A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me what happened to my #dogwood52 photo challenge. âWhat!? Iâve been keeping up to date every week.â Then I realized that sheâs not on Facebook, so she wouldnât see the weekly entries, only my First 10 Weeks blog. So I thought I should follow up with the 2nd 10 weeks. Thinking about this, I realized that itâs been quite a mental stretch â this 52 week challenge, and at least in my own mind, my art has improved. I thought of a very good photographer and writer, whom I follow and have a few of his books â David DuChemin, and his quoteâŠ
âIn the artistâs life there are two axes: on the Y axis is challenge (or opportunities), on the X is ability. When the opportunities we take equal the talent or ability we have, we are living on the 45-degree angle formed between the two. Perfect balance, and generally, to put it into blunt terms, stagnation. But when the opportunities we create or seize seem to outpace the talent or ability we have, we grow in that ability to meet the opportunity, and are living above the 45.â
Here’s the original blog http://davidduchemin.com/2012/06/above-the-45/
âIf there is fear in the unknown, then we want to lean into that fear… extend ourselves and grow, leaving behind the comfort zone and going above the 45.â And not only in art, I believe this applies to life in general. Brings to mind when I was going for my ski instructor certificationâŠ man, lots of leaning and fear going on, and only possible to succeed if you open your mind and get above that 45.
OK, getting back onto the topic…
WEEK 11 was Landscape: Reflection
I figured most people would do trees and mountains reflected on a calm mirror lake. There were no mirror lakes in Ontario in March, so I thought I better do a different kind of reflection. Here’s a photo of Chantal reflecting on that I just asked her to reflect on something.Â
WEEK 12 – Artistic: Transportation
Regardless of what certain politicians say, I love streetcars. Not just that they’re great transportation, but they look neat at night. I had my tripod set up at the end of the 501 line. One of the drivers came over to make sure I wasn’t working for a newspaper or something. When I assured him this was just a project, he was very friendly, and even suggested better views.
WEEK 13 Portrait: High KeyÂ
I was with a group of photographers at the Good Friday religious procession in Little Italy, and since most of these guys shoot with film Leica’s, I thought I would give film a try, after almost 20 years. Using an old Pentax ME with B&W 400 ASA film, I had no idea how to do high-key in film, so I just made the portrait looking up into the featureless sky and washed out the background. This is my friend Rob Skeoch from Sony.
WEEK 14 Landscape: Zoomed in
What in the world is that? Well, one of the great things about this project, is you can do pretty much whatever you want and just fit it in. At least that’s what I do.Â 😎 We were just hiking in High Park and were at the top of a hill looking down on Grenadier Pond. I saw these guys standing around below us and I had a zoom lens on my Pentax K-X, so what the hell.
WEEK 15 Artistic: Metal
We were at the AGO viewing the Outsiders: American Photographers and Pop Art exhibits and I had in mind something unusual for this week. There’s metal everywhere, of course, but I saw these bikes locked up at the AGO and figured this was it. I over-saturated to make them even more grungy, er, artistic.
WEEK 16 Portrait: Movement
This is a friend of mine, Lolo, who works at Starbucks. I used the double exposure feature on my x100s to try to show (abstract) movement. When I showed her this photo, she had movement alright… she almost dropped her milk frothing cup.
WEEK 17 Landscape: Urbanscape
I love scenes like this, where there’s just one person on a street. I try do do these in every city I visit. Like when we were in Krakow, Poland, walking around at night, I had this “cold war” feeling, and managed to get a photo of someone’s silhouette walking along a dark wall. Mysterious… who is he and where is he going?… delivering secret papers? Ok, enough of this Intrepid stuff. This photo was made in Havana, Cuba. Hmmm, could she be a revolutionary? Ok, enough already.
WEEK 18 Artistic: Texture
Sitting on the beach at Jibacoa, Cuba, throwing cigar butts at these guys, I eventually realized that there’s a lot of texture here and would fit into this week’s challenge. Of course, there’s texture everywhere, but how often do you get to see cigar butt dodging lizards?
WEEK 19 Portrait: Messy
I didn’t have any little kids around to give chocolate ice cream to, but I was having coffee with my daughter, and I remembered when she was a baby. She wouldn’t go along with the chocolate ice cream thing, but I was able to get a really messy reflection image.
WEEK 20 Landscape: Night Owl
This photo was also part of my homework for a course I’m currently taking at Lenswork Studio. The assignment was to make street photos using rear-curtain flash with a long exposure, which is when the flash fires just before the shutter closes. Is this woman just wandering in a sea of night bodies, or is she a true Night Owl in search of prey?
[Click on any image for slideshow]