Newsletter #132: July, 2016
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
The New Book Countdown Begins!
July has been another busy and exciting month. We made the final touches to the new book before sending it off to the printer, and Rita and I participated in the Paddle for the Peace; a celebration of the Peace River.
I want to share a few more workshop images from last month. During these workshops we learn new techniques and create images that speak to our creative experiences. These experiences are exciting and the images we make stimulate our unique ways of seeing.
This is the 132th consecutive monthly Newsletter. That’s ELEVEN YEARS without missing a month! Enjoy!
Our goal at the Chris Harris Gallery is to share photographic adventures and inspire others in the creative process. Please share this Newsletter with friends. We appreciate your interest and continued support for my work.
- My New Book: the story behind the front cover
- The Peace River: childhood memories may be lost forever
- Workshop Images: proud to show participants work
- Within the Spirit of Teaching: endless possibilities
- To Crop or Not to Crop: I do!
- Texture: how I texturized this landscape
1. My New Book: the story behind the front cover
The final touches to my final book on the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region of central BC have been made and it was couriered to the printer earlier this week. With its 272 pages and 230 images, it was close to 3GB’s in size!
The last month has been spent with my book designer and good friend Bill Horne. This is the 7th book we have worked on together; each collaboration has been a creative, fun, and rewarding experience.
Bill lives in Wells, BC, with his partner Claire Kujundzic. Both are incredible artists. Please visit their Amazing Space Studio & Gallery online or better still, in Wells!
The cover of any book is so important. The shape of the book, the image, the background colour, and the font are just the beginning. There are many other subtle design features, plus all the technical aspects of colour space, paper choice, and how different colour inks react with those different papers. It goes on and on, and if it wasn’t for Bill’s artistic and technical knowledge, the book would never materialize as it does.
When it comes to the cover, Claire also joins us as a colour consultant. The background colour of the book has gone through many phases. On our last get-together, it changed dramatically one last time. We eventually made our decisions ‘final’! Here it is.
In future Newsletters leading up to the book launch, I will share stories and images about the book and its content.
The Peace River: childhood memories may be lost forever
On July 8th Rita and I went north to Paddle for the Peace, an environmental rally to draw attention to the unnecessary construction of the Site C Dam, and the elimination of what is left of the beautiful Peace River Valley and its ‘bread-basket’ agricultural land.
In this article I wanted to share what was a nostalgic visit to the Peace River for my partner Rita. Rita spent much of her childhood in Hudson’s Hope where her father worked on the Bennett Dam. After exploring the town and visiting her home which her father had built, we camped at the Alwin Holland campground. Rita knew the area as ‘the Glen’, and it was where she and her friends bicycled to play along the Peace River.
Then I stood back and watched Rita as she visited her favourite playground along the Peace River. I made two images designed to capture her reminiscing thoughts of the past, and her wondering if this would be the last time she would ever see the Peace River. Should Site-C be built, the beautiful and fertile valley immediately down from here would be lost, as has the entire canyon and valley upstream from this spot already.
3. Workshop Images: proud to show participants work
On June 24th, I taught the last of my 3-day photographic workshops here at the Chris Harris Gallery. We all had a wonderful time; discussing photography as an Art Form, learning new creative techniques by which to express ourselves, practicing these new ways of seeing, and on the final day, discussing our creations together as a group. As always, this was an exciting, stimulating, creative, and rewarding experience.
Here are some images made by participants of that workshop. 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 what each photographer saw at a particular moment in time during their field trips.
4. In the Spirit of Teaching: endless possibilities
I have heard from clients that some workshop and tour leaders spend most of their time photographing for themselves; other times I have heard about instructors who never make a single image so as to devote full time to their clients.
When I am in the field with workshop participants, you will usually find me with two cameras swung over my shoulders. I do this for two reasons.
Firstly, I am always ready to illustrate ‘possibilities’. A student may ask me; “how would you approach a subject like this”, or “could you demonstrate how I might add texture to this landscape”? With two different cameras with different lenses, I am always ready to illustrate different techniques and ways of seeing.
Secondly, as I walk around, I often make images myself, trying new techniques and then gathering students around to show them a possible new approach to a subject. Then, by experimenting further, we often discover new ways of expression we might never have thought about. This is always a very exciting process.
Here are six images I made while teaching the above mentioned 3-day workshop.
Demonstrating a simple composition during a visual study of an old vehicle.
Illustrating the use of a telephoto lens to emphasize line, form and texture.
Illustrating the use of multiple exposures combined with in-camera movement as a new expression.
Illustrating a ‘twist & zoom’ technique to emphasize movement.
With a 16mm lens I combined camera movement with changes in focal length to create a ‘storm’ mood. Students had many different expressions of this ‘storm’!
5. To Crop or Not to Crop: I do!
I have heard photographers proudly brag that they never crop an image. Not me! I often make a composition knowing exactly how I will crop the image during post-processing. I often visualize the crop while making the capture.
Farwell Canyon road through the grasslands
I made the above image of a dirt road passing through the grasslands with the intention of cropping it to emphasize only the road and not the landscape. Other times I crop after the fact in order to strengthen a composition. Within the world of creativity, there should be no rules, cropping or otherwise!
- Texture: how I texturized this landscape
From the same location from where I made the above cropped image, I decided to add texture to the grasslands landscape while still using camera movement. I did this by utilizing my camera’s ‘multiple exposure’ feature. I believe I made 9 exposures, if I remember correctly. Apart from the added texture, I still cropped the image to emphasize the simplicity of line and form.
journey through textured grasslands