Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ottawa Visit

Hugh and I just came back from a trip to Ottawa, our Nations Capitol. Neither of us had been there as adults other then for me a quick excursion to the Ikea store and market while I was living in Kingston. The vacation was a bit of a last minute plan, and included a quick stop in Kingston, and many, many hours of back road driving through Ontario's countryside, small towns and villages.

My goal was to not only relax and enjoy the vacation, but to also take my camera and add to my collection of black and white architectural details series. For those that don't know, I sell this series in the shop I work at in Summerhill (Toronto). In the back corner is my little collection wall of framed and unframed black and white shots. They do very well for me, and so I wanted to broaden my collection.

I was not disappointed in the amount of details to capture, and came home with over 500 photos to edit. The majority of the series came from the Parliament Buildings and surrounding area. The predominant style of architecture (excluding modern architecture) is High Victorian Gothic Revival. Arches, points, ironwork, grotesques, gargoyles,and rough stone make up the majority of the buildings around Parliament Hill. There are also some stunning Art Deco buildings, and other Victorian styles to be found. Not to mention, there are references to the Queen and Crown everywhere.

Ottawa is a very walkable city, picturesque, and clean. I am sure it would look equally stunning during the annual tulip fest, autumn, and even during the winter under a blanket of snow. Here is a collection of shots taken while there....... enjoy.

p.s. The sun was very intense during the two days, so some of the shots were blown out or overexposed, but better to take the shot then not. :)

Square Foot 2012

After deciding early in the year I was not going to submit to any art shows I had a sudden change of heart back in June and decided to submit to the annual Square Foot exhibition put on by AWOL, but held at the TWIST Gallery. This was the second year in a row I submitted. I think it is a great show to not only submit to, but also to go and experience. It is a great venue full of natural light, and the show itself is lighthearted, fun, and of course visually stimulating. Each piece measures 12 inches square and they are all mounted like one giant quilt, or checkerboard if you will. It is a mixed media show and I would say the majority is painting, followed by photography, and even miniature performance pieces using projectors, and moving parts. Every single piece sells for 225.00 regardless of media.

Last year I entered three abstract pieces that were laser printed on metal, and was thrilled when on opening night one of them sold. This year I made the decision to enter pieces that in my mind would likely not sell, but perhaps just show off my work...expose myself so to speak. I recently did a series (which I hope to post some of them soon..) called Neon Self. In a nut shell it was re visiting some of my older work, but stripping the images of their natural colour, and adding neon colouring instead. It is a program that Picasa offers through their photo editing tools. The images were self portraits using long exposures which were from one of my favorite collections to date, and taken while I was still trying to figure out the new camera. (Nikon D60) Like last year, I also decided to produce these images on metal.

Due to other commitments we were unable to attend the opening night this year, but we did make it to the show a few days later. I was pleasantly surprised to see a little red dot beside one of them indicating that the piece had been bought. It is a piece that shows me looking out a window, my back towards the viewer. I had made the comment that I likely would not sell images that were of me, because in terms of being commercial which is where I thought my target market was, it would not fit the bill. Goes to show I have a lot to learn, and to stop trying to determine what will and will not sell.

These were the pieces I submitted, the top one being the one that sold. So now the question is...... what should I do for next year?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Angels and Demons

I can not believe it has been almost three months since I last made a post. So Happy Belated New Year, to you my 12 followers. I hope the new year has been good to you thus far. Spring is just around the corner, and it is only a week until we spring ahead our clocks.

I have to admit the year has been off to a rough start for me in some aspects. I have enjoyed the mild winter we experienced, but the lack of sun has certainly created a bit of a funk for me. I did head out with camera in hand a few times, but found I was coming home without taking a single shot. I guess the walk and fresh air was a benefit, but I seemed to lack inspiration.

Not to say I haven't used my camera at all. I have used it quite a bit for work reasons. I work for a designer who owns a shop in the Summerhill district of Toronto and I have been busy taking all the photos for the business postcards, facebook pages, and some for the website. Mostly commercial images of products. I don't mind doing it, and I hope to develop some skills with interior lighting, and I still have a wide angle lens on my wish list for interior shots.

I recently watched the movie Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks for the second time. I also have the movie soundtrack on my i Pod. The movie inspired me to head out and take more photos with the intent of turning them into black and whites that I could then print and frame and feature in the store I work in. Did I mention that I have been selling my photos in the store? Well, now you know. Mostly black and whites framed in a simple black wooden frame. Anyways, I decided to play the soundtrack to the movie, and it seemed to naturally lead me to the many churches downtown. It wasn't long before I was feeling good about the shoot, and felt back in my game. Once again, history, architecture, and in this case music helped bring me out of my rut, and feel good about my hobby. I have asked Hugh to include a selected piece from the soundtrack to get you in the same state of mind I was in while you look at these photos....

Notes: The sound clip starts off softly and then builds in volume. You can see the entire set of photos on my facebook page. And the shop I work in is called "Jamie Alexander". There is also a page on facebook for that.