The Purpose

Summer passes in the blink of an eye. In an instant, 5 months has gone by without a blog post. During this silence, a lot of new stuff has happened.

First, the exhibit. To my big surprise, I was selected to display my photos at Photography in the Junction, part of the Scotiabank Contact photography festival. This was the first public showing of my work.

On Toronto's Water, May 2016
On Toronto’s Water, May 2016

Preparing and mounting this exhibit was a massive learning experience. I have greatly underestimated the amount of non-photography work involved in exhibiting and promoting art work. The exhibit was a great experience, and preparations gave me a good insight into what is involved in showing and promoting photography.

The show went well. I received a lot of encouraging and positive feedback. This was great motivation to keep at it. Feedback from this event made me think more about why and how of visual narrative and less about the tools and technique.

This Summer, I also worked on improving my black and white photography skill. Looking at the world in black and white has been a challenge for me. A focused effort in working in monochrome has been rewarding and challenging at the same time.  The technical aspects of film photography forced me into a more deliberate workflow.

Healey's Falls, Campbellford, ON August 2016
Healey’s Falls, Campbellford, ON August 2016

This slower, less fames-per-week, approach has given me an opportunity for a deeper exploration and discovery. In addition to my traditional haunts of Humber Bay and Etobicoke Creek, I have ventured out to explore Eramosa River and Trent Waterway.

These were great visually inspiring discoveries. Trips to Eramosa and Trent proved, once again, that Southern Ontario holds endless photographic opportunity. Repeated travel to Campbellford and Rockwood yielded encouraging results. I will cover these in separate blog posts as I continue this photographic chronicle. More substantially, however, trips out on the water gave me a different sense of perspective on my photographic work.

Earmosa River, August 2016
Earmosa River, August 2016

More I look at photographs from this Summer, ideas behind the work evolve. This helps me refine how I see the world and why I take photographs. The idea of responding to landscape and attempt at capturing the emotion, rather than identifying and hi lighting a lesser known destinations, seems to feel more comfortable, more true.

The way the world looks and how it feels varies from what is captured by electrons or particles of silver halide. Still, this is the tool and technique, a welcome sandbox limit to expression. So, the challenge now is how to build a narrative that transforms a common landscape into an artifact creating its emotional projection.

This is a fun challenge. One that has very little to do with the gear, even little with the destination. Instead, the challenge is all about conveying the emotional response to the world surrounding us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Rockwood Conservation Area, July 2016

The purpose is the question. I made strides in defining the purpose and formulating goals this Summer. The purpose is to convey the emotional response to the environment. Local destinations offer plentiful opportunities for this and the next phase of the challenge is to develop this storyline. This blog then becomes the chronicle on this challenge. It is a log of discovery and reflection.

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