Posts Tagged ‘mentors’

It has been a long time since I earned a living as a photographer. I went to College to study it. I bought equipment, equipment and more equipment. I loved it! My fondest memories of photography were spent in the dark room creating “my magic”. Along the way life happened and my path changed as I moved into television. My professional gear became TV cameras and studios. My old gear became just that…old and was either sold or given away.

My love of photography started the first time I saw the work of Yousuf Karsh. You may not recognize the name but I will guarantee you, you have seen his work. His stunning black and white portraits of John F. Kennedy, Einstein, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Grace Kelly, Castro, Picasso, Audrey Hepburn …yes, this list continues seemingly endlessly, have been seen around the world.

The Work of Yousuf Karsh

My love of photography  was encouraged and nurtured along the way by a local Niagara Falls photographer, Wayne Farrar.  I knew Wayne, his wife Mary, his son Donald and his daughter Carol as a family from the time I was a little girl.  We were members of the same church family so I saw them frequently. When Wayne discovered my interest in photography he took me under his wing and continued to be one of my strongest influences and supporters until the day he passed away in September of 2001.  Wayne was well known in Niagara for his aerial photography and his photographs of the big ships coming through the canal liftlocks that are part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. In fact, one of  Waynes photographs was featured on a Canadian stamp. Every time I would stop by Wayne’s studio there was one photo I would always ask to see.  It was not one taken by him. It was a photo of him. It was a photo of him with Yousuf Karsh.  It always fascinated me that these two men who had so much influence in my life had met and were in this photo together.

These days it seems photos are everywhere. Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, etc. and any number of Photo/Photographer blogs.  All this visual stimulation has made me long to photograph again. Believe me when I tell you, I never thought I would see the day that I did not own a camera any longer.  Recently, one of the Photographer/Bloggers  I follow has inspired me.  Otto von Münchow is one of the most talented and gifted photographers I am aware of. His work is brilliant! Recently in his blog, Münchow’s Creative Photo Blog, has talked about “Skills versus Creativity”, “It’s What’s Inside That Matters”, “craft vs the heart”, and he talks about how “mistakes” can sometimes be “a blessing in disguise”.  Otto doesn’t believe the photo is a result of the kind of camera you are using, or the professional training you have or if the lighting is accurate. All of these things can contribute to a good or even great photograph, but ultimately it is what the user sees and feels and how they can make that translate.

The other day I was admiring some colours in a restaurant. Just something about them made me feel happy and excited. My phone (not an iPhone) was sitting there beside me so I decided, just for fun, to start seeing what I could do with the camera app. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying my phone can actually replace a camera. But, I had fun and it felt good to take some photos again.

So just for fun…

I really liked the colours and the textures I was able to catch. It surprised me.

Like I said, I like colour. I respond to colour emotionally. Above are a couple of pieces of artwork in my home. The colours came out really well, but I have some issues with reflections and glare. They all seem soft but they aren’t. The top one is a batik and it is very waxy. The middle one is a pastel that my niece Ashlee did when she was a little girl. The bottom one has always fascinated me so I think that it is kind of kool that I can see myself staring at it…as I often do.

The following pictures were taken with a different “phone” (still not an iPhone).

These pieces are the work of another artist in the family, Stephen. He does brilliant work but I’m not sure these captured it.

These are photo ops that would have been missed had I not had a … phone. It was a very cold and dreary day in Niagara Falls and I do believe that was captured along with some pretty acceptable detail. The plant is a Trillium. The Trillium is the official flower of Ontario, Canada and it is an endangered and protected plant. You are not allowed to pick Trilliums if you see one, and I myself have not seen one since I was a little girl hiking as a Brownie.  I found this Trillium recently in North Oshawa.

I am having trouble capturing little ones with the “phone”. They move pretty quick and so far most of these photos have been blurry. The top one was kind enough to patiently pose for me. In the bottom one there were two more children, twins, that I never did mange to capture, but fortunately their older sister stopped to check me out. I don’t care how I got these…I love these two pictures.

Thank you Yousuf, thank you Wayne, and thank you Otto. I had some fun and I got to take some pictures.

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