This is the beginning of my 14th year publishing this photographic Newsletter; that’s 168 consecutive monthly newsletters without missing a month! Enjoy!
This past month has so far been highlighted by a 7-day residency photographic workshop which Dennis Ducklow and I guided on the BC coastal island of Gabriola. Filled with creative thought and ideas, it was inspirational for everyone; we were all students and all teachers.
1. Creating Art is a Love Affair: Slow down and enjoy it! 2. Uninspired by What’s Around You? Express yourself differently. 3. Using Evening Light as Inspiration: Our evening strolls were stimulating, motivating, and expressive.
Creating Art is a Love Affair: Slow down and enjoy it!
A drift log on the shoreline of Gabriola Island. I stopped here for 30 minutes to enjoy the creative process.
When I read a curator’s description of ‘the sensuousness of that first paint brush stroke on a blank canvas’, I immediately said to myself, why should painters be the only ones to experience that feeling? Why not photographers?
That thought helped bring about change to my approach to photography. It took me away from the constant craving to see the final image on the LCD screen, which until then, was the most satisfying moment.
Instead of being image driven, I now enjoy being process driven. This slows me down and adds meaningfulness to the process of actually making the image.
For the image below, I not only slowed myself down, I slowed my shutter speed down as well. Then, gently and deliberately, I moved my camera while exposing images, capturing colour and movement on a blank sensor.
If you slow down and truly enjoy the creative photographic process, you too can enjoy the sensuality of image making. Enjoy!
There is sensuality in slow and deliberate camera movement.
Creating art can be a love affair for artists of all media!
Uninspired by What’s Around You? Express yourself Differently. A walk along the same old beach.
On recent workshops, I have met more and more photographers who have discussed with me their declining interest in photography. They describe how difficult it is to remain excited and stimulated without a continuous flow of new subject matter; ‘same old, same old’. Some have shared with me that they were on the verge of leaving their camera club, others, photography altogether. By joining the workshop, they had hoped to be re-inspired.
In some way, hearing this saddened me, for I am more excited about photography now, than ever before.
Let’s take a walk with our cameras. The following images are a few results from walks we took on our recent workshop; each time of day has different weather and light, each lens and point of view provides distinctive perspectives, and our cameras provide an unlimited variety of ways by which we can express our subjects and ourselves. There is every reason to be excited.
On our way to the beach. By illustration, we learned how to express ourselves as photographic Impressionists.
Unexpectedly, a few waves approached the shoreline from a distant ferry; we quickly seized a creative opportunity. With slow shutter speeds, we all captured ‘movement’ with each surge. During ‘image review’ the next morning, we were amazed, and so inspired, by the variety of interpretations.
Reflecting on the sensuality of camera movement, we captured seaweeds, water, and reflections along the beach; each in our own way.
The beach never looked like this, however, there is no need to accept reality as reality. We can go within reality, or personalize reality. Art is subjective. Each day, everyone expressed themselves differently.
By using wide angle lenses, we learned how different perspectives can stimulate our visual interpretations.
Minimalism was an art movement that shifted away from abstraction and emotional subjectivity and into the simplification of form.
By visualizing our surroundings through different interpretations (eg. Minimalism), any thoughts of declining visual interest in photography should disappear.
I no longer feel we can say, “been there, done that”. As Ernst Haas once said, “The limitations in your photography are in yourself”.
Using Evening Light as Inspiration: Our evening strolls were stimulating, motivating, and expressive.
A moment of reflective thought.
The elements of expressive art were at our very feet; always.
Capturing a moment in time.
Serenity, peace, and stillness
Monuments of sandstone. Evening light.
One last image!
If you feel you would like to broaden your creative options and move beyond representational photography (the re-presenting of an existing reality), consider a workshop that encourages freedom of expression and the learning of new styles of visual interpretation.
If a workshop in British Columbia interests you, consider these two options: