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BIOGRAPHY

Bret Culp’s career progressed quickly following his study of film and photography at Ryerson University.  His comprehensive skills range from photography, graphic design and computer animation, to directing visual effects for major motion pictures.  Bret is an award-winning visual effects supervisor and Head of the Visual Effects Department at C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures which is Canada's largest visual effects studio.  The studio has contributed to over 80 films and television movies including Resident Evil: Apocalypse, X-Men, and Fly Away Home.  Bret's ability to inspire ensures his demand as a director, and yet, his contributions extend far beyond that realm.  His unique insight and ground-breaking vision makes him an extraordinary talent.  

Since 2001 Bret has been regularly exhibiting his photography.  His works are finely crafted and characteristically dramatic urbanscapes with spirited themes of resilience, reclamation, and renewal.

Bret shoots using a medium format and 35mm black and white and colour film. Prints are made using either pigment on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 gm/m2 paper or conventional silver-halide colour and black and white processes. Both techniques produce superlative, museum grade prints recognized for rich and saturated colour and/or tonal quality, sharpness, and archival durability.  He has been featured in multiple publications and is the recipient of numerous Canadian and International Awards.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Roots creep over rock searching for refuge and nourishment, neglected bricks and mortar crumble under the elements and return to the earth, a mountain is slowly devoured by the sea forming a precipice – these are photographs of matter governed by time chosen to illustrate the relentless determination of nature, the beauty in impermanence, and the eternal cycle of creation out of destruction.

The medium and techniques that I work with are chosen to strengthen the sensory aspects of the photograph in order for the viewer to feel more directly connected to the world within it. I believe that the authenticity of the final image should not be based on how loyal it is to reality but how well it conveys its message.

I have a natural inclination toward black and white photography as its inherent qualities of abstraction grant it the power to intensify the emotional impact of a place while leaving space for mystery. It’s in the shadows that you find the true nature of the subject. Grain is one of the creative tools that I like to employ to further my expression, like a painter’s brushstrokes. I particularly like the additional level of atmosphere that grain can bring to a photograph when artfully used.

I primarily use medium format, as there is a nice balance between being able to push abundant grain out of the film and retaining a high level of detail. Prints are made using pigment on cold pressed archival cotton rag producing an extraordinarily rich tonal quality, excellent sharpness and archival permanence.

As a Director, Visual Effects Supervisor, and head of visual effects at C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, I scrutinize the framing, lighting, and intent of images from minute details to the comprehensive overview. I apply the same filmic sensibilities to my photography, requiring that everything within the composition be necessary and as well crafted as possible in order to strongly and clearly communicate the story.

Bret Culp, May 2007

Style

Dramatic, clean, finely crafted, black and white and colour landscapes and urbanscapes with themes of resilience, reclamation, and renewal.

Technique

Bret shoots medium format and 35mm black and white and colour film. Prints are made using either pigment on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 gm/m2 paper or conventional silver-halide colour and black and white processes. Both techniques produce superlative, museum grade prints recognized for rich and saturated colour and/or tonal quality, sharpness, and archival permanence.

Background

Bret's career progressed quickly following his study of film and photography at Ryerson University. He has a comprehensive set of skills ranging from photography, graphic design, and computer animation to directing the visual effects for major motion pictures. As an award winning Visual Effects Supervisor and head of the visual effect department at C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures (Canada's largest visual effects studio, having contributed to over 80 films and television movies including Resident Evil: Apocalypse, X-Men, and Fly Away Home), his work has been seen by millions of people. Bret's ability to inspire ensures his demand as a director, yet his contributions extend far beyond. It is his insight and vision that makes him an extraordinary talent. His strength is expressed in kindness and compassion and is apparent in everything that he does.

Since 2001 Bret has been regularly exhibiting his photography.

CV

Photographic Education
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada


Exhibitions

2007
Sculptural ImagesCONTACT Photography Festival 2007Leonardo Gallery, Toronto **
Gallery Artists Group ExhibitionLeonardo Gallery, Toronto
2006
Masters of Photography International Charity Exhibition–Curitiba, Brazil
Landscapes Revealed–CONTACT Photography Festival 2006Leonardo Gallery, Toronto ***
Terra IncognitaZilberschmuck Art, Toronto **
Convergence–43 Annual Juried ExhibitionTom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Owen Sound
2005
Sublimation–Juried ExhibitionHang Man Gallery, Toronto
The Hummingbird Centre Juried Art show–The Hummingbird Centre, Toronto
The Framework Foundation TimeraiserCBC Broadcast Centre, Toronto
The Hummingbird Centre Juried Art show–The Hummingbird Centre, Toronto
2003
Distillery District Art Exhibition–Distillery District, Toronto
2002
Assorted Works–Joy Bistro, Toronto *
Frieze Frames–Gallery 888, Toronto **
2001
Lost and Found–Gallery 888, Toronto *

* solo show  ** two person show  *** three person show

Publications

2007
The World's Greatest Black & White Photography–book | BASIL
2006
Riverside Quarterly, Spring 2006–Bret Culp Artist Feature
2005
Top Islands of the World, New Holland Publishers File Magazine

Charitable Events

2006
Masters of Photography International Charity Exhibition, Curitiba, Brazil
2005
Holidays Around the World Celebrity Silent Auction–The Children's Wish Foundation
2001
Musicians in the War Zone–War Child Canada

Awards

2005
Fine Art Merit of Excellence: Strength–­­International Black and White Spider Awards
Excellence in Imaging and Design: www.bretculp.comProFotos Awards
2001
Second: Toronto Harbour SunsetAgfa International Photo Contest
2000
Honours: Toronto Harbour SunsetPhoto Trust
Honours: White Cliffs of RügenPhoto Trust