Love of the lens drives Canadian Air Force pilot to capture the Prairies — in pictures

Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, Stefan Litster captures the breathtaking landscape of the Prairies with a camera more than half a century old.

Canadian Air Force pilot captures breath-taking Prairies with a camera more than 50 years old

7 years ago
Duration 5:15
Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Stefan Litster creates stunning photos of the Prairies using an old large-format camera.

The clunky, large, manual camera that Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Stefan Litster uses serves as a reminder that technology didn't always make point and shoot so easy.

Even the film is huge. It's a 8 x 10 inch sheet that's developed in a darkroom, making every frame precious — without the 'review,' 'delete' and 'trash' options that most of us rely on.

The result is stunning imagery, of breathtaking Canadian landscapes. But Litster didn't stop there. When he was shooting, onlookers noticed the odd equipment and asked questions. He could explain how his cameras worked, but was limited in showing them how, until he jury-rigged the camera for instant gratification, as you'll see in this documentary for Exhibitionists.

Filmmaker Jeremy Ratzlaff met Litster in one of Moose Jaw's two coffee shops. Ratzlaff noticed "this big-ass camera [Litster] carries around. This is how he meets people."

Ratzlaff, 22, who was home schooled and self-taught as a filmmaker, captures the art of stills and calls the military man in love with the lens "a spontaneous nomad when it comes to his photography."

For us, that makes Litster and Ratzlaff two of the most interesting characters Exhibitionists has met to date. And that's saying something.

Watch Exhibitionists Sunday at 4:30pm (5pm NT) on CBC Television.


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