Emergence | Looking Forward | Celebration

63 days.  That’s how long it has been since I’ve eaten in a restaurant, visited a friend, had a haircut, worked for a client, boarded a plane, gone to a movie, or sat and wrote in my favourite coffee shop.  

… just 63 days.

The world has changed a lot in that time frame though, hasn’t it?  We’ve been fortunate here in British Columbia, with a combination of strong leadership / good citizenship / and luck helping us avoid much of the tragedy that COVID-19 has brought to other parts of the world. 

During the early days of the lockdown I decided to relax and allow myself the space to just “be”.  It has been a strangely peaceful time, focused on family and artistic endeavours, but also one that has been largely recuperative physically, mentally, and creatively.  I have watched from afar, as an artist but also as a veteran health care worker, while heroic efforts were made by frontline workers, while armchair quarterbacks diminished those efforts through their cynicism, and while humanity showed its endless capacity for compassion and caring.  I have watched artists produce amazing new bodies of work, musicians play from their balconies to boost the morale of the people around them, and everyone come together nightly to show thanks for those who still work on the frontlines.  This is a time for the history books… that is for sure.

And now I find myself thinking about what life will look like moving forward.  What will I return to and continue doing?  What will I chose not to bring back into my life?  What am I the most excited about?  How can I best serve my family / friends / clients?

The world has changed, but I can’t help but feel optimistic that this pause is also an opportunity to shape our lives just a little bit… to give thought to what we want and to what we need to do moving forward.  They say that every cloud has a silver lining…. perhaps that is also the case here.

Photography never completely goes away though, right?  During the COVID-19 lockdown many of my Official Fujifilm X Photographer peers, myself included, produced videos for the Fujifilm community.  My video focused on how I approach shooting on the street, both philosophically and compositionally.  You can view the video on YouTube by clicking the image above.

Fujifilm Canada and I also continued our working relationship with the 2020 renewal of my status as an Official Fujifilm X Photographer.  Collaborating with this incredible company changed my life, both personally and professionally, so I am excited to continue supporting them and the artists who use their cameras.   

In closing:  I hope that you and your families are all doing well, and that we see each other out there very soon.  In celebration of my 2020 renewal, but also just in celebration of “life”, I’d like to end this post with a selection of my Fujifilm images.  This selection is varied, including some street photography, portraits, wedding photos, and cityscapes / landscapes that I have made with the Fujifilm X series over the years.  Some of these images go all the way back to the original Fujifilm FinePix X100!

Be safe everyone.  Talk soon.

Cheers,

Ian

Les Rues De Paris | The Streets of Paris – Part Two

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

– Elliott Erwitt

“Street photography is capturing the beauty in the mundane”

– Eric Kim

Street photography came into my life during a period when I felt creatively drained as an artist.  I had been shooting a lot of portraiture, working with a creative team in studio to produce images that were often pre-planned and somewhat structured.  I reached a point where this environment felt stifling, like the walls around me were drowning me creatively.  Discovering my love of street photography was like having my head pulled up out of the water;  like I could breath again.  I loved the lack of formality, the lack of a schedule, the excitement of discovering new photos around every corner and the ability to experiment as often as I liked.  The blank canvas of the street challenged me and kicked my ass, but it changed the way I saw the world and rejuvenated my love of photography.  I learned to look past the beautiful model or epic landscape and to appreciate the simple beauty that exists in every day life.

This approach has also had an impact on my professional work:  My wedding photography focuses more on beautiful, candid moments.  My travel albums, which used to be full of epic cityscapes, now feature street scenes and tiny detail shots that tell a better story of the places I visit.  I shoot more candidly during portrait sessions now, featuring environmental portraits more than studio work.  Even my landscape and cityscape photography has changed, as I often include people in the frame now to give a sense of scale and a sense of place.

If you find yourself in a photographic rut I highly recommend shooting in a different genre for a period of time.  It is refreshing, inspiring and will change the way that you see.

And, go to Paris.  It is a wonderful city to photography.  🙂

Cheers,

Ian

p.s.  Part one of this series can be viewed HERE.