Church has been subject matter for many photos this fall. In Fort Vermilion’s north settlement, a metis settlement, I continue to return to the St. Louis Roman Catholic Church every few weeks and stay for an hour or two. Looking at this Church at different times of day and in two different season(s), I have explored how sunlight envelopes and moves around the Church within a day, I have paid attention to weather, vegetation, colour and shape surrounding the Church, and, I have investigated the Church for what different vantage points would reveal of the Church. The photographic rule followed – attend (see) and intend (work to reveal). Sacred, holy ground – a site set aside for worship. At home, I’ve printed a photograph of the Black Church in the hamlet of Búðir, Iceland. This Church is called the Búðakirkja. In juxtaposition to its surroundings (it sits within a lava field, with mountains far off in the distance) and accompanied by a single hotel, it presents as a surreal Iceland image. Sacred. Each Church shares a common timeframe (Life); they stood in the 19th Century and continue to stand. A friend has a wonderful expression for the Christian. Perhaps he’s sifting through mandate or purpose within the Bible. For him, the Christian is ‘Jesus in the doorway’ … being the neighbor, the one welcoming the stranger, in all – word becoming flesh (holy work).
I have framed photographs and cut mats for the first time this fall. Until this fall, I haven’t been able to frame my photographs myself. The aspect ratio of the photo frames from the photo store would never align with the aspect ratio of my photos. It’s been an issue of crop of the photographs. And, once I understood how the crop impacted and enhanced a photo, the crop became more important than the standard aspect ratio offered by the camera or the photo frame – the 1 x 1, the 4 x 3, the 9 x 16 etc.. The resulting prints have rarely coincided with predetermined photo frame sizes and matting. So, I’ve been cutting mat paper, matting photographs and framing photographs for the first time in nearly thirty years of being behind camera and lens. The first image matted and framed was an image created by New Zealand photographer, Paul C. Smith. Entitled, ‘Holding Hands,’ an image of a family walk along a New Zealand beach came together well, a serene image, a stolen moment that became gift to a friend. With successive framed photos I have come to understand why matte photo paper works best behind glass; matte paper prevents a double reflection you would find with a gloss print.
I have also been learning to shoot with a rangefinder camera. The matter of a double image becoming one in the view finder as it comes into focus reminds of my old Canon T70, but is something more subtle to work through, something more to do with ‘seeing.’ And, I’m working with one lens, a prime lens. So, some limitations. But, a different way to compose a shot, a different thinking to compose a shot. Much of this fall has also involved making sure to get out with a camera, regularly. Regularly can mean once a week to once every two weeks.
I’m not sure all the edits work in the images above. Let me know what you think.
Take care ….
Listening to – Internet radio (CKUA, CBC Vancouver, Fine Music Radio and more); I’ve been through Jody Carrington’s ‘Kids These Days’ and working to understand what different facets of social connectivity offer us who work with students and parents as educators; music has been varied.
Quote to Consider – for parent, educator, student … and photographer (and quoted in ‘Kids These Days’). “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better (Maya Angelou).”
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