RESILIENCE OF ANALOG #ANALOGPHOTOGRAPHY
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STEPHEN BROOKBANK BEHIND THE SHOT: “I am interested in looking at the everyday urban and suburban landscape with a sense of awe and respect, coloured with the mixed-up nighttime lighting situations from available light. This work is intended as a document of our time.”
IN THIS ISSUE: 11 RESOURCES WE LOVE 13 5 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A USED CAMERA 14 BURKE PATERSON’S OBJECTS + RITUAL PHOTOGRAMS
28 KALI SPITZER: A PORTRAIT OF RESILIENCE
48 A.T. KINGSMITH’S BERLIN:
34 SEITIES: A PLATFORM FOR ANALOG PHOTOGRAPHY
by Briar Chaput
40 STEPHEN BROOKBANK’S THE MAKING OF A PLACE by Joshua Cameron
19 SARA FLEISZIG: SOAKED IN BODILY FLUIDS
44 WES BELL’S SNAG
22 SALLY AYRE, CYANOTYPES by Cece M. Scott
by Briar Chaput
46 FOUND FILM, FOUND MOMENTS
A FRACTAL CITY 50 CHEMIGRAMS by Laura Walker 52 SK8ER BOI - JAKE BORCHENKO by Nicola Irvin 56 READERS GALLERY Submissions by our readers
photo by Ryan Parker
SLOW DOWN AND SEE WHAT DEVELOPS SERENDIPITY, SKILL, AND CHEMISTRY ARE THE BASIS BY WHICH PHOTOGRAPHY HAS EVOLVED. As advanced as imaging tech has
“We all start in this medium because of the magic and the challenge is to keep it going.” — John Sexton
become, providing us an infinite number of tools to craft images with, sometimes the best thing to do to keep creativity flowing is to stop and go backwards. Unlike digital photography, analog methods require a methodical approach. More planning and less automation can get you results that you may never anticipate, but that’s the beauty of it. I love that Instagram is loaded with analog photography practitioners sharing their film shoots, darkroom experiments, and instant snaps. It takes research, experimentation, creativity, and passion to hone analog skills and I think finding a traditional process to spend a bit of time with is worth the effort on so many levels. I was so inspired by Edmonton photographer Ryan Parker’s self-portrait project
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where he emulates famous photographers work using himself as the model, I asked him to help me create my own (very loose) interpretation of a re-creation. My editor’s pic is inspired by an analog-based photo hero of mine, if you can figure out who my muse was I will send you a prize! (I’m not just saying that.) This fall we’ll be showcasing documentary work. Whether it’s a story found inside your own home or on an amazing international adventure, documents of daily lives and special events are just one way photographic storytelling connects us and helps us find empathy, compassion, and connection.
Rita Godlevskis firstname.lastname@example.org
@photoedmagazine SPRING/ SUMMER 2019 ISSUE #55 ISSN 1708-282X
PhotoED Magazine is published 3x/year, SPRING, FALL, & WINTER See www.photoed.ca for subscription/advertising information. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40634032 PhotoED Magazine 2100 Bloor St. West, Suite 6218 Toronto ON M6S 5A5
This issue was made possible with the assistance of The Government of Canada and the Ontario Arts Council.
DIGITAL CONTENT ASSISTANT
Rita Godlevskis / email@example.com Ruth Alves Joshua Cameron Briar Chaput Nicola Irvin Cece Scott Deborah Cooper-Bullock Joshua Cameron Nicola Irvin
COVER IMAGE Tintype from the Resilience series
by Kali Spitzer
WHEN NIGHT ARRIVES A N D L I G H T R E T R E AT S
M I R R O R L E S S R E I N V E N T E D Capture stunning details in any light with the full-frame mirrorless Z 7. The Z 7 is a testament to Nikon’s renowned excellence in optics and intuitive design, redeﬁning what's possible from a camera this compact. Reinvented in every way to expand your creativity, the Z 7 features a revolutionary new mount that enables a new range of cutting-edge NIKKOR Z lenses and possibilities. The Z 7 also boasts 4K UHD video, in-camera 5 axis VR and phase detection AF. Capture it all with the Nikon Z 7 today. 4 5 . 7 M P | I S O 6 4 -2 5 6 0 0 | 49 3 A F P O I N T S | U P TO 9 F P S
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AT AN ANALOG PACE If you’re a newbie or have just been away for a while, analog photography can be a truly unique experience for everyone.
THE MOBILE DARKROOM Calgary-based photo duo, Natalia Barberis and Shane Arsenault have been in collaboration since 2016, travelling across Alberta with their handcrafted ultra large format camera and their darkroom on wheels. They share their constructions and adventures step-by-step online, and it’s a fascinating read. www.themobiledarkroom.ca/the-story
FILM-FOCUSED FLICKS One Hour Photo (2002) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) Pecker (1998) If you were born into the digital age or are just feeling nostalgic for 35mm film, you’ll love these film-focussed flicks.
PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA Annual membership $35. Since 1974, the PHSC has worked to advance knowledge and interest in anything historically photo—related in Canada. The society, based in Toronto, offers monthly presentations and hosts photographica fairs, trunk sales, image shows, and auctions of vintage, new, and used analog photography equipment. A collector and gear-head’s delight! If you’re not in Toronto, you can still benefit from a $35 annual membership to receive its quarterly journal by mail. Photographic Canadiana reports on cameras, photographers, manufacturers, old processes, images, restoration techniques, books, and more! phsc.ca
THE PHOTOED GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPHY by Felix Russo, $21.95 Sometimes it’s actually appropriate to toot your own horn. Our GUIDE to Photography is an affordable Canadian—made resource including photo how-to’s for the beginner. There’s a great section on darkroom basics that schools across Canada have used for years. This magazine format textbook makes getting started easy. photoed.ca/the-guide
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THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A USED CAMERA BY BRIAR CHAPUT
Whether you’re garage sailing, surfing online, or exploring the nooks and crannies of vintage shops, here are five important things to look at to quickly assess SLR and rangefinder cameras so that you don’t go home with a dud you can’t shoot with.
SHUTTER: A broken shutter means that the camera won’t be more than a shelf decoration. Click the shutter button a few times to make sure it works well and doesn’t jam.
The timing of the shutter is also important. To test this, set the shutter speed to 2 seconds, and count for yourself 2 seconds while watching to make sure the shutter opens and closes in that time.
BATTERY COMPARTMENT: Open the battery compartment and make sure there are no signs of damage or corrosion. Blue stains on the metal or acid gunk that has leaked and solidified are bad signs.
SHUTTER CURTAIN: When you open up the film compartment, you will see a thin black piece of fabric. That’s the shutter curtain. Make sure it lays flat, is clean, and is free of tears, rips, or any other damage. You should be able to click the shutter release button and see it open and close smoothly, returning into place.
LIGHT METER: The light meter allows you to determine which shutter speed and f-stop should be used for the best exposure of film, based on which film speed you’re using and what the lighting conditions are like.
Some really old cameras won’t even have a light meter, but if you’re looking at an SLR that does, you’ll see a scale to the right or the left of the viewfinder. If the camera doesn’t have working batteries in it when you’re checking it out, you may not be able to verify if it will work. (Quick tip: Throw a couple AAs or a 123 lithium battery in your pocket or bag if you’ve planned a camera hunting mission.) If you do decide to buy a camera without a working light meter (or without one at all), don’t worry! You can still make it work for you. Download a light meter app on your smartphone to get the settings information you need. If the camera does have a light meter, comparing the results between your app and the camera’s light meter is a good way to ensure it’s in working order.
LENS: This might be common sense, but the glass should be clean and clear of any scratches or nicks. Unless you have the ability to properly clean it yourself (or want to spend the money to have it professionally done), take a close look. You should also take a look around the rim of the lens to look for any dents that may indicate it has been dropped, possibly preventing it from properly focusing.
Watch out for fungus! It’s gross, but yes, older lenses can have something that almost looks like spiderwebs inside the lens. That can indicate fungus, and that can be a serious health and safety issue. A quick online image search will show you what that could look like.
Looking at something else that’s looking cool and old school analog? Our top tip on other types of cameras that you may be tempted to buy because they look really cool… find out what kind of film the camera takes. 35mm and 120mm film are available and in production, and can still be reasonably easy to get developed. Other types of film, such as disc film or APS are difficult to find and have to be developed at specialty labs, which can become expensive. PhotoED • 13
OBJECTS + RITUAL Objects + Ritual is a series of unique photograms and reversed paper negative photogram images. Photograms are created in the darkroom by placing objects directly onto photographic light-sensitive paper and exposing the paper to light. This simple, camera-less process captures shadows on paper.
Clockwise from top left: “Mom’s Rituals,” “Aunt Jessie’s martyr complex betrayed by a playful cord,” “Dave and Dee’s 1962 wedding Mixmaster,” “Mixed Tapes,” “463-0821,” “Della’s eternal Eskimo brand fan.” Images are 16×20 inch, fibrebased prints, except “Mom’s Rituals,” 18 ×24 inch acrylic facemount on metallic paper (edition of 10). 14 • PhotoED
These objects have both history and potential. This work contemplates their purpose. We fetishize objects. We collect some. We hoard others. Their meanings change over time and across demographics. The ritual of having tea with Mom and Nonna is layered with their daily rituals of taking pills in old age. The juxtaposition of a kettle and these lifestretching pills, together with the devotional images of Christ and the Virgin Mary come from memories of my family experience. Where pills and rosaries compete for sainthood, secular products become ritual objects.
These common objects aim to represent other universal histories. The wedding gift Mixmaster continues to function decades after the marriage broke down. The fan harkens back to summer memories. The toaster, disconnected from its power source, nevertheless appears to pop. The purpose of the phone is now secondary to its decorative qualities. Although this change in use is not dissimilar to our smartphones now, used for everything but talking. These factory-made products have lived long past their built-in obsolescence dates, and have secured their identities as family heirlooms and objets d’art to look back at. Burke Paterson is an artist, educator, and the director of the United Contemporary art gallery in Toronto. www.unitedcontemporary.com/#/ burkeobjectsritual2018
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SOAKED IN BODILY FLUIDS
SARA FLEISZIG IS an emerging artist with a unique perspective
and process for exploring ideas and images about femininity. Sara’s project Soaked involves physically soaking film in different types of liquids and bodily fluids to examine the results. Using 35mm and 120 colour negative film, she has explored dipping, corroding, and distressing film in a range of liquids, including blood, sweat, urine, and tears. The idea behind this work originated from Sara’s emotional connection to water. She started searching for ways to incorporate states of liquid into her art. She says her aim in working in this incredibly tactile and sensory way is to “depict PhotoED • 17
an accurate display of femininity.” Sara states, “By working with these fluids, a true relationship to the female body can be experienced. From cheap red wine to my own urine, all the images have been manipulated with liquids that are not part of the traditional photographic process.” She says the process is exciting as the results are unpredictable, sometimes successful and sometimes less so. Reactions to Sara’s work have been mixed. From a feminist perspective, reception has been supportive and positive. However, one public exhibition of Sara’s work forced her to remove an image that represented a woman getting her period. “The woman pictured was fully clothed and there was only a little bit of blood used in the image, but it was considered too provocative and offensive by the gallery,” Sara comments. “Some people think it is a beautiful representation of the female form and others find it offensive and disgusting. I mean I did pee on it as well, so that’s pretty fair.” Sara says, “This process has really allowed me to slow down and not become so attached to my images. Since I am essentially destroying my images, I am forced to let go and let things happen or not happen. The first roll of soaked black and white film I ever shot split and I was never able to see anything on that. I just had to get over it.” Going forward, she says, “I am currently working on incorporating earth elements into my work such as foliage, insects, and dirt. Previously, I shot a lot in studio and find the switch to natural light and outdoor locations to be challenging but thrilling. I have been rubbing my prints in dirt and scanning flowers and twigs and overlaying them on my film and images.” Inspired by experimental and process-based artists such as Brigette Bloom, Davis Ayer, and Stella Gigliotti, it’s clear that the blurry swathes of colour Sara has created reflect more than a simple two-dimensional experience for the viewer.
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Previous page: “Girl gaze piss Christ,” 35mm film soaked in urine and lemon juice. Left: “Saltwater,” 35mm soaked in saltwater and tears. Below: “Chloe,” 35mm soaked in urine. Right page: “Sarah’s womb,” 35mm soaked in tears and urine.
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“I consider myself a photo-based artist. I draw with light as opposed to a pencil.” – Sally Ayre
“I CONSIDER MYSELF A PHOTO-BASED ARTIST. I DRAW WITH LIGHT AS OPPOSED TO A PENCIL.” A SPECIALIST IN THE STRUCTURE AND UNIQUE QUALITIES FOUND IN THE MINUTIA OF NATURAL ELEMENTS, ARTIST SALLY AYRE FINDS HER VOICE WORKING WITH TACTILE ALTERNATIVE PROCESSES BY CECE M. SCOTT
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Previous page: “Feather,” Cyanotype on Inshu Mitsumata handmade Japanese paper, 2016.
Centre: “Laughter in the Breeze 8,” Cyanotype on Inshu Mitsumata handmade Japanese paper, 2015.
From left: “Laughter in the Breeze 19,” Cyanotype on Inshu Mitsumata handmade Japanese paper, 2015.
Right: “Laughter in the Breeze 7,” Cyanotype on Inshu Mitsumata handmade Japanese paper, 2015.
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“Flutter By,” Cyanotype butterflies on silk organza handstitched to silk mesh, 2015.
EXPERIENCING SALLY AYRE’S TACTILE, INTRICATE, AND DELICATE WORK IN PERSON SURELY LEAVES NO VIEWER UNTOUCHED.
Sally, who went back to school (Ontario College of Art now OCAD U) when she was in her forties, comments, “I needed to open myself up to all possibilities and see where it would lead me. I went in with one idea about photography, but came out with an entirely different skill.” For most of her art practice, Sally has used cyanotype and Van Dyke as her main mediums. She now incorporates digitally output transparencies into these contact-based processes, which were invented in the 1840s. “You put the image or object on coated paper or fabric, expose it to sunlight, and develop it in water.” Sally describes the cyanotype process as a combination of A and B chemistry. She mixes her own chemicals and, once she is ready to print, combines equal amounts of A and B. Each step of the process is time consuming; therefore, she coats several sheets of paper at a time, always working in “safe light” (red light/low light) conditions. Once the paper is coated and dry, it’s ironed and placed in a light tight photo box for later use. The preparation process takes approximately four hours. As her experiments evolved, Sally discovered a love of Japanese paper. “Paper and processes are so important when embarking on a project. Japanese paper is a wonderful 100 percent natural fibre, which is key when you are working with cyanotype.” Because Japanese paper is thin and becomes tissue-like when it is wet, she also coats it with a natural Japanese starch to keep it strong. For many years Sally has been collecting plant specimens to form a digital image bank. She began collecting specimens, including plants, rocks, and things found in nature, at first from her native Newfoundland, and later from her home in Toronto. Sally says, “I would scan them and put them into the bank. Then, when I start working on a project, I would source relevant specimens.” The collection, which now numbers in the thousands, is composed of things gathered from urban streets, parks, and even cracks in the sidewalk. “We see a field of dandelions, but we don’t actually look at them individually. A dandelion that has gone to seed has an amazing architecture, but we are often too busy to notice. I like to bring out this architecture, blow it up, and transform it.” Seeing a dandelion evokes memories tied to associations for Sally. The childhood fascination of blowing the wispy fingers of dandelion seeds into the breeze and watching them float away takes her to a calming place. 24 • PhotoED
“THE WORK IS TIME CONSUMING, BUT IT GETS ME WHERE I WANT TO BE. TIME DOESN’T MATTER. IT GIVES VOICE TO MY VISION, AND MY INTUITION.”
Left: “Clematis 2,” Cyanotype on Inshu Mitsumata handmade Japanese paper, 2017.
Right: “Hydrangea 3,” Cyanotype on Inshu Mitsumata handmade Japanese paper, 2017.
Sally explores plant specimens with an intimate precision that encourages a metaphorical quality to her work. For her, plants are like people evolving through the different seasons, a symbolic nod to the human life cycle. Spring represents youth, with its element of playfulness. Summer represents middle age, when life tends to be easygoing. Sally is currently working with fall specimens, which contain seeds that will scatter to form new life cycles. Sally says, “Using the seed from plants at the end of the life cycle references a broader idea of our own aging. I use seeds as a metaphor for the experiences and knowledge acquired as we age to be passed on to others.” Butterflies fit perfectly Sally’s cycle of life philosophy. Their texture and movement harkens back to childhood fascination and a sense of play. For her “Flutter By” piece, which measures
48×60 inches, she used a large piece of woven silk as a base for butterflies printed on silk organza. She hand-cut and hand-tacked close to 300 butterflies onto the woven silk sheet. This piece hangs from the ceiling, moving and fluttering in the air currents. Sally explains, “It is like a layered memory. Although the work is time consuming, it gets me where I want to be. Time doesn’t matter. It gives voice to my vision, and my intuition.” One of Sally’s great influences is Christian Boltanski. She strives to recreate his forte in her work: emotions that trigger memory. “My own emotional response to his work absolutely blew me away. If I could get one percent of that kind of emotional response from a viewer of my work, I would be happy,” she says.
www.sallyayre.wordpress.com PhotoED • 25
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KALI SPITZER: A PORTRAIT OF RESILIENCE An Exploration of Resilience is a series about identity, culture, strength, vulnerability, and love. Too often Indigenous and mixed heritage women and non-binary peoples are not heard or seen as we define and experience ourselves. I am working to redress this by creating images of contemporary Indigenous and mixed heritage peoples from an Indigenous perspective. So much violence and abuse has been committed against us. Many of our parents were stolen at a young age, ripped away from their land and placed in the horrendous institution of residential schools. This has created a huge gap in passing down our culture.
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“I WANT TO CREATE SPACE FOR US TO BE SEEN AND HEARD AS WE DEFINE OURSELVES, AND HOW WE WANT TO BE REPRESENTED. THIS IS MY DRIVING FORCE.”
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When I show Exploration of Resilience in galleries, I display large portraits with voice recordings from the people who I photograph. The viewer is urged to engage with us as Indigenous and mixed heritage women and non-binary peoples as we want to be seen and heard — to look right at us and to listen to the stories we want to tell.
My hope is to change the narrow perspective from which violence often stems, and to share who we are today. To bring light to our stories and to provide a space where people can connect with one another. I want to create space for us to be seen and heard as we define ourselves, and how we want to be represented. This is my driving force. Through the timeless lens of the tintype, and in collaboration with my subjects, the relationship between the process of creation and the person being photographed comes to life. In this series, I photograph people from my community of primarly Indigenous and mixed heritage people, while challenging preconceived notions of race, gender, and sexuality, to explore how we can become empowered despite the hardships and negative stereotypes that we endure. Every photograph, every person, has a story to tell, and I aim to tell it through their portrait. I hope viewers can recognize the different sides of these stories, including the pain but, most of
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all, the subject’s spirit and perseverance. When I photograph a person, I aim to create the most honest image of them. I believe that each image is a collaboration between myself and the person I am photographing. I wouldn’t be able to create the images I do without trust, which is an essential element to my work. There is urgency to my work. I am part of a generation that is hugely affected by residential schools and settler colonialism. We are in a race against time as we are losing many of our elders, along with our stories, language, and culture. It is a struggle for our generation and for those that follow. We need to spend time listening to our elders and learning from them. I often feel torn between worlds: between my culture, people, and land and the world that I am trying to break into as an artist. Many of my peers struggle with this as well, holding on to our identities and rediscovering ourselves in the era of settler colonialism. I extend my gratitude to everyone involved with this work. Mussi cho. kalispitzer.photoshelter.com
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SEITIES An international platform for analog photography
MADE IN CANADA SEITIES is a non-profit contemporary photography publication, gallery, and education organization. SEITIES promotes national and international artists/photographers who use traditional methods in their contemporary practices. PhotoED asked Sanja Lukac, Executive Director, to share a few SEITIES-published Canadian artist highlights with us.
publication with ten publications to date on a bi-annual schedule. We also bring together artworks for exhibition through SEITIES Gallery, and our community partners. Artists published in our publication are also considered for Canadian representation SEITIES gallery exhibitions, based in Calgary, Alberta.”
Sanja says, “We are focused on creating a platform for paper, plate, and film photographers. All alternative and traditional methods are welcomed here. We are a reader-supported
SEITIES is pronounced say-it-tease, and means “personal identity.” Canadians coast-to-coast have been part of this international revival of traditional photography as an art form.
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GEORGE WEBBER Calgary, AB georgewebber.ca
FRANCIS A. WILLEY Calgary, AB franciswilley.com
DAVID ELLINGSEN Victoria, BC davidellingsen.com
Acclaimed American photographer Mary Ellen Mark has described George Webber as a “lyrical poet with his camera.”
Francis A. Willey is a self-taught, traditional film photographer whose work has been exhibited, published and awarded internationally. He believes a more deeply compassionate culture can be created through the arts. As an outsider artist, he is continually questioning and seeking refuge in a higher beauty.
David Ellingsen creates images that speak to the relationship between humans and the natural world. He maintains a varied practice of which intersections form the foundation: intersections of observer and participant, documentary photography and contemporary art, archivist and surrealist, and empirical and anecdotal.
His work is included in the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography collection, the National Gallery of London archives, and he has exhibited internationally. His iconic image “Blindness” has had a political and social reverberation, through deliberate appropriation in a multitude of cultures, countries and religions worldwide.
David’s photographs are exhibited internationally and are included in many prominent permanent museum collections.
George’s artful images spring from his affection for the people of the Canadian West. George Webber is the recipient of numerous national and international awards. A short documentary released on YouTube in 2017, Lost Horizons: The Photography of George Webber is worth the watch to get a true sense of the man and his work. “Danny Frazer,” gelatin silver print.
“Napoleons Peacock Pheasant, Polyplectron napoleonis.” Pigment print from solarized Polaroid 55PN film negative.
“Blindness,” 35mm film photograph. PhotoED • 33
“ALL ALTERNATIVE AND TRADITIONAL METHODS ARE WELCOMED HERE.” - SANJA LUKAC, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEITIES 34 • PhotoED
SANTISOUK PHOMMACHAKR Calgary, AB santisoukphotography.com
THE MOBILE DARKROOM Calgary, AB www.themobiledarkroom.ca
MICHELLE RAINEY Calgary, AB www.rainika.com
Santisouk says, “My passion for travelling the globe, hiking, and backpacking brought me a desire to capture memories, I can express and share.”
As a team, Shane Arsenault and Natalia Barberis have a considerable amount of artistic credibility to their names, together having over 15 years of photographic darkroom experience, 25 solo and group shows, and a deep passion for historical and contemporary photographic practices. The two have been in collaboration since 2016, travelling across Alberta with their hand-crafted ultra large format camera and their darkroom on wheels.
Rainika PhotoGraphik is the husband and wife team of Tekoa Predika and Michelle Rainey. Together they share a passion of all things analog, photography being their craft. They combined this passion with their love of road trips, and the darkroom trailer was born. Following in the tradition of travelling tintype photographers from the 1850s, they created a completely contained and mobile darkroom from a Triple E Surfside trailer. The trailer plays an important role in the creative process for Rainika. It also allows them to take the “studio” to markets, events, and private functions. Rainika offers tintype parlours, photo events, and workshops in pinhole photography, film, and cyanotype.
“Sound of Silence ,” shot on Rollei retro 80s film, with a Hasselblad camera.
“Edmonton Metropolitan United Church,” 16×20 positive paper print.
“She makes a wish and wonders,” wet plate collodion. PhotoED • 35
SUZY KING Vancouver, BC www.phonographobscura.com
ALLEN CROOKS Halifax, NS IG: @analogallen
Suzy King is a multidisciplinary artist. Her installation work collages elements from existing structures and memories of space from early childhood or dreams. She is inspired by architecture, light, and a fondness for early filmmaking techniques. Her work reflects a surrealist emotion through her use of light and space, along with various mixed mediums, including paper sculpture, reel-to-reel machines, film, photographs, and video.
Allen Crooks is a passionate film photographer. He is also the owner and founder of the Halifax Darkroom, where photographers can develop black and white film, make prints, and connect with other members fuelled by the same passion. “Family Matters,” 120 BW film -silver print.
“The Unknown,” 35mm film.
Find out more about SEITIES online: www.seities.ca IG: @seities 36 • PhotoED
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THE MAKING OF A PLACE BY JOSHUA CAMERON
INSPIRED BY Irish novelist James Joyce’s short story “Two Gallants,” Stephen Brookbank explores after-dark and beforedawn urban, suburban, and industrial environments. Using a large format camera, he uses long exposures and available light to create images that aim to illustrate the “truth” of a scene. Stephen’s environmental portraits in home, work, and play settings look to document the resilience of people in the midst of a challenging period in human history. “North America is in a phase of deindustrialization,” he says. “I’m interested in creating work that supposes allegories representing flexibility and adaptive strength.” One of Stephen’s key influences is the New Topographic movement of the 1970s, in which photographers worked to identify a critical view of the state of America. “I am interested
in looking at the everyday urban and suburban landscape with a sense of awe and respect, coloured with the mixed-up nighttime lighting situations from available light sources,” says Stephen. “This work is intended as a document of our time.” An inherent analog aficionado, for this project Stephen used Toyo View G, a 4×5 large format studio camera, with Rodenstock Apo-Sironar lenses and Kodak Portra 400 film. “My reasons for shooting analog are purely personal,” he says. “It works for me and what I’m trying to achieve. Shooting with such a large camera forces me to work slowly.” Rather than taking lots of photographs of a scene, Stephen takes time to decide on an ideal composition and takes one shot. “I may only make two negatives. A successful night of shooting may only yield a couple of photographs. The process PhotoED • 39
“The grey warm evening of August had descended upon the city and a mild, warm air, a memory of summer circulated in the streets. Like illuminated pearls the lamps shone from the summits of their tall poles upon the living texture below which, changing shape and hue unceasingly, sent up into the warm grey evening air an unchanging unceasing murmur.” —Excerpt from “Two Gallants “ by James Joyce
and ritual of making a picture on a large format camera appeals to me. The richness of a well-made negative contains such beautiful, smooth clarity and detail,” says Stephen. Stephen follows a few self-imposed rules when photographing. One of these rules includes not adding any light to a scene, including after dark. “I rely on street lights, window light, and low clouds to light scenes for me. One of the challenges this creates is that when I am photographing people in their work, home, or recreational environments, my exposures have to be quite long. It’s not unusual to have people posing for up to a minute.” “I’ve figured out a trick,” he says. “During a long exposure, one of the things that makes a person jittery is an effort to keep from blinking during the exposure time. I’ve found that if a person blinks comfortably they are more relaxed and able to keep still — even little kids. In the photograph their eyes are still clear
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and sharp.” He does very little in terms of posing people, as they are to look relaxed, comfortable, and like themselves. “Another challenge is the skepticism I encounter,” says Stephen. “People are typically proud of their neighbourhood, so after a short conversation I try to demonstrate that I am there out of respect. Then their guard goes down. Of course, the curiosity of my big, old fashioned—looking camera also seems to help diffuse any tension.” Stephen’s laborious process influences not only how his images appear, but also his audiences. When people slow down to understand the technical factors involved in his work, they gain further insight into the narratives he creates and presents as documents.
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SNAG WES BELL
“Four years ago, I was leaving for the airport after saying goodbye to my mother. She was dying of cancer. On the long drive across the Alberta prairie, I found myself distracted by flapping remnants of plastic bags, caught in the barbed-wire fences that lined the ditches. Whipped violently by the wind, they were left shredded and lacerated, but trapped nontheless in the no man’s land of boundary fences, neither here nor there. Thinking about morality, pain and death in the context of my mother’s terminal illness, these forgotten shreds of plastic took on a deeper significance. Snag. Shooting during the seemingly lifeless seasons between Winter and Spring in 2015 through 2017, I photographed more than sixty-eight sites in Southern Alberta, Canada.”
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FOUND FILM FOUND MOMENTS BY BRIAR CHAPUT
A FEW YEARS AGO, I WALKED INTO A USED BOOKSTORE on Spadina Avenue in Toronto. It was dusty, cramped, and dark, with barely enough light to read anything if you weren’t directly under an overhead lamp. At the back of the store there was a doorway that led to another maze of overflowing shelves, where I found an old wood cabinet of drawers. I just happened to glance down to spot a yellow piece of paper, with the word “pictures” written in black sharpie, taped to a drawer. The drawer was packed with 4x6inch personal photographs. I spent the next hour digging through them carefully in the dim light, then spent about $15 buying my favourites, and I was hooked on a quest to find more.
Having these photos in my hands, I imagined the lives of the people, not only who were featured in them, but who took them. One photo was of the Louvre, dated 1984. The next was of a rickety bridge in the Caribbean. One appears to be a woman sewing her cat. Suddenly, I had access to all these moments that must have been important enough to someone at some point in time that they felt the need to document a person or place. I visited the store once every couple months for about three years, never leaving without a new stack of photographs. I once asked the owner where she got them all from, she said they were often tucked into books, or she would get boxes of books from estate sales with full photo albums mixed in. About a year after my first bookstore visit, I started checking in photo albums in thrift stores. I’ve now collected over 500 personal photographs – the oldest from the 1930s, the latest from the early 2000s. Around the same time as I discovered the bookstore, I also started shooting my own 35mm film. Armed with a Pentax K1000, I wandered the streets of my new home of Toronto, and soon, had to find somewhere to get all that film developed. Quickly, the excitement of dropping off film, and having to wait for resulting images, was something I grew attached, and really looked forward, to. One day, while out at a thrift store, I opened up a camera bag and found two exposed rolls of film. I had an overwhelming urge to know that was on them, and couldn’t wait to drop them off for developing. I got back about 50 photos of a wedding, discoloured, but with an incredible story to tell. In the last year, I’ve found about 25 rolls of film. Only half of them have been developed with successful results. Although it can become an expensive hobby, the anticipation and the results have been worth it for me. Although some people have found this hobby a bit strange, I often feel responsible in a way for saving these things that may have otherwise been destroyed. Especially with undeveloped film, there are no second copies of those photos, of those moments, and once those moments are gone, they’re gone forever. If I can preserve even one photo, one meaningful moment of someone’s life, that’s worth it to me.
NOTE: If you happened recognize anyone in these photos, please contact us and we will try to connect you with the photos. PhotoED • 45
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BERLIN: A FRACTAL CITY
“LOOKING THROUGH A FRAGMENTED LENS, WE CAN GAIN A NEW PERSPECTIVE, AND A NEW LAYER OF UNDERSTANDING.”
BY BRIAR CHAPUT
POLITICAL SCIENCE doctoral candidate A.T. Kingsmith’s extensive knowledge of history and urban design deeply influences his photography. With a unique lens, A.T. ties political theory, an iconic city’s history, mathematics, and the art of photography together in his images.
On a trip to Berlin, A.T. used his Konica T3 and a customized fractal filter to explore, examine, and dissect the place he refers to as a “fractal” city. A.T. says, “A fractal is a geometric object whose properties remain invariant with changes in scale. In this case, scale can mean physical space — neighbourhoods; districts; cities; regions; residential, commercial, and industrial zoning, etc. — or temporal space — minutes, hours, days, and years.”
From top left to bottom right: “Oranienstraße, Kreuzberg”; “Soviet War Memorial, Treptower Park”; “S-Bahn, Görlitzer Bahnhof”; “Soviet War Memorial, Treptower Park”; “Skalitzer Straße, Kreuzberg”; “East Side Gallery, Friedrichshain.”
Based on his study of public policy, socialization, and the social and physical divisions of city populations, he questions: How do we memorialize in the city? Who does public space belong to? Who owns the inner city? Who can even afford an urban environment? How should people live in this city? What are the social conditions, and how are they reflected in architectural aesthetics?
The interconnectedness or relations that create these self-reproducing patterns relate location and form to the interactions and flows of cultures, bodies, technologies, natures, and capital across the cityscape. For A.T., who has spent the past few summers photographing the city, Berlin has undergone significant changes, but not necessarily in the physical sense. In such a historic location, many of the landmarks are permanent and unchanged, but the city is in constant motion, growing and decaying each day. And yet, some of these spaces — fractals, as he refers to them — are constants in an ever-expanding space. According to A.T., “They play an important role in the functioning of cities, reflecting incremental, constrained processes of growth, the need for resilience against compartmentalization, and the atmospheres produced by new conceptions of space.” A.T.’s images remind us that the world is not always as we see it. When we look at a city, we don’t always see the history that flows through its streets. He reminds us that by looking through a fragmented lens, we can gain a new perspective, and a new layer of understanding.
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CHEMIGRAMS ARE CREATED BY FORCING A CHEMICAL REACTION BETWEEN PHOTOGRAPHIC PAPER AND PHOTOGRAPHIC CHEMISTRY.
On a sunny Saturday six students from The Mill Arts Centre Trust in Banbury took part in a Chemigram workshop lead by Laura Walker. “In this workshop, we used Ilford Warm Tone Resin Coated Paper, Ilford Pear Resin Coated Paper, Ilford Universal Developer, Ilford Warm Tone Developer and Ilford Rapid Fixer. The beauty of this process is that you don’t need a darkroom to achieve stunning results.
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THE B DON’ STUN
BEAUTY OF THIS PROCESS IS THAT YOU â€™T NEED A DARKROOM TO ACHIEVE NNING RESULTS.
Students started by learning how to make a positive and negative chemigram using a selection of flowers and shrubbery. We used the Ilford Pearl Resin Coated Paper for this initial activity. Students got to choose between the Warm Tone and Universal developers, thinking about which developer would suit their image best. Students dipped their items (flowers & leaves) into either the developer or fix first. These items were then placed onto a sheet of photographic paper where students could then paint attentional chemistry onto the paper if they wanted to. Once the chemicals had started to react with the paper, the items were removed and the paper was placed into either a tray of developer or fix. After students had practiced making a positive and negative chemigram they started to experiment with different resists. Resists are used to stop the development between the paper and chemistry. In this workshop students experimented with Wax, Nail Polish, Syrup, Vegetable Spray Oil, Paint and Olive Spray Oil. As the weather was good, we were also able to expose the images to the sun (lumen printing process) which added really interesting effects to both the Pearl and Warm Tone Papers.â€?
boffinphotography.co.uk IG: @lauraboffin FB: @BoffPhoto
SK8ER BOI BY NICOLA IRVIN
IS A PHOTOGRAPHER ON A MISSION: TO DOCUMENT THE MINDFUL SIDE OF SKATEBOARDING.
Using his connections to a growing community of Christian skateboarders and the soft quality of film, Jake adds a new perspective to a pre-existing narrative surrounding skateboarders. Skater Boys is a series that trades skate tricks for intimate portraits.
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NI: Why did you decide to shoot this series on film?
JB: When I was working with a digital camera, the instant gratification wasn’t forcing me to be completely present while shooting, but with film I feel more connected to my subjects. This project came about when I first started using film. I skateboard, so I was already at skate-parks. I also loved the interactions – people get curious about the camera and it can help break the ice. Since I began developing and printing my own stuff, I’ve become addicted to the process.
NI: What are you looking to share with viewers through this work?
JB: I’m trying to challenge male stereotypes. Growing up skateboarding, I fell in love with skating for skating, whereas some people will get into it for the stereotypical ‘cool guy’ culture. As I got older, I realized that some of the culture that goes along with skating – smoking, drinking, partying really hard, this kind of FU attitude – I just never identified with. Trying to find a different side of the community was important to me, which is how I stumbled upon the Christian skateboarder thing.
NI: What exactly is the ‘Christian skateboarder thing’?
JB: I met a guy back in high school who was involved in a Christian skateboarder community. Nothing sounded more insane to me. I didn’t grow up religious at all and I still don’t identify as religious. I had some preconceived ideas surrounding religion
SKATERS TRUST SKATERS.
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in general, but I started hanging out with these guys. It turned out to just be a bunch of skaters doing their thing and talking about how they could be better people. Fast forward to the present: we run a skate group on Monday nights – it’s not a religious group — just a place to build community and skate. Community is ingrained in Christianity, but also in skateboarding. I meet people from all walks of life on Monday nights. Shooting portraits can be tricky and very personal, yet the people who come out are cool with me taking their picture. Documenting is a major part of skate culture so when I go in to shoot I don’t have to really explain myself. Skaters trust skaters.
NI: This series is featured in the Digital Edition of PhotoED. How does it feel to have an analog based project consumed digitally?
JB: I think that recent analog resurgence has been a direct result from work being shared online. I think it’s important for the preservation of analog photography to continue sharing online.
jakeborchenko.com IG: @jakeborchenko
SUBMISSIONS BY OUR READERS
‘Grace’ (N ‘Muttart C (Olympus ‘Rusty drea
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Nikon fe), Conservancy Koi’ s om-4), ams’ (Nikon fe)
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KABIR CHAUHAN Toronto, ON “ In the beginning there was film. If there is truth to McLuhan’s idea that the medium is the message, then for photography the message is clear: every shot counts.
It was certainly with this intent that I pursued my on-going project, SUBURBAN MYTH. This is a series I have been developing for some time and focuses on landscapes of suburbia and the urban jungle. I have often felt trapped in the mundanity of this environment, caught somewhere between the glitz of the city and the quiet of the country. For me, film was the appropriate choice to capture this kind of imagery: the intangible impermanence of suburbia reflected through a tangible medium.”
LEFT: ‘Left Field’ NEXT PAGE TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Layers,’ ‘Junction,’ ‘Emergency’
NEXT PAGE BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Dreams,’ ‘Gated,’ ‘Dawnlight’ All shot with a Mamiya 7
BRENT GOODEN Toronto, ON
FROM LEFT, TOP TO BOTTOM ‘Hannah’ ‘Gleb’ ‘Emi’
RIGHT: ‘Zoe’ All shot with a Mamiya RB67
brent-gooden.com IG: @brent.gooden
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Toronto, ON Iceland September 2017, shot with an Olympus OM10
IG: @emily.macdonell CENTRE:
ANDA MARCU London, ON ‘Extension’ (Nikon FM)
andamarcu.com IG: @beradiant TOP RIGHT:
Salt Spring Island, BC ‘Plants Have Lives Too - A Japanese Knotweed Red’ (Cyanotype on Watercolour Paper)
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BOB ST. CYR Abbotsford, BC TOP: ‘PowerHouse’ (Toyo 45 AII) BOTTOM: ‘PenStocks’ (Toyo 45 AII)
Peterborough, ON TOP: ‘Hidden’ (iPhone 7 / Vintage Prints)
BOTTOM: ‘Whisper’ (iPhone 7 / Vintage Prints)
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ALEX SAWATZKY Toronto, ON
LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Life and Death,’ ‘Solitary Silence,’ ‘Streets of Huashan’ Shot with a Ricoh XR-2s
alexsawatzky.com IG: @exposurxd
SVAVA TERGESEN Vancouver, BC
The ‘Body Work,’ series came to fruition after a prolonged period chronic illness. During this time, simple everyday tasks became painful and distressing to perform. My body was unable to keep up with what I wanted—and often needed— to do. These photographs are my attempt to convey that state of dissociation and the anxiety I experienced over losing my personal agency. In taking these photos, a homemade focal plane shutter distorts my body in unexpected ways while I perform in front of it.
TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Slunk’, ‘Worl,’ ‘When I Look in the Mirror’
BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Flatland (Arms),’ ‘Abrade’ All shot with a Hasselblad 500cm.
cargocollective.com/solarun IG: @solarun
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DANIELLE VAN WERKHOVEN Waterloo, ON
THIS PAGE AND NEXT: ‘Dislocation’ (Pentax Program Plus)
dvanwerkhoven.photography IG: @dvanwerkhoven.photography
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ALEC SKILLINGS Edmonton, AB
LEFT: ‘Untitled’ (Pentax K1000)
, BOTTOM: ‘Some People’ (Pentax ME Super)
RIGHT: ‘Conservatory’ (Pentax K1000)
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KRISTI GIAMBATTISTA Toronto, ON
LEFT: ‘Portrait of Isabella. 2017’ (Canon AE1)
RIGHT: ‘A Self Portrait, 2018’ (Canon AE1)
IG: @kriissg IG: @theselfportrait_
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KAT FULWIDER Ottawa, ON MEMORIA VERITAS - TRUTH AND MEMORY “The truthfulness of memory is an idea I have struggled with for some time, as I have suffered amnesia resultant of a head injury and lived years with undiagnosed chronic Lymes Disease which affects my mental state. I lived for so long in a state somewhere between slumber and the rest of the waking world. The ephemeral nature of this subject matter is reflected in my work. In a way, photographs are the closest thing we have to a “true” representation of a moment in time; a moment that seems to be untainted by the human mind, captured instead by an infallible machine. I challenge such a notion with this body of work, for many of these prints are not reproducible; they are captured moments in time with the evidence of their creator chemically stamped upon them. I used a large format 8x10 view camera with paper negatives to create my images.”
katfulwider.wixsite.com/mysite IG:@sureality IG:@katherinefulwiderart
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GLENDON MCGOWEN Toronto, ON ‘Stationary Golf Carts’ (Mamiya RB67)
CONNOR MCCORMACK Niagara on the Lake, ON ‘Lakeshore Vinyard’ (Crown Graphic 4X5)
connormccormack.ca IG: @connor.mccor
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KRISTIN DUFF ‘Cracked’ (Gelatin silver prints) “This series is an exploration of that which is permanent and that which is fleeting. Using B/W film I shot several images of a collection of crystal animals gifted to me by my mother over a 40 year time frame. Walking past a cell phone repair shop, the glint of broken glass screens piled high in a plexiglass display tower caught my eye. Gingerly, I salvaged a few of the most
interesting pieces. Later, in the darkroom, my negative secured in the carrier and focused, I lay a broken screen on my paper in place. The image of the glass animal is projected through the iPhone screen, and I make my exposure.”
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HENRY VANDERSPEK Toronto, ON
LEFT: ‘Why Work’ ABOVE: ‘Food’ BELOW: ‘The View from St Lawrence Market’
culturesnap.ca IG: @culturesnap
All images shot with a Konica Auto S3.
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BRENT HAYDEN New Westminster, BC
‘Field of Silk’ (shot with a Hasselblad 503CX) During his 10 year international swimming career, including 3 Olympic Games, an Olympic Bronze Medal (2012) and a World Championship Title (2007), Brent Hayden quietly pursued his photography passion. He attributes his success in the pool to the balance that photography brought to his mind and soul. After retiring from swimming with 6 Canadian records, he continues to explore the world through his lens. “There is a moment just before the official blows the whistle, while the crowd is going crazy, I stare down my lane towards the wall at the other end. The noise becomes drowned out by the sound of my own breath and heartbeat. For a moment, my world is still, and this is where I feel the most alive. My goal is to capture this moment in my photography. When you look at my images, I hope you can take a moment to listen to your own heart beating.”
brenthaydenphotography.com IG: @brenthaydenphotography IG: @thebrenthayden PhotoED • 87
SARAH CLOTHIER Ottawa, ON
TOP TO BOTTOM: ‘Spending Time With Myself - 6 Hours’ ‘Take Care of Yourself - Colin’ ‘Digitally Manipulated - March 2nd 10:20pm’ Shot on a Toyo 4x5
sarahclothier.com IG: @sarahhclothier
NANCY STIRPE Vaughan, ON ‘Solaris’ Nikon f75
JO-ANN BONHOMME Ottawa, ON ‘Homage to the Sun’ Asahi Pentax KM
WENDY KWAN Vancouver, BC
“We Are Small is a collection of photographs I developed using medium format Ilford SFX film and printed on Oriental neutral tone silver gelatin fibre paper finished in selenium and sulphide toners. The work was created with a plastic Holga camera/fisheye lens combination yielding an unusual spherical picture form, analogous to the shape of our own earth. In We Are Small, I examine the rapidly vanishing moments when we permit ourselves the time and space to contemplate, share face to face with others, escape the cacophony, and establish a personal relationship with a larger context. I think of every photograph in We Are Small as a “little world”. Each little world is filled with an abundance of elements, occupied by a human figure or figures that claim their fragment of space and seize the opportunity to reflect and reconnect for a few ephemeral moments. In the pressure of our technologically dictated daily lives, where we accept as well and good the constant distraction and interruption by the mundane and trivial, we place at risk those activities most essential and vital to our well being. We Are Small. But we can resist.”
LEFT: ‘We try the other side’ TOP: ‘Little spot of comfort’ BOTTOM: ‘So sole’
CANADIAN PHOTOGRAPHY IN A BRAND NEW LIGHT
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