Newsletter No. 40: November 2008
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
- Behind the Image: A Word about Composition – Part II
- What’s Happening at the Chris Harris Gallery
- Back Yard Artist: Monical’s 1967 F-350 Ford truck
- What I See and How I Photograph: Adding the Human Element
It’s getting close to December, but here in the Cariboo region of British Columbia the ground is still green and the temperatures quite balmy.
In this Newsletter I continue my discussion on composition; the Monical ranch provides another back yard image; and a visual adventure takes us to the Rainbow Mountains, one of the most spectacular landscapes in the British Columbia.
Happening here at the Gallery during the next few weeks; Diana Phillips launches her new book Beyond the Chilcotin, and I will be making several slide shows.
If you live nearby, please drop in; enjoy the new canvas prints and take in some of the events. See you at the Gallery!
Enjoy the Newsletter, and pass it on to interested friends. Our goal here at the Chris Harris Gallery is to share the creative process, promote the arts, and strengthen our artistic community. Thank you.
Line & Shape
In the last Newsletter this image demonstrated a single line that touches two edges of a picture space produces two shapes – thus creating a composition. That simple concept now has me looking at the landscape with a refreshingly new awareness.
Many Lines & Many Shapes
The above scene with its several dozen lines and corresponding shapes is much more complex than the image with just one line. Looking for rhythm and balance I settled on this composition because of the distinctive diagonal line which cuts through the image from the top centre, past a rather large rock, to the lower right. This subtle line divides the image into a 2/3rds to 1/3rd ratio, creating two large shapes within which are the many smaller shapes. This subtle yet dynamic line provides coherence to the image.
The search for this small composition within the giant canyon wall, required concentrated ‘seeing’ and attention to detail.
2. What’s Happening at the Chris Harris Gallery
1. Diana Phillips Book Launch
Diana Phillips is the daughter of Pan Phillips, the early Chilcotin cattle rancher made famous in the book Grass Beyond the Mountains by Rich Hobson. If you enjoy local Cariboo-Chilcotin history, this is a must attend event at the Chris Harris Gallery. Diana will tell stories and read from her first book Beyond the Chilcotin: On the Home Ranch with Pan Phillips. Hearing the stories from Diana’s perspective should make for a fascinating evening.
Please call 250-791-6631 and let us know if you plan to attend. Seating is limited and we expect a full house.
Chris Harris Gallery
5577 Back Valley Road
December 13th at 7:30pm
2. Slide Presentations
Chris will present a series of slide shows at the Gallery over the Christmas Season. Come and hear the stories behind the images from his two latest books.
New images from his current project never before seen, will also be shown, with stories from his adventures in the volcanic mountains of the Chilcotin.
December 12 & 13: Friday, December 12th at 7:00pm and Saturday, December 13th at 2:30pm, Chris will present The Bowron Lakes: A Lifetime Journey.
December 19th & 20th and January 3rd: Friday, December 19th at 7:00pm; Saturday, December 20th at 2:30pm; and January 3rd at 2:30pm.Chris will present Spirit in the Grass from his latest book which was nominated for two BC Book Prizes.
Please drop by the Gallery at any time and see our new Giclée prints on canvas. We love the effect of seeing the texture of the canvas within the image as it enhances the painterly quality of many of the prints, chosen specifically for this treatment.
Christmas Season Opening Hours
November 15 to January 15
Thursday to Saturday, 12 to 5:00 p.m.
Other times: by appointment or by chance
1967 One-tonne Ford Truck
Last week Sandy and I, me with my camera, went out looking for another back yard image. With the light hitting the cab of this long abandoned truck, I made this documentary image to show the truck in its rather mint condition. While searching for the year model, I opened the door to investigate. The key was still in the ignition and a receipt in the glove department showed it was a 1967 F-350 model bought at Dearborn Ford in Kamloops. Wendell later told me his grandson recently turned on the ignition and the truck started up like a charm! Even all the tires are still fully inflated!
For over 25 years I photographed the adventure tours I led for the sole purpose of making slide shows to promote my tours for the following year. During this process I learned the value of including individuals participating in the activity of the tour within spectacular settings. By doing so, of course, viewers could imagine themselves in the same situation and want to sign up.
Hiking within a Volcanic Landscape I
Although I don’t guide tours anymore, I have never forgotten my approach to photographing people within the landscape. Whether I am mountaineering, canoeing, or hiking, I am always looking far ahead, anticipating what might happen, and then maneuvering myself into a position where I can best photograph the anticipated event.
As I stood on a peak overlooking the scene above, the crescent shaped ridgeline leading to the beautifully painted Tsitsutl Mountain caught my attention. This magnificent setting was the perfect place to add the human element.
Rita, Mike, and Aileen and her dog Pepper complied willingly while I stayed behind to make the image.
Hiking within a Volcanic Landscape II
I like to work a subject fully so, using a telephoto zoom lens, I moved in for a tighter composition. This image places a greater emphasis on the hikers, the ridge itself and the volcanic rock with its expressive textures.
Hiking within a Volcanic Landscape III
The crucial elements are the spacing of the individuals and the visibility of their entire legs and feet.
Before my hiking friends left for the ridge I gave them careful instructions on exactly where to hike and how far apart. A meter further over the ridge to their left would have hidden their hiking boots.
I had to capture the few seconds that had all four hikers visible between the two darker rock cliffs (for composition), and the exact moment when the greatest number of hikers had their feet separated. Three out of four’s not bad! I’m sending Mike back for model training because Pepper did a better job of showing me all four legs than Mike did with two!!!