Calgary: A new perspective from photographer Damian Blunt

Damian Blunt Author: Andrea Karr


Calgary: A new perspective from photographer Damian Blunt

Damian Blunt knows the ins and outs. Here are his top four picks for what to do in the city, plus his philosophy when it comes to photographing his hometown.

A lifelong resident of Calgary, 34-year-old photographer Damian Blunt (@damian_blunt) has watched his hometown grow and evolve for years. Once considered an oil-and-gas city best known for the Calgary Stampede, the town has undergone a surge in public art projects, music and restaurants over the past decade, as well as a shift in building design that has made the city more visually inspiring.

Invigorated by his surroundings, Damian started documenting Calgary five years ago, before joining Instagram in 2014. To his surprise, he discovered a likeminded community of people (the #403photogang, in particular) who were creating amazing artwork out of ordinary spaces. It challenged him to reach even further for the perfect shot of the place he loves best.

"I'm always trying to find interesting angles of the recognizable features of our city," he says. "And I try to get a jump on new places before any of the other photographers in town."

Damian captures Calgary as an ever-growing metropolis through his snapshots of tempestuous skies and subjects in motion (people running or riding their bikes, a car's light trails going down the street at night). "It's great to see how much the city has grown and changed. It's really come into its own."

Damian's fast four:

1. Coffee shop: Caffe Francesco

"It's a café and an Italian market. They always remember you and what you order, and the breakfast sandwiches are out of this world."

2. Restaurant:  Last Best Brewing & Distilling
"Amazing beer, great service—a good place to go for comfort food. And, if the head brewer is available, you can have a tour."

3. Park: St. Patrick's Island
"This park is part of the East Village revitalization project. It's a huge public space filled with public artworks."

4. Neighbourhood: Inglewood
"This is my favourite neighbourhood in Calgary. There are a ton of great shops; one specializes in axes and men's shaving products like straight razors."

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Calgary: A new perspective from photographer Damian Blunt