Oshawa Express Column 3

Whoops! I forgot to post my last column here. It doesn't seem to be on the website yet but perhaps that is an oversight. It seems to me that this happens often - I've looked for digital versions of various articles for other reasons, and not been able to find them so lets just chalk it up to that. I'll assume they are busy, not that they don't like it, cause they printed it.

Anyhow here it is. I wrote it in anticipation of an event that happened this past weekend. What a lot of fun it was! I really enjoyed it, the auction was very interesting to see and the photography was top-notch. Things have been so busy at work but if you've been reading for a while you know the workaholic in me loves it.

Capturing Images and Ideas

Photography has long been a popular form of art in our community. Studios and photography stores allowed for local hobbyists and professionals to work on their art. Clubs and associations encourage one another to learn more about the art form. In recent years though, the availability of digital photographic equipment has changed the art form dramatically. While one aspect is the move from using film and traditional processing to digital storage and output, the greater impact of this change has been the dramatic cost reduction in capturing scenes, images and ideas that live in the eyes and mind of the artist.  This has allowed more budding photographers to explore the medium.

While in the past capturing an image could take hours of careful preparation to ensure the perfect shot, today it is virtually cost free (once the initial cost of equipment is paid) to shoot thousands of digital images, seeking just the right look. Some might say that this has created a level playing field for photographers, but this is less than true. Though one of those thousands of shots might be lucky, it is truly the skill of a trained eye and years of practice that results in the most breathtaking effects.

Recently The Robert McLaughlin Gallery held a community photographic competition to go hand in hand with the upcoming fundraising event RMG Exposed, happening on November 13th. This competition encouraged photographers in the community to submit three of their images for a jury to review and select the finest ones. The results were truly overwhelming. A breadth of talent lives in this community, creating an incredible challenge for the members of the jury. Selecting from the images only, knowing nothing about the artists themselves, the jury was presented with the challenge of selecting only 20 images from well over 250 submissions. (You can have a sneak peek at the finalists by visiting www.rmgexposed.com.)

Images captured around the globe, images from our own backyards, images of what seemed to be another world, all presented unique visions of what the art of photography is. The use of digital after-effects, in some cases, created images that seem impossible for the eye to comprehend. Other images were simple, stripped down, utilizing traditional photographic techniques.

The finalists in the competition have a chance to win prizes, and in return have generously donated prints of their work which will be auctioned during the event, with funds returning to the community in the form of events and programming at the gallery. The photographic community has come together to create a truly unique event for Oshawa, celebrating an art form that is living and evolving as technology rapidly changes. It shows just how alive and well the passion is for photography in the local area, potentially greater than ever before in history. It is one way in which the digital age has changed our lives, changed the way we see the world, and changed the way we express ourselves every day. The final photographs capture more than just images; they also capture ideas, and help define our identities as members of the artistic community.


Oh, I should also mention a reporter from the Durham College blog Downtown Oshawa News also popped into the gallery and interviewed me as we discussed the current exhibit Obsolete Concepts. I was nervous because I don't really enjoy myself on film, and I have a tendency to talk fast. I dealt with it! I was also worried because though I know the exhibition pretty well, and have read the essay and done some writing about it, the one piece the author wanted to talk most about was the one I felt the least comfortable discussing. Ah well, I think it went ok. Anyhow, here it is:

Look mom, I'm on youtube!

This week I've got so many writing assignments on the go I don't really have time for the blogging. I've got to get a post together for secrets and I know what it will be about. It's going to be saucy so keep your eyes out for that one. I've got a number of pieces for work on the go, and I have been acting as an expert on a new blog called The Bump & Hustle. It's pretty and it's a good read too. It's still fairly new but already has a good chunk of content. I believe that my post goes up in four days. The B&H is a new blog by an old school chum of mine Kat. Kat is actually super woman, I'm sure of it. When she's not being a new mom, she's running two businesses out of her home and I hear also renovating it, all whilst being a super-talented designer. Oh, did I mention she's also the author of another blog called Spin the Idea? She's amazing. Anyhow The B&H is all about how to juggle it when you are a new mom and it's fun to be a part of it, even though I'm still sans bebe. Stay tuned, I'll provide the link.

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