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About Rich Bernier

I am a photographer that strives to combine historical documentation and visual arts. I document life around me through a perspective of which the human eye is not capable. Although the human eye has vastly superior capabilities than a camera, (wider peripheral vision, higher dynamic range), that extra capability can also be a hindrance to really seeing the details of world around us. I strive to make the ordinary look interesting through composition and to document the world around me and show it through a different perspective. My interests include landscape and nature, urban life, and an art form I am new to, street photography. I shoot for photos that are sharp, vibrant and colorful (unless I am going for black and white). I also like long-term documentary/artistic projects including a project in Terre Haute, Indiana that lasted two years where I created a photographic illustration of the city’s notorious “train and railway” entanglements. I am now working on a project that documents the “underbelly of Purdue University” to show the unseen or unnoticed parts of campus and  make it look interesting.

I have a BA and an MA in history and a Master of Library and Information Science. I am a professional archivist at a Big 10 University so capturing, preserving, and documenting history runs through my blood. Peppering my photographs with descriptive metadata and geospatial information are an important part of my work. Having never considered myself artistically inclined, I have been taking photos to document the various facets of my life since the age of ten. It was not until I got my first DSLR that I started taking photos from an artistic standpoint. To me, photography is an outlet for my internal and long-hidden artistic side. My number one goal has always been to take “better photos,” through constant learning. I approach photography as an art-form by choosing interesting subjects, always improving my composition methods, and homing my post-shoot processing skills. Thus, I see good photography as being 2/3 behind the camera and 1/3 behind the computer monitor during processing. When I am not involved in my photography or working as an archivist, I am a husband and a father to two spirited boys who keep me on my toes and provide endless entertainment. Therefore, about 90% of my 30,000+ photos in my library are of my family or events in my life.