For more than 30 years, long-time islander Andrew “Andy” Bergh enjoyed a career practicing law before deciding to transition from full-time law to pursue a new passion—digital photography.
Having spent many years commuting from the island to Seattle, Andy relocated his office to a space in downtown Bainbridge in 2015, which accommodated both his scaled-down law practice, and a small informal gallery.
As an avid traveler, Andy had long documented his adventures through photographs. After purchasing his first Canon digital camera in 2010, his love of photography blossomed into something new and exciting. He discovered that he could create unique images by combining technology with his talent as a photographer.
When asked what inspires his work, Andy said, “One reason I love photography is the way it affects my view of the world. One might call it the development of a ‘critical eye.’ Instead of being hellbent on getting from Point A to Point B (and nothing else), I’m much more conscious of my surroundings and environment. And yes, I’ll admit that much of the time – even if my camera is not in hand – I’ll have that next ‘photo op’ in mind.
“Another reason I enjoy photography is the creative process. My goal as a photographer is to create evocative images, but since cameras can’t think or feel, the act of pressing the shutter button to capture a given image is just the start of the journey. I spend hours almost every day in my digital darkroom, and the postprocessing of my images is where my creative instincts especially come into play.”
Andy frequently uses a technique called high dynamic range imaging (HDR). This involves a two-step process: setting his camera to take three or more shots of the same subject at different exposures, and once in the studio, using software to merge the multiple exposures into a single image. This process allows him to highlight various intricacies that would normally be lost in a standard photograph. In addition, he uses image conversion and image processing tools in his digital studio, allowing him to re-invent his photographs to reveal the vision he personally experienced while taking them. The end result produces extraordinarily detailed images with an almost painting-like quality, giving them a distinctive, yet redolent appearance.
Andy’s images vary between black and white photographs that have a hauntingly beautiful quality to colorful landscapes and panoramas. Many of his photographs are taken abroad, and reflect the historical beauty he has experienced in his travels around the world. Other images are of Bainbridge Island, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
In the fall of 2018, Andy opened Bergh Images on Winslow Way. Although his gallery carries a variety of matted prints, he specializes in three mediums; acrylic, metal, and canvas. Metal prints, made with a heat transfer process that infuses the image directly onto a thin sheet of aluminum, create a sleek and luminous effect; acrylic prints likewise vividly reflect colors, while adding stunning depth and crispness to the image; and on a more traditional level, museum quality canvas prints, with their “mirror” wrapped edges, bestow an almost three-dimensional element to the images.
A new feature at the gallery is one wall consisting of nine prints displaying three images in the three mediums of acrylic, canvas and metal. This allows patrons to see for themselves how each medium comes into play. In addition, Andy and his partner, Carol Johnston, reorganized the matted prints to feature “local” and “travel” sections, making it easier to find specific art ranging from Bainbridge Island, the Olympic Peninsula, Seattle, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
Andy also updated his online store to add three new galleries celebrating the beauty of Bainbridge Island, the Pacific Northwest, and the Olympic Peninsula. More galleries are coming soon.
Knowing on a personal level the need for distraction and enjoyment in these trying times, Andy recently created a private Facebook group called “Bainbridge Island Images.” It provides a forum to share and view images of our special island, encouraging members of all skill levels to spend time outside creating “art” of their own through photography.
As he told me: “If art is essential to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being even in the best of times, it’s absolutely critical as we endure this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Put simply, art – whether in physical or intangible form – is good for us because it alleviates stress and soothes our souls.
“On a personal level, I’m sure this explains why the past few months I’ve experienced a serious uptick in listening to classical music, reading a good book, and enjoying the works of art in our home. Even if only a temporary escape from the ongoing tumult in our lives, any amount of solace is appreciated.”
Bergh Images is located at 400 Winslow Way E, Suite 115, Bainbridge Island (across from the Streamliner Diner). If stopping at the gallery isn’t an option, visit his website to view his many galleries.
Margaret Millmore is a supernatural fiction author and blogger, living on Bainbridge Island with her husband, Bryan. Her first published works were flash fiction, The Welcome Home and Untitled – Luke N. Goode, which were featured on Bay Area artist, Kenny Mencher’s blog. In 2011 she published her first full length novel, since then she’s published a three book series, another novel and her current series (via Next Chapter Publishing – formerly Creativia Publishing) What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 1); The Edge of the Cemetery (Ghost Killer Book 2), which was awarded the August 2016 Book of the Month award by Long and Short Reviews; and What Hunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 3). The majority of her books are set in San Francisco where she lived—previous to island life—for over 26 years. Her preferred writing genre is supernatural fiction, with the exception of her time-travel novel, The Dragonfly Door. In addition to her novels, Margaret writes a blog, called The Island Wanderer – which focuses on people, events and businesses on Bainbridge Island: https://theislandwanderer.com/blog/. All her books can be found on her website and her Amazon Author page.