Newsletter #163: December, 2018
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
Merry Christmas to All!
This Newsletter has been inspired by Paul Salopek’s seven-year, 21,000-mile walk which follows the earliest human migration out of Africa, and highlights the power of ‘Slow Journalism’. By following Paul’s walk, and reading his stories, I often think about ‘Slow Photography’ and the narratives we can share by practicing it.
During the past two weeks I have enjoyed two very different ‘Slow Photography’ experiences. I’d like to share them with you in this, my 163rd consecutive monthly photographic newsletter; enjoy!
‘Slow Photography’, Part I: a lakeside walk with my dog Duggan.
‘Slow Photography’, Part II: while driving home from Vancouver, I took time to absorb both the ‘Seen’ and ‘Unseen’ landscape.
‘Slow Photography’, Part I: A lakeside walk with my dog Duggan.
Patterns on a frozen lake.
On a morning walk with my dog Duggan, I noticed patterns on the ice. I then explained to Duggan why I had to cut our walk short; I needed to get my camera!
Although only a few hundred meters from our home, I used my truck, with its engine and heater running, as a base; my fingers were constantly freezing as it was bitterly cold with a strong wind.
A fissure which travels according to an unknown formula, reveals divisions of space.
The next day I drove to a neighbouring lake which had a southern exposure. Once again, using my truck to repeatably warm my fingers, I walked along the lakeside, taking advantage of the different light values throughout the day. This was ‘slow photography’ at its best.
I carefully examined the patterns, fracture lines, and light values, always seeking a sense of balance.
I don’t think I have ever felt so excited about the elements of line and shape, even at minus 15 degrees!
By combining a double exposure with camera movement, I created new structures of visual design. (handheld; made in-camera)
Once again, with camera movement and a double exposure, I was able to create a repetition of certain elements. (handheld; made in-camera)
With no moose or coyote in sight, people who drove by me, always slowed down to see what I was photographing. Their bewilderment was well deserved, as I was photographing the ‘unseen’! Even I didn’t see the ‘unseen’ until I had created it and saw it on my LCD screen. Once I did see it, however, I was fully inspired to seek new realities of visual design.
Evening light contributed a yellow cast to the highlights, making for more dramatic shapes. (handheld; double exposure; made in-camera)
Simple lines became more complex and mosaic. (handheld; double exposure; made in-camera)
Examining these lines and shapes became a fascinating study. How were they made and in what sequence? It was a study in physics and history.
The tonality of these shapes had me thinking in terms of visual design. With multiple exposures, I began to transform reality. (handheld; double exposure; made in-camera)
Seeking a more structured and prominent pattern, I double-framed the inner design by making four exposures with camera movement on a tripod. (made in-camera)
Other images from this shoot can be seen on my Blog.
‘Slow Photography’, Part II: while driving home from Vancouver, I took time to absorb both the ‘Seen’ and ‘Unseen’ landscape.
It was a misty and rainy day as I veered northward, leaving the small town of Hope behind me. With its population of some 6000 people, Hope lies at the head of the Fraser River Valley, only 40 m above sea level.
With a 300 km drive and a 950 m elevation gain ahead of me, I decided to drive slowly and stop frequently.
I drove between 80 and 90 km/hr. up the Fraser River Canyon, trying to absorb the nuances of light reflecting off the river below and the canyon walls above. Feeling calm and in the moment, I responded solely to any urge I had to make photographs.
As the mist danced amidst the trees, mountains appeared and then disappeared.
After crossing the Fraser River, and then glancing in my mirror, I stopped to capture the evening light.
Further up the Canyon, I made this Expressionist rendition of a tunnel entrance, made from the entrance of a previous tunnel.
While contemplating the rivers history, a freight train entered my viewscape, winding its way southward toward the port city of Vancouver.
Above me, the mist continued to dance among the trees.
Eventually, I reached the Cariboo Plateau, leaving the mist and rain behind me. With a new felt energy, I began to drive through waves of open grasslands where the scent of Sage would escort me home.
Now travelling alongside the South Thompson River, I stopped frequently to interpret the landscape. As I quickly lost the light of day, new possibilities arose. I was excited!
By combining the elements of river and land, I visualized new realities by interpreting the nuances of contrast and colour. I became a seeker of what is visually unseen, yet is see-able. (made in-camera)
It was now quite dark. By hand-holding my camera for 10 seconds, I captured the brighter light of two different braids of the Thompson River along with tail lights of a passing vehicle. (made in-camera using camera movement)
By using the elements of river and land, I moved my camera slowly while making a double exposure at a slow shutter speed. The result is a pattern yet unseen by anyone on the planet. (made in-camera)
In a single exposure, I once again slowly moved my camera at a slow shutter speed to capture the variances of light on the different braids of the Thompson River. (made in-camera)
Inspired by the paintings of Lawren Harris, a member of the Group of Seven (I recently saw an exhibit of his work at the Art Gallery of Ontario), I once again used the elements of river and land in a double exposure to create new visual structures (made in camera using camera movement)
I arrived home at 9 pm feeling fresh and inspired by what I had experienced, and what I had seen on my camera’s LCD screen. Inspired by the ‘slow journalism’ of Paul Salopek, I am now a stronger believer in ‘slow photography’.
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Thanks. See you in 2019!
44 Replies to “Photographic Newsletter #163, December, 2018”
I’m sorry about your fuzzy photos.
Gotta love ‘fuzzy’!
Astounding as usual
Thank you; have a wonderful Christmas Season. Chris
We receive many special gifts at Christmas….thanks Chris for your year ’round gift of amazing and inspiring photography.
Thanks Trev, your appreciation is a gift. Have a wonderful Christmas Season. Chris
Wonderful and very creative Chris. Have a great Christmas.
Thanks…I’m eternally grateful to be out enjoying the creative journey. Merry Christmas Jeff. Chris
Merry Christmas and a very Happy NewYear, Chris! We are thinking of you and Rita! Love your creative art!
Best of wishes to you John, and Judy, wherever you may be hanging your hat these days. With very fond memories of 65 years ago!! Chris
Thanks Chris for sharing those photos and the details. The ice pattern ones were amazing! I’m looking forward to the workshop.
Thank you Chris. I always look forward to sharing at the workshops, so see you then! All the very best over the Christmas Season. Chris
Neat little study of lines and ice Chris. Such symmetry and so interesting. Wishing you and Rita a very Merry Christmas and peaceful holiday. ~ Erin, Remco and boys.
Thank you Erin. The lines are gone now but we may soon be able to skate on these lakes. That would be a blast, especially on Horsefly Lake! Take the boys out; a different experience than canoeing! All the very best to you Erin, Remco, and the boys. We hope to see you in the New Year. Chris & Rita
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Chris and Rita. I find your newsletters fascinating and they make me nostalgic for the Cariboo!
Thank you Val. Come visit!! Chris
I can see you whooping with joy at the invisible delights in your camera while the passing motorists shake their heads! Your continual search for art and beauty is inspiring.
With the inspirational imagery you shared with me that morning, I left inspired to seek out what I had never seen before on a road I have travelled a hundred times before. I now also do the same at every lake I pass. Thanks Dennis; it’s a pleasure to work with you. Chris
Best of the season Chris! You make my morning! I love seeing the unseen! Your images inspire and give me joy. Only problem is it gives me GAS! (Gear Aquisition Syndrome). I want a new camera now (with multiple exposure capabilities). Love your work/play. Valérie
OMG. Giving someone GAS was never my intent!! However, being creative keeps you young at heart, so GAS might be a great investment! All the very best to you as well Valerie. Chris
Awesome images of the frozen lakes! Merry Christmas to you and Rita!
Did Dugan ever get to finish his walk?
Thanks Pat. Duggan understands my crazy quirks, and for that, he gets EXTRA walks with me!! Season’s Wishes to you and Jane. Chris
I so enjoy your pictures, Chris. “Seeing” the possibilities in-camera are inspirational. I do not use PS (just LR). So often creative images are made post-production. Nothing wrong or right about that, but the immediacy of in-camera abstracts is what I appreciate about your work. I feel that the one of the distinctions between photography and, for example, painting, is that immediacy that in-camera image making demands. Hope you enjoy Christmas. Looks like you have already embraced the season.
Stunning work Chris! Merry Christmas to you and Rita! I am at Mark’s for the holidays!
How wonderful. If you have some spare time, give us a call and drop by. It would be great to see you all. Merry Christmas…Chris & Rita
every day is Christmas for you Chris. Your practise of seeking the “visually unseen but is seeable” is perhaps your highest art of all………loving your “different direction” and the imagery it is producing. Thx for taking us along! All the best of the Christmas season (and perhaps new realities!) to you and Rita……love, Darrel and Shawn
All I can say is that I feel blessed to do what I am doing, and I feel even more blessed when those like yourself feel enriched as a result. I’ll try and make every day in the field a ‘Christmas’ day in 2019! A great idea! All the very best to you and Shawn as well. I’ll do my best to connect next time I’m in your vicinity. Chris & Rita
Another awesome newsletter Chris. Bless you and thank- you for your dedication effort and inspiration. Great images and thanks for sharing your thoughts and creativity. Merry Christmas to you and your’s.
May the spirit of the season bless you all with love, health, happiness, joy, laughter, smiles, peace bliss and light. All our very best for the New Year. Merry Christmas to all and all a good night.
Thank you for all those blessings! I’ll carry them all with me into the field in 2019; in fact I’ll stuff them all into my camera. You’ll see the results in my next Newsletter!! All the best to you and your’s. Chris
Thanks Chris. I have fond memories of you sharing your creativity here at the Gallery. I agree, nothing against ‘Post’, but I love the feeling of coming home after a creative shoot, knowing that my work is done. There is a sense of closure and satisfaction to having ‘given it all’ while in the field. I drive home ‘happy’, excited about my next creative outing. Have a wonderful Christmas Season. Chris
We always enjoy your photographs Chris and we hope that both of you have wonderful Christmas and to the New Year we wish you a good health and success with your art!
Petr & Mika Hasek – Lac La Hache.
Thank you both; sharing the Cariboo and Chilcotin light is always my pleasure.
Best wishes to you both over the Christmas Season and all of 2019!
Cheers, Chris & Rita
I didn’t know you wereallowed to do that with a camera!!!!All I can say is WOW..OH YAH AND THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION YOU ARE TO ME!!!
What a great experience we shared together this year Chris …and Dennis too!
Thanks for helping (pushing and encouraging)me to see the unseen in the seen…incredible
Merry Christmas Chris…and Rita and Dugan too!,
Buzz, that has to be my favourite quote of the year…”I didn’t know you were allowed to do that with a camera”!!! I’m just trying to prove you wrong!! Buzz, Merry Christmas to you and all your family. Best wishes from Rita and I ….and Duggan too!!
just beautiful Chris. thanks so much. and All the best in 2019.
Thank you Nancy. All the very best to you as well. Merry Christmas. Chris
Those photos of lake ice are astounding. Always enjoy your newsletters. Thanks.
Merry Christmas to you, Rita and Duggan. Rosalie and Tom
Great to hear from you! We were in Toronto for a couple of days but had to stay in Scarborough to present there. So sorry not to have had time to visit. Next time for sure. Would love to connect again. Merry Christmas to both of you. Chris, Rita & Duggan!
Merry Christmas to you And Rita. I am still a huge fan!!! and “Yes” the Canon 7D mark II does multi exposures.
Merry Christmas to you too Joe. Enjoy the surprises that are gifted to you when you make multiple exposures!! Chris & Rita
“Seeing” the unseen!! I love it Chris. All we need to do is soften our 3rd Eye! It’s amazing what can show up. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your “seeing”. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the miracles that await you in the New Year. Love to you and Rita
I love miracles Adbhuta! Have a wonderful Christmas yourselves. Do drop by if you ever travel south! Chris & Rita
Stunning and magical mysteries in our midst unfold before your camera and then you give them to us. What a gift. Thanks!
Thank you Karen for your magical thoughts throughout the year. Looking forward to sharing more magic in 2019! Chris