Stacks Image 148749
Family Portfolios
Exhibition Quality | Archival Pigment Prints
presented and restored by
the photographer's grand daughter, Carole Harmon


Byron Harmon Photos was established in Banff in 1904 and Byron operated it until his death in 1942. The product line consisted of prints and postcards in all sizes which were hand printed in a darkroom on the premises and sold in the Harmons building as well as distributed widely throughout the mountain parks and on the CPR trains. In the 1920's Byron began publishing "Viewbooks" and related tourist products which were commercially printed using the high quality Photogravure photo-mechanical printing process. Much of the darkroom work in Byron's day was done by his assistant, Bill Hiscocks. The hand-coloured prints, which were popular in the days before colour photography, were coloured by local women as home crafts.

Following Byron's death in 1942 his youngest son Don took over running the business when he returned home after serving as a navigator in WWII. Byron Harmon Photos continued to publish prints, view books, postcards and related souvenir products. In the 1950's Don introduced colour reproduction and gradually fazed out the old darkroom and hand made production. Byron Harmon Photos products were produced wherever top quality reproduction was available, including Canada, The USA, and Ireland. The product line was distributed throughout the Rockies and Alberta.

In 1978, Carole Harmon and Stephen Hutchings took over Byron Harmon Photos and changed the name to Altitude Publishing Ltd., launching the business as a small publishing house. Altitude remained the foremost publisher of regional books on the Rockies. It also published books of Canadian history as seen through the lens of the camera. The Selling of Canada, The CPR and the Beginnings of Canadian Tourism by E.J Hart, Sometimes a Great Nation, A Photo Album of Canada by Edward Cavell, and When Winter Was King by Edward Cavell were published to critical acclaim. After Carole left the company in 1991, Altitude expanded to other regions of Canada and the USA under Stephen's management. A victim of changing financial and distribution realities, Altitude Publishing closed it's doors in 2007.

Carole Harmon continued to print, exhibit and publish images from the Byron Harmon Photos and Altitude Publishing archives as well as her own personal photographs of nature and the Rockies. In the 1990's she operated retail businesses in the Harmons building in Banff as Nature Works and Wild Elements. Then she opened Harmon Gallery, also in the Harmons building, which was in operation until 2011. At present Carole operates an online business creating exhibitions, websites, and publications of which the Byron Harmon Photos website is one project. She also produces her own art work in photography, writing, and multi-media.

Byron's foundation continues to expand through the film work of his great grand-daughter, Julia Hutchings, and the music and writing of his great-grandson, Sebastian Hutchings. Traditions continue.

A Life In The Wilderness

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