Newsletter #161: November, 2018
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
Rita and I have just returned from a wonderful tour in Quebec and Ontario where we made three presentations about our Cariboo Chilcotin region of BC, and also, where I taught two 2-day workshops on Photography as Art, titled ‘Freedom of Expression’. Here are some images and thoughts about our awesome experience.
This is my 161st consecutive monthly photographic newsletter; enjoy!
- The Montreal Camera Club: A homecoming!
- The Trillium Camera Club: Burlington, ON.
- Everyone is Welcome to Visit the Cariboo Chilcotin region of BC.
- Presentations and Workshops: Invite us to your area in 2019.
The Montreal Camera Club: A homecoming!
Marcil Street, Montreal
I was born in Montreal, spent part of my youth near Montreal, and did most of my education in the Maritimes. At age 30, I was drawn to the Coast Mountains of BC, and now, almost 50 years later, I was returning home!
My father had joined the Montreal Camera Club when he retired at age 65. I was around at that time, watching and learning from him, as he learned his craft.
It was indeed a great honour to be back at the MCC with my partner Rita Giesbrecht, presenting at the Bonnie Nichol Lectures. Bonnie, who had passed unexpectedly at a relatively young age, had been a good friend of my father.
In attendance that evening were Barbara Deans and Kay Mason, both still active members whom I remembered meeting at the club back in the 1960’s. Also, in the audience was 92 year old Tom Freiman. He told me he had twice won the “Chic Harris Memorial Award” that is presented yearly to the ‘Creative’ photographer of the year. What a thrill it was to meet these members.
Presenting at the Bonnie Nichol Lectures was a lifetime event for me. A special thanks to everyone who helped make this a reality.
Ann Pearson and Sylvia Rourke had so very kindly planned, organized, and hosted this workshop; and what a fun and creative time we had!
The day after Rita and I arrived and settled in to our Airb&b, I walked down to Westmount Park, an area near where the club meets and where we would probably photograph during the workshop. It was cold, windy, and pouring rain, but I photographed, trying to get a sense of the place.
Victoria Hall: impressionist
Westmount Public Library: impressionist
While walking home along Sherbrooke Street W., I continued to make a few images while trying to keep raindrops off my lens.
Cold November day: Sherbrooke St. W.
Lady with a white umbrella: Sherbrooke St W.
During my workshops, I often try to make quick images to illustrate the potential of certain techniques and subject matter.
Towering architecture: Westmount Square
Towering architecture: Saint Joseph’s Oratory
The workshop was an educational, inspirational, and enriching experience. With everyone so excited about their new ways of seeing and expressing, they decided to publish a Blurb book about their weekend experience. I can’t wait to get a copy!
Also, with three camera club judges participating, a favourite topic of conversation was how were they going to judge expressionist and abstract photographs at club competitions? I’ll be interested to hear what happens in the months ahead!
Being a tourist in Montreal:
Rita and I took five days off to enjoy some of Montreal’s finest dining and entertainment. We had a blast!
We got tickets to a Habs game at the Bell Centre! It had been 65 years since I had seen a Canadiens game at the Forum! iPhoto image.
We went to listen to Mozart’s Requiem at the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal; a wonderful evening. iPhoto image.
This was a ‘must see’, the Leonard Cohen mural on Crescent St. As the architecture of Leonard’s favourite city is visually dominated by red brick and grey stone, I incorporated both in this image.
And finally, Shirley Brown, daughter of Dr. Brown who once worked for my father at CIL, drove Rita and I out to visit the home I was brought up in. Dad bought it the year I was born, 1939, for around $2,000. It is now over 100 years old and is designated as a heritage building. Local historian Pierre Gadbois made arrangements so we could actually go inside the house. Although renovated several times, it was the same; filled with incredible memories.
406 Richelieu Blvd., Beloeil, Quebec
The Trillium Photographic Club: Burlington, ON
After presenting at the Scarborough Camera Club, we moved on to Burlington. Spearheaded by four club members who have attended at least one of the 7-day workshops that Dennis Ducklow and I operate in BC, Rita and I were invited to present to the Trillium Photographic Club. It was a wonderful evening in which we shared the diversity and beauty of our home region of BC.
I also taught my 2-day workshop to 10 members of the club. As Judy Boufford drove me around in the rain, looking for possible shooting locations, I would ask her to momentarily stop the windshield wipers. I made the following two images through the windshield!
Burlington – somewhere!
During the workshop, I made the following three images to visually illustrate different techniques for different subjects.
The ceiling in a nursery.
Lasalle Park after a touch of snow
Trees above the church where the workshop was held.
It was another enriching experience where the same discussion about how to judge abstract and expressive imagery was a hot topic!
A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped plan, organize, and host both these events.
Everyone is Welcome to Visit the Cariboo Chilcotin region of BC.
Audiences in our presentations sometimes think that the areas we access are remote, expensive and difficult to reach. Not so; in fact, all access is provided to us by tourism operators who are here to facilitate and welcome you. Particularly easy are the unique and beautiful Cariboo Chilcotin Grasslands, which are literally our backyard and right off the main highway. Here are a few images to tempt you!
Back road through the grasslands. Big sagebrush adds beautiful texture to the landscape.
Russell fences are symbolic of the region but are fast disappearing.
Drainage from the grasslands often reveal silt cliffs above the Fraser River.
These canyonlands often reveal dramatic light; especially for visiting photographers!
Approaching the Big Bar Ferry.
Big Bar Reaction Ferry. You don’t have to cross the river, but if you do, you are on a totally different adventure that could take you to the town of Lillooet!
While exploring along the shores of the Fraser River, I found tracks of 4 different little critters. It became a study in transportation routes!
There are incredible worlds to explore here in the Cariboo Chilcotin. Come visit. You won’t be disappointed!
Presentations and Workshops: Invite us to your area in 2019.
Montreal Camera Club, 2018
In 2018, Rita and I have presented our spectacular audio-visual presentation to photographic clubs and organizations in BC, Washington State, Quebec and Ontario. I have also taught several 2-day workshops on The Freedom of Expression: A Workshop in Photography as Art.
Our presentation is based on our two documentaries titled “The Chilcotin Ark” and “The Wildfire Summer of 2017”. Both have been featured at the Williams Lake Film Festival and are part of a recently released Blu-ray disk titled “The Chilcotin Ark”. Part of the presentation is about ‘Photography as Art’ which is of interest to all visual artists. It is part of my wildfire evacuation narrative where I turned my crisis into art.
We present in a number of formats to medium and large audiences. We’d love to hear from you to discuss the options. You can call us at 250-791-6631 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.