Category: Creativity

Portrait of Artist: Brent Morris

It struck me in a moment of after-the-fact obviousness that my images¬†of Brent needed to be in my Portrait of the Artist series. As a podcaster and video game designer, Brent has a lot of creative depth, and as I work more with the vintage Petzval lens for portrait work, to my eyes it is a great lens for capturing the depth of a person’s character, and Brent does have a lot of depth and character!

All images were created with my Speed Graphic 4×5, shot on EFKE Ortho 25 film.

Brent with Petzval lens

My Friend Brent

Brent with Petzval lens

What Am I Working On These Days?

My friend (and talented author) Alice Dugan contacted me today, to ask me if she could tag me in a “Work in Progress Blog Tour” that she was involved in. I said it sounded like fun and it has been a couple of weeks since my last blog post, so it serves as a kick in the pants to get me going.

The ironic thing is that I have no time for making new photographs right now, since I am very busy preparing for my upcoming photography exhibit The Silver Path. It’s been pretty labour intensive, since all the prints are hand-done by me in the darkroom. I’ve gotten to the point where all the printing is done, and now I have to select forty prints from the roughly sixty I’ve done to be hung at the exhibit. Next, I need to hand retouch any dust spots etc. from the prints, then cut mattes and frame the prints, plus various other logistical items in advance of the opening show reception on April 10th. Exciting and scary times!

I’ve also started podcasting again, after a multi-year absence! I am involved in two podcasts: The first is Classic Camera Revival, which I do with three friends, where we geek out on film-based photography. (No surprise, right?) The second podcast is my new personal journal podcast called MPP. What MPP stands for changes with each episode ūüôā

Next, I am thoroughly enjoying being with the Exultate Chamber Singers this year, after attending their concerts for a quarter century. I’m looking forward to our next concert this Friday, where I get some solo quartet work. Another exciting/scary combo!

Finally, my other two big goals this year (along with the photo exhibit) both have to do with writing. I am trying my hand at writing an urban fantasy novella, inspired in no small part by Alice’s enjoyable efforts in this genre. I have posted three snippets so far, here, here and here. My other writing goal this year is to finish¬†the first draft of my musical done (started in 2014). Here is a sample of one song.

I think ¬†I must be out of my mind! But I don’t think I could handle life any other way: if I keep my life crowded, I can keep the demons on the waiting list forever.

Now I am going to tag my good friend (and fellow film photography fanatic) Mike Bitaxi: a talented and clever fellow!

 

At the Scene of the Story

Alice Degan is a friend of mine who also happens to be an author of urban fantasy fiction. What I like is that her fiction is set in Toronto’s Kensington Market (one of my favourite places to shoot) so when she needed some photographs it was the natural choice of locations. As we moved from spot to spot it was fascinating to hear ¬†how they related to the stories. A fascinating shoot which gave me added insight into her great stories. Highly recommended!

Alice Degan

 

Nikon D7100, 18-200mm Nikkor lens
Post processing with Lightroom and Nik Color Efex 4

Story

Since the importance of the story was a frequent point of discussion at VoxPopCon this past weekend, I thought this image would fit well. It is from a recent publicity shoot at High Park with Angela Saini. (If you click on the link you an see her new official publicity shot that I took. You can also see it on her Facebook page). Even though she is barefoot, we thought leaving her shoes in the image would be a good idea, to add more of a sense of story to the image.

Angela Saini at High Park

Hamilton Art Crawl

I am in Hamilton, Ontario this weekend for the inagural VoxPopCon conference. Last night after the conference opening we checked out the Hamilton Art Crawl: a great street festival, with an amazing vibe! Lots of positive, creative people on the street, including this guy:

DSC_3044

 

(NIkon D7100, 18-105 lens, ISO 5000, post-processed in Nik Silver Efex Pro)

The Joy of Everyday Things

I was watching a video this morning about a woman who had been kidnapped for 18 years but managed to regain her freedom. Her interviewer commented on how she took pleasure from everyday things, no matter how small, and I think this applies to photography as well; it’s not always about the spectacular sunset, the exotic location, the once in a lifetime portrait. Photography can (and should) also be about everyday things, and the beauty that can be seen, if only we look a little harder

Condensation

Art and Grieving

Today’s image has a touching story behind it. Caitriona the model (who is also an artist) had messages me saying she had to be a bit late for the shoot, due to an unavoidable issue. When she arrived for the shoot,¬† she told me that a close friend of hers had passed away that day. I asked if she was still up to shooting (and would have understood if she wished to cancel the shoot) but she said her friend had also been an artist, and would have wanted her to keep going, keep creating. When I showed Caitriona the first images from the session she remarked that doing the shoot definitely helped her out.

Caitriona

(Photograph made with Mamiya 645 Pro TL, 80 mm f2.8 lens. Arista 200 Ultra film, developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 1o minutes)

Looking In the Mirror

Sorry in advance for the introspective post, but I wanted to talk about where my creative energy comes from. This is a post that I have been thinking of writing for some time, but I’ve always hesitated — what would people think? I’ve finally decided to take the risk.

For me, creative work such as photography draws its energy from a lack of emotional equilibrium, either of the present or of the past. When I’m having to deal with something and my thoughts/feelings are jumbled, the work ¬†seems to flow easily. When “life is beautiful” the well of energy and ideas can often dry out.

One motivation or source of creative energy I’m (at the very least) conflicted over is my need for feedback and attention. As an introvert and a loner for much of my life, my art is a way of screaming “I’m here, don’t ignore me!” It provides me with a lot of energy, but it is definitely a two-edged sword.

There’s more, but that’s enough for now.

Adox CMS 20001
Scrollwork Detail in Guild Park
(Leica IIIf, Jupiter 8 lens, Adox CMS 20 film at I.E. 20, Adotech developer)