Newsletter #131: June, 2016
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
Wow…what a fabulous month June has been!
Most of this month has been spent sharing ‘creative vision’ with enthusiastic photographers on three photographic workshops. It all started with a 7-day workshop which took place at the Tallheo Cannery on the west central coast of British Columbia. It culminated with two 3-day workshops based out of my home and gallery, high above sea level on the Cariboo Plateau.
It was a most rewarding month; each one of us being stimulated by each other’s unique way of seeing. In this Newsletter I’ll share a few stories and images that speak to our creative experiences.
This is the 130th consecutive monthly Newsletter! Enjoy.
The goal at the Chris Harris Gallery is to share photographic adventures and inspire others in the creative process. Please share this Newsletter with friends. I appreciate your interest and continued support for my work.
- Workshop Images: proud to show participants work
- Establishing a Sense of Place: my favourite beach at Tallheo
- Solitary Bald Eagle: contrast and a sense of depth
- Colour: responding to the psychology of colour
Workshop Images: proud to show participants’ work
Dennis Ducklow and I ran a 7-day workshop at the Tallheo Cannery Inn this year for the first time. The cannery is a rustic retreat tucked up against the mountains at the end of a giant fjord, a historic place where one acquires a sense of authentic British Columbia coastal history.
To get there one travels a short distance by boat from Bella Coola harbor. Isolated from the mainland, it was the ideal place to immerse ourselves in creative thought, learning and sharing, and innovative photography.
Our hosts were Garrett Newkirk and Skye Phillips, their daughter Nyomie, and Garrett’s mom, Colleen. Their hospitality and food was unrivaled. Altogether, it was a ‘perfect storm’ for photographers.
Here are some images made by workshop participants. I chose them based mostly on diversity of subject, vision, and creative technique. I took the liberty of resizing and preparing the images for this Newsletter format. Enjoy this celebration of imagery; an interpretation of each photographer’s vision in a moment in time at the Tallheo Cannery, 2016.
Establishing a Sense of Place: my favourite beach at Tallheo
As a person who photographs mostly on the Cariboo Chilcotin Plateau, I was intrigued by a landscape that changed with the tide. I quickly fell in love with what became my favourite beach at the Tallheo Cannery. Over the course of the week, I visited the beach at different times of the day, in different weather conditions, and at different tide levels. I found myself looking out to sea where the pilings and debris are all that are left from an old cannery building. I made an image of it every day; each reflected a different mood.
What I realized at weeks’ end was that I was establishing a sense of place here; it had become a treasured place of mine. Here are three images I made of the old cannery from that beach.
Solitary Bald Eagle: contrast and a sense of depth
One early misty morning, while looking down the fjord, a bald eagle flew into view and landed on a distant tree. The tonal contrast of its black and white feathers immediately drew my attention to the tonal values of the entire surrounding landscape.
Knowing how tonal values create a sense of depth, I excitedly switched to my telephoto lens. By doing this, distances between each of these promontories were compressed, accentuating the dramatic seascape in which these eagles live.
Look closely and you will see the eagle near the centre of the photograph. It looks right at home!
Colour: responding to the psychology of colour
Out on the coast, I found foggy and drizzly overcast days very appealing. They opened up photographic opportunities I don’t often have up on the Chilcotin Plateau. The bald eagle and derelict cannery images above are good examples. What colour there was seemed subtle, yet against the grey mist, these colours seemed to play a prominent role in each image.
Then one day at low tide, I looked inland. In my mind, I thought the landscape was just different shades of green. It sure seemed that way, but when I looked more closely, I was pleasantly surprised. The so-called subtle colours of mosses, seaweeds, lichens, flowering plants, and forest vegetation were well saturated with moisture and often vibrant. Even old logs and weathered planks radiated colour.
I made a few images, and when I looked at my LCD screen I just said, wow. I was hooked. I went to work. The more deeply I looked, the more colour I saw. By isolating the colour with a telephoto lens and then intentionally moving my camera to remove any resemblance to what the coloured subject matter was, I was able to speak only to colour. All I saw was colour; all I was responding to was colour. That was exciting.
A documentary image at f-8 would have shown you the landscape. The more expressive images below speak to the mystery within that landscape. This is when photographic art becomes wildly rewarding. When I look at these images now, I still feel the emotional response I was having at that very moment while responding to colour. I was in love with colour.
Here are three photographs that display the natural colours I found along the shoreline.
Our autumn photographic workshop at the Tallheo Cannery presently has a waiting list, however, if you are interested in next year’s workshops, stay tuned to my Newsletters. The dates will be released this fall.