken specifically to capture this photo, but he knew the spot had potential. He was there shooting with a friend, and between the timing and the lighting, everything fell into place.

Unrau described to me how something as simple as a slight tilt of the camera to skew the horizon can give an artistic quality to an otherwise simple image. By playing with the orientation of this shot, he was able to trick the mind, forcing the eyes to explore the cover in a circular pattern all while making the reader wonder, “which way is up?”

Kristy Davison, Highline Magazine’s publisher and photo editor said, “The reason I chose Mark’s image for the cover is because as the viewer this image has you looking out from under the ground, emerging upwards as you gaze into the image, and that was our goal for the articles in this edition of the mag: to bring underground issues up into the light of day.”

See more of Mark’s work on his website or attend his photo workshops through Photography School of the Rockies.

Taryn Hajnrych

Taryn Hajnrych

This country-girl-turned-mountain-enthusiast first moved to the Bow Valley for the proverbial “one summer” in 2007. Six years later and four failed attempts at moving, she has finally figured out that Banff is a pretty great place to call home. Forever restless and indecisive, Taryn is plagued by her ever-evolving “to-do” lists and a mountain of adventurous vacation plans. When she’s not busy talking someone’s ear off (it’s the constant caffeine jitters), she can be found playing outdoors with Jiri, her equally as exuberant Bernese mountain dog.

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