BOUNTIFUL — As curator Cara Krebs contemplated what to title a new travel and adventure photography exhibit coming to the Bountiful Davis Art Center, the line, “Not all those who wander are lost” from the poem “All That is Gold Does Not Glitter” in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” came to mind.
“The poem is about Aragorn, who is a member of the Rangers in Lord of the Rings,” Krebs said. “In the books, the Rangers are viewed unfavorably by those they protect, as ‘wanderers’ or aimless, unemployed vagabonds.”
Like the Rangers, the photographers showcased in this new exhibit work in an underappreciated but important field as the art of photography becomes more and more devalued with the increased accessibility of cameras, according to Krebs.
“In a fine art context, paintings are easier to sell than photographs,” Krebs said. “In a commercial context, skilled photographers compete with cell phones and everyone’s cousin with a DSLR.”
The new exhibit, “All Those Who Wander: Exploring the World by Lens,” will give visitors an opportunity to see beautiful places and empathize with people they’ve never met, Krebs said.
“When people spend time outdoors or get to know unfamiliar people and places, they tend to value them and advocate for them,” Krebs said.
Featured adventure and outdoor photographer Parker Alec Cross, whose work has appeared in National Geographic, said he got his start as a snowboarder, but began taking pictures after an accident left him with a broken spine in 2008.
“I naturally transitioned to being behind the camera instead of in front of it,” Cross said. “It was a slow process, but the genesis was just being out with my friends and documenting the fun we were having.”
Cross has selected 10 pieces for the new exhibit that show a unique perspective of what traveling the world can mean for many people.
“Sometimes it’s being on the edge, living adventurously and pushing your personal physical limits, but sometimes it’s sitting by the stream and listening to the river babble its way into your memories,” Cross said. “There’s no correct way to travel and experience the world; it’s a deeply personal experience.”
The adventure photographer hopes his landscape imagery at the Bountiful Davis Art Center will inspire viewers to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
“I think if an image can inspire someone to get out in their own local outdoor areas, then that person will inevitably grow to love them and seek to protect them,” Cross said.
The exhibit also features some of Utah photographer Kent Miles’ travel photography, including pictures of London, Paris, Moscow, California, Dublin, Jerusalem and Hong Kong.
Miles said his photography attempts to capture the spirit of being able to travel and pay attention to what is seen while traveling.
“It’s less a matter of taking snapshots and more a matter of using the camera as a notebook, as a record of what it meant to be in a place,” Miles said.Comment on this story
The Utah photographer said he hopes those who view the photos in the new exhibit will realize how vast yet accessible the world is to them.
“All of a sudden, we see how much we have in common with people around us in the world,” Miles said. “It helps to break down barriers, and it builds bridges.”
If you go …
What: “All Those Who Wander: Exploring the World by Lens”
Where: Bountiful Davis Art Center, 90 N. Main, Bountiful
When: Open Jan. 12-Feb. 9, Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, noon-5 p.m.