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Guelph As We Currently Know It
Happy Weekend Peeps.
Click the pic and check out our devilishly talented Denim's (Donna) fotostream.
With November on the run and crazed December waiting to smack us upside the head, it seems like the perfect time to stop for a moment to take a big breath and stretch body, mind and spirit.
Today's series resonated 'quietness' for me. With hustle and bustle right around the corner, I thought a moment of reprieve would serve us all well.
So slip off those shoes and liberate the tension in your toes fair friends. Bend, extend, curl and twirl to your little piggies pleasure. It is the simple delights that bring the most bliss.
PLEASE VOTE Blog Guelph for best Canadian photo art blog - geez Louise who woulda thunk - by going to this link, finding us on the list and clicking the button. Then click VOTE.
Merci - thanks - ta ta for helping us be a weiner!!
The Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival's annual Fall Extravaganza fundraiser is happening this Saturday November 29 in the Guelph Youth Music Centre at 75 Cardigan Street.
For a crisp $20 ($10 for children) you'll be treated to 4 contemporary dance performances, a very silent auction of art and local goods, and killer live music by The Tallboys’ Kevin Breit & Matt Brubeck.
Doors open at 7:00; dance & live music start at 8:00 p.m.
Hi there, everyone. It's Wednesday, and part two of our interviews. Last week we gave 5 questions to Dave about his 366 project. This week it's all about Mike and his 365 days of self portraits.
1. The 365 project is such a huge commitment. What made you want to take on this project?
It’s something I’d thought about doing for a long time, but for whatever reason, never felt compelled to start. Then one night I was testing out a flash modifier, and thought “hey, I could start a 365 project with this shot.” And so it began, almost on impulse.
I can think of a couple of reasons why it’s a good project for me. I struggle with chronic anxiety, so it helps keep my racing mind focused on something constructive rather than obsessing about the things that don’t matter. As well, I hope to improve my confidence, and my sense of self.
2. I asked Dave, since he is nearing the end of his 366, whether he will be relieved or excited to start a new 365. I think this is not the best question for you. You're both basically on the opposite ends of the project. So, I'll ask you if you have started something similiar to the 365 before and stopped, or if you started and finished?
No, never. It’s a fresh challenge for me.
3. My problem, besides being shy, is the committment. Every day you have to take a photo. Are there days you just want to give up, and how do you stay motivated? (I noticed there is a mini challenge spreadsheet in the 365 group on flickr.)
What a great spreadsheet! I’m definitely going to steal ideas from it.
There have been quite a few days where I’ve thought about giving up, but I’ve seen many Flickr contacts start this project and never finish, and I’m just too stubborn let that happen. A lot of the time my motivation simply comes down to a fear of failure, and it’s those days where I simply pick up the camera and snap the shutter, just to get a shot. As my wife says, “they don’t all have to be masterpieces.” Fifty is a good example of this. As is Nineteen and Twenty Nine.
4. Dave, and yourself have inspired me to maybe undertake this project. Is there someone that has inspired you in regards to 365?
Strangely enough, it was Dave as well. Not only because of what I saw him producing, but also, watching him go through the process made me realize it could be quite therapeutic for me. My wife had a big part to play as well, she suggested the challenge might be beneficial for me. She’s been right so far :-)
5. What is your favourite photo from your set? Why is it your favourite?
Forty Eight. It’s a deeply personal image, exploring the depth of the relationship between my wife and I – it’s strength through the hard times. It was taken on an emotionally excruciating day, a day when I needed her the most, and when she needed me. In the end, we were there for each other, leaning on each other and supporting each other. Fighting life’s battles together. And I wanted the image to show that.
Thanks a lot, Mike, and good luck with the rest of your project!
Oh, and ummm, just a wee reminder to vote for your favourite photo/art blog (that's us! right?) at the Canadian Blog Awards. Thanks, everyone!
That said, here is our latest installment of Made in Guelph, featuring Guelph's keenest of eyes...
Today vision is from none other than eye-see, AKA Lauren Watsonator.
Here's a bit about her, from her own mouth....
"young. naive. hyper active and far from sanity. "
I also love her photostream which you, too, can check out if you just clickety-click on each and every one of these pics.
And - ahem - while you're out there clicking folks....why not mosey over to this website where you can, if so inclined, vote on your fave blogs in the 2008 Canadian Blog Awards.
Well looky there, Blog Guelph is up for Best Photo/Art Blog!
(Shameless, I know)
It is with giddy joy that I start today's series of posts with a couple of announcements.
Guelph's vocal angel - Tannis Slimmon - came away from The Canadian Folk Music Awards, hosted this past weekend in St. John's Newfoundland, clutching the Contemporary Singer of the Year award for her album Lucky Blue. You can congratulate Tannis at her next hometown show at Folkway Music on Friday December 5th.
Further and much to our bloggy delight, Blog Guelph has been nominated for Best Photo/Art Blog in the 2008 Canadian Blog Awards and YOU CAN VOTE RIGHT NOW!! Please take a moment to cast your ballot - if you think we're deserving of course - at this conveniently located link.
Break out the bubbly boys and girls - I feel a party coming on.
HAPPY VIEWING - GOOD MONDAY - CLICK LE PICS....
On first glance, in the thumbnail version, I thought this photo was a field of people at a concert. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to get a shot like this of corn stalks.
I'm a little behind on my podcasts. I'm slightly obsessed with Bill Maher, and so listening to him every chance I get. This American Life was put on hold until, well, until yesterday. This episode I'm linking to made me grateful for what I have, where I live, and the times I am living in. I hope you'll take a listen. Click on where it says full episode.
Have a great weekend!
Welcome to Winter's Wonderland.
I holed up at Wings of Paradise Butterfly Conservatory yesterday afternoon, enjoying my tropical moment - albeit a form of denial - as snow blanketed the world outside. In fact, I took out a membership for the year thinking that the rainforest-like environment would serve as a winter buster for my mostly summery soul.
Other ways to heat your heart are plentiful around town this weekend starting with tonight's acoustic Kramdens show at The Cornerstone Cafe followed by their plugged in version at the Albion on Friday night. Craig and lads will be burning up the joint with their latest album release show. You can get in the R and R mood right now by listening to The Kramden's Hillside Festival concert - compliments of CBC.
For daytime fun, head up the hill to the University of Guelph's Fair November - now in it's 34th year of crafty excellence - today through Sunday.
For now - HO HO HO and Boo to You!
We have a two part special here on Blog Guelph. The first is airing today and the second, next Wednesday.
I posed 5 questions to two Guelph photographers on their 365 days project. The 365 or in Dave's case 366, is a photo a day of himself. Not all of him has to be in the photo, but a part has to be. Sounds easy enough. I think not.
1. The 366 project is such a huge commitment. What made you want to take on this project?
Ummmm, momentary insanity?
I started shooting again a year-and-a-half ago. Most of the pics I took for the first six months were outdoors while I re/familiarised myself with digital photography, and just fooled around to see whether I remembered much from when I was younger and semi-serious about the craft and art which we all love.
After a while I needed an excuse to do something indoors and get those skills working again. I was trolling around on Flickr one day and found some 365 sites. The whole concept seemed intriguing to me. Without really thinking about it I plunged in. At the same time I was finding Strobist and sites like that, so I outfitted myself with a bare bones indoor setup. That was about it.
2. You are about sixty days away from the end. Will it be a relief or are you excited about starting another 365?
Oh no, I'm looking forward to stopping! A year is good, trust me.
Upon consideration, though, I may do other types of once a day or once a week things, but definitely not using myself.
3. My problem, besides being shy, is the commitment. Every day you have to take a photo. Are there days you just want to give up, and how do you stay motivated? (I noticed there is a mini challenge spreadsheet in the 365 group on flickr.)
The shy thing is definitely something people have to deal with. Believe it or not, I have a shy side. I am a Libra so I end up being a split personality on almost everything. It just turned out that the exhibitionist won in this instance. When I am in exhibitionist mode I have no pride, as you may have noticed. *smile* Doing this sort of project is very therapeutic for those amongst us who would rather blend than stand out, believe me.
The commitment is simpler for me than for many other folks. I can set aside a small chunk of time each day and do this work. I actually look forward to it on most days. I understand why a lot of people cannot do this.
Someone like Mike who comes home from work and does one every night gets props from me just for that, never mind how clean, green, and mean, most of his ideas are.
I have several instances (people whose 365s I was watching) where individuals have just stopped--got a third or halfway through the project and life took over. Shit happens.
I had not even seen the spreadsheet until now. What I find cool is how many of those ideas I've knocked off (many out of desperation).
4. Dave, yourself and Mike have inspired me to maybe undertake this project. Is there someone who has inspired you in regards to 365?
I think it is really cool that I would have anything to do with inspiring someone to do something creative. Really. And nope, just saw a few on Flickr and thought it looked like a pretty darned good way to insure that I picked up a camera every day at a time when that was important.
5. What is your favourite photo from your set? Why is it your favourite?
I tend to like stuff that is recent. Not a particularly new way of seeing one's work, but there is a reason it is not new. You move forward with creativity or you die. I suppose I like the darker ones that make viewers wriggle uncomfortably or scratch their noggins. I like good photography; I hope there are one or two that qualify that way.
Here, have a manifesto. It is pretty much the way I feel about it all right now. I wrote this last week in response to a conversation about being creative, and after hearing an interview with Margaret Atwood in which she says many of the same things, though in a way only Atwood can say them.
"A-hem! Myee Man-i-fest-o . . . (which is mine)"
When pressed (often when not, if the truth be known) photographers will tell you that they want their photographs to mean this, or they want their photographs to mean that. Their photography as 'art' should take precedence over most other considerations of the work. This art is what they do and they're very proud of it. Most good photographers work very hard to master the technical aspects of their craft. Good technique is often a hallmark of good art.
And that's cool, BUT, in the past 10-15 years events have conspired to allow a lot of really beautiful images to be put out there (and many mediocre ones). People have become adept at translating natural beauty, or cultural flotsam and jetsam, onto a two-dimensional medium without much work--no learning curve--instant gratification. Like anything else there is an element of mass production in it all. So many 'photographers' are shooting nowadays, and so many have access to images via the internet, that it is a very different playground than it was once upon a time.
In that sense it's all become a little stale. How many admittedly beautiful scenes, or interesting candid crowd shots, can you look at before the same process begins to occur which has taken place with our perception of images of violence and poverty? Good point, huh?
Personally, I don't give a s*** about any of that stuff. I like going out and shooting trees and stuff once in a while, Alan and Doug know this to be true. I like making architectural photographs because I was trained to do that. I like cars, and flowers, and children, and pets, all that good shit. I also LOVE shooting often controversial subjects and topics and making people look at things they might not look at or otherwise see. I would like to think this happens with some of my pictures once in a while.
Really with a lot of my stuff I just want people to wake the f*** up and react. Whether it's out of disgust, or a sense of profound wonder, or anything in between, it does not matter. Put your shit out on the line with blind faith. Let that sucker go.
Finally, I believe that any image produced in the name of art will eventually have to be viewed as utilitarian, or acknowledged as reactionary and very political, or both, in order to be remembered. The rest is commodity, only there to be consumed, converted, and crapped out. Or it is a very pretty thing that is a rendering of a very pretty thing (art for art's sake *sigh*).
Assuming anyone read this far, does that light a fire under you?
Art usually reflects the times and people in which it is produced.
Easy times appear to produce art which is bloated with self-importance, often humorous without knowledge of its own folly, and seen long after the fact as pretty ironic (yes, that's a pun), again, without self-knowledge.
Hard times produce lean, mean statements which take the shortest route from A (the art) to B (the viewer/reader/listener etc). We are often not allowed to experience art produced during hard times until some point in the future due to institutional censorship, it is that powerful.
I don't think anyone will know what is valid and good from this period, our period, for a very long time, things are that f***** up. I believe lots of good things may be happening, but who can say what and where they are right now? No one that I know personally, and as I noted above, there is just too damned much of it to process in a lifetime.
Stay tuned for Mr. Mikey Mike next Wednesday.
Happiness All, and welcome to Made in Guelph, where we try to feature the insightful skills of one Greater Guelph Area photographer each week.
and todays winner is......
I can't make out much about Ned personally since his profile on flickr doesn't shed much light, but I DO know he shoots all sorts of interesting angles for our wonderful local rag, The Guelph Tribune.
He's obviously a real people person, loves music and a bit of a sporty dude too.
Take a peek at these 6 to see for yourself.
Usually every Monday morning, I load up my ipod with an episode of This American Life, and go out walking. The archives are free for the listening, and 95 cents to download through itunes. Monday's episode is free to download, until the following Monday when a new one takes it's place. I probably made that sound more complicated than it is, but if you head over there, you'll figure it out. So far, Who's Canadian, is my favourite.
Speaking of Canada, the following six photos were taken by members of the Guelph Photography Club on a meet yesterday. Stunning, I say!
It's been quite some time since we've had a Friday Ryder post.
Good to see our girl still standing up for herself.
But lest you let your guard down, beware the wee ones with the big bark.
Have a lovely weekend all.
If ever there was a day to engage the Power of Yesterday - today's yucky weather day would be the day.
On that dripping wet note, please enjoy this 6 pic floral reminder series of sunnier times - or if you prefer thinking ahead, the promise of a more verdant future. Should you want to make plans for this mostly rainy weekend, check out the listings at The Loop. Otherwise, I'd advise a stack of videos from Thomas, some tasty treats from With the Grain and a date with your couch.
For now - imagine the smell of these lilacs.