Yesterday I received a list of the other artists being included in Mother/mother-. There’s only one other Canadian besides me. Her name is Lindsay Page, she’s also a photographer, and her work is amazing. So go check it out.
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In other news, after months of planning to start upgrading my BA in English to an Honours BA in Studio Art in January, I’ve done a total about-face. I had been hoping to do 2 courses a semester for the first few semesters, so I could get through the first year prerequisites and to the stuff I really want in the photography classes in about a year. But I discovered this week that the studio art classes have 6 hours of classes per week each, and another 6 hours of homework. Which means I could only do one class a semester, and then I’d probably have to choose between photography time and family time, since the homework probably wouldn’t involved photography. And that kind of choice just doesn’t seem tenable at this time, especially when what I really want to do is improve my photography. I also realized that the core photography classes are all film-based, and mostly 35 mm I think. Now, I do want to learn more about film and darkroom techniques, especially colour printing, but I’d rather have a course about film practice, a course about digital practice, and a bunch of courses about personal vision in which you could pick your poison – film, whatever format, or digital. Finally, I also discovered that the darkroom has very limited hours, which would make it even more difficult for me to balance my family life, work life, and student life. Add all those realities to concerns I’ve had about art school all along (mostly worries, probably unfounded, that all the theory will make my work suck [more] or give me analysis paralysis), and that’s how you get a total about-face. So now I will probably become obsessed with discovering other avenues. A certificate in Photography from Ryerson may be one, although I really don’t fancy driving into Toronto one night a week all winter.
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Look what arrived on Thursday morning, a day earlier than expected?!?
I’ve shot a roll on it but it’s not processed yet. I’m curious to see whether the meter is accurate at all, and whether any of the frames are in focus… Also to what shutter speed I can hand-hold it. With no mirror slap and no heavy lens out front, I’m hoping for at least 1/60 but 1/30 would be sweet.
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David duChemin posted the other day about being present when you’re shooting. And waiting beyond the boredom. It really spoke to me, as I’m becoming increasingly aware of my impatience when shooting. I can go out on the streets with the intention of finding a place and waiting for something to happen, and I just can’t bring myself to sit down and wait. I just keep walking around until I decide to go home, with virtually nothing shot. (As Anya said in the season 6 episode of Buffy I watched last night, “I tried being patient but it took too long!”) It’s either that, or as I think I’ve mentioned here before, I shoot continuously and compulsively, often shooting the same frame over and over again.
A couple of weeks ago, I went out with my neighbour Joan to visit her husband, Royce, who lives in a long-term care facility. I spent 2 to 2 1/2 hours with her all told, and I only shot 50 frames. I watched and I waited. These are my favourites:
Backing out of the driveway from the home she and her husband built…
Although he’s retained his sense of humour despite his stroke dementia, she told me he’s not the man she married.
I’m a bit worried these pictures make her look impatient, and she’s so good with him.
She said the house was really bright when they first built it, but since the trees they planted have all grown up, it’s really dark now.
She’s making Christmas ornaments to be sold at a craft sale for Royce’s home.