LET’S DO SOMETHING FUN!
FEATURING BLAKE MORROW
JOANNIE LAFRENIÈRE CAROL SAWYER
ASTROLOGY FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
PUZZLES & TOYS + MORE!
A nityPhotoredeﬁnestheboundariesforprofessionalphotoeditingsoftware. Withameticulousfocusonworkﬂowito erssophisticatedtoolsforenhancing, editingandretouchingyourimagesinanincrediblyintuitiveinterfacewithall thepowerandperformanceyouneed. AvailableformacOS,WindowsandiPad–subscription-freeat: a nity.serif.com/photo Thefastest,smoothest,mostprecisephotoeditor formacOS,WindowsandiPad
28 BLAKE MORROW: POP CULTURE PHOTOSHOP
By Rita Godlevskis
34 LINDSI HOLLEND: HEIGHTENED VISION
By Michelle Joseph
37 THINK POSITIVE! ASTROLOGICAL ADVICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS By Djenabé
42 READERS GALLERY
Submissions by our readers
JOANNIE LAFRENIÈRE’S PLAYTIME ‘Palms & Spring’ Check out the story on page 14. 8 THE ULTIMATE PHOTO NERD - WORDSEARCH 10 RESOURCES WE LOVE 12 ALI PENKO PLAY IN PHOTOGRAPHY 14 JOANNIE LAFRENIÈRE’S PLAYTIME: KERRY MANDERS & BRANDY RYAN IN CONVERSATION 22 CAROL SAWYER × NATALIE BRETTSCHNEIDER
By Mark Walton or Walter Markson
in this issue...
Befree, Be Creative!
Befree 3-Way Live Advanced is a high-performance photo/video kit in an ultra-compact size, designed for travel photography and videography. This sturdy fully foldable 3-Way Fluid Head with 6 kg payload features a Fluid Drag System both on panoramic and tilt movements. Fully compatible with both Arca-swiss and Manfrotto 200PL-PRO plates, this tripod is the optimal combination of portability, rigidity and easy set-up. Learn more at manfrotto.ca
High-performance dual-purpose photo/video kit in an unparalleled compact size
Manfrotto products are distributed in Canada exclusively by Gentec International. One of Canada’s Best Managed Companies • gentec-intl.com
Photo by: Rachid Dahnoun
In this digital issue
THE READERS GALLERY:
E ROSS BRADLEY
J. ASHLEY NIXON
JASMINE PRECIOUS MISTRY
RUTH BERGEN BRAUN
LET YOUR CREATIVITY BLOOM WITH LENSES FROM SIGMA AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL HENRY’S OR ONLINE AT HENRYS.COM
PHOTO ED MAGAZINE IS 100% MADE IN CANADA!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
NOTE A REMINDER TO HAVE FUN!
MOST PHOTOGRAPHY LOVERS I know easily describe their early relationships with their first cameras as a time of magic, fun, excitement, and an explosion of creativity. And then, sadly, somehow that light can dim. Photographer Ali Penko inspired the theme of this edition when she shared her Play series with me last year. Ali’s images are a lovely reminder that the acts of photographing, investigating, and experiencing are parts of a process that started out as a small spark that was simply about play. This issue aims to take us all back to find fun, be silly, experiment, fail, and laugh.
In our PRINT edition, Joannie Lafrenière’s Playtime series takes play seriously. Writers Kerry Manders and brandy ryan share their unique analysis of this work with us. We’re playn’ with you, Dear Reader, in our Carol Sawyer/Natalie Brettschneider feature story, by Mark Walton or Walter Markson...?!
I’ve been following Blake Morrow’s work online for a while now, so I was personally super excited to get him in this issue. His creative work and passion for exploring the
PhotoED Magazine is published 3x/year, SPRING, FALL, & WINTER
See www.photoed.ca for subscription and advertising information. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40634032
2100 Bloor St. West, Suite 6218 Toronto, ON M6S 5A5
This issue was made possible with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council.
possibilities in crafting crazy-fun images oozes joy. In addition, like no other photo magazine I can think of, this issue includes puzzles, prizes, and astrological advice for photographers!
Looking ahead, our next issue, Fall 2021, will focus on exploring the connections between photography and the environment. The climate crisis is a global event that affects us all in big ways and small. If you’ve got an eco photography story or images to share, drop us a line.
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and sign up for our e-newsletter to keep up!
Your Editor, Rita Godlevskis
SPRING / SUMMER 2021 ISSUE #61 ISSN 1708-282X
EDITOR/PUBLISHER Rita Godlevskis / firstname.lastname@example.org
ART DIRECTOR Ruth Alves
COPY EDITOR Deborah Cooper
COVER IMAGE: Our cover features Priyanka, Winner of Canada’s Drag Race. Image by Blake Morrow.
Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.”
Photo by Margaret Mulligan
+ FIND OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
THE ULTIMATE CANADIAN PHOTO NERD
1. Photo editing, graphic design, and publishing software by Serif.
2. This Victoria-based photographer started her studio in 1862. She is best known for being well ahead of her time in her creative portraiture work and experimental photography involving multiple exposures on glass plate negatives.
3. The number of years PhotoED Magazine has been published in print.
4. PhotoED Magazine’s favourite independent Vancouver-based photo supply shop.
5. We love Canadian photo history, and so does this organization.
6. The number of editions published by PhotoED Magazine annually.
7. This photographer co-founded the first gallery of photography in Canada, in Toronto, on Baldwin Street in 1969.
8. The first of this type of camera was the 1916 3A Kodak Autographic Special. This type of camera has a focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to measure the subject’s distance to take photographs in focus.
9. This word can refer to either a person who makes arrangements for journalists or a chemical involved in developing black and white prints.
10. The number of square frames shot on a standard roll of 120mm film.
11. This photographer was also the first female president of Edmonton’s Horticultural Society. She led the charge in planting over 5000 trees in the city.
12. This school partnered with PhotoED magazine to create the “ultimate Canadian photography lovers tote bag” in 2020.
13. This photography festival takes place in Toronto, annually in May.
14. This UK-based brand has been producing film and photographic paper since 1879.
15. This little Kodak camera was said to have introduced the snapshot to the masses.
16. This part of a camera is a metal bracket that completes an electrical connection between the camera and an accessory for flash synchronization.
17. This three-letter abbreviation determines how sensitive the camera is to light. 100 is bright and 3200 is low light.
18. A cardboard box, a tin can, a shed... could also be a camera.
19. The opposite of light room.
20. The colour of light safe for light-sensitive paper.
The answers to these 20 questions are found in the word search!
a Make-Your-Own RetroViewer!
one-reel and viewer set from our friends at www.image3d.com
A F I X E R B C O N E L G I H D O A P P W M R D E N O A H N A D E Q H Y F I L R O N O R L C T S I T E K T A E R V W L R N Y O R S H G B E A U E D T O O H M H N X D B E E S F O O A T G N I R V R U S M E Y H K S J Y E K I L C O N T A C T O S Q L A U R A J O N E S T M I L F O R D Z T Q P A O R B H F D A W U E V Y R A P A B R O W N I E G N F N K P H S C T D E A 8 photoED
First person in Canada to correctly get ALL the answers will WON...
we have the tools to support your creativity.
We are an independent shop with personalized service to help you find exactly what you need. Our staff are also photographers with a wealth of knowledge for you to benefit from.
The PhotoEd GUIDE to Photography is a 128-page
learning and teaching resource. The GUIDE provides a quick start to basic tools & techniques, and ideas for new explorations
PHOTOED.CA/THE-GUIDE Cameras • Film • Digital • Rentals • Advice • Community Beau Photo Supplies 1401 W. 8th Ave. Vancouver, BC 604.734.7771 www.beauphoto.com @beauphotostore Beau Photo beauphotostore An Urban Wander
us. Exhibition: April 24th to May 15
April 24th at www.beauphoto.com
photo walk and exhibition exploring the landscape that immediately surrounds
FREE SHIPPING IN CANADA SUBSCRIBE ONLY $35./ YEAR SUPPORT INDEPENDENT CANADIAN PUBLISHING. FOR HOME DELIVERY OF HOT, FRESH, PRINT PHOTO GOODNESS. WWW.PHOTOED.CA SHIPPINGFREEIN CANADA SUBSCRIBE
TAKE THE LEAP! Jump Book
by Philippe Halsman
The premise of Jump Book , first published in 1959 (reissued by Abrams in 1986), is simple. Philippe Halsman asked people to jump. The folio of photographs he worked on for years includes celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Lucille Ball. As well as some uncomfortable jumpers such as J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atomic bomb) and Richard M. Nixon (father of the remorseless political agenda). And some, you realize, made it into the book only because the nation heeds the siren call of capitalism (the president of Union Carbide, the president of U.S. Rubber, the president of U.S. Steel).
In the commentary he wrote to accompany his images, Halsman refers to Freud. He suggested the way a person jumped – the attitude of the body and expression of the arms – revealed the subject’s unconscious. He likened himself to a graphologist, someone who finds clues to a person’s psychology in handwriting. He deemed himself a “jumpologist.” At the time, graphology had some credibility; today, it’s dismissed as pseudoscience and jumpology has followed it down the tubes.
Jump Book received accolades in its day, but it was only ever about a bunch of people jumping. Why take a second look at this collection? Can the contemporary student of culture learn anything from Halsman’s hopping humans?
This classic toy doesn’t have the bells and whistles of virtual reality, but no one can deny View-Masters are fun. We found a U.S. company that helps you make your own!
Reels feature seven of your photos with optional 3D captions and one photo in the centre circle of the reel. Viewers are available in red, black, blue, or white.
Prices are in U.S. dollars, starting at $30 for one viewer and one reel. (Add $30 to ship to Canada, and duty.) www.image3d.com
Well, consider the context. Published originally in the midst of the Cold War, Jump might be said to reflect another kind of bravado. At the time, Americans walked around with the unnerving realization that a nuclear war was imminent with Russia. Perhaps more people took joy in the moment then, thinking each moment might be their last. When considering those unusual circumstances, this may have been the right book for the era after all.
A bit of silly jumping might also be a brief moment of release in our current global pandemic era as well.
Might take a bit of searching, but copies of this book can still be found at public libraries in Canada and through random re-sellers online.
Images are now also found online at www.magnumphotos.com/arts -culture/philippe-halsman-jump-book
Review courtesy of Sonja Pushchak, PHSC.ca
GET INSPIRED :
A few things we highly recommend for you to play with!
Book photos by Jade Lee / @daryeshot
HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO COLLECT ART AND PLAY WITH IT.
Toronto-based photographer Caitlin Cronenberg has been a fixture at the Toronto International Film Festival, shooting portraits of visiting celebs for international clients including Variety, W Magazine, and Paper Magazine. She’s also known for working with Drake on his Views album art, establishing her as one of the most sought-after shooters internationally.
Our fave is Photo Call , but there are other images available in this unique collection as well. These 1000-piece puzzles (19.25 × 28 inches) are limited edition collectors works, and they come with a signed and numbered label to affix to the back of the completed puzzle should you wish to frame it, or just keep in the box with the unassembled puzzle.
We also love that the puzzle board is made from recovered paper to reduce burden on the environment.
AN OPEN VIEWER FRIENDLY FORUM FOR THE BEST IN CANADIAN + INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ARTS ARCHITECTURE DESIGN + ART EDUCATION Promoting Contemporary Visual Arts Since 1988 10215 - 112 Street Edmonton, AB, Canada T5K 1M7 www.harcourthouse.ab.ca email@example.com 780 426 4180
PLAY IN PHOTOGRAPHY
When was the last time that you truly just played with your camera?
BY ALI PENKO
“LET’S PLAY” is what I always say at the beginning of every photo shoot, even if I am the only one in the room. For me, it’s a reminder. As photographers, we are often bogged down by the seriousness of our industry, the highly competitive, egocentric, solitary reality of running a business. We often forget why we got into the game in the first place.
Photography is a perfect marriage of science and art. A medium all on its own, there is really nothing like it. Training your brain to see differently and solve visual challenges, learning the rules so that you can break them, is all part of the experience.
As a teenager, there was always a camera hanging around my neck. My high school didn’t have a photography class, but there was a secret darkroom where I learned film development and printmaking. I learned through under- and over-exposed disappointing images. At the time, someone told me that film was the cheapest thing in photography, but it was too expensive for me. I had to get better and make each frame count.
I wanted to learn more and pursued photography in my post-secondary education. The science of photography totally blew my mind. I was in love again! I had never been so dedicated or worked so hard at anything in my life. Ideas and inspiration were flowing out of me! I was indestructible.
The one thing that I really didn’t learn at college was that I had to know how to run a business. This got me into some
uncomfortable situations with my first few jobs in photography and it made me not love it anymore. There was a period of about three or more years that I didn’t even touch my camera. I lost the magic and forgot what it was that made me love it in the first place. I forgot how to play.
I spent years working in a completely different industry that paid my bills. I chose to pick up my camera only for enjoyment. A personal, private, secret hobby, with results that never saw the light of day. Then something changed. I began to have ideas again. These ideas were unconventional and against everything I had learned formally. I began by cutting up my prints to create new work. Going back into the archives and reinventing images I had taken years ago.
Manipulating light, exploring abstraction, celebrating colour, I was playing. I was excited about what I was doing and began to share my work again. People were responding positively so I continued to create, and enjoyed the process. It was fun again.
Maybe I’m getting older and caring less about what other people think or coming to terms with the idea that photography is part of my core. The one thing I know is that it’s play that keeps calling me back to create and experiment with photography.
I encourage you to pick up your camera, experiment, try a technique or a lens you’ve never used before. Fight the instincts to make a technically perfect image. You never know where it will take you. Remember fun.
KERRY MANDERS AND BRANDY RYAN IN CONVERSATION
Kerry Manders: This issue of PhotoED Magazine asks us to consider photography and fun, images that offer joy and perhaps brighten your day. What do you think of this theme at this time?
brandy ryan: We’re having this conversation, in winter, in Toronto, temperatures are dropping, and the days are dark. We’ve just entered another COVID-19 lockdown as infection numbers rise. The aftermath of the U.S. election isn’t providing as much relief as we’d hoped. It’s really easy to get caught in the things that are hard right now. So, looking at something joyful and fun is so very welcome in this moment.
KM: Agreed. I’m more than ready to enter the spirit of play. Joannie’s Playtime series was shot in 2017. There’s a way in which this work epitomizes the “before-times,” at least in my perception of it. I can’t help but imagine the multiple cross-border trips that Joannie made to Hallandale Beach, Florida, to make these images. I’m imagining the relative ease of travel then. No need for masks or return-trip quarantine. The photos are imbued with — or perhaps I’m projecting onto them — a certain pre-pandemic carefree ease and idealism. We no longer inhabit a world in which this project could play out as it did, a world in which Joannie could travel back and forth documenting Floridian snowbirds.
LEFT: Hallandale twins BELOW: Ladies night
There’s an element of nostalgia to the series that is a direct result of our COVID-19 context. When will we be able to travel again?!
br: I agree that this series really does embody the “before-times” activities and proximities that we used to take for granted.
KM: It’s funny that we’re kicking off this conversation about play in such a serious way. It makes me curious about what constitutes “play” right now, for any of us.
br: Yes! I keep imagining how Joannie’s images would play if the subjects had masks on. And, speaking “seriously,” for a series entitled Playtime, I’m interested that the play never translates into smiles for the subjects of these photographs. To me, Joannie and Yvette don’t look like they’re actually having fun. Nothing in the subjects’ expressions or body language conveys fun or play to me. Where is the joy, the amusement, the frivolity? That’s really missing for me in these photographs. Joannie and Yvette seem so staid, so stoic, in ways that surprise me.
KM: I hadn’t considered the absence of overt smiles in the series. But I feel the smiles bubbling just beneath the surface. I read the seemingly serious dual self-portraits as playfully, firmly tongue-
in-cheek. I’m wondering if it’s their posing that’s throwing you off — a lack of spontaneity inherent to your sense of fun, of play?
br: Yes, I see all the props, all the accoutrements, of play, but without the accompanying joy that play facilitates or inspires. For me, the fun resides in the colour palettes of these portraits and in their playful objects — the pails and shovels, for example. Like what I’m looking at is an idea of play but not play per se.
KM: This is a playfully conceptual portrait series, not a documentary approach to playtime. Perhaps the play is in the collaborative staging and twinning and costuming. The play is in posing for “playtime” photos but doesn’t reside in playtime itself, you know? There’s something quite playful in the shared making of these dual selfportraits, by relatively new “best friends.” Part of the fun, for me, is imagining these shoots! I’d love to have “behind the scenes” access or some blooper reel footage! Despite the lack of smiles or laughter that you note, this feels like a joyful series to me. How much fun must they have had twinning it up like this?! Finding matching costumes, figuring out where they wanted to pose and with what. When I read the title, I read it as referring more to photographic collaborating — the sartorial and object play involved — and less as referring to the play depicted within the photos.
16 photo ED
ABOVE: 1333 Twin Avenue
RIGHT: Parking & Twister
Joannie and Yvette look defiantly at the camera with an attitude of “JUST WATCH US.”
br: That makes sense to me. And I like that your reading here gives us another way into this series.
KM: The series also seems to depict the evolution or the “aging” of play: what play is for a child and what play is or means for an adult sometimes converge, sometimes diverge. I’m thinking of the difference between building sandcastles on the beach and indulging in a spa day.
br: That makes me think of the way that play gets circumscribed, subdued, or tamed as we age. Play is seemingly less permissible. Or play is permissible differently, maybe. I’m thinking of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s –vibe of that one image in which Yvette is holding a little dog, as well as what I call the “ladies who lunch” portrait in which Joannie and Yvette are both wearing hats but also holding cardboard crowns on their laps. This feels like a very “adult,” even “high society” version of play. The earlier photos play with bright, primary colours, and they are, I’m noticing, all shot outdoors. Further in the series, we move indoors and the colours shift. They are more muted. Which perhaps says something about how adults “play”?
KM: Yes, and that leads me to the collaborative friendship between Joannie and Yvette. This friendship (and the series itself) evolved out of Joannie’s work about Québécois snowbirds. To me, such a friendship is the absolute best by-product of our creative pursuits. When you embark on a project, you can’t guess whom you’ll meet and how they might impact your life. You can’t predict those beautiful moments of serendipity. These are unexpected gifts and I think we do well to say “yes” to them when life — when work — offers them up. I love that Joannie and Yvette said “yes” to a connection, a bond that bridges a half-century age difference. Looking at this series, I keep wondering what they’re teaching each other, what wisdom they’re exchanging. How rare are such relationships? I think about our group of friends and we’re all roughly the same ages. We have friends maybe a decade older, maybe a decade younger. But how many people can truly say they have a best friend who is half a century older or younger?
br: Not many! That gap is fascinating: what bridges it, what remains necessarily estranged, foreign? Which makes me think that there’s something a bit rebellious in what they are doing here. They are women of radically different ages who “twin”
18 photo ED
themselves in a world that constantly dictates “age appropriate” clothing, activities, and even identities for women. Certainly women of such drastically differing ages can’t “get away with” wearing identical outfits? Or participating in the same recreational activities? Yet Joannie and Yvette look defiantly at the camera with an attitude of “just watch us.” And I notice that they are both looking directly at the camera — their viewers — in virtually every image, even if we can’t see their eyes.
KM: You’re absolutely right. Joannie and Yvette’s eyes are covered in all but one of the photos here, either by sunglasses or by facialmask cucumbers. What do you make of their covered eyes?
br: To me, they are saying something about being for and with each other, almost denying us access. I’m thinking about the “games” images: shuffleboard and bowling. I read Joannie and Yvette as playing on the same side — replete with snazzy team uniforms. This feels so delightful and so rare because all too often women are made to compete with one other — for visibility, for status, etc. There is something of their connection that will always be opaque to the viewer, something that only they
know and understand. When a female subject meets the viewers’ gaze directly, it’s provocative. Unexpected.
KM: I love that reading. She’s not supposed to look at us, right? She’s supposed to avert her gaze or look affectionately at someone else in the photo. But there’s nothing shy or demure here: they are bold broads! On a related note, all too often, women are depicted as only and ever young. Older women are depressingly subject to a brutal and sweeping erasure from visual culture.
br: And it raises the question of what’s considered an appropriate subject for photography, right? If you think about it, intergenerational twinning, the simplicity of two women playing, is a surprisingly radical idea.
KM: Absolutely. It’s like extending a hand towards another generation and saying, “Be seen with me. Come play with me.”
See more of Joannie’s work at jlafreniere.ca
+ check out her short film SNOWBIRDS, (featuring Yvette) on cbc.ca/shortdocs/shorts/snowbirds
LEFT: Shuffleboard BELOW: Bowling
CAROL × NATALIE
Natalie Brettschneider performs Rapunzel and Medusa Sit Down to Chat about War, c. 1947.
Excerpt from My Blue Canoe: A Life in Canadian Art
BY WALTER MARKSON
NATALIE BRETTSCHNEIDER STRUCK ME as being a woman in a hurry. When I met her for an interview in Toronto in the fall of 1972, she was waiting for me at The Senator diner, her egg salad sandwich half eaten and lipstick already staining a freshly refilled cup of coffee. She let out a barely audible snort of disapproval. I was five minutes early, but that didn’t matter.
But that was Natalie in a nutshell. Ahead of the curve. If you were riding the crest of an Art Deco wave, she was towelled off onshore, building a Bauhaus-inspiring sandcastle with Gertrud Arndt. She wasn’t one to wait for the rest of the world to catch up.
From what I had heard, Natalie was always the most interesting, effervescent person in the room. However, when I met her, she was already 76; she seemed to have lost patience at being asked the same questions over and over by the newest art critics on the beat. I may have overdone things with my black turtleneck and tweed jacket that day. Here I was, interviewing the grande dame of performance art, and I looked like an over eager puppy dog.
Conversation was curt but professional. I did manage to confirm a long disputed rumour about her entire career being built on mouthwash. She told me that while studying opera in Paris, a condition of her scholarship required her to give demonstrations of the sponsor’s antiseptic throat gargle. Natalie, easily bored, turned these weekly sessions into impromptu performances she held in a tent outside the Paris Opera House. One evening, she said she spotted Vaslav Nijinsky among those in attendance, and shortly thereafter most of avant-garde Paris had witnessed her tonsillar escapades.
She began creating and performing new works, historically accepted as “revolutionary in their audacity and playfulness.” These early years saw the development of her dynamic fusion of camp and esoterica that would leave critics scratching their heads and modernists vying for a place at every performance. Sitting across from her in our booth, I could feel that legendary energy. It was hypnotic. Listening to her rhyming off names of friends and collaborators made it impossible to concentrate on the task at hand. I was in the presence of greatness but, at the age of 22, didn’t know how to react.
Above: Natalie Brettschneider with friends Lori Weidenhammer and Soressa Gardner, c. 1951.
Through her modelling career in the 1920s, Natalie met Lee Miller and Man Ray. The trio became friends and had clear influences on one another’s work. Natalie’s performance of Jacket in Paris roughly coincides with Lee Miller’s and Man Ray’s own experiments with solarization. Rumours swirled around the three of them at this time. To my knowledge, I was the only one to ever make the mistake of asking her directly if they were true. Never before (and never since) have I felt a stare dig through my eyes and down into my spine. She said — and I am paraphrasing as her words were far too colourful to accurately capture here — “I haven’t dished on either Man Ray or Lee and I’m not about to now.” It wasn’t until my lunch arrived five minutes later that I got up the courage to speak again.
The fact is … I was enamoured with her. Or her work. Or both. I didn’t know which. At this point, my nerves getting the better of me, I veered into a monologue. I was flailing, and she knew it.
I told her that I always felt (and still do) that you could draw a direct line from any bold new artistic endeavour of the twentieth century back to something she had done or to people with whom she had worked or socialized. The intersections seemed astounding.
Natalie was friendly with the incredibly influential Piscator triplets, who confounded audiences by giving performances of their compositions in multiple venues at the same time, all while claiming to be one person. Photographs from Natalie’s performances seemed to lead to all sorts of new movements in fashion and photography. Shadow Tree, performed against intertwining foliage, showed traces of Aaron Siskind and abstract impressionism; Burnt Tree is the model Dovima without her elephants; and Feather Hat seemed a precursor to the modern photographic stylings of Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.
I finally felt I was making headway as her look became merely noncommittal instead of outright disdainful. “There are so many artists who slip through the cracks,” she said with an encouraging lilt in her voice. She was about to make my career. I readied my pen and paper to write down the names of who knows how many undiscovered greats.
“Like who?” I asked.
“You have mustard on your lip,” Natalie replied. With that, she got up from the table, and walked out of the diner, heading north towards Dundas Street.
ABOVE: Natalie Brettschneider performs Oval Matt, Paris, c. 1920.
LEFT: Natalie Brettschneider performs Feather Hat, Montreal, c. 1950.
Natalie Brettschneider performs Moche Warrior, c. 1949.
Acquired with the assistance of Kathleen Taylor.
LEFT: “ L’Ensemble trois femmes mécaniques” promotional photograph, c. 1958. Acquired with the assistance of Blaine Campbell.
RIGHT: “ Woman ponders Sophie Tauber-Arp,” Oskar Schlemmer interjects, 2015.
CAROL SAWYER A Life in Canadian Art
BY MARK WALTON
Carol Sawyer looks disconcertingly like Natalie Brettschneider. You can see it in the mouth, the nose, and most definitely in those questioning, intelligent eyes. Of course, Carol IS Natalie. Or Natalie IS Carol. Our conversation led me to believe that it may be a combination of both.
Regardless, Carol’s work is a natural progression of the feminist work of Suzy Lake and Cindy Sherman, carefully crafting a fictional biography photographically through years of growth, and not just a series of fragmented moments. Carol created the detailed, years-long account of her character, Natalie Brettschneider in the Natalie Brettschneider Archive (NBA).
“My dream as a young girl was to study theatre, singing, and visual art, and do something that combined them…. Everybody told me I couldn’t do that,” says Carol. Her 22year (and counting) project fuses all three elements into a
strong narrative that focuses on the history of women in the arts, specifically — in her own words — on “who is included and who isn’t, how different people get forgotten or remembered and the whole role of sexism and identification. It’s playful and funny and invites people in but there’s that serious feminist question at the heart of it.”
Artists can be completely involved in a specific movement or arts community but unless there is someone to write their stories they risk being forgotten. “This is what interested me,” says Carol, “that role of identification and how an artist might be known or unknown. I took that identification to an extreme by inventing her.”
Nathalie Brettschneider became an “excavation tool.” The recent touring exhibition of the NBA (which concluded in Toronto in November 2020) gave Carol an opportunity to draw some work by lesser known women out of gallery collections and show them alongside her images of
GET THE FULL STORY
The Carol Sawyer: The Natalie Brettschneider Archive catalogue, produced by the Carleton University Art Gallery in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Koffler Gallery, traces the history of the archive’s iterations over the last 20 years. In addition to photographs from the archive, the book features an essay by Erin Silver.
Get your copy of this must-have book through the above listed galleries.
Natalie Brettschneider performs Jacket, c. 1930.
Brettschneider. In Toronto she was challenged to explore the fact that “feminism has really moved on and there’s a lot of challenging of feminism to acknowledge the additional barriers to success that queer and racialized women have had [to overcome].”
Carol taught the history of photography on several occasions at Emily Carr University, and this fact shows up in the images she created for the NBA. Many are evocative of the greats (Stieglitz, Lee Miller, Man Ray, Siskin, Avedon, Penn), but Carol insists that they were not conscious references but rather a result of her “super affectionate relationship with all kinds of photographs,” including vernacular and more modernist photos. The word “affection” comes up often when Carol talks about photography.
Carol is conscious of the role of women as models, and very much aware of “how much somebody like Dovima is the author of the image (‘Dovima with Elephants Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris’ by Richard Avedon), but how their part of the creation isn’t considered important.”
Carol has created numerous other small bodies of work between working on the NBA. She says, “One of the common themes in my work … is the relationship between photography and truth and the tension between the document and the lie. Cameras look so truthful. People have this desire to believe in them.
“A lot of my work has used more than one camera. There’s a video I made in 2001 that I shot in a proscenium arch theatre
and I couldn’t fit the whole stage in the shot. I shot it with two cameras turned vertically, fixed throughout the video, but it leaves a seam in the middle. All of these fictional things can happen because of the seam. It looks so real because it’s lensbased media so you want to believe in that architectural space.
“Lens-based media invites viewers to participate in an illusion but at the same time they know it’s an illusion. That’s the tension happening in the Brettschneider archive. People encounter their desire for her to be real and long to project certain things onto her.
“I’ve always [got] that feeling of being slightly in the unknown and I think it’s a fertile place for me.”
What’s next? Carol says she hopes that she can put Natalie Brettschneider to rest, but she can’t rule anything out. According to Carol, she carries Natalie around in her head. She is intrigued at the idea of bringing Natalie herself to the stage in a play.
Carol is currently working in a more collaborative process, shooting portraits and videos of performer friends trained in baroque opera. She plans to continue to explore the space of the theatre stage.
How very Natalie Brettschneider of her.
See more of Carol Sawyer’s work at: CAROLSAWYER.NET
Rose Droop Panorama, from I attempt from love’s sickness to fly, in vain, 2017.
From zombies to drag queens, Toronto-based photographer and photo illustrator Blake Morrow has the heart of a storyteller, the mind of a creative problem solver, and the technical know-how to pull it all together to craft images with impact.
A Q&A BY RITA GODLEVSKIS
28 photo ED
CULTURE + PHOTOSHOP
“Blake is SO MUCH FUN to work with. It’s very rare that I meet someone who has the same chaotic energy I have.”
~ Priyanka, reigning Queen of Canada’s Drag Race
ollowing Blake’s work for some time now, this FUN edition of PhotoED seemed like the perfect opportunity to ask him about his process. We asked Blake a few questions.
Whose work has influenced you?
Annie Leibovitz will always be someone I’m influenced by. I love the way she photographs people but elevates even a mundane environment into something theatrical and surreal to make the subject shine. I think David LaChapelle takes that idea even further, embracing the insanity of pop culture. I highly respect Jeremy Cowart’s way of giving back to the community with his self-assigned projects. I’m also influenced by illustrators, graphic design, movie posters…. It all seeps into my subconscious.
What do you want your photographs to say, and how do you go about delivering that message through your work?
For my personal creative work, I am to provide social commentary and present viewpoints that might be new or unexpected to the viewer.
As a commercial artist, I want my photographs to persuade in whichever way the client’s creative brief is aiming for. I’m quite happy to make their directive my directive, and find ways within the imagery to influence the viewer.
If you could take your art in any direction without being afraid of failing, or being rejected, what would you try? What holds you back? (If anything!)
I think I’m already doing that. (I swear my ego is in check while saying that!) But this has come over time, by learning to trust my instincts. I don’t feel trapped to only work in one style or subject matter. I think there is a solution for every challenge, and I like having to work around limitations, as it stretches me and makes me grow as a result.
How has working in photography influenced you personally?
At any given time, be it watching TV or out
shopping, I am hyper-aware of how we are constantly influenced by visuals. I use Photoshop so much that I tend to pass time on the subway mentally retouching people sitting across from me. Or if I look in my mirror and see tired undereyes, I’m subconsciously picking the brush size and intensity that I would fix them up digitally. While this sounds nerve-racking and a bit crazy, I have a very strong sense of humour that helps me navigate it all.
What is most important when you are planning an image?
I think it’s really important, from a commercial point of view, to have a clear vision of what the client is looking to accomplish. Are we creating a scene to put on a book cover so a viewer will buy it? Sweet. Am I photographing a drag queen who wants her personality to be front and centre? Cool! It’s my job to figure out how to create the result the client is looking for.
When it comes to my personal work, it’s important to not self-edit until the right time. An idea can evolve as we ponder it and brainstorm without fear. If an idea seems edgy or challenging, before you shut it down or decide it isn’t a safe idea, instead, give it time to grow and evolve before saying “I shouldn’t do this.”
Also keep in mind that not every image you create needs to be content for your social media channels. Create for yourself, not just your followers.
ABOVE: Priyanka as Jasmine and her alter-ego Mark Suki as Aladdin, part of Blake’s Love Yourself series.
TOP RIGHT: An homage to the Beatle’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover, Blake merged together a dozen different photo shoots of Priyanka to capture her diverse looks in one iconic image.
RIGHT: From 30 Days of Priyanka. At the beach with a vintage vibe, and protecting the city as a superhero.
What is the most challenging part about what you do? What is the most rewarding?
I think working with limited budgets can be challenging, but figuring out solutions around that can be fun. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with creating something that I think looks really cool. The feeling of a job well done really does feel awesome and should outweigh the desire for money, fame, or notoriety.
One of my most challenging and rewarding experiences was a project for a book cover for “The Walking Dead” franchise. The art director and I had lofty ambitions to create something as cool as the TV show advertising imagery. We photographed over 75 people as zombies, with 6 different special effects makeup artists and an extremely dedicated clothing stylist. I invited friends and family to take part and now, when I look at the final cover, it’s like an undead yearbook of loved ones in my life.
Photography is always changing in techniques and technology. What do you do to keep up?
I pretty much live in Photoshop when I’m not at my photo studio, so I tend to update my skills as I go. I think the best way to keep up is to just take in everything visual you come by; when you see something you like, find out how they did it. It’s really handy when social media and image-makers show the behind-the-scenes of how they work.
Most importantly, I self-assign a lot of the things I shoot for my own well-being. I’m super-thankful for my regular clients that I shoot commercial
work for, however I find coming up with my own assignments gives me a laneway of creating that keeps things fresh. Self-assigning ideas to create also adds to my portfolio and acts as selfpromotion when shared on social media channels. Art directors love to see someone who is in love with their craft and self-motivated.
What photography projects can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I’ll soon be working on a second volume of Love Yourself drag entertainers, and I’m also in the midst of creating a series influenced by the songs on Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album.
What advice would you give an aspiring Canadian photographer?
Don’t be a snob about where good ideas come from. Look at everything. Other people’s work can be intimidating to look at, but take it all in as a learning experience. It will all help you figure out what excites you about creating. Don’t forget to have fun. I’m entertained by so many elements of what I do. Figuring out the right prop for an image or perfecting something with a bit of retouching.… If it isn’t entertaining, don’t build a career around it. Learn to be a problem-solver. Stay teachable. I’m always learning, and I count that as a huge strength.
Keep your ego in check, but know your worth. Don’t be afraid to do something for fear that it will define you, but also don’t be afraid to say “no” if a project doesn’t feel like a match for your sensibilities.
LEFT: The Beth Project features Blake’s friend Beth interacting with herself before and after losing 150 pounds.
Matthew Donovan hanging with drag queen alter-ego Hillary Yaas in a Honeymooners’-style satire.
LEFT: Beth as a 1960s-style go-go alien queen being met by herself as an astronaut.
TOP RIGHT: Victor Keita and drag queen alter-ego Naomi Leone dressed to celebrate in Blake’s photo studio elevator.
Blake’s portrait of Annie Leibovitz.
Blake’s book covers for “The Walking Dead” franchise.
BLAKE MORROW FUN FACTS
• Blake interned for Annie Leibovitz in New York , after graduating from college in Toronto. Annie once referred to him as “a dreamboat” because his on-set persona was calming to her.
• Blake has had two projects go viral: The Beth Project, a series of combined before-andafter photos featuring a friend who lost 150 pounds, and Love Yourself, which features drag entertainers interacting with themselves in and out of their stage makeup. Buzzfeed, People, Good Morning America, HuffPost, and many more, have picked up his work.
• After creating the art for three “The Walking Dead” book covers , creator Robert Kirkman named a character “Blake Morrow” in his comic book series Outcast
BEHIND THE SCENES: Blake is just a dude wearing a cowboy hat, drinking a coffee, holding a baby doll. Totally normal.
BY MICHELLE JOSEPH
IN 2014 LINDSI HOLLEND was at a low point in her life. On the outside, her life seemed perfect, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. She wasn’t able to understand what she was feeling.
After watching Lindsi struggle with her emotions, a close friend stepped in and encouraged Lindsi to speak with a professional. After meeting with a doctor, she was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She was prescribed medication and, within six weeks, life as she knew it had changed. In that short time, Lindsi responded exceptionally well to medication and she felt a renewed sense of self.
She felt she had a new ability to see the intricate patterns and colours in simple everyday objects with a deep intensity. “It was as
if I was looking through a magical pair of goggles and could see colour where I once saw only black and white,” she says.
Wanting to share her new skill and capture her newly heightened vision, Lindsi bought a DSLR camera and launched her new photographic venture, Lindsi Beth Photography.
Being a self-taught photographer gave Lindsi a sense of artistic freedom. She wasn’t tied to convention or rules. She simply took pictures of things that brought her joy. Lindsi describes her photographs as abstracts. “I take something that seems ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary by shifting my perspective,” she explains. When Lindsi was able to shift her vision, she realized that she could use her skills to shift her mindset as well.
Lindsi says, “I use photography to capture and create visual poetry through abstractions. My images are born from my unique creative process and a personal state of internal perspective. I am so grateful for the opportunity to step away from the chaos, and create something engaging and inspiring.” She expresses her desire to give the viewer the space to stop and consider the world from a new viewpoint. In addition to capturing the world around her, she is heavily inspired by long exposures of light, water, and movement, which she showcases in her Expansion and Flow series. Lindsi constantly seeks “the bright side of things.”
Lindsi enjoys making blank walls more impactful, joyful, and colourful. Her typically large-scale images are mounted to acrylic and aim to exude happiness, whimsy, and fun. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lindsi adjusted her production plans
and began selling framed prints online, in addition to her large, statement pieces.
Lindsi believes that if there is something creative to try, do it. It doesn’t matter who likes it; it doesn’t matter who wants it. She feels compelled to focus on things that bring her joy. Photography has given her a renewed sense of wonder and delight that she enthusiastically shares with everyone she meets.
photo ED 35
“ I USE PHOTOGRAPHY TO CAPTURE AND CREATE VISUAL POETRY THROUGH ABSTRACTIONS.”
Jordan Bennett, al’taqiaq: it spirals, 2021, Courtesy of the Artist
Expect grand planetary shifts and transformations as the celestial bodies dance in the cosmos and shine their light on our souls in 2021!
Image by Djenabé IG: @visionsofdjenabe
These affirmations are derived from astrological research and an intuitive energy reading practice by Djenabé. Lotus cards were pulled for each sign with the intentions of love, truth, reciprocity, and guidance in mind.
March 21-April 19
Affirmation: Vulnerability is not a flaw, and shame is not my name. When I express my inner truths, I gain access to awareness, clarity, and love.
Aries is undergoing a spiritual awakening and connecting to the vibrations of love and gratitude in new ways that enrich their path to healing old wounds. But the journey is far from over! Remember to celebrate those small victories and communicate your need for boundaries or support. Keeping a journal may also help with transmuting pain, grief, or restlessness.
April 20-May 20
Affirmation: My shine can’t block anyone’s glow. When I share my divine gifts, I am honouring my true self and enriching my community.
Let the love shine in! Taurus is having new revelations on relationships and building lasting connections to their community. Following a dark period of divine interventions and transmutation of grief, you have been endowed with a wealth of spiritual knowledge to help to guide you through your sacred unions both on earth and in the astral. Look around; we’re all inspired and proud of your growth!
May 21-June 21
Affirmation: I surrender to serendipity. Nothing will block my divine path, for what is meant for me is already on the way!
A divine awakening has taken place, igniting a timely ego death and shaking the very foundations of Gemini’s reality. As you continue to recover and uncover more truths about yourself, practise acceptance and take intentional actions towards fulfilling your need for compassionate communion.
June 22-July 22
Affirmation: My mind is a plant that I will water with love. When I speak my truth, I access support and healing.
Cancer, it’s about time to come out of that hard shell. It’s very unlike you to be so stubborn and, frankly, resisting change isn’t serving you anymore either. Blockages in your heart centre are being challenged by your spiritual expansion and desire for true intimacy. Let the love flow outward and watch as it comes right back to you tenfold. Make a “healing priorities” to-do list and take it step by step. You got this!
When I express myself freely and embrace my gifts, I access unconditional love and support.
July 23-August 22
THIS PAGE, RIGHT:
Affirmation: My path is divinely protected! With love and courage, I am boundless.
Leo is reflecting on their past relationships and realizing how certain motives and biases may have driven them in the wrong directions. As you remove toxic people and habits from your life, it’s very important to prioritize self-care, too! It may feel lonely at the start, but when you tap into your true essence and embrace your inner child, you’ll see how the right people gravitate towards you at the right time.
August 23-September 22
Affirmation: I evolve in the present moment. Every breath is another chance to love deeper.
Virgo, just dust off your shoulders and try again. Not everything will go as planned but — let’s be real — you secretly LOVE surprises! Vivid dreams, new hobbies, and wanderlust are all making for some very mixed energy. Whatever you do, don’t go digging in the pits of nostalgia. Breathe, stretch, shake, and let it go.
September 23-October 23
Affirmation: When I express myself freely and embrace my gifts, I access unconditional love and support.
Why so silent, Libra? I know you’ve recently realized all that glitters is not gold, but it’s YOU who adds the special sparkle! Don’t just sit with your emotions anymore, run with them, paint with them, dance with them, or use them to fuel your next move. Tap into communities that pour back into your growth. Get engaged and share your gifts!
Photo by Tylor Key-Carr @tylorkc
Kai Gbamanja @sierraleoneboy
Photo by @sallyheeee Model: @ coradacalle
Makeup artist: @kmini.mua Set @kathman_dude + @jinggyyyy
Photo by @sallyheeee Model: @toniquesewell
Makeup artist: @karlaqleon
October 24–November 21
Affirmation: I accept before I expect. My future unfolds when I surrender to the present moment.
Scorpio needs a retreat real soon! Anxiety about the future may be overwhelming you, but it’s only to put you in the position to succeed. Patience and balance are your best pen-pals right now. Take the time to write a gratitude list and keep it close!
November 22–December 21
Affirmation: When I acknowledge the beauty of life, I open the doors to genuine love and transformation.
Sagittarius are experiencing a different type of exhaustion, the kind that blinds you from seeing the bigger picture because your eyes are halfclosed. It’s time to literally wake up and smell the roses! Keep flowers or a potted plant near your bedside to inspire an appreciation for nature and to stay in a space of gratitude (the highest vibration).
December 22–January 19
Affirmation: By faith and not by sight. My divine intuition will lead me to my destined path.
Capricorns have been unravelling and shedding so much that they are simply too dizzy to function. Practise stillness and forgiveness right now. Pamper yourself with things from your wishlist and don’t feel bad for going ghost to get closer to your spirit guides. You are the strong friend, just take a break and bask in the sun.
Model and editor:
Photo by Brody Capps
Photo by Mateo Amuchastegui
Styling: Michelle Leon
I accept before I expect. My future unfolds when I surrender to the present moment.
January 20–February 18
Affirmation: When I celebrate myself, I gain access to freedom, unconditional love, and growth.
That hard work is really paying off Aqua! You’ve healed parts of yourself you didn’t even know were wounded while bandaging up your tribe too. Make time for rest and renewal through meditation, and don’t consume content that lowers your vibe. Your unshakable confidence will return to you when you begin to measure energetic value by authenticity.
February 19–March 20
Affirmation: Mistakes are not missed opportunities. What is meant for me will meet me halfway with grace and clarity.
Pisces are finally getting that stroke of luck they’ve been wishing for. It’s been a while since you’ve tapped into your creative flow due to being buried in self-doubt and blocked by selfsabotage. As you regain the confidence to manifest joy (in small ways) and step into your power, abundance and wisdom await you!
Djenabé | Founder and Art Director of Aquarius Mood
Djenabé is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist who engages with photography, music, and design. After receiving her BFA at The New School’s Parsons School of Design she freelanced for companies such as Studio D at Hearst Magazines, David Zwirner Gallery, and Sterling Studios. When Djenabé isn’t freelancing, she is developing personal art projects, curating community events, or writing about astrology.
SUBMISSIONS BY OUR READERS
Fort McMurray, AB IG: @melissarichard4
Finding humour everyday. Laughter is the best medicine.
Selected by our guest judge Blake Morrow!
Blake commented: “Melissa’s images of her family really capture the spirit of fun, simply and beautifully, not with a huge budget or fanfare… just a lot of heart.”
Fort McMurray, AB
“Finding humour everyday. Laughter is the best medicine.”
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS, MELISSA WON:
The ultimate FUN prize pack that included:
A LOMO INSTANT CAMERA
Their highest-end instant camera, this kit comes with a ton of creative accessories + an interchangeable back to swap between fuji instax square and mini film.
SPARKPLUG COFFEE ⠀ Fresh coffee delivered to your door! @sparkplugcoffee +
A gorgeous copy of “Badlands”By Robert Kroetsch, featuring
Photographs by George Webber.
Port Hope, ON
“ I strive to create images that conjure up a smile and sense of wonder in the viewer. My goal is to reignite the childhood sense of magic and wonder in the world around us.”
EN POINTE PHOTOGRAPHY
“ The dancer model is my 14 year old daughter. I started photography in May 2020 as a COVID hobby. Together we are loving life, finding and refining our art while doing some mother/ daughter bonding.”
IG: @ en.pointe.photography
“Chryshawnda and I felt as though we were overposing, so we decided “screw it“ just let’s just have fun and be ourselves because photography is supposed to be fun!”
“ Trying to do a fashion editorial outside in Montreal for a jewellery company, however the wind had different ideas. We were all laughing so hard as the model’s (Katherine Smits) hair attacked her in the wind.”
DAVID WILLIAMS Toronto, ON
“ I’m a street/documentary photographer and am always looking for interesting interactions between people, and also between people and their environments. My photos look to move the viewer and encourage them to weave a story from the image. In many cases, the interactions are pleasantly unexpected.”
Mayne Island, BC
“Our dog had puppies while we were in a bush camp planting trees in northern BC. Things get kinda loopy when you’re around the same people for so long without contact to the outside world. I guess the pups thought he was their mama bare :)”
“ These images are from a series I call, SOUR FACE . Each subject was willing to be surprised with a super sour candy and their expressions were documented.”
“ For the past several years the creation of the ‘Brett Calendar’ has been a fun and silly project to gift to friends and family. For 2021, I wanted to push myself further than I ever had in the past and create a calendar of selfportraits that reflected my feelings about the state of the world. With the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine I had plenty of time to reflect on who I am, what kind of artist I want to be, and what I can do to accomplish that. In the end, I decided to pursue my ongoing mission statement of “stupid ideas, beautifully shot.” ”
IG: @tminstral & @ alphabrett.soup
SOUR is a series I created over a few dark, cold winter months. A bleak time for most people. I thought it would be fun to ask people to participate in a photo challenge without any prior knowledge of what it was going to be. A lot of people found the mystery request interesting and when they arrived for the shoot they were surprised to find out that I would be photographing them eating lemons. I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to make something fun out of a sour situation.
This project from a few years ago seems more fitting nowduring a pandemic than ever before. It was a tun of fun to capture their expressions. There was a lot of laughter on set. A small glimmer of happiness.”
IG: @ k.ate.ro
My roommate wanted a funny photo that he could print for Secret Santa. This is the masterpiece that we came up with. It is a mix of Dwight Schrute from The Office and Napoleon Dynamite.”
SAMANTHA JONES East York, ON
“ This series celebrates women in the simple act of eating. I bought my each of friends a sizeable icecream cone and photographed them in the summer sun.”
#TheSocialNoel began as a way to fill time during the COVID-19 shut down in New Brunswick.
Like many, I was at home most of the day. I was bored one day and thought it might be fun to pretend to become a social media influencer.
I went out in my backyard and took a silly selfie with my phone, posted it on my Instagram account and asked for advice from my followers. One follower said I should try running, so the next photo was of me running. I began taking other silly photo ideas based on the comments I received.
I started doing themed shots around special days (Star Wars Day/Alien Day). Parodies and homages to pop culture stuff (Say Anything/M Night Shyamalan films). Photos based around social media influencer themes.”
IG: @thesocialnoel @ nchenier
JASMINE PRECIOUS MISTRY
I love using vibrant colours and textures to bring life and energy to my photographs. Those are the things that make me feel truly alive, and I hope my images can invoke that in each of my viewers.”
“After shooting some androgyny inspired shots for my fashion class, I decided to explore my interest of collage work and make a personal project out of it. I really pushed myself to learn and use new techniques!”
IG: @ kaylanmadison.imagery
KAYLAN STOCKFORD Collingwood, ON
“This is my dad, he always wanted a yellow Mustang. Mine is blue but he still had a blast! Love seeing my dad smile.”
“ In 2020 we all had our own problems and found interesting ways to deal with them, one way for me was to get outside when I could. Blowing bubbles with my sisters was super fun, and I got some pretty cool photos out of it!”
IG: @ club.redranger & joshiee.13
THEOREN JOHANNESSEN Victoria, BC
“ During quarantine, my roommates sleeping schedule went completely out of whack. Here he is about to eat some frozen salami at 8 am. He isn’t used to seeing people around the house so he was very startled when I took his picture.”
IAN HUMBER Fredericton, NB
“ We were given an assignment guidelines were pretty loose other open for me to have a lot of fun getting a model for this one and make it fun that I was going to be required a little bit of help on this needed to dress my head in such girlfriend for assistance. Once was ready... I had become a Queen!”
“Captured moments of my friends.”
IG: @Cyrelthegreat & @shadowgallry to shoot nude images. The other than that, which left it wide fun with. I didn’t really think about and I knew as soon as I wanted to be an absolute ham about it. I this one however. Having never such a manner, I had to ask my Once the towel was secured, the shot Queen!”
MARTINE MARIE-ANNE CHARTRAND Gatineau, QC
FAMILLE DE LICORNE
“ Most of the time these ideas are never shared but they certainly have there place in my creative approach. For me, they are like sketches to an illustrator. They permit me to try things with no strings attached, simply for fun. We often learn more during those fun relaxing times because we are stress free.”
lamachinesimpleamama.blogspot.ca kolajmagazine.com/artistdirectory/martine -marie-anne-chartrand
MICAH KLEIN Newmarket, ON
“ I got a unicorn horn prop, and my friend loved the idea of putting it on a pony at our barn and modelling with him. It was a short, but really fun photoshoot.”
SACHI BALLAL Mississauga, ON
I found this picture I took of my little brother on my phone a couple years ago and thought it was pretty cute so I wanted to incorporate into my piece in some way. I’ve always thought what it would be like to be stuck in a console like in Jumanji. I decided to put my little brother and I into my Nintendo Switch and made it look all glitched as if it sucked us in.”
IG: @ sachii.ii
“This photo emanates fun, and encompass’ blissful vibes in times of little worry. With everything going on in the world right now, these are the times I reminisce about and can’t wait to enjoy again, hopefully soon.”
I love photographing creative collaborations, with a wide variety of outstanding artists and performers. During our restrictive COVID 2020 summer, we really needed to express ourselves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be as fun filled as possible. We jointly chose our locations and I encouraged each subject to present themselves as they desired to. The hyper saturated colours of the images convey the joy we felt during the shoot. Hasheel is an Indian classical vocalist, bansuri player and flamboyant performer. Rebecca Germaine is a master face and body painting artist.”
“Sometimes air is the best guitar.”
ADAM K. Vancouver, BC
“I was commissioned to shoot a “fireman calendar”of the person in the image.”
1. Lovely Lola, Short Hills NJ
Lola was at Trader Joe’s in Short Hills, NJ. Lola wears tairas and sunglasses I found out at Trader Joe’s often and costumes to bring up the mood of everybody she meets.
Photographed in 2019 with a compact 35mm, Nikon AF35. Fuji 400 speed colour Pro 400H.
2. Paper Bag Musician
I shot this photo in Toronto in the winter. I saw him a few times around town that winter. Shot with Yashica T4/F3.5 lens compact 35mm camera with T-Max 400 black and white film.
New Year’s Eve Lady in 2000
New Year’s Eve of 1999, into the year of 2000. There was worry at that time that computers wouldn’t understand the extra decimal place of new millennium of the year 2000. We were fine. This photo was taken with a compact Yashica T4 with a 35mm/F3.5 lens with Tri-X 400 film.
ASHLEY M. BOUTIN
Nelson House, MB
Hailing from the Maritimes, Arianne French (@ arianne_french) is a fierce feminist, mother, and artist who offers an extensive range of quirk, style, and sophistication in her modelling.”
“Just my little puppy sitting on the grass, tired from running around.”
IG: @ Cooper_dudleylab
“ I have lived on 4 different continents and traveled to over 70 countries in the last 17 years. I have exhibited my work in Toronto, Valencia Spain, Shanghai and in January I will be having my latest exhibition in Accra, Ghana. Most of images could be labeled as ‘travel photography’ that attempts to show how similar we are.”
“ Who hasn’t folded a paper airplane or a little boat? Here, I did that with my prints and re-photographed them. Some of them I re-shot from different angles and layered digitally. The original images were taken on trips to Newfoundland. This series can be taken as a kind of metaphor on how memory is manipulated by ourselves or by external factors.”
ABOVE: “I am not talking to you”
Parisian chairs tell their story
“Walking around the parks in Paris, I was convinced these chairs were living a life parallel to that of ours, that there was a community thriving with similar questions and social dynamics. These chairs were all out of the same mold and yet depending on their environment and natural placement, projected individualistic character and complex relationships.”
IG: @ twinklefilmandothers
BELOW: “Of course! I am listening to you”
“ Black & White -The way I see photos. My Passion.”
St. Albert, AB
“ You can’t start young enough in photography. My grandson shooting me with his newly presented Agfa camera. ;)”
“I aim to capture hope and optimism during difficult times”
“This monochromatic self portrait was inspired by the children’s story “Coraline”, but instead of buttons, I decided to use these off-kilter plums. As a purist I wanted to avoid using Photoshop to alter any of the colours for this photo, so I dyed my hair with semi-permanent colour and created my own backdrop out of a piece of foam-core. I had a lot of fun experimenting with the creative process for this photo!”
“A fun Halloween inspired photoshoot.”
IG: @ en.pointe.photography
LUCAS DECLAVASIO Toronto, ON
It’s about finding the beauty in everything, even when it’s confusing or painful. So, not necessarily about fun, but about trying to be able to be fun and feel fun again. Remain positive, educate others and yourself, support one another through it all, because it’s been a tough year. I look at the chaos and decay and randomness in nature and try to tie that into the human form. Hopefully I discover a way to mentally cope with external factors and just be fun again. Photos are multi-exposure taken in-camera.”
“ The idea for this photograph and adventure has been a culmination of many years and photographic attempts in the Lake Louise area of Banff National Park. The Grand Sentinel is an iconic 400-foot obelisk quartzite rock tower located near the popular Moraine Lake nestled in the Canadian Rockies. Of the two prominent climbing routes featured on the Sentinel, I chose to photograph Cardiac Arete, which follows the south-facing edge of the spire. My goal was to capture the first light to hit the tower as our team of climbers ascended the final pitch.
Due to the nature of the Grand Sentinel, the climbing is extremely exposed and airy. The climb frequently sees high winds and has sections of sharp roofs and slabs with steep drop offs visible below. The route Cardiac Arete is a high alpine climb that requires technical ability, perseverance, and a strong headspace. Myself and a tight-knit crew finally attempted this project on August 16th, 2020.”
“ For years I’ve been intrigued by the fashion of the 1960s. I love the sharp cat-eye in retro makeup, the crisp lines of mini skirts and Beatle boots, and the range of styles from hippies to Go-Go’s to Madison Ave suits. During the pandemic, I’ve found experimenting with 60s fashion a thrilling escape from the bleak state of the world. This series focuses on various styles of not only fashion in terms of clothing and makeup, but experimenting with editing techniques to achieve a dated look. So travel back in time with me, and Let’s Twist Again!”
“ Experiment - soap and oil. I have never tried this before as I usually do street photography but wanted to try something out of my comfort zone.”
Charlottetown, PE “
Shaking off quarantine blues (or at least trying to).”
IG: @ coltoncurtis.jpg
J. ASHLEY NIXON
“Landscape of photographers. Waterton Lake, Alberta.”
“ My camera club had a humour theme for December. Since toilet paper has been quite the THING in this pandemic, I came up with this.”
WALTER RAEMISCH ON with a camera”
E ROSS BRADLEY
‘Nude Figure Drawing Redefined’. Captured at a street fair in San Francisco.”
“ First ever batch of locally grown Ontario garlic for Old Post Farm.”
Abram Village, PE
My grandson, Liam, on his baptism day is feeling all grown up so he is trying to teach Peanut how to keep his tongue in his month. Obviously, Peanut will need more lessons before he graduates.“
Port Williams, NS
“ This photo was taken with Kodak Gold 200 film on my Minolta X-370 in August of 2020. My older sister Hannah is pictured here, in the lavender fields of Seafoam Lavender in River John, Nova Scotia. I had a fresh sunburn covering my entire body that day so I requested we bring along her yellow umbrella to block the sun, and it ended up looking beautiful with the colour of the lavender buds. Hannah and I encourage the experience of spinning and dancing in a field of flowers - particularly lavender - it feels wonderful, and smells… incredible.”
“ I was up at my cottage a while back, just at the end of the summer and right on the cusp of fall. I awoke abnormally early and decided to go down to the lake with a cup of coffee and my rescue pup to watch the world slowly wake up (this has been a long standing tradition I’ve always cherished, and often used to do with my grandfather when I was a child). My cottage has always been my favourite place in the world - not a million dollar listing or a piece of architectural beauty by any means, but it’s where I’ve grown up and grown into who I am. So much learning, and so many realizations have taken place somewhere between the wind blowing through the trees and the chirps and songs of wildlife echoing in the distance.
This time was in no way different. Calmly looking out over the water, with a comforting, hot beverage in hand, and a loyal companion at my feet, I watched the world wake up once more. I watched a plethora of colours paint the sky and reflect across the bay. It was so still you could see the fog resting just above the water. The air was crisp and full and fragrant, and it wrapped itself around me like an old familiar blanket.
I became overwhelmed with how beautiful moments like this are, and how fortunate we are to be able to experience and truly revel in them. After this year, I think that’s what we need most; little moments.To be able to just revel in small slivers of time, allowing ourselves to breathe them in and out, fully embracing them, etching every detail into our memory. We are so lucky to have this world in all its magnificence, a magnificence that truly is right there, if we are only willing enough to seek it out, and be open to experiencing it.
I hope this resonates with someone out there, who just needs to take one of these moments and decompress. I hope it helps heal those who are hurting or comfort those missing someone or something. I hope it provides reassurance that there will always be a tomorrow and chance to start over and try again. I hope it helps someone let go of something they’ve been holding onto for too long. I hope it means whatever it needs to mean.”
IG: @ Sarahlevy_
“I felt as though there was a message in them.”
HARMAN DHUDWAL Surrey, BC
“ Ice in winter creates so many interesting shapes and forms. I found these forms on my backyard deck one morning when I stepped out to breathe some fresh air.“
RUTH BERGEN BRAUN
“I support a fellow named Ryan as his photography coach. He has Down Syndrome, and I try to find interesting activities that challenge us as photographers. I spied this shipping container and thought, “wouldn’t it be fun to find a dancer to photograph?!” Then I remembered... I KNOW a dancer, Quinlan Sharkey. We all had a delightful afternoon with Moving Made Easy .”
FB: @ Ruth Bergen Braun Photography
“ This is sports baseball photo that I turned into a pop to create additional and creative dynamism.“ (Translated from French)
IG: @ maevaoriol.photo
“A Cardinal satisfied with breakfast.”
FB: @Natural Moments by PR
“ Enjoying our nature walks during the pandemic...” PARENT Campbellton, “I went on a IG: @ https_jxydxn
Campbellton, NB a hike.”
Not much of a story to tell: a hot day, a beautiful autumn afternoon and a dog tired of staying at home!”
IG: @ mairaribeirofoto
“A visual word play.”
“ During the Ontario stay-at-home-order in January 2021, I was getting cabin fever and decided to head out for some exercise late in the evening. I was aware of the full moon and decided to bring my DSLR for some night photos. I shot this pic in the Willowdale area. It’s the first full moon of the year. They call it the Wolf Moon, because the at this time of the year, the wolves howl the loudest. It was so cold, I had to wait for the clouds to clear in order to see the moon.”
Port Alberni, BC
Sanding birch floors I had to wear a dust mask. I took a selfie of the alien wannabe, which I converted to a monochrome negative to create a gum print. I like mixing the paint, the chemical and the gum arabic then brushing the mixture on the paper. For the first attempt I chose a red layer followed by a black layer, plus I added some yellow by hand. But I thought I could do better. So I went for an orange layer followed by blue in the upper area. Later I added a thin black layer to the mask to improve detail and definition. As paper prints the red one is darker and most people would prefer the orange version.
In Flux is a series exploring interconnectedness through the paradoxical existence of flux and identity. My influences primarily include preSocratics and Taoist philosophy discourses. Through this work, I explore the paradox of perceiving something as both one and many, brought together and pulled apart, from all things one and from one all things. I construct and deconstruct these perceived identities through the superimposition of images. The resulting work is a transformative narrative showing something that is familiar and unfamiliar, a multi-layered space of objective reality.
Harshal incorporates a relativist perspective using photographs as raw materials to create new visual experiences to explore reality. His practice of photography as an art form is an amalgamation of myriad subjects, most repeatedly, urban landscapes, habitat, and ecology, among a range of other multitude interests. His influences expound fragments of work that include paradox as a constant paradigm shift in identity.
“ Invited my friend Julia to do some studio photos without much of a plan. Just told her to bring a couple outfits, we’d shoot on a white seamless, and go from there. Shooting on a blank canvas and including the surrounding environment is a really fun way to shoot, it gives a ‘behind the scenes’ look that is still polished.”
IG: @ ian.selig
AVA MARGUERITTE Ottawa, ON
“A lot of my work comes from a very personal place so when my sister came to me and wanted to do a high-end fashion shoot, I jumped on it. I drew inspiration from my favourite Vogue photographer, Irving Penn, and tried to channel what he would do. It was so much fun to collaborate with my sister, I’ve never worked with her in an environment that I am more comfortable in. She brought her own clothing and jewellery and I dressed, posed, lit, and photographed her. There is something truly special about being able to work alongside my sister.”
“ To spend my time through the pandemic in a creative way, I’ve been going on little day-trips in and around Vancouver to experiment with colours, textures, reflections and angles.”
SAMANTHA GUITAR Caledonia, ON My town
“Calgary’s pride parade pre-COVID, and every time I look at these images, it brings a smile to my face. Pride is a celebration of diversity, love, fun, and some very entertaining performances (plus some pretty cute dogs). I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I do and is able to find this kind of joy in their everyday life.”
ZORAN DRAGELJ Vancouver, BC IG @attentionvan
“On a beautiful sunny side up morning, the historic Strip District of Pittsburgh, two friends are on their way to breakfast.
- I wanna get Chef Kelly’s sweet buttermilk pancake recipe.
- It’s gonna be eggcellent !”
Port Coquitlam, BC
“ Having fun in Parque Nacional Cahuita, Limón Province, Costa Rica”
in Pittsburgh, breakfast. buttermilk
“Taking you back to the fun we all had when we rode the ferris wheel, and for a brief moment felt like we were one top of the world.”
My dad was excited about me picking up analog photography last summer. He looked for his cameras and tried to remember how they work. I took this photo of us using the timer on my camera, as we played with a medium format camera that he hadn’t used since his childhood. Together, we enjoy a bond of love for photography. I learn from and with him as he relearns and shares his knowledge.
This photo of my friend brings me joy. Joy is often loud, boundless, it takes up space. It’s not seen as serene, calm and content. Aysia in this picture reminds me of the subtleties of joy, and its intimacy.
I was pretty reluctant to dive into analog photography because it seemed intimidating but my friend lent me her point and shoot to play around with. This photo was such a joy to find because, despite the shutter getting finicky halfway through my second roll, it created a dramatic view of my brother turning a page––two moments of transitions.
Sure,aboutthatmuch.Lockdownsare necessary,butthey’renoteasy.Sowhileyou’re Zoomingpeopleandtryingtofigureoutyour nextgig,getasubscriptiontothePhotographic HistoricalSocietyofCanada’sfreemonthly newsletter.It’sfullofstrange-but-truefacts, contemporaryphotoissuesandniftylinks. Emailnews@phsc.caforinboxdeliveryor downloadissuesfromourwebsitetoday. Lovebeinghousebound? www.phsc.ca