Newsletter #203: March, 2023
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
I’ve been in Ireland for a few weeks visiting family. I am back home now, adjusting from a land filled with blossoms to one of melting snow and back road potholes. As our cross-country skis’ are being put away for another year, we anxiously await the sounds of red-winged black birds and sandhill cranes.
My days in rural Ireland were full, but when I got a break, I’d swing my camera over my shoulder and go for a walk down a country lane.
Exploring Photographic Expression
My walks were contemplative. I had no expectations of making masterpieces, but rather, the pure enjoyment of exploring photographic expression. I threw caution to the wind, flinging my camera in any direction and blending any number of exposures; all to see where that wind would take me.
I always feel that the creative process is more important than the final image. The ultimate goal is the living of a creative life. The art of photography is about the art of living.
If and when I do make an image that makes my heart soar, I consider it a blessing; a blessing that comes from a place that is far beyond the place I am photographing.
My walk began here.
I soon began to explore the possibilities of photographic expression.
After reading that most photographers know only 20% of their cameras capabilities, I explored the possibilities of my camera further. Creating multiple turn-offs was an exciting discovery.
Photo-Impressionism provides a pleasurable awareness of place.
Exploring the potential of my camera as a means of visual expression is exciting. The above two images are of the same viewscape.
Looking over the hedge, I saw as far as anyone can see in Ireland; the next hedge!
The hedge re-invented…..
.….and re-invented again. I was exploring photographic expression.
On one of my walks, a vibrant colour other than green caught my attention. Following its resonance, I wandered into the neighbour’s courtyard. At first, I just stood there, examining all the elements before me; the tones of grey stretching from white to black, the textures of stone, gravel and concrete, and the colours of blue in the shadows, yellow and green vegetation, and orange/red doors.
I photographed for an hour, exploring expression along my well trodden continuum from Representational, through various forms of Expressionism, towards pure abstraction.
There is much pleasure in composing the elements of visual design.
Eventually I became completely immersed in the world of abstraction.
As I began to compose my abstractions, the border bars were the inspiration of the Irish painter Tony O’Malley.
After much effort, I was able to create four different sized rectangles and place a dash of red into the largest.
This is a photograph from a book on the life and work of the British painter Patrick Heron. I knew Patrick when he was painting in St. Ives during the height of his career. He was a leader in the Modern Art Movement and his work has been exhibited internationally. His placement of elements has always stuck with me. He was a courageous painter. His influence led me back to the courtyard one day to make the following photograph.
The placement of the three black elements took a considerable effort to achieve, but the result is my ‘masterpiece’ from my visit to Ireland. I feel blessed for both the inspiration and the creation.
The Shuswap Arts Theatre Fundraiser
On March 25, at 2-4pm, my wife Rita and I will give a keynote presentation to raise funds for the long-established arts theatre in Salmon Arm, BC.
We all know how important the arts are in promoting social and cultural change for young and old alike. Be it dance, music, acting, or any other art form, the local arts theater is the platform for sharing artistic talent.
If you live in the vicinity of Salmon Arm, we hope you will attend. The presentation will include hiking through shield volcanoes, paddling in a garden of icebergs, and exploring a newly emergent landscape. The final part of the presentation is titled the Art of Possibility. The entire presentation will be inspirational for artists of every medium, outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists, and all those who seek beauty in the world.
Visit my website for details.
Workshops for 2023
Gabriola Island, and Vieux Montréal
Informative, Inspirational, Challenging & Creative
Due to cancellations, there are a few spots available on all three 2023 workshops. Your journey into exploring creative photographic expression can begin in one of these two world-class destinations. We hope you will join us.
June 26 – July 2
August 30 – September 5
Amazing sandstone oceanfront formations and windswept coastal forests beckon photographers to Gabriola Island.
Imagining new realities
Arbutus tree at sunset
Archway of coastal forest
Sandstone and seashells
Photographing at sunset
September 29 – October 5
Wandering the charming cobblestone streets of beautifully restored Old Montreal is an artistic expression in itself.
Montreal autumn colours
Old Montreal alley
Old city architecture
Architecture in a Vieux Montréal coffee shop
Outdoor restaurants in the Old City
Impressionistic rendering of Vieux Montréal