The Port Mann Bridge; is this a compelling image?

Port Mann Bridge_20160929_075129

I joined David DuChemin’s The Compelling Frame, an online workshop and Facebook group. David describes the class as a Mentor Class in Creative Composition, helping us to become fluent in the visual language and making more captivating photographs.

I found the first two lessons very helpful, for the first time in a very long time I sat down to review my work. I have printed some older images as well as new ones, for review, and it has been fascinating process so far. I thought I would share with you my musing about the current lesson that I am working on,  “The Frame; Orientation and Aspect Ratio” as it relates to this one image.

Before I could decide what orientation and aspect ration of an image is appropriate I needed to understand the intent of the image, what is it I want to photograph.  We also have to understand how those choices affect the reading of the image, this is where David’s thoughts, and insight are most helpful.

A little background, I was visiting the Vancouver BC area and drove across the Port Mann Bridge twice a day for two weeks. I was sitting in the passenger seat, and had an amazing view of the bridge, I was in awe, and yes I photographed it from the passenger seat, through the windshield of a moving vehicle. If you know this bridge you will also know that traffic moves very slowly during rush hour most days! But there is no way to get out of the vehicle without putting lives at risk.

The intent of this images is to show the expansiveness of the bridge and how it dominates my view. The horizontal orientation supports that idea because the cables seem to wrap around from all sides, while a vertical image implied a height rather than a expansiveness.  I also looked at different aspect ratios, this is my preference, the 16:9 was too narrow horizontally. The square ration also works, but it doesn’t quite give the same feeling of all those cables wrapping around the viewer.

All of the elements lead the viewer’s eye to the centre support that is almost lost in the fog, even the vehicles at the bottom are headed in that direction, and I believe support the premise of the image. There is room for the eye to move around, and I don’t thing there any elements along the edge where the eye gets stuck.

To work through David’s third assignment I used photoshop. Opening the image in photoshop, although any photo editing program would work, this allowed me to look at all the different aspect rations, orientations and framing options that might have been available.

This assignment was really helpful, and I have learned two things, I shoot quite intuitively and my camera has all these aspect ratios available to me in camera. So, my next self assignment is to set up the tripod and photograph the same scene in different ways to study this further. By working on this in camera rather than in post processing I believe I will learn even more about choosing the framing orientation and aspect ratio that best fits the subject, and have even greater options for my portfolio.

One of the my goals for this class is to photograph more intuitively, and I believe that can only be accomplished by being better informed and conscious of the choice that are available.

I would love to hear you comments you might have regarding the image or my process, and I would recommend David’s online program, or anyone of his books, to anyone wanting to improve their photography.

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Society6

society6 Sale Oct 8 9
society6 Sale Oct 8 & 9 2017

I wanted to let you know about the sale just in case you are interested in purchasing print, pillows or totebags or phone case, click the link to the storefront

I promise not to flood your pages and emails with blatant self promotion, but occasionally I will let you know about a sale.

Remake: Woman with Parasol

woman with Parasol
Remake: Woman with Parasol

I have been following Boooooooom for a while, as with so many websites that I follow, I stock from a distance, reading the information, occasionally liking and sometimes, but less frequently  participating in the discussions. Lately I have decided to take a more active role in some of the websites that inspire me.

Boooooooom has a several projects on the go, Remake appealed to me. The challenge was to remake a masterwork of art as a photograph. Claude Monet is one of my favourite painters. The rules were simple it has to be a photography and the idea was to re-creating and re-staging the image. All the work here happens before you take the photo, rather than afterward, no special effects and other things to your image after the images was taken.

The challenge of re-creating an impressionist’s painting; first was the weather, we are headed into autumn here, those white puffy clouds were not available the day of our photoshoot, and because of the overcast conditions my images doesn’t have the strong shadows of Mr. Monet’s painting. I did use a neutral density filter for a longer exposure, that helped to re-recreate the softness of the image, but too long an exposure, and we did do some much longer exposures) meant the image was too soft for my liking. But this softness might be something I have to get use to if I am going to re-create/remake anymore of his work, and he has an amazing collection that would be fun to explore this way!

How do you think I did, straight from the camera? Do you have a favourite painter you would like to pay homage to and re-create their inspiring picture?

 

Long Walk Home

 

long walk home; lyon france, fine art print
Long walk home; black and white fine art print

We were visiting Lyon France, and we had wandered the cobblestone streets of the old city. During the day I noticed this street and decide to go back to photograph during twilight, when the street lights were on, but before too dark.
As I was watching the street waiting for the street lights to come on, I was admiring the light and how it was shining off the cobblestone street when I noticed a gentleman carrying a briefcase begin to walk up the street.
I love the idea of having someone on the street, this gentleman with his briefcase was perfect. This wasn’t the image I had hoped for, the street lights had not yet come on. But I could see, in my mind’s eye, the potential, I started to move to the left to gain some separation between the person and the vehicles, I had moved my camera up to my eye, checking the exposure, focusing on the gentleman, when the bird took off. I knew I would have one maybe two frames. It worked. The light wasn’t quite what I had planned, I had intended to show the street as a long walk home at the end of the day, the warm glow of the street lamp lighting the cobblestones, the bird were a bonus, better than anything I could have hoped for. 

Have you ever headed out with your camera going to a particular location with an image in mind? Did you find the photo you were imagining, or something better? If so, did you blog about it? Let us know, provide a link in the comments, I would love to hear your story.

If you are interested, I have added this image to my society6 page, prints are available there.

DANCE ME…….

IMG_8631 tango 3
Tango Dancing

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love ”
Leonard Cohen

I love this quote, Leonard Cohen’s poetry and music touches the soul. I seem to have a lot going on right now, but some of it is just busy work, including looking back and sorting old photos, while working on new ideas. Thinking about where I have been, and what I have done while planning what is next. The ongoing dance of evaluating what has happened and planning where I what to go, and projects that will touch my soul.

I do have to be careful, busy work, can keep me from the hard work, thinking and planning about what is next.

Ideas are wonderful but they need plans; without a plan nothing gets done. Decisions about what projects or ideas to move forward and on but how to move forward. This means, at least for me, weekly and even daily tasks. The ideas, plans and tasks can, and do get amended, just like dancers on a crowded dance floor, watching, turning, sometimes moving backwards, but there has to be a plan, and a good lead.

Busy work can feel good, like I have ticked off a bunch of tasks in a day, planning work can difficult, initiating a new project can be, at least for me, daunting, there is, at the beginning no forward momentum, sometimes there is doubt about where and how to start, who to bring into the conversation first, it’s like waiting for the music to start and “lift me like an olive branch….”

I do have a few new projects, like selling my work on Society6 that have been kicked off, the next stage will be sending out, only occasionally, information about the sales, and I will be announcing a new project in the near future. I can hear the music, now to step to the dance floor!

 

 

 

 

Timepieces

timepieces.web

This is a photo I taken while visiting Madrid’s famous Rastro Flea Market; the Rastro runs through a maze of streets and to say it is well attended is an understatement!

Cheap clothing, luggage of all shapes and sizes, old records, even older photos and postcards of Madrid, faux designer purses, household goods and electronics are the main fare. Antiques and jewellery are a big draw, in the photograph a line of pocket watches. It is hard for me to tell if the watches are really old, or replicas made to look old.

Why did I repost this photo? I could start by saying it is “timeless” but that would be a really bad pun! When I originally posted the image it received quite a few comments, and it is one of the image I have thought of ordering a print for our home. I have added it to my society6 page  

I would love to get your feedback on the image, and even my society6 page if you visit there, oh and I would love to hear any other really bad pun you can think of for the image, I love puns!

 

Calgary Business Portraits – Glenn Labelle

Glenn Labelle, Kernaghan Adjusters - Calgary Business Portraits 2017
Glenn Labelle, Kernaghan Adjusters – Calgary Business Portraits 2017

I love when someone from my past contacts me and requests my help updating their business portraits.  I have known Glenn for many years, almost as many years as I have (had) worked in the insurance industry. Not just another friend from the industry I eventually went to work with him at Hansen Labelle. I was honoured that he contact me when he wanted to update his business portrait.

Why are professional profile images important?  Social media expert, Catherine Saykaly-Stevens of The Network Web, she suggests a good recognizable photo showing eye contact with the view is essential for establishing connection, and I couldn’t agree more, as it promotes your professional presence. People want to connect with you and when they can see who you are they are more likely to make that connection. It is possible, in fact most likely that that your profile image might be the first time they see you, read and/or learn about you, it might just be their first impression of you, and we all know how important that first impression can be.

I will write more on how to prepare for you business portrait in another post, for now know that if you want the world to see you as a professional then your portraits should be more that a selfie taken in the bathroom mirror or one of your holiday snapshots (unless you are a bathroom designer or a travel advisor)!

POD; Print on Demand and Society6

products available with photos by jmeyersforeman
new shop page society 6

For years I have wondered what to do with all my photographs, and now I think I have found the answer, POD! There are a number of Print on Demand sites, artists can upload and sell their art on a variety of items like t-shirts, phone cases, tote bags, and more. Artists make a commission off each sale, and the site handles all printing, shipping, and customer service.

During the last couple of weeks I have been reviewing different options, checking out the reviews and trying to decide which POD service I would utilize. I have decided, to start with Society6. The reviews regarding the number and quality of products, ease of use for both the artist and buyer as well as features available for marketing were good, or better than on some sites, but generally they were all quite similar and I think it comes down to personal preferences and experience. It was a difficult choice on where to start, I eventually decided there was no perfect answer, so I decided to just start, and opened a shop with Society 6.

Are you a contributor to one of the sites, do you have your own page, I would love to hear from you about your experience as a photographer or artist. How did you choose which site to utilize, how is it working out for you? Is it a good idea to have more than one shop, or should I be brand loyal and promote the heck out of one site? I have so many questions, and I am hoping as a fellow contributor you will help me by sharing your experience.

As a consumer, have you ordered from one of these sites? What do you think of the products, have you been satisfied with the service? I want to ensure that my photos, name and reputation are associated with quality products and a quality company. Your experience with a company would be helpful information both for me and for other consumers looking to make a purchase.

If you have a few minutes, check out my store, let me know what you think, stay in touch as new designs and items will be added regularly.

I look forward to your comments.

Reduction Lino Cut Class with Lino Lenny

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Bill and I decided to do something completely different last weekend, we went out to the Leighton Art Centre south of Calgary and learned the basics of reduction lino cut printmaking from Lenny Lane, otherwise known as Lino Lenny. It was a busy two days, each of the budding artists brought designs we wanted to transfer to the lino block. With Lenny’s great instruction, and encouragement, he guided us  through the process step by step to our final images.

final images; Reduction Lino Cut Printmaking; Leighton Art Centre

The Leighton Art Centre is just south of Calgary, and it is a wonderful place to visit, the house if now a gallery featuring local artists and printmakers. They have various workshops if you are interested in expanding or exploring your artistic skills.

Lino Lenny is a patient instructor as well as a knowledgeable and talented printmaker, I recommend you check out his webpage to fully appreciate the art printmaking

 

 

Ode to the “The Vucciria”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis painting is called “The Vucciria” and is by Renato Guttuso, is large (300 cm x 300 cm) painted in 1974 while he was living in Lombardy. I have read that he ordered food to be shipped by air to him from Palermo, including a side of beef in order to paint food from life!

His work is a visual representation of the feelings I had while exploring the local markets a maze of food,  smells, sights, sounds and people, and an inspiration for my images.

 

The term Vucciria derives from the French word boucherie, or butcher shop, but in Sicily the meaning encompasses noise, confusion, chaos, reflecting the atmosphere that dwells along the streets of the market. Sicilians say “It was a vucciria” the way we in English say “It was bedlam” or “It was a madhouse”.

Lucky for Bill and I there are several street markets in Palermo, as old as the Vucciria, which are a frenzied mass of people buying fruits, vegetables and fish and meat, men on motorbikes piled high squeezing through the crowds delivering more merchandise to the stalls, and men shouting out to sell their wares. We returned to the markets many times to shop for local food and enjoy the vucciria!

Prints available on Society6