Monday, April 21, 2008

I am off to Sackville today and won't be back till May 2nd. I won't be blogging in the interim. Have a good 2 weeks and wish me luck!

Friday, April 18, 2008

This picture makes me sad but since life isn't all roses I think that it is a good addition to my "Why am I marrying him?" series. If you enjoy this series you may want to buy a print. For more details check out my April 12th post.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Last weekend I went to an antique store with my parents. While they were shopping for tables and mirrors I hung out in the bathroom taking these photos.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rob Haggart from A Photo Editor put together a slideshow of 297 talented photographers. I was happy to be included with the above photo making it in. Fellow Montrealer and good friend Aislinn Leggett also made it. To see all the images included go here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

If you want to buy prints:



Well it looks like I am going to do it. In just over a week I am going to go back to Sackville, New Brunswick in order to use the colour darkroom there. Sackville is where I spent my university years (at Mount Allison University) and where my old teacher Thaddeus works. There is no longer a colour darkroom available to me here in Montreal and so Thaddeus kindly offered me his. I expect to spend 9 days of printing 12 hours a day. Should be fun!

So if you have ever been interested in buying some of my work now is the time to speak up. Here's the deal: you can have a 20x24 inch print (image size approx. 19x19 inches) of any of the above images (click on images for a larger view) for $200. Just let me know via email ( what you want to purchase before Sunday April 20th and I will happily print one for you in the old school, pitch black, by hand way!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Which do you like better from this series: this one or the one below? I am torn. Help me out by letting me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mustache Man! (Why am I marrying him?)

For those of you that enjoy this series and want to know more about it James Danziger from Danziger Projects has posted about in on his blog The Year In Pictures. James emailed me a little while ago and expressed interest in the "Why am I marrying him?" series. He asked me some questions about Chris, how long we had been together, and other biographical details. All very reasonable questions but I realized that I didn't want to add this information to the pictures and allow details to determine how people thought about the images. His post includes my response and a few emails we sent back and forth.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Women photographers helping each other, I like it! Lots of talk in the blogoshpere on this recently. I think perhaps the mood was initially spawned by The Humble Arts Foundation's "31 under 31: young women in art photography" and the ensuing panel discussion on what it means to be an emerging female art photographer in New York City. Then this week the New York Times decided to publish a very sexist article on women who work the desk at galleries (gallerinas). Well that got people going which I think is great. So Liz Kuball created the above logo (feel free to copy and put it on your site/blog if you are a woman who wants to help other women photographers) and Amy Elkins started a new blog that will feature women photographers. It's called Women in Photography. They are looking for submissions, to check it out go here.

"Why am I marrying him?" Becoming a mustachioed man.

In other news CODA magazine (Canadian Jazz Magazine) has commissioned me to do a big group portrait of the Montreal Jazz community. It will all happen Sunday May 4th, location to be determined. It is somewhat of an open invitation so if you are involved in the Montreal Jazz community let me know and I'll keep you up to date with the plans as they unfold. The idea behind the image is to create an historical document of the most important people in the field right now. Toronto and Vancouver will also be doing group portraits May 4th. The photo that seems to have inspired the shoot is this classic taken in Harlem in 1958. Because of the historical implications of this shoot and resulting image, CODA has asked me to keep notes on how the project unfolds and so I will be doing so every once and a while here on my blog.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A few more possibles for the "Why am I Marrying him?" series, although I'm not really crazy about close-ups of the face. Generally I like the environment to play a bigger role. I have more new stuff from this series and I have saved my favourites for next week so you'll just have to be patient! Montreal exhibition dates for this series have been set and they are the short but sweet October 9th to 19th at the Visual Voice Gallery in the Belgo buiding (372 st catherine street W). Save the date.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A few students from my Creative Composition class.

I'm sure most of you have heard the saying "those who can, do; those who can't, teach". Well I happen to strongly disagree with this statement. As someone who has been involved in teaching photography for the past few years I am constantly amazed by the rewards it brings.

First of all there is the feeling of giving back. I'm sure that all of you who are finding some success in photography have a great photo teacher in your past. For me there was Karen den Hertog at Trafalgar High School, Thaddeus Holownia at Mount Allison University, and David Hopkins at Dawson College. All of them were passionate about the medium and that passion was quickly passed on to their students. To be able to share my passion for photography and see a student become excited about what I am teaching is so rewarding. I must say that after every one of my classes, even if I have been having a bad day, I leave feeling fulfilled and excited about life.

Secondly there is the need to keep up with the medium. After a summer working at The Maine Photographic Workshops I saw the power of inspiring students through daily slide shows and so I now incorporate slide shows into almost all of my classes. That means that I constantly need to be finding new photographers, and this search exposes me to many people that have since inspired my work. Through these searches I have come into contact with the work of Michal Chelbin, Julie Blackmon, Ingar Krauss, Hellen van Meene, and Mona Kuhn, all of whom I greatly admire. As well there is the need to stay on top of the technical side of things. This past semester I was teaching a Photoshop class on CS3. Well I have CS3 at home but that doesn't mean that I know all of the new possibilities it has over older versions. So I have had to do some reading and have therefore updated my Photoshop skills. This has led me to be much more efficient when working on my own images. It is true that I could have done much of this research into contemporary photographers and the technical side of photography on my own but there is nothing having to fill three hours of lecture time to get you moving.

Thirdly there is getting back to basics. How do you teach someone to notice light? or why is light even important? Being able to teach things like the possibilities of aperture brings fresh and new eyes to old subjects and allows me to appreciate them all over again. Things that had become automatic for me are now chosen much more carefully, and much more intentionally because I have been re-teaching myself in the process.

Fourthly there are the questions and comments that I get from students. For me photography is definitely a solitary venture. Things like this blog help to start some discussion and lead me to new ways of thinking but students who are just starting out in the field of photography often have no qualms with saying things like "what's so great about that photo?" This constant questioning again allows me to see things with new eyes. Also these students that are just beginning to be exposed to the world of photography tend to be a reflection of what is out there in terms of what people in general think is important in photography. Some dislike any image where the content isn't strong and socially relevant, some love light and form, still others only like portraits where the subject is looking into the camera, etc. I have my very narrow way of looking at photographs which is completely based on my own personal experience as a photographer, and the style that I have been building up over the years. The fresh outlook that these students bring often helps me to understand how my photographs are perceived by the general public. That is not to say that I want to change my work in any way in order to appeal to a mass audience, it's just that it allows me to understand why some people like it and others don't.

Lastly there are the teenagers. I mean I like teaching adults but they really don't push the boundaries like teenagers do. Teaching teenagers is opening your eyes to the world. They often make amazing work that I am completely jealous of. They can also be difficult and don't like rules but if you can give them some freedom they will do the most amazing things. It is no coincidence that I make some of my best images when I am teaching teenagers.

I'm not saying that teaching photography is good for all photographers, but I like it!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Some oldies but goodies.

Last night I got to thinking about these old images that amazingly I still love after many many viewings. They were made when I was a student and had access to so much great equipment. They were taken with a 4x5 camera (borrowed from school), then processed in the colour development room (by me, so that I could save money), then printed in the colour darkroom and scanned on the great old Imacon scanner that Dawson used to have. I still use the Dawson facilities since I teach there but now there are no 4x5 cameras (I might be wrong about this one), there is no colour developing room, or colour darkroom, and there is only 1 film scanner that takes 2 1/4 max. It makes my heart heavy to think of what people are missing.

April 14 update: There are now 2 film scanners which I think is definitely a step in the right direction.