Back alley in the snow, Kamloops, BC 2015

January 3, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Kamloops, Landscape, Photography, Street photography | Leave a Comment 

Back alley in the snow, Kamloops, BC 2015

A view of pedestrians making their way down a snowy back alley in north Kamloops, British Columbia. Downtown is visible in the background.

A recent post by Austin, Texas photographer Kirk Tuck about the photographer as a visual anthropologist resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt below, with the link to the full article here.

‘Photographers rarely look to their own cultural or social peers as subject matter and inspiration because familiarity makes most subjects boring to us. But when we get immersed in something new and different our conscious minds filter out most of the commonalities of the intersection and concentrate on the aspects that are different. Our brains help us distill down new scenes into visual snapshot components that emphasize the differential, the deviation from our mean.
I think these are the things (the differences) that most of us want to shoot when we walk down the street with our cameras. ‘


The Powder Keg, Kamloops, BC 2015

September 16, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Kamloops, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Urban | Leave a Comment 

The Powder Keg, Kamloops, BC 2015

The large mural on the side of the Powder Keg gun and ammo store and the Lotus Inn restaurant on Tranquille Road are long time business landmarks in North Kamloops.



British Columbia Photography – Art and Archive 2015

September 7, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, From The Archive, Historical, History, Kamloops, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Road Trip, Street photography, Tranquille | 2 Comments 

Tranquille, Kamloops BC 2015

I get asked the question, what do you?,  regarding my photography a lot.

It’s easy to answer when I talk about the photography that pays my rent. I am an editorial photographer who supplies images to accompany articles, illustrate stories and/or provide news, sports, entertainment coverage for newspapers and magazines. People get that.

It is much harder to explain the project work.

I often use the line (which is altered from an original sentence somewhere else I’m sure) that I am archiving British Columbia one image at a time.

That’s part of it but explaining it is kind of like the challenge of crafting an artist’s statement that encapsulates everything you do.

I do hope I am creating an archive of images, an archive that will have some sort of visual historical value. An archive that educates viewers about what a certain kind or part of life in this western/coastal part of Canada and North America.

I hope that the images convey something of the idea that I have that our immediate surroundings, be they physical, manufactured or social, shape who we are and save us from the commonality of global culture. I do think that despite the fact both I and a person living in Tokyo and another in Cairo could all be reading the Guardian on our iPhone while sipping a Starbucks coffee we are all fundamentally unique because of our own landscapes that we live and grow up in.

I also hope that the images stand on their own, simply as visual images, striking enough to hold hold your eye.

I hope they exist as both art and as archive.

The image above if from the site of the former Tranquille Institution in Kamloops, BC. It was at different times a home for the mentally challenged and a tuberculosis sanatorium. It has been closed as an institution for many years and now it is home to a small farm and vegetable stand but the many buildings on the site appear to be slowly wearing down. At the start of my career, working for the Kamloops News, I photographed my first photo essay ever at Tranquille, a series on volunteers working with kids with autism. It was the first time I saw the power of photography, having at the stage only read about it in photography textbooks, when the director called after the story had run to tell me about how people, moved by the images were calling up to offer their services as volunteers.

 

 



Wilf Schmidt and The Little Photo Shop – Photographers’ Work Spaces and Studios

March 29, 2010 | Filed Under Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Gallery & Workshop, Historical, History, Interview, Kamloops, Photo Studios and Work Spaces, Photographers, Photography, Portrait | 13 Comments 

Wilf Schmidt 2

I was in Kamloops this past weekend, the first time I’ve spent anytime there in at least three years.  One of the last times I was there I’d come across this gallery/store on 3rd Avenue run by photographer Wilf Schmidt and I was curious to see if  he was still there, and he was. Schmidt calls his place The Little Photo Shop and claims it’s “The World’s Smallest Photography Supply Store’. The former high school photography teacher sells prints of his own work but also stocks black and white film, Holga cameras and has a group of pinhole cameras in the back of the shop as well as other photo odds and ends. It’s a very cool space and it’s tiny which just adds to the charm. The shop is currently a little more crowded than usual as he is selling off his darkroom equipment and has the boxes stacked there. Hidden behind him is an antique safe, part of the original furnishings in the heritage building his store is located in.

Wilf Schmidt 3

Wilf  in the  ‘office’ section of his shop.

Wilf Schmidt 5

Wilf shows off a tiny camera that actually works. It originally came with rolls of film.

Wilf Schmidt 4

A few of Wilf’s photographs