Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stretching our abilities

"Eye of the Beholder" - my image for the South Shore Stories exhibit at the Margaret Hennigar Library, Bridgewater during the month of May
Learning any type of craft is good for the mind, and can be a lifelong learning journey. For me, a love of photography started early. I'm not sure whether I loved it more for the documentation process or to help cover up my shyness. For years, the only photos I took were what I would call documentary, chronicling life with my family and friends. Looking back, I think one reason I did this was to help with my memory, which has always been bad. 

When I was in my late teens, I was talking with my friends and reminiscing about early high school. They were laughing about something that happened and I didn't remember even being there. No, there were no drugs or alcohol involved. Forty years later, and I am still taking pictures of everyday life with family and friends. I make annual books, and often look back at them to jog my memory. Oddly enough, I can remember that I have a photograph of something even if I don't remember the actual event. Weird, I know.

The other thing about carrying a camera and documenting things is that you can keep yourself a bit removed from what's going on, hence helping someone who may be a bit shy. Over the years, I have met a lot of photographers who you might classify as being introverted. It is a usually a solitary pastime, so I guess that makes sense. I had a recent conversation with a couple of people who could not believe that I am a shy person. It is true, although I have had a lifetime of learning to hide it from others. A couple of hours of conversation with someone can leave me exhausted and I usually plan for a quiet morning to recuperate after a social evening, the result of being an introvert. 

In order to stretch our abilities, we need to give ourselves little challenges. Belonging to a like minded group is a good way to start, and I have learned a lot since joining my local photography club. Sharing my images with a group of like minded people has helped me gain confidence in my abilities. It has also made me a better photographer, and moved me away from simply documenting events to trying to capture more artistic images. Seeing other people's photographs is also a good reminder that we're all on our own learning curve. There will always be people with more skills, and with different interests. Being exposed to a wide range of abilities helps us progress and increase our own skills. 

Sharing our love of photography with the public can benefit all of us, and members of the Bridgewater Photographic Society will be exhibiting "South Shore Stories" at the Margaret Hennigar Library during the month of May. Images, together with brief story cards, will show how life on the South Shore inspires and sustains us.

Exhibitors include
Darlene Awalt, Trevor Awalt, Brenda Bancroft, Don Barnes, John Burnett, Dave Collins, Derek Johnston, Mary Ann Massey, Charlene Morton, Richard Novossiltzeff, Karen Parnell Herrick, Kathryn Price, Gary Smith, Kas Stone, Peter Zwicker, and myself.

From the Drowned Forest at The Hawk on Cape Sable Island, wildlife on the shore at Baccaro Point and Crescent Beach, tree farming in New Germany, and everywhere in between, these images and stories will illustrate the wide range of photographic opportunities on the South Shore. 

As part of the exhibit, there will be a presentation "A Picture is Worth a Hundred Words" at 7pm on Tuesday May 16. Professional photographer and author Kas Stone will explore the connection between words and images, using examples from her own portfolio, as well as others, for illustration. Words and images are two different ways of telling stories and expressing our feelings about a subject. One appeals visually, the other linguistically, to different areas of our brains to get their message across. However when words and images are used effectively together – pairing a compelling photograph with a clever title or interesting backstory – their impact can be truly inspiring.
The presentation is free, but seating is limited. To register for this talk, please visit the Margaret Hennigar Library or call 902-543-9222.

I hope you will visit the library in Bridgewater during the month of May, or join us at the presentation on May 16. Come and share our joy of photography and the South Shore, always something good to focus on.

Published in the South Shore Breaker, Bedford & Sackville Observer, Dartmouth Tribune - April 26, 2017

1 comment:

It's great to hear from you! I appreciate your comments.