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



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.



BC Almanac and Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver British Columbia

November 11, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Almanac, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Exhibition, Fine Art, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Photo Book, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Presentation House Gallery, Publishing, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

BC Almanac 1

A while back I posted on a 1970′s publication featuring the work of a group of Vancouver photographers called the BC Almanac. That post is here.

BC Almanac 5

The publication was unique as it consisted of a series of mini-books/magazines, each one dedicated to one photographer’s work with the whole collection housed in a folder/cover. The one copy I was able to source and look over was missing many of the individual piece so it was difficult to get a sense of  the whole project. It was a shame as I felt it was an important part of Vancouver photo history and there seemed  no way to have a good look at that.

BC Almanac 4

The folks at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Gallery obviously thought the same thing and have mounted an exhibition of images and artifacts from the original work and publication and have republished the book, while this version does come in a folder, all the individual photographer sections/chapters are bound together in one big book.

BC Almanac 3

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to take a look at the exhibition and purchase a copy of the book. The work, and some of it, as would be expected, holds up better than others, is still a great look at this time in Vancouver through the eyes of  a diverse group of photographers. An added bonus is the inclusion of work by some of the photographers that while not in the book is from the same time period. It was great to see Roy Kiyooka’s Stone D Gloves (or Stoned Gloves, I’ve seen it both ways) on the wall. I’d only seen repros in books before.

The BC Almanac book’s reproduction, like the original, is contrasty and grainy but again is a great record of a certain local photography that thanks to the exhibition we can once again access.

BC Almanac 2



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.



300 block West Hasting Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 2013

October 12, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Road Trip, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

300 Block W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC 2013

A street view in the 300 block of West Hastings Street on the edge of  Vancouver’s downtown east side district.



Local Bands Live, Victoria, BC 2015

October 9, 2015 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, History, Music, Music Archive, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Punk Rock, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 2 Comments 

Recently I’ve managed to get out and photograph a few local bands playing live, something that at the beginning of my career I did a lot. It’s still fun and there’s nothing like a live performance in a small venue. I’d never photographed any of the three bands, pictured below, before and they were photographed on different nights. What I found most interesting was how the bands shared members.

The first band I photographed was Line Traps, I went to see them as I knew their guitarist Tiemen Kuipers.

Line Traps 1

The second band was 12 Gauge Facial  (love that name) as I’d met the vocalist Yasuko Thanh (who is also a novelist) at the Line Traps gig. The Line Traps’ drummer was also 12 Gauge Facial’s drummer.

12 Gauge Facial 1

The final band was Hank Angel and his Island Devils. Hank is the bassist for 12 Gauge Facial but I didn’t realize that the guitarist from 12 Gauge was also in Hank’s band.

Hank Angel and the Island Devils 1

 

 

Some people follow their history through their cultural interests, movies, books and music.



Roxy Theatre, Victoria, British Columbia 2015

September 22, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Entertainment, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Street photography, Theatre, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

The Roxy Theatre, Waiting For Godot  Victoria, BC 2015

Currently the home of the the Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, the Roxy was formerly the Roxy Cinegogue movie theatre. It looks more like an industrial or farm building than an arts centre.



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.

 

 



Summer Fog, Oak Bay, British Columbia 2015

August 20, 2015 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Oak Bay, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Summer Fog Oak Bay 2015

I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and I was freezing in the fog that had rolled in off the Pacific and over Willows Beach. Bus loads of tourists were sitting on blankets on the sand, unable to see beyond the first waves and pretending to enjoy their picnic lunch while shivering. At the end of the beach a man was wading through the shallow water, back and forth, aimless but always turning back before he reached the shore and back before he reached the rocks sticking above the water.



Next Page →