Photographer captures special image of Government House in Fredericton
Published Monday, March 25, 2019 4:04PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, March 25, 2019 6:56PM ADT
When you walk into New Brunswick's Government House, a massive photograph of the building hangs behind the Commissionaires’ desk.
The impressive 191-year-old structure, built with stones collected by the community, was meant to be a place of pride and celebration.
Today is no different, so it's fitting for Gregory Davidson’s photograph of the historic building to hang here because the photographer behind it is someone to celebrate.
“I was just kind of out and about taking photos and this struck me and this location, really, it was a fluke,” Davidson said.
What's not a fluke is why Davidson became a photographer.
“I'm a very visual person, being deaf right?” Davidson said. “And so, I've depended on my eyes my entire life. Being given my first film camera I realized that it's very different than how I had always perceived the world. I can control what I'm taking a picture of, I can change the image, I guess that started when I was quite young.”
In an interview with CTV News, Davidson communicated his love for photography and story behind his Government House photo through sign language.
He studied photography in college where he got his hands on a Gigapan camera.
“I wanted to make sure that I was going to get one huge print with these 108 photos,” he said.
Davidson used the Gigapan to capture the photograph of government house -- it's actually 108 images stitched together -- capturing even the tiniest details.
Getting all the photos aligned was an arduous process.
“That's a really tricky part of this process,” Davidson said. “Even if something is off just the tiniest bit, it can ruin your photo.”
Clearly it worked. He approached staff at Government House to see if they would show it even for a couple weeks.
“They asked to purchase the photo and mount it here and that was a great moment for me,” Davidson said.
“I've seen hundreds of photos of this building,” said Tim Richardson, principal secretary to the New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor. “At various times, various technology, but I've never seen a photo like the one that Gregory has taken of this place.”
And, when they met for the first time, Richardson shared with Davidson a little piece of the building's history.
“Children came here, lived here, were taught here,” Richardson said. “This became an institution for children who unfortunately were called the deaf and the dumb.”
It was a “special realization” for Davidson.
“It was so long ago but, we had a deaf institution here in Fredericton,” he said. “That would have been an incredible experience.”
Gregory uses facial expressions, body and sign language to communicate – and his eyes – with the help of his cameras.
He has an eye for all photography, but loves old film, black and white and nature.
Davidson takes photos of people, too, trying to make a living off his talent.
“You can forget what you experience in the day to day, memories will fade,” Davidson said. “But if you take a photo and you've captured that moment forever and it's frozen in time and you can look back at that again and again and again and I think that that's really worthwhile.”
Davidson’s photo has hung at Government House for a couple years, capturing a moment in time for a building that's experienced so many, by a photographer with an incredible eye for detail.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.