Newsletter #159: September, 2018
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
“Freedom of Expression”
These are the words that come to mind after a month of photography in the mountains, and teaching a photographic workshop with 10 participants who took their artistic vision to an inspiring level.
1. A Walk in the City; a Walk in the Mountains: Cityscapes & Landscapes.
2. Imagination & Inspiration: Our Barkerville workshop participants reached new levels of artistic vision.
3. Changing ones Vision: From what we see to what we imagine.
4. Celebrating! Our New Blu-ray Disk just Released.
A Walk in the City; a Walk in the Mountains: Cityscapes & Landscapes
Last month, I experienced photography like I never had before.
One week I was photographing amidst the skyscrapers in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the most urban man-made environment I have ever photographed. A week later, I was photographing near Ape Lake in the foothills of the Coast Mountains, the most primal landscape I have ever photographed. I found both experiences exhilarating, but there was a difference!
Line, contrast and a single window
Line, contrast and a single boulder
I saw seagulls flying amidst the skyscrapers
I saw eagles and cranes flying amidst the granite
Man-made structures somehow appeared impermanent
Natural structures appeared solid and everlasting
Trees infiltrating a world of concrete
Flowers seemed a part of planetary consciousness
I suppose one could write an essay on emotional responses to these two divergent environments, but there was one obvious difference for me. After two hours of walking and photographing in the city, I was exhausted. After two hours of hiking and photographing in a land of ice and rock, I was exhilarated and unable to stop photographing until long after the sun had set behind the mountains.
Imagination & Inspiration: Our Barkerville workshop participants reached new levels of artistic vision.
Earlier this month, Dennis Ducklow and I taught a photographic workshop in the historic gold-rush town of Barkerville, BC. Along with 10 participants, we lived and photographed within the town, absorbing a snitch of Canadian history and responding to it emotionally through artistic vision.
It was an extraordinary week of pushing visual boundaries and seeking new ways of visual expression. There was a lot of risk taking, but the rewards were many.
As difficult as it was to choose only one image from each participant, I hope you enjoy this celebration; an interpretation of each photographer’s vision during a moment in time as they journeyed toward new horizons.
With emotional ties to family history, Joan captures the craftsmanship of a blacksmith.
Kathy senses the beauty of a flower pot in what would have been an old miners’ cabin.
Buzz was alert and ready to capture this important moment in a young girl’s life.
With insightful vision, Lois narrates her story of indoor décor in an outdoor setting. Brilliant.
By choosing an expressive documentary style, Ruth captures the essence of the Barkerville spirit.
As wild and tough as a 19th century gold rush town was, the spiritual side of life was always present. Bea captured that presence with a fresh vision.
In this image of Billy Barker, Dave uses compositional strength to connect the old with the present.
With the vivid reality of the Wells Hotel before her, Betty courageously entered the realm of cubist art. It was an example of extraordinary vision and creative technique.
By using a unique perspective and a strong sense of compositional detail, Louise captured a sense of what 19th century horse and wagon transportation was like.
Leslie’s impressionist style provides me with a sense of curiosity. I want to go up the steps, onto the porch, and through the old screen door.
Dennis and I thank you all for your inspiration.
The above comments are based on my knowledge of the artist, any comments he or she made during the workshop, and my personal response to each photograph. Now, three weeks after the workshop, these images, and my interpretative thoughts of them, have taken me back along memory lane to a rich and rewarding life experience.
Changing one’s Vision: From what we see to what we imagine.
What we see in everyday life is based on what we call reality. But what if we use artistic vision to create new realities?
Photographers are well known for their representational image-making and with newer cameras having more and more pixels, we are closing in on realistic perfection. Tools and technique become more important than imagination and the aesthetic. Then what?
Although all photographic traditions or styles are of equal validity, I find myself veering toward a greater freedom of expression where extreme realism, or the duplication of a reality, is no longer as important to me as it used to be.
When I was walking through Vancouver (see above), I found myself on a street with a walking and cycling lane, both surrounded by trees, bushes and flowers. I responded by becoming more expressive than I had been while photographing skyscrapers. The following three images speak to that response.
During our workshop in Barkerville, I continued along the same artistic vein; Expressionist rather than Representational.
St. Savior’s Church
By continually exploring new avenues of expression with my camera, I feel more excited about photography than I ever have before.
Celebrating! Our New Blu-ray Disk just Released!
Blu-ray cover jacket
We are SO EXCITED! Ken Marshall and I (Harris/Marshall Media) have just released a Blu-ray disk titled ‘The Chilcotin Ark’. With 2 documentaries and 9 short films, all in full high-definition video with uncompressed 48KHz/24bit audio, it contains over 110 minutes of breathtaking photography and original music. The two feature films are The Wildfire Summer of 2017 and The Chilcotin Ark. The 9 short films provide insights into the most dramatic parts of the entire Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region of central British Columbia.
Bonus: When you purchase this disk, you gain FREE all-access to the entire Chilcotin Ark website, including feature documentaries, films and even more extras not included on the disk. This means that if you don’t have a Blu-ray player, you have access to watch all the contents (and more) online.
The sale of these disks supports our ongoing pledge to preserve the integrity of this globally significant ‘Chilcotin Ark’, which you will discover is “the largest, contiguous, and most bio-diverse wilderness complex in the temperate world. Our hope is to have it protected, possibly as a bio-sphere reserve.
Please visit my website for full details about the contents of this Blu-ray disk, and how to place your order. Believe me, you will not be disappointed when you watch these films.
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