- A Welcome to New Subscribers
- My Most Frequently Asked Question: My Answer
- Your Local Canadian Bookstore: Free Shipping Across the Country
- Look with the "Capacity to Feel": Include Texture in your Photography
- A New Photo Assignment: I am Always Learning
- What’s happening at the Chris Harris Gallery? Everyone is Invited
- New Print Release: This is the First Print from the New Book, Flyover
1. A Welcome to New Subscribers
During this past month, over 300 new subscribers have joined the Chris Harris Newsletter. I’d like to welcome you all. Helping people make better photographs, and encouraging people to re-connect with the Planet by learning to see and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, is what I enjoy doing most.
My work centres around the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region of central British Columbia in order to bring awareness, appreciation, and knowledge about this most beautiful and diverse part of Canada. I share all of this through my books, photographic prints, and speaking-engagement slide presentations.
In my Newsletters I share all that I know about image making, and what I am constantly learning about the art of photography. I share my photographic adventures of exploring new landscapes, discussing my artistic vision, and explaining the creative processes behind my image-making. To learn more, I encourage you to read my earlier Newsletters which are all archived on my web site.
Thank you for joining the adventure of learning and seeing. Thank you for joining the Chris Harris Newsletter.
During the last month I have made several Motherstone slide presentations and attended a number of Christmas Artist and Artisan Shows where I have displayed my photographic prints.
The two most frequently asked questions are, "what camera do you use" and "do you manipulate the colours in your images?" In this Newsletter, I will answer the second question.
Q: Do you manipulate the colours in your images?
A: As a nature photographer, it is not in my interest to deceive the public about any aspect of the landscape that I am photographing. As many of my images are published in books and magazines, and therefore seen by many people who intimately know the landscapes that I am photographing, I would be called to task immediately if I was to misrepresent them. I suspect I would lose my reputation as a B.C. nature photographer very quickly.
© Chris Harris
The above image of the Rainbow volcano was made in a remote area of the West Chilcotin region of British Columbia. Most people have never seen this landscape so they have to trust my integrity in depicting it truthfully. Many local people, however, have seen it and would be highly critical if I misrepresented it to the outside world.
I should mention, that there are many variables when it comes to colour. Every individual sees colour differently. We even see colour differently when we are tired or have had a few drinks. Each camera make and model renders colours differently; so do our different monitors and slide projectors. Even the colour of my digital darkroom and the clothes I wear while processing my images can affect how I adjust colour balance. Just recently I used a camera club projector for a slide presentation and the colours of my images were over-saturated. In that case I welcomed the question of whether my colours were pumped up artificially so I could explain the situation.
Here are two further examples to exemplify this point and to consider when judging a nature photographers integrity.
The Fraser River
© Chris Harris
The Fraser River
© Chris Harris
I was once accused of changing the colour of the Fraser River from its usual dirty brown colour to a beautiful bright blue. The reality was that that person had never seen the Fraser River from an elevation of 1000 feet on a bright blue day at the angle I made the image.
Light, and resulting colours, are dynamic and that is why light plays such an important role in photography.
Here at the Gallery we are constantly seeking ways to do a better job of reaching our audience; we are frequently asked if books and prints are available in stores or galleries. Too often the answer is ‘no’ because Country Light Publishing is such a small, independent publisher.
So, effective immediately we are offering free shipping within Canada.
We are making other incremental changes which we hope will make it easier for you to purchase books and prints, and for us to be truly your local Canadian store. We will keep you posted as they develop.
© Chris Harris
Notes: While looking down on this rather flat and textured landscape, I felt I needed an anchor to ground the composition; a place from where people could go exploring the rest of the picture space from. When my eye caught sight of the larger trees and their shadows, I used them as the anchor and placed them in the lower right one-third of the image. Canon EOS 50D, iso 800; f-8; 1/800 sec; 70-200mm lens;
In the above image, each little shrub, bush, and of course the larger three trees, are casting a shadow as a result of the bright side lighting. These thousands of shadows and bright highlights create what is known as texture. This texture helps to emphasize the features and details in the image.
I use the words "capacity to feel" because texture creates a soft, furry, feeling that makes one want to feel the object, or in this case makes me want to walk on the landscape in bare feet. I’m sure if I made a large print of this image, passer-by’s would want to touch it to see if it really was soft.
Texture may be a small element within a larger composition, but in this case it is the primary subject of the composition. When you are out making photographs, keep an eye open for texture. Sometimes a slight change in perspective or camera angle can generate an area of texture and therefore should be considered in your overall composition. The result may be a totally different emotional response to your photograph.
Recently I had an assignment to photograph a 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS454, LS-6, M22 automobile. I was really excited about the project, even though I had never done an assignment like this before.
My client is a collector of very specific automobiles and he knows the history of each one from the time of its very first sale. I knew I had to pay close attention to detail, but after reviewing my first results, I see I have much more to learn!
1970 El Camino SS454
© Chris Harris
Photographer’s Notes: I made this image as an HDR image. In other words, I made three images at different exposures so as to capture the detail in both the dark interior and the brightly reflective exterior. A single exposure could not accomplish this. There are many articles and video’s online describing how to do HDR photography. EOS-1Ds Mk.III; iso 100; f-23; 24-105mm lens.
I am still processing many of the images I made on this assignment, but already I realize I need to pay even greater attention to detail. Just from casual conversation with my client, I knew it was important to include the "cowl induction" (the vent) on the front hood (which I did) and as much detail of the dash as possible.
After processing the image, I was at first quiet pleased with the result. Upon closer scrutiny, however, I see I should have removed the foot carpet under the passenger’s seat (lower right), and changed my composition slightly to include the numbers on the manual stick-shift which the steering wheel has covered.
Oh well, the assignment is exciting and so is the learning!
There are three dates coming up that we are excited to invite everyone to.
If you can’t join us at the gallery, remember, we have introduced a policy of free shipping in Canada as of this season, to make shopping for our books and prints much easier.
November 30: Our friend and collaborator Sage Birchwater is here for a reading and signing of his newly released The Legendary Betty Frank. Betty herself will be accompanying Sage for this event, so it promises to be a landmark evening. When applied to Betty Frank, ‘legendary’ is not an exaggeration, as we well know from hearing many stories over the years. 7:00 p.m.
December 8: You may remember that the last Newsletter mentioned another great friend, valued editor, collaborator and friend Harold Rhenisch, who will present his newest poetic publication, Spoken Word, a major work in Harold’s prolific career. To complement that, he has A Recipe for Perry; a tribute to pears and the magic of fermentation. 7:30 p.m.
December 15; Gallery Open House 12:00 till 5:00 p.m.
We are very pleased to be at home more this year than we have been recently, and to have the opportunity to have a winter open house here at the gallery.
Chris has launched the first print of the exhibition, Flyover, which will be the print series that is the companion to the up-coming aerial book.
We have also chosen a new print format that we are very excited to show everyone. We have re-released some of Chris’ loveliest classic images in the new print style and find that we like them better than ever. We have a good selection of sizes, framed and ready to hang for your Santa list.
2 p.m. Slide Show Presentation
Chris will show images on the big screen and we will serve refreshments throughout the day. Starting at 2 p.m. Chris will present an abbreviated slide show about his latest release, Motherstone, including a 14-minute show to music.
Following Motherstone, Chris will share some new images from his upcoming aerial book, Flyover, to be released next October. Those in attendance will be the very first to ever see these images. Join us; you will be amazed!
If you have not been to the gallery, or not been for awhile, please join us for these dates, or for our regular opening hours over the holiday season.
The Gallery is at 5577 Back Valley Road; 1.5kms up from the highway at 105 Mile Ranch.
Call us toll-free if you have questions. We can help you decide on a print!
More than ever before, our clients and visitors who are purchasing prints here at the Gallery are loving abstract landscapes more than traditional, documentary landscapes. This is a new trend and one that truly excites me as an artist.
Flyover #10, Limited Edition
© Chris Harris
Notes: Nikon D700; iso 800; f-8; 1/1500 sec.; 28-300mm lens.
In Newsletter #74 I showed you two images made over part of the South Cariboo that might be considered wasteland; swamps, marshes, scrub forests and a scattering of half dried up alkali lakes. Photographically it was not worth much unless you threw away the words "swamps, marshes, and scrub forests" and replaced them with "unusual shapes of extraordinary colours and textures, lines that looked like the arteries and veins of the planet, exciting range of tonal and colour contrast, and subject matter that defied description".
Suddenly I was euphorically making images that ask more questions than they answer. This was the most exciting discovery during my aerial adventures.
What’s more exciting is that the reception to these images by others is as enthusiastic as my own. I hope you like it.
This print is available right now as a limited edition print in several sizes, in our new printing and framing format, which is giclée on Photo Art paper, mounted on archival gator board, with a mat laminate for UV protection and a charcoal wood moulding. Call us toll-free for pricing and more information.
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