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volume four – issue four – january 2010
DESIGN Creative Director
Sheridan Student Union Inc. www.sheridanstudentunion.com
Ryan Bolton email@example.com
Steve Sills firstname.lastname@example.org
PRINTER Chris Beetham
Editor at Large
Michael Burton email@example.com
Steve Sills Mike Luciani Holly Doucette Tyler Doupe Satesh Mistry
ADVERTISING & SALES Sales Team Steve Sills Jackie Tiffin Chuck Erman
Writers Ryan Bolton Brigitte Buck Michael Burton Blake Dillon Anum Khan Bryan Myers Roman Sokal
“People are the most interesting thing that can be in front of the camera,” says Rafael Goldchain, director of the applied photography program at Sheridan. “I love dealing with human beings, because I love the human figure and I love the transformational qualities of the portrait.” Story continued on p.6
This kid lives to shoot, which is interesting, because the 21-year-old shutterbug is almost as new to Sheridan as he is the country. “I was born and raised in Colombia,” says Mora, who shoots with a Canon EOS 20d. “My family and I moved to the United States to pursue a better future, and two years ago, we moved to Canada.”
“The reason why I’m here now, and why I’m with TRAVIS, is because I was confident enough to actually walk up to Sills [TRAVIS’s creative director] in my first week and ask if I could shoot The Stills [who were playing Frosh Week],” he says. He adores street photography, and would love to get into the business of commercial photography one day.
Ayee is a second-year photography student that is keenly on her way to a career in fashion photography, her niche. Her interest in the fashion world didn’t begin with Tyra Banks’ dramatically catty, Americas Next Top Model, or even with Heidi Klum’s search for the next top designer on Project Runway. “Everything can be told in an instant,” she says of photography.
“I want to capture people in their own environment,” says Bianca Sabatini, a second year photography student, as she shuffles through the pages of her notebook, scribbling notes. She is not one of those photographers who shoot for the sake of getting a poised snapshot, but would much rather shoot the real things in life. The emotional things, more particularly.
Story continued on p.24
Story continued on p.30
Story continued on p.38
Story continued on p.14
To contribute to travis please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Congratulations to Luis, the cat that shot our cover. Alongside bragging rights, he walks away with $200. Out of 250 submitted images, Luis’ unique take on the Playboy bunny caught our attention. Hopefully it will catch yours, too.
With hundreds of submissions, we (sadly) couldn’t put eveyone’s work in print. To make it up, we are going to archive a whack of photographs at travismag.com. Keep shooting, Sheridan. You blow our minds.
WHO THE HELL IS?
PROFILE: LUIS MORA
by michael burton
by blake dillon
OUR COVER: LUIS MORA PHOTOGRAPH DESIGN BY: MIKE LUCIANI
PROFILE: KEVIN BRYAN
PROFILE: DANIELLE AYEE
PROFILE: BIANCA SABATINI
by brigitte buck
by michael burton
by anum khan
EDITOR’S RANT Introductory Diatribe
photograph by Steve Sills
follow ryan on twitter at: twitter.com/travismag
Just In Case You Didn’t Know 1. balked [ballkt] noun to stop short or refuse to go on
ou’re not going to find many words in this issue. We like our writers, we do. It’s just that we got a boatload of stellar visual art for our photography issue. But don’t take my word for it. I’ll allow you to quickly flip through the magazine now, but only if you pinky-swear that you will come back. The last time I did this, however, my ex-girlfriend never did come back. Maybe I should learn from my mistakes. Oh well. Let’s move on. I’m not going to lie. The first time our editorial team talked about doing a strictly visual issue, I balked. At first it was because of obvious reasons: I’m a writer and words are what I play with. But also for more macro, not-so-self-centred reasons too. For me, a magazine worksvv like this: You jauntily flip through its interior scanning its pictures until you come across something that whets your appetite. After the visuals have done their job, it’s up to the words—at first, this being the headline—and then the story itself to hold my interest. If the pictures are pretty, but the content is rubbish, I toss it. It’s the difference between a “two-minute magazine” and a “couple-hours magazine.” It’s the reason why I enjoy browsing at Chapters, because I can consume those artsyslash-kitschy European fashion magazines in a matter of minutes, my eyes scanning those awkwardly shaped, vapidly expressive mummies with exotic threads dangling from their toothpick limbs. And it’s the reason why I just renewed my subscription to Esquire. But there’s something different about this issue. As I’ve written here before, Sheridan has talent. And I’m not inflexibly just talking photography. And I’m not just blowing hot air. I’m talking, illustration. Music theatre. Television and film. Animation (that’s an easy one). And hell, don’t forget about our welding program. Sadly, though, this talent is not always on display. Only our families and friends see what we post on Facebook; our collective skills, as a college, aren’t always given the pedestal they deserve. And that’s a slight problem. It’s these skills that we can display, because with a hands-on college opposed to a theory-tossing university, we have a lot to show. We are the artists. The artisans. The welders. We make the art and the universities theorize it, critiquing our photography with pedantic eyes. That’s where TRAVIS comes in. We have the ability to put some of the school’s art on display. We’re a far cry from a white pedestal, but we’ll do. So, enough words. I want to let the visuals do the talking. Because I’m pretty sure the transcendent photography in this issue will ensure it’s more than a “two-minute magazine.” Maybe this issue will carve out a spot on your coffee table. That, or hopefully it will serve well in your cat’s litter box.
2. jaun·til·y [john-til-ee] adverb easy and sprightly in manner or bearing 3. pe·dan·tic [puh-dan-tik] adjective ostentatious in one’s learning
4. kitsch·y [kitch-ee] noun Sentimentality or vulgar, often pretentious bad taste, especially in the arts
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photograph by Robert Lansdale
?WHO THE HELL IS
RAFAEL GOLDCHAIN? by michael burton
“People are the most interesting thing that can be in front of the camera,” says Rafael Goldchain, director of the applied photography program at Sheridan. “I love dealing with human beings, because I love the human figure and I love the transformational qualities of the portrait.” Goldchain sat down to discuss his career and what new students can expect by entering the school’s photography program. “They are going to be involved in a very intensive program that won’t leave them much time other than sleeping and eating,” he says. That bit is true, and you can be assured by asking anyone in this month’s issue: Photography at Sheridan isn’t as easy as snapping away at an apple in a fruit bowl. “In two years, the assumption is that they can go out into the industry and be fairly functional. They can walk into a studio and know and understand what’s going on, participate and add value.” Students will quickly learn in the photography program that college isn’t just partying; it might even include some hands-on learning. Goldchain quickly removes the stereotypical perception of the college party life. Within the program you learn how to use the latest technology, and sometimes better than what is already out in the industry. The aspiring photographers will not only learn how to shoot, but how to think like a professional photographer and integrate themselves into the industry. No stranger to stress, Goldchain earned his masters in fine arts from York University in 2000, has been involved in endless exhibitions and has had his work published in the New York Times, Harper’s and a variety of literary journals. With his many projects and extensive freelance career, he has travelled the world capturing everything behind his lens. His book, I Am My Family, which is described “as an extended search for identity,” was published in 2008. “When I was in Latin America I was photographing people.
OU HAVE TO REDUCE HE CHAOS OF THE WORLD”
Well, for starters, he’s the director behind all the talent in this issue. He’s also a heavily published photographer in his own right. But most of all, he wants you to read this.
People interacting with each other, not necessarily posing for the camera. I was relying on the ability of the photograph to capture a moment and then let the viewer draw narratives out of it,” he says. “So they were portrait photographs, but they were also social documentaries.” Goldchain’s office is quiet and dimly lit. Cameras, photographs, and paintings cover the walls that he works within. He describes the way a photographer thinks with grace, using my face as an example. He looks at me across his desk and explains that in order to properly photograph where I was sitting, he would need to re-arrange the background and make the light switch— which rests behind my ear—line up with the rest of the image. He is warm and passionate about his work, rarely breaking eye contact. “You need to have concepts and ideas in your head, an approach. A conceptual approach to your imagery, a perceptual hook,” Goldchain says. With more and more amateur photographers emerging, becoming a successful photographer has become increasingly difficult, he explains. “You have to have the fire in the belly, you have to want to do this, your supposed to enjoy this,” is how Goldchain chops it up. “What distinguishes a photographer is their ability to instantly react. To do it sometimes on the head of a pin, you have to glide up and left in order to clarify and simplify and organize,” he says. “You need the ability to observe and see the world and how things are organized, how will they fit on a flat p lane of a photograph.” I was about to bring a close to the interview when he interrupted me. “You have to reduce the chaos of the world. Does that make sense?” he asked me. I nodded in agreement. It certainly does.t
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photograph by Gary Minder
photograph by Mallon Kareen
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photograph by Vera Schmalzriedt
photograph by Melissa Doucette
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photograph by Nolan Osborn
photograph by Darryl Block
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BEHIND THE LENS by blake dillon
Say, “Cheese.” Or whatever makes them smile. Or smirk. Luis Mora, the guy behind the camera in our Dressed To Kill fashion segments, is a first-year photography student. And the kid lives to shoot, which is interesting, because the 21-year-old shutterbug is almost as new to Sheridan as he is the country. “I was born and raised in Colombia,” says Mora, who shoots with a Canon EOS 20d. “My family and I moved to the United States to pursue a better future, and two years ago, we moved to Canada.” In those two years, Mora discovered his passion for photography. “Well, it is a new passion, but it has always been a part of my life,” he says, humbly. “My mother is a fashion designer, so I pretty much grew up at fashion shows, and shoots for catalogues.” Mora is extremely influenced by his mother’s work. “My mother is my greatest inspiration,” he says through his perpetual smile. “I want to follow in her footsteps.” And following he is. Mora saw his opportunity at this magazine and had to be part of the collective. “I got the gig at TRAVIS because I noticed a poster that said TRAVIS was recruiting photographers,” says Mora. “Literally, the guy wasn’t even done putting the poster on the wall before I started running for Stephen’s [TRAVIS’s creative director] office.” But Mora doesn’t limit himself to shooting just fashion. “My best experience as a photographer, this far, was a spread
I did for a Toronto magazine,” says the neophyte snapper. “I shot a bunch of homeless kids on Queen Street for a story they did on train-hoppers. These kids came from B.C., Montreal, and all over the world.” This particular shoot touched Mora personally, because it was a reminder to life back in his home country. “Colombia has similar problems,” he says. “I really see myself eventually going back there to work on a project similar to this. I really want to try to document what goes on there.” Mora is utterly avid of the work he has done so far. And if you ask me, he damn well should. Keep your zoom lenses locked onto Mora, because it is only a matter of time before this young photog carves a spot in the local (and international) photo scene. “This is now my life; my life and my future. There is no Plan B, C or D. There is no second or third option. This is my life: photography or nothing.”
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photograph by Merav Meirovich
photograph by Anna Mifsud-Sweeney
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photograph by Sam Findlin
photograph by Theron Lane
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photograph by Joseph Pierri
photograph by Jamie Lahtinen
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photograph by Luis Mora
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BEHIND THE LENS by michael burton
Kevin Bryan, let’s have a seat and chat about what really makes you tick. “I love learning new things all the time,” Bryan begins, nonchalantly. “And as a photographer, in order to be successful, you have to challenge yourself to do things differently.” OK, I can’t disagree with that. So, let’s be honest here: Photography at Sheridan isn’t exactly the easiest program to enrol in. It’s an arduous process, and, like many students, the first time Bryan applied, he wasn’t accepted. “I didn’t apply anywhere else. I didn’t want a school experience, I wanted an industry experience. So when I get into the industry, I know what I’m doing,” he says. Once again, that sounds pragmatic. Persistence paid off. He worked hard to improve his portfolio and at age 19, he is looking to make a big splash at Sheridan in his first year. “The reason why I’m here now, and why I’m with TRAVIS, is because I was confident enough to actually walk up to Sills [TRAVIS’s creative director] in my first week and ask if I could shoot The Stills [who were playing Frosh Week],” he says. Ever since then, Bryan has been working hard and contributing as much as he can to the magazine. He adores street photography, and would love to get into the business of commercial photography one day. “I’m ambitious you could say. Whether Sills wanted me to work
for him or not, I was still going to ask. I was going to put that foot forward.” Bryan isn’t your typical student, it should be noted. He grew up in South Africa, at the tail end of apartheid, and moved to Oakville when he was 12-years-old. “Teachers definitely remember my voice,” he says, describing his noticeable accent. “My life was different from my Oakville friends. Not to say Oakville is boring, but I was driving on my own at age 10. A year later I drove up a dune in a four-by-four. You just don’t get that option in Oakville.” Anyone can see that Bryan loves what he is doing. If you do see him around Sheridan, his camera is probably resting in his hands. Or around his neck. The big question for him now is, Where do we go from here? Bryan smiled and shook his head when asked this. “The inevitable question,” he responded. “Everyday is a new experience.” “This is what makes me get up every morning and want to do this. It can never really get old,” he says. “I want to live everywhere. I want to travel. I think I’ll settle in Canada, but my biggest wish in my life is to travel the world, and capture the world in my lens.”
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photograph by Jamie Olsen
photograph by Jasmin Patel
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photograph by Brent Goldsmith
photograph by Lynsie Roberts
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BEHIND THE LENS by brigitte buck
Pink. A pale red colour. A combination of rose and white, or orange and white that often reflects a sensual, affectionate, artistic person. “Pink is my favourite colour for sure,” admits Danielle Ayee, or Dani as she’s called. Pink is a woman wearing white garter belts, fuchsia lipstick and holding a pistol in a claustrophobic room wallpapered with kitschy print. Pink can also describe a woman who plays with a multitude of concepts behind a camera lens, which is exactly who Ayee is: A young woman armed with a DSLR. Ayee is a second-year photography student that is keenly on her way to a career in fashion photography, her niche. Her interest in the fashion world didn’t begin with Tyra Banks’ dramatically catty, America’s Next Top Model, or even with Heidi Klum’s search for the next top designer on Project Runway. Before taking to the camera, Danielle successfully completed Sheridan’s make up artistry certificate, but wasn’t particularly attracted to the career prospects it presented. After jumping to Ryerson University’s highlycompetitive fashion program, Ayee didn’t want to focus so much on the garment making. Her next stop landed her in Sheridan’s photography program. So, why photography? Or fashion for that matter, I asked. “Everything can be told in an instant,” she says of photography. Well, can’t a painting or drawing do that? I countered.
“An artist’s painting can be more biased. It ends up depicting what they see in front of them. A camera instantly captures the exact emotion during that exact second,” she retorted. Perhaps it’s Ayee’s love of the polaroid that makes her impatient to capture and view the moment. Her creative background is accentuated through her ethnic background, which she claims influences her work. She’s a fusion of Chinese, Puerto Rican and Jamaican. So how can this be portrayed through a lens? It’s simple. Juxtapose ideas and images that create confusion or delight, which was done in her project, “Self-Portrait Characterization.” Ayee’s influences are an assortment of individuals, such as fashion designers, photographers and Sheridan’s animation students. From Cindy Sherman’s ambiguous portrayal of women, to the highly tailored world of haute couture, or even David Hou’s fashion images (whom she did a photo shoot with), Dani has her own ideas. She wants to visually narrate the instantaneous, yet reflective nature of the mind through cultivating unconventional interpretations of beauty in the world of fashion, all from behind the lens.
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photograph by Jasper Savage
photograph by Helen Storms
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photographs by Elizabeth Smith
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photograph by Lindsay Buckley
photograph by Esther McCleery
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BEHIND THE LENS by anum khan
“I want to capture people in their own environment,” says Bianca Sabatini, a second year photography student, as she shuffles through the pages of her notebook, scribbling notes. She is not one of those photographers who shoot for the sake of getting a poised snapshot, but would much rather shoot the real things in life. The emotional things, more particularly. “I want to force people to feel because they’re so afraid to bring out their emotions,” she says. “It’s not really allowed anymore. I mean, you can’t just cry anymore if you really feel the need to.” Despite the commercial photography skills she garnered through the photography program at Sheridan, Sabatini is more interested in fine arts photography. “I want to shoot the human body because I find it astounding, but I don’t want to represent women in a sexual way. I want to show a female and a male body in a beautiful way, to tell a story behind the photo,” an articulate Sabatini reveals. “I love the instructors [at Sheridan] because they’re so knowledgeable and really try to challenge your intellect, but I want to do something more than just take photos of watches or models dressed up.” After high school, Sabatini took two years off to think about what she wanted to do. It was after traveling abroad that swiftly brought her to the decision to pursue photography. “I come from a huge family and both my sister and brother are
studying to become doctors. So when I mention that I want to do photography, it’s just something I have to really think about,” says Sabatini. “But I’ve realized that art isn’t appreciated the same way here like it is in Europe. I have Italian citizenship, so I just want to graduate and move to Europe and shoot there for a living. The ideas they come up with there don’t match what North Americans do here.” Aside from getting behind her camera, Sabatini is further interested in writing. “My mom is a writer, so that’s where I get my passion from,” she says, before tossing in, “fine arts photography doesn’t really pay much, but I would love to do photojournalism as well. I’ve kept a journal since I was in Grade 5, so I can definitely relate to people who want to pursue writing as a career. I want to incorporate it into my photography, by writing about the photos I take and the adventures I go on.” To lash it together, Sabatini hopes to work with the international relief organization, World Vision someday to evoke meaning and emotion in her work. “I want to shoot things that matter,” Sabatini added. “Our focus should be to shoot things that have meaning and will provoke people to change their lives.”
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photograph by Caressa Ostello
photograph by Jaqueline Christie
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photograph by Denyse Rizzo
photograph by Denyse Rizzo
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photograph by Denyse Rizzo
Travis Magazine's 3rd Annual Photography Issue