Writer Yasuko Thanh, Victoria, British Columbia 2017

September 2, 2017 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, British Columbia writer, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Literary Photographer, Music, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Portrait, Punk Rock, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Writer, Writing, Yasuko Thanh | Leave a Comment 

THANH, Yasuko 1

Yasuko Thanh is both an award-winning writer with a short story collection and a novel published (and a new publication on the way) and a musician who performs in a number of bands. I’ve photographed her singing and at a book reading/signing before but this was our first shot at a portrait. Her site is here. A review of her novel in the Globe and Mail is here.



Ruby Karinto, Victoria, British Columbia 2017

August 27, 2017 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Entertainment, Historical, History, Music, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Punk Rock, Uncategorized, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Ruby Karinto

Much of my photography centres around landscapes, natural and manmade and how that shapes us and our culture and/or how we and our cultures shapes our constructed and social landscapes. I like how the local makes us all unique to our own parts of the world.

I haven’t concentrated so much on people who shape our culture especially artists, be they writers, musicians, painters etc.

Local Victoria band Ruby Karinto are unique certainly. The foursome, lead vocalist and electronics, Ai Ito, Soma Morse, electronics and vocals, Damon Henry, bass and Jason Flower, percussion are unique. Lead vocalist Ai Ito performs in a mask.The lyrics to the band’s songs are at  least 50% in Japanese. Their lyrics are, according to drummer Jason Flower “based on cryptic Japanese folk tales and bizarre western pop culture references”.

Ruby Karinto 2Song titles include Moonwalk Uncle, Zelda and Team Chopsticks.

The images here are from a recent outdoor performance in Victoria. You can check out the band here.

I’ve written previously about drummer Jason Flower’s other musical endeavours, his used record shop Supreme Echo and his record label of the same name (here). Flower tracks down forgotten, neglected and  overlooked bands and their work and puts out vinyl records of their music along with supporting written and visual material providing not only entertainment but archiving music for the future

 



Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

May 15, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Ladysmith, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Swastika, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

The first time I photographed the Travellers Hotel in Ladysmith on the town’s main street my attention was held by the dilapidated hotel sign over the main doors. I really didn’t look up at the higher stories and facade which at a quick glance seemed to be just fairly plain brick. A closer look on a more recent visit revealed a line of swastikas girdling the building. It seems a strange, and offensive, symbol to find on the side of a Vancouver Island building.

The building was constructed in 1912-13 and at that time the swastika was considered a symbol of  peace and prosperity, not gaining it’s Nazi connection/connotation until the Second World War. There was apparently talk during that later time of removing the symbols because of  anti-German feeling but in the end the swastikas were left as is.

The late British Columbia artist ManWoman spent his career trying to restore the original meaning of the swastika. His body was tattooed with over 200 swastikas and he used the symbol in his art. Victoria writer Tom Hawthorn wrote the obituary in the Globe and Mail for ManWoman. It details his connection with the swastika.

You’ll note the continued deterioration, if you look at the 2012 image, of the hotel sign.

 



New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

January 30, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, 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, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver,

As an exercise I sometimes try and photograph with an eye to preserving a view that will not exist in the future. The above is one such view. Shot from  Cambie Street and looking across Georgia Street to the north. The parking lot seen at the lower right of the image is the future site of the Vancouver Art Gallery. That new building will most certainly obscure the existing view that includes the iconic Sun tower with the  blue/green dome roof on Pender Street. The Sun tower was at one time home to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, hence the name. When it was built in 1912 it was the tallest building in the British Empire. The new art gallery will have a unique wood exterior and  the VAG site says work will commence in 2017.



Remembering Artist Rachel Berman

June 9, 2014 | Filed Under Obituary, Photography | Leave a Comment 

Artist Rachel Berman 1

Artist Rachel Berman died in Victoria on May 28. I can’t claim to have known her very well but I had really liked her work and two years ago she agreed to let me photograph her. After that, we’d  often  run into each other on the street and have a chat. She  would encourage me to photograph other artists, making suggestions about possibilities, and chiding me (gently) for not doing so. She eventually moved back to Toronto for awhile and then I’d heard she had come back to Victoria. I kept expecting to once again come across her walking through downtown, but it never happened. A lovely memoir/obituary from Robert Amos in the Times-Colonist.



BC Almanac – 1970s Vancouver Photography

October 15, 2013 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Fine Art, Pacific Northwest, Photo Book, Photography, Photos, Publishing, Vancouver | 1 Comment 

The BC Almanac, a 1970 publication of images by Vancouver photographers

The BC Almanac, a 1970 publication of images by Vancouver photographers

I finally found a copy of the 1970 publication BC Almanac, a library copy. Quite unique for the time, it consists of 15 booklets printed on newsprint and inserted into a cardboard folder. On the negative side, this copy only has nine of the booklets. On the positive side the booklets by Roy Kiyooka and N. E. Thing Co. (Iain and Ingrid Baxter) are in the package. The Kiyooka and NE Thing images hold up very well (two booklets at right) but some of the other photographs look very much of their time. In this day and age where self publishing is a given and quite simple to do it is an eye opener to see this ambitious and inventive project from a time when publishing was much more of a challenge and effort .



Vancouver Art Gallery FUSE July 2013

July 29, 2013 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Entertainment, Exhibition, Fine Art, Pacific Northwest, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Took in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s July FUSE event on July 19, this one produced in conjunction with the Arrival Agency. Lots going all evening on the various floors.

Crowds outside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds outside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds inside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds inside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Artist Paul Wong, left, chats with VAG Young Associate Spencer Denton at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013. Playing on the wall behind is a Wong presentation.

Art performance in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013

A view over Robson Square from the top floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery during the FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds outside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013

 

 



Photo Group Talks

June 19, 2012 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, Blog, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Careers, Daily Work, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Photo Coach, Photographers, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Workshop | Leave a Comment 

BC Ferries, Swartz Bay, BC 2012

I’ve spoken to a number of photo groups lately, showing some of my images and talking about the projects.

The audiences have been great, very appreciative and always lots of questions and discussion afterwards.

It’s a two way street though. I get lots of feedback on my images which is so helpful and it’s often a surprise which photographs resonate with an audience and why.

The other thing I find is that talking about my projects, both during the presentation and during the discussions after allows me to fine tune my own thinking about what I’m photographing and different directions I might take it.

In my main Pacific Northwest related project Salt Water & Rain I’ve been discussing as a way to find that within the local (landscapes, natural, manmade and cultural) that defines us, as opposed to the generic (chain stores and products) that makes us the same.However due to the presentations I’ve been thinking about more complex issues within that and trying to figure out how to present those. Issues like why certain cultural influences such as writing seem to be stopped by the United States/Canada border, especially since it is regional writing. Yes, the US and Canada are separate regions but the commonalities of the Pacific Northwest really do transcend the imaginary line that is the border.

So, thanks again to all those groups that have had me as a speaker.



Artist Rachel Berman – New Project Featuring Environmental Portraits

February 12, 2011 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Fine Art, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Portrait, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 5 Comments 

Every year I like to start at least one new project. I like to have a number of projects going at the once as I find that due to my full time shooting job my time for personal shooting is limited in both hours and time of day. Having a number of projects means I can usually shoot something in the windows that I have.

So, this year, adding to the mix is a series of environmental portraits of artists. I’ve done a large project featuring images of writers but hadn’t really worked on that much in the past couple of years. I wanted to introduce a new portrait project and figured focusing in on visual artists would be both interesting and challenging and would also have the side benefit of not only meeting new people but I’d get to see a lot of art.

I’ve started off with artist Rachel Berman who is local again after a couple of years in Toronto. I’d never met her before the session but had admired her work so called her up, explained what I was doing and we set up a time to meet.

Rachel works out of her apartment studio, a great place in an older building with bay windows that let in a ton of light. She was busy working on two projects, illustrations for a book and a show at her Toronto gallery.

A bonus at this shoot was the presence of Karl Spreitz, a long time local artist, photographer and member of the Limners, a long time Canadian art collective. It was my first time meeting Karl as well and I took the opportunity to enquire about photographing him at some point. Karl, as mentioned, is a stills photographer as well as a documentary filmmaker and he was busy shooting and filming during part of my portrait session.

I spent about an hour with Rachel, taking photographs, but also chatting and getting to know each other a bit.

I took Rachel a couple of prints last week and she seemed pleased with the images. It was, from my viewpoint, a successful shoot, I had a few frames I’m happy with. I got to meet two new creative people and I’ve got another project underway.

Rachel is represented by the Ingram Gallery in Toronto and Granville Fine Art in Vancouver. Toronto artist Sara Sniderhan has painted a portrait of Rachel that you can see HERE.



Artist Portraits

December 8, 2009 | Filed Under Photography, Portrait | Leave a Comment 

I really enjoying taking portraits, especially of creative people. It’s always interesting to try and incorporate their environment into the image.With tighter papers, every section is squeezed for space so we’re not running as many entertainment stories and consequently not as many portraits of artists etc.  Here are a few, fairly recent, images.

Hiscockweb

I really liked this image of Keith Hiscock at the Morris Gallery. They were just starting to hang his new show, those are his paintings on the floor, but behind him hung a couple of paintings from the last show, an exhibition from the estate of  Myfanwy Pavelic including a portrait of artist Maxwell Bates in his studio.

Artist Keith Hiscock VM 1

This probably showed off Keith’s painting better and I liked his expression but I still like the first image best. A tighter head shot with painting behnd actually ran in the paper.

Artist Mark Heine VM 1

Mark Heine in his home studio, it’s encouraging to see you don’t need a great big space to create.

Graffiti Artist Ben Westergreen LW 1

Ben Westergreen paints in his front room, it was tight and kind of dark so I just had him lie down on one of his paintings.

Noah Layne Painter KS 1

Noah Layne paints portraits, self portraits too. He’d just won an award for one.

Robert Amos 1

Robert Amos had been creating collages of artists in their studios. This was my attempt to capture him using his own technique. I think he does it better.

Robert Amos 2

Robert with some of his collages. He also paints, does calligraphy etc etc etc.



Next Page →