Canadian Photographer Histories – www.lenslives.com

January 7, 2019 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Canadian Photographer History, Canadian Photography History, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographer interview, Photographers, Photography, Uncategorized, Vancouver Photographer History, Writing on photography, www.lenslives.com | Leave a Comment 

Sama Tata's Eagle Eye Camera

I am looking for help with a personal long-term project. I am compiling an archive of interviews of Canadian photographers — which, in turn, will become a history of Canadian photography.

When I began my project I was (and still am) researching a specific group of Vancouver-area photographers. The project has kept growing, and I am now looking for input/information from photographers (and anyone connected to the photography world) about photographers across Canada.

The idea behind this project is to create an archive of interviews of Canadian photographers and their work. It is too easy for any creative person to be overlooked, slip from view, and have their work disappear. So, I want to create a historical archive — a library/datatbase of information that can be used to promote photographers and their work, but to also preserve that information to serve as a research source.

Here?s where you can help — I am asking every individual photographer to send me two things:

Answer this brief questionnaire.

1.How/When did you first get interested in photography?

2. Who were your first photographic influences?

3. Who were your first photography teachers/mentors?

4. Who have you mentored or taught?

5. Name some of the photographers you have worked with and/or collaborated with?

6. What major photo projects have you worked on/created?

 

The resume will serve as a record of your career, and the biography will fill in details. Ideally the bio will include: how and when you first became connected to photography; who your influences were/are; who were/are your Canadian mentors/teachers? You can mention career highlights and any personal projects you photographed away from your “career” work. Are you part of a formal/informal group of photographers who get together to share and bounce ideas or collaborate?

Note: I want to know and hear about ALL Canadian photographers: photojournalists, artists, commercial photographers, portraitists, landscape photographers, etc. and those connected to photography and photographers such as gallery owners, curators, camera shop/darkroom operators.

I also want to hear about any photographers who you feel have been overlooked or who have been forgotten about. Please send me the contact information for the photographer (or for their family/friends if deceased).

As well, I?m curious about non-professional photographers (folks who made a living from other work) who created substantial bodies of work or a small but unique body of work.

I am also interested in receiving any items connected with photography (yours or others). For example: business cards, exhibition postcards, publications, previously published interviews, zines, posters/books.

I would like to include photographs of photographers at work (and play), work spaces, shop fronts (studios/camera shops) will be useful. If you have photos to contribute, please include captions that include names, events, places and dates on each.

The archive will also include: email interviews, audio interviews, video interviews, essays, printed material and photographs. I am aiming for the material to be displayed online at www.lenslives.com, and in exhibitions and/or publications.

Copyright will stay with the photographer, but I?m asking for the right to use any submitted material in any way that is connected with the project (ie online/exhibitions/media/publications etc) and that once the material is in the completed archive it will be available to researchers for their use in the study of Canadian photographers, photography and the arts.

Emailed material can be sent to don@lenslives.com Physical material can be mailed to 48 Stoneridge Drive, Victoria, BC, V9B 6M4.

Please ensure you include contact info for any material sent. You may receive follow- up queries regarding your submitted material, or for further email, phone or in-person interviews.

Thank You

Don

don@lenslives.com



Wood Carvings, Chemainus, British Columbia 2017

June 3, 2017 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Chemainus, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

 

It was just starting to rain as I came past these wooden carvings along the highway in Chemainus. The large, almost life size Sasquatch (assuming we know what life size is for a Sasquatch) was certainly an attention grabber. Birds, whimsical bears, and more stood along the roadside distracting passing motorists as the carver worked in the tent behind and chatted with those who stopped. The intensifying rain prevented more photography time so a more in depth look had to wait for a dryer day.Wood carvings, Chemainus, British Columbia



Firewood lot, Duncan, British Columbia 2017

February 26, 2017 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Duncan, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Firewood lot, Duncan, British Columbia 2017

A wet haul up and over the Malahat.  The Malahat Drive, a short section of highway, is dreaded by local drivers despite many recent safety upgrades. I think it’s reputation is a bit much for a 20 kilometre section of highway but it certainly has more than it’s fair share of accidents. The bigger problem I think is that an accident usually shuts down the road, stranding motorists on the highway with no real alternate routes.

This day and drive there were no issues other than the usual rain which is just a winter fact of life here.

I’d seen this firewood lot, or cutting area, from the highway often but thought I’d take a closer look this time. From the highway you couldn’t see the old bulldozer rusting away under a canopy of blackberry brambles.



British Columbia Documentary Photography #2

November 26, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Colwood, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Vernacular architecture, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Old Home, New Construction Colwood Britsh Columbia 2016

I recently read an interview with a local archives manager. He talked about the work and purpose of the archives and about acquiring material for the facility. He is  always on the lookout for unique local photographs showing the community’s history but he made a a comment that I thought every documentary photographer should consider. He said that it was easy to find/receive images of the area’s main street, what was a challenge was finding images of the secondary and back streets. It’s a good reminder that the documentary photographers need to pay attention to the less obvious, the quiet areas where, in reality, we all spend most of our lives.



Old Water Tower and Boats, Sooke, BC 2013

December 19, 2015 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Sooke, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Old Water Tower, Sooke, BC 2013

The light was just right, highlighting the old water tower and the two beached boats that bookend the image during a brief road trip out to Sooke. This area has lots of overlooked and hidden corners  for visual imagery that highlights local history and the British Columbia coastal and Vancouver Island lifestyle.



Salmon Spawning, Vancouver Island British Columbia 2015

November 22, 2015 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, Black and white, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Omen of Bones, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Salmon, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Salmon Spawning Vancouver Island 2015

Every fall since I returned to British Columbia twelve years ago I’ve photographed the spectacle and aftermath of  the salmon returning to spawn in Vancouver Island rivers. When I started photographing the autumn event I was using black and white film. I shoot mainly digital now, although still shooting some B/W film when out on the rivers, but feel this particular project looks better in black and white so am converting the files. Nature photography is not something I do a lot of but I find the return of the salmon is not only an amazing example of the wonders and complications of the natural world but is a unique addition to the experience of west coast life.

An earlier post from 2010 with more photos and info here.



Architecture and Landscape Changes Vancouver Island 2015

November 21, 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, Ideas, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Photos, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Beach Avenue House 1

 

Beach Avenue House 2Two photographs taken a week apart. In the first a heritage house, sporting some unique architectural detail, sits on supports and a trailer, in the second, the vacant lot after the house was removed and view of the previously hidden seascape. The third, yet to be taken, will show the new structure built on the lot. Change is inevitable and at least in this case the original structure will be placed on another lot and continue it’s architectural life.

CBC British Columbia has a story about a new book out called Vancouver Vanishes which ‘laments the demolition of character homes and the histories they contain..’ The book grew out of the photos and essays contributed to the Vancouver Vanishes Facebook page.



Pink Pig Bank, Saanich, British Columbia 2015

October 18, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Street photography, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Pink Pig, Saanich, BC 2015  Don Denton photograph

An oversize, somewhat decrepit, pink pig piggy bank sits on the grounds of the Saanich fairgrounds. An image any visitor to the fairgrounds will remember. The grounds are host to the annual Saanich Fall Fair.



The Powder Keg, Kamloops, British Columbia 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.

 

 



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