Friday, July 31, 2009

"Sinjin", Black Street (August, 1998)

Taken in the apartment in which I lived on Black Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This photograph is more about recollection than aesthetics (but this is a photo-journal, after all, so I may indulge myself now and again!).

The cat's name was probably spelled as "St. John", and might have been taken from the character of the same name in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. He was a Siamese (clearly), and one of three cats belonging to the woman who was the primary tenant of the apartment. The other two cats were a fluffy long-haired black-and-white female (Tasha), and a large ginger tabby male (Salvador, if I recall correctly).
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

401 (August, 2002)

In keeping with the theme I discussed in the previous post, the above is another "beautiful serendipity" shot (for me, at least).

Taken on the drive from Hamilton to Toronto, just west of the city.
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Train Window (July, 1997)

Taken on a VIA Rail train, between Halifax and Montreal.

Sometimes after I create a set of images, it takes a long time for particular pictures to "grow on" me. There are usually a number that stand out immediately, some that seem to have turned out but are not spectacular, and always a few about which I feel "neither here nor there". Some images from the last category have become my favourites, over time, simply because they involve an odd camera angle, blur where blur is not expected, or some combination of elements not usually seen as aesthetic. For many of these images, the pleasure I derive comes from knowing the serendipity of time and light required to "capture" something unplanned in such a way that it becomes an image; there is additional enjoyment to be found in discovering that seemingly accidental and ordinary elements can combine to evoke not only a delicate aesthetic, but also a mood or atmosphere unique to the circumstance in which the photograph was taken.

For me, the above image falls into this last category; there is something about the the line of the window at upper left combined with the suspended reflected square in the centre, the way they are strung together into a compositional zig-zag by the wire and the road. At first I viewed those as intrusive elements--a landscape shot from a train window was not meant to "reflect" my being on the train, for example--but over time I began to see them as changing the nature of the image such that it might actually "say" something more about place, movement, relativity and viewpoint.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Montréal, Pride (August, 2001)

Self-explanatory. Usually parades bore me, because of the lack of visual stimulus (usually I don't get close enough to take pictures) and the crowds. This time I was there with a group, and managed to get some interesting images. Shot with Minolta XD-11, 35mm lens.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Clock: Flamsteed House (March 15, 2008)

Taken in the Octagon Room of Christopher Wren's Flamsteed House, at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (UK). This room is where the original observatory was housed and where Flamsteed worked and stored his instruments for almost forty years. The observatory is now a part of the National Maritime Museum, and houses an extraordinary collection of historic chronological and astronomical instruments (including John Harrison's chronometer).

This image is of one of the clocks embedded in the walls on either side of the room's entrance. It is a kind of double-image, with the room's tall windows reflected in the glass cover of the clock's display case.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lake Como Lamp (May 21, 2007)

Shot at Lago di Como, Italy, with my digital camera. I took this picture as Juliet and I were walking along the waterfront in Menaggio.
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hamilton Harbour (April 10, 2007, 6:22pm)

Shot from the window of a GO bus heading into Hamilton from the 407 Highway/York University route. I used my little digital camera, a Sony Cybershot (7.2 megapixels) that I bought almost 3 years ago and have used as my primary camera since then.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Through Glass (Darkly) (March, 2006)

This is a self-portrait I created by making a direct scan of myself, as it were.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Anna, QEHS (September, 1996)

I probably took this picture with my Pentax (before it was stolen). It's a photo of a classmate, taken when I was 15, at Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is a scan or a print I made a couple of years later at NSCAD.

I've always like high-contrast definition in my own black-and-white photos, for some reason; it's probably why I gravitated to Agfa film (usually 400 ISO) and used it pretty consistently until I stopped photographing on black and white film in around 2001 (due to lack of lab availability). In this picture I enjoy the way the contrast (from a very sunny lighting situation--probably a clear sky) worked its way out on the surface of the concrete. Something about her expression seems to work with the high degree of contrast created by the shadow on one side of her head, and the sunlight on her face.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Detroit (March, 2004)

I shot this from the bus window as we were leaving the city via the "Tunnel to Canada". This was during the first year I was at McMaster, and was the first time I had seen anything of the U.S. other than its airports. I shot this with my Minolta XD-11; the image here is a scan of a small print.

In spite of the short bus ride through the city, I think in this image I captured something of the stereotype of Detroit that most people have ready in their minds when the place is mentioned. But I'd also seen, already, that there was much more to Detroit than its reputation as a desolated urban wasteland implies. Still hoping to go back for another visit at some point.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Winding Road Warning: Coromandel (December, 2000)

Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. Obviously taken through the front window of a car, in this case the one Lucas rented. For this whole trip I used only my Minolta XD-11 with a regular 35mm lens.
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Stairwell, QEHS (October, 1996)

Shot at Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was the first image that I accidentally solarised during printing at some stage (though the print scanned here is not solarised).
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Spike & Lucas (December, 1996)

Lucas with one of his family's cats. Shot with, probably, the Pentax camera I had for about a year in high school. Taken in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This would have been a print I made ether in high school or while at NSCAD in 1997-98. Dust flecks are either from dust on the negative, or on the scanner used to digitise the image.

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