My name is Vic Bergman and I live in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. I became interested in photography at the age of ten, upon winning a Kodak Instamatic camera in a draw held during the grand opening of a local drug store. At fourteen, I completed a photography course while attending junior high school. Soon after, I was developing 35mm film and printing black and white photographs in my bedroom at home, which I had transformed into a makeshift darkroom. I continued using film until 2005, when I made the transition to digital photography.
The subjects I enjoy photographing include: landscapes, wildlife, wildflowers, and fly-fishing. I also like experimenting with new techniques, whether it’s the way photographs are made, or how they can be processed on a computer. Photography is a means of personal expression and creativity, and I am constantly inspired by its challenges and rewards.
I have had a great appreciation for the outdoors for as long as I remember. It’s something I acquired from my parents, early on in life. They shared a love for nature, and their favorite pastimes were camping and fishing. It wasn’t long before these activities became my favorite pastimes, too. I also enjoyed long-distance running and participated in track and field events in school, and played organized sports such as hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, and broomball. I was involved in all sorts of sports and recreation in my younger days.
I was born and raised in Coaldale, Alberta, a small prairie town located approximately 100 miles east of the mountain community that is my home today. While growing up, I went on many camping trips with my family in the mountains and back-country of southwest Alberta. I looked forward to Friday evenings, when our family would pile into my dad’s over-packed Ford Falcon station wagon, before heading west on Highway 3, with our pop-up tent trailer in tow. We were always in a hurry to reach our destination before nightfall, so we could set up the trailer and campsite while there was still enough daylight. Seldom were we in a rush to pack up and leave at the end of the weekend, and we usually delayed our departure until the last possible moment. Even then, it was too soon for me to go home.
If our family wasn’t camping somewhere during weekends, it was probably because we had gone fishing, instead. Sometimes, we did both – camped and fished. My parents made the effort to spend as much time as possible with their children in the outdoors, whether it was heading out on a camping trip to Waterton Lakes National Park, or taking a Sunday afternoon drive to Chin Coulee Reservoir, where we would enjoy a picnic lunch and try our luck fishing for northern pike. Weekends were usually a whirlwind of activity, filled with excitement and adventure. It seemed we were always doing something interesting and fun, and I was having the time of my life!
My parents supported my enthusiasm for all things related to the outdoors, from fishing to photography, and they always encouraged me to pursue my interests. And so I did. Although their words of encouragement, and the events of my youth, are all but memories of the past, they have had an enduring effect on me. In recent years, I have come to realize that childhood dreams can lead you to find your passion in life.
I have been involved in the fly-fishing industry since the early 1980s, first as a guide, then as co-owner, and now owner, of
The Crowsnest Angler Fly Shop & Guide Service. We opened our shop in 1993, and are located in Bellevue, Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. My wife, Carol, and I operate the business year-round.
Along with fly-fishing and photography, I enjoy writing. Over the years, I have contributed articles and photographs to various Canadian and American publications, including The Alberta Fishing Guide, Outdoor Canada, Trout Canada, Fly Fusion, The Canadian Fly Fisher, Fly Fisherman, Flyfishing, and Northwest Fly Fishing. I have also produced two fly-fishing and tying videos, Fly Fishing Alberta’s Chinook Country & Trout – Tying and Fishing Effective Trout Flies, and appeared on a number of fly-fishing programs on television.
I participate regularly in the Crowsnest Pass Allied Arts Association Gallery exhibits. In 2009, one of my photographs (below) was selected by The Alberta Society of Artists (ASA) for their Planet Earth Exhibition at the Leighton Art Centre, near Calgary. This photograph was also selected by the ASA for their two-year Planet Earth travelling exhibition (TREX) and was displayed in shows across the province of Alberta .
Chase your Dreams
Believe in Yourself
Live your Passion
– Vic Bergman