Wednesday, July 5, 2017

South Shore Stories

a cozy corner from inside The Port Grocer in Port Medway
Being involved with a hobby, any hobby, can be a fulfilling pastime. Sometimes frustrating, when we're trying to learn a new technique. And very rewarding, when something we are trying to create comes to fruition. Whether you sketch, paint, hook, knit, crochet, garden, sail, show cars,or whatever, it all takes patience to learn a craft and a willingness to try new things in order to succeed.

And there comes a time when it's important to share our skills with other people.
It can be intimidating to put our work into the public eye because, let's face it, sometimes people are critical and heartless. It can be challenging to develop the confidence in our achievements, and even ourselves, to put our work on display. 

It may surprise you that I am a very private person, and tend not to share too much of myself with anyone. Writing these articles is a real dichotomy for me, but somehow it doesn't seem too public to reveal my thoughts while keyboarding on my computer in my private office. It always surprises me when someone I meet comments on something I have written, because sending my articles to my editor never seems like I'm sharing with the public.

Maybe for that reason, I have become braver about sharing my photography and have been involved in several exhibits recently. I was thrilled to have two of my photographs accepted for exhibit at a public gallery earlier this year, something I haven't done since 2013. 

One of the most challenging things for me to do regarding an exhibit is to decide which image to display. I'm sure every artist must face the same frustration. Each image that I create has personal meaning for me. Some people think photography is just the press of a button, but it is so much more. It takes time, sometimes many trips to the same location, to get the circumstances exactly right in order to capture the scene the way you want. A lot of thought goes into how to best set up the shot to try to convey some feeling and connection with the viewer. And sometimes a lot of time is put into the processing of the image, tweaking the pixels on the computer in today's modern version of the darkroom.

In addition to my personal displays, I've been working hard with a couple of other people to put together several shows for our photography club. 

It has been five years since our photo club has exhibited, and this year we have created three in just six months. The first one was held at the library in Bridgewater in May, and we have moved some of the images to a new location for the next couple of weeks. Later in the year, we'll be mounting a brand new exhibit at the DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater.

The Port Grocer, Cafe & Art Space in Port Medway is an active place of food, music and art. A small, rural grocer, they also supply packaged foods for take home, and a wonderful cafe if you choose to eat in. It's a charming location for displaying our photo club's South Shore Stories until July 17th.

Choosing an exhibit theme for a large group of people is more difficult than you might think. Keeping it general enough to entice a number of people to participate, yet interesting enough to create a cohesive display, is a daunting task. But our committee rose to the occasion with the South Shore Stories theme. Reading the story cards that correspond with each image is quite interesting, and reveals the interests of a wide range of photographers.

New to our club this year, Shelburne photographer Brenda Bancroft chose to display an image of the Drowned Forest at The Hawk, Cape Sable Island. Only visible at low tide, the 1500 year old forest of petrified tree stumps are a wonder to see. I have never timed my visits to The Hawk right in order to see them, and Brenda's photograph is a beautiful capture of this intriguing area.

Dublin Shore photographer Kas Stone also chose to display an image of a sight I've never seen. Using her artist's eye, she took the waterfront buildings of the iconic town of Mahone Bay and re-imagined them into a vibrant display of colours and whimsical reflections using her post processing skills.

Trevor Awalt, a photographer from the Aspotogan Penninsula, keeps us in the real world with his image "While I Lay Sleeping", a beautiful night scene from Northwest Cove. The boat "Jubilee 1", built in Chester in 1996, was involved with recovery operations during the Swiss Air disaster in 1998.

Gary Smith, our current Photo Club President, chose to display a beautiful nature photograph of two young fox nestled in the sand dunes at Crescent Beach, capturing their innocence and curiosity.

I can't list them all here, but there are more photographs made by a talented pool of interesting people, and I hope I have enticed you to take a look. All these people have found something good to focus on for their South Shore Stories.

published in the South Shore Breaker - July 5, 2017 

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