January 2021 – Newsletter 6

Chris Wright Newsletters 14 Comments

Welcome to the January newsletter and the start of a new year. A year that hopefully will bring relief from the pandemic, good health, and a creative meaningful year of making art!

This month I have been enjoying the Burnaby Stride Festival which celebrates all things art in Burnaby with education and entertainment events. Two events that I enjoyed were the Making Art & Living Artfully presented by photographer Grant Withers and painter Jane Appleby, and the premier of the NB24 film. This was a project where twenty-four North Burnaby residents each made a one minute video showing one hour of the day, through 24 hours, showcasing North Burnaby. The video should be posted on this site in later February, check it out!

Enjoy the articles this month, be safe, and we’ll chat again soon!

The following articles are indexed for your convenience:
Marketing through Tuesday Takeover on Instagram
Noons Creek exploration
Seeing new details in familiar locations
The walk that became an obsession with puddles

Tuesday Takeover on Instagram

I had an interesting offer from a friend of mine to take over her Instagram account’s Story for a day, posting my content every hour over a nine hour period. The intent was to generate more awareness of both our companies and to have another creative outlet. Rebecca runs Chatterdoo Media and offers marketing and social media management.

I found the whole process to be good fun, learning much on marketing along with a deep dive into the quirks of Instagram’s story feature. In thinking on content, I wanted to provide both informational and entertaining clips. They had to be short in length, in sections of 15 seconds or less, and with content reflective of my work. Here are two of the nine video clips I created for the story, and yes the vertical orientation is the format that Instagram requires.

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Exploring Noons Creek

Using a wide angle lens, I captured a larger extent of the creek and this pool

In the northern section of Coquitlam, to the west of Westwood Plateau, is Noons Creek that runs southwards to the ocean in Port Moody. It descends the steep slope through coastal forests, with slow moving sections and steep cascade and waterfall sections.

Under cloudy conditions and with recent rains a friend and I set off to explore sections that we had seen before and others that we knew might offer good photography.

The western red cedar tree with the moss covered branches seemed the perfect backdrop to this photo
Here is a close-up of that cedar tree growing over a boulder
An old favourite is the waterfall, though this time the decreased flows allowed a more front on vantage point. When we last visited the waterfall in November of 2020, there was so much flow you could not safely be so close.
Looking for the small details above the waterfall
I thought these two triangular shaped rocks set against the smooth western red cedar log would make an interesting composition

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Seeing New Details in Familiar Locations

When I am planning on heading out to do photography, the question is always “where should I go”? New locations can offer the obvious new material to photograph, while familiar locations can present challenges in finding new material. Notice how I said ‘challenge’ and not ‘problem’, because this is the mindset you want to have. Seek out the new possibilities and build upon your knowledge of the area for optimal lighting and other factors. In each of these images I will share what I found to be the new detail.

Granville Island Parkade. It was raining on this trip with two friends, and feeling responsible for providing locations (and dry ones at that!), I suggested the nearby parkade that I had never photographed in. I was very impressed with this scene; the double circle, the rough concrete, and the smooth reflective surface on the vehicle.
Colour Fusion in the Dark Passageway, Granville Island. I have created numerous images in this passageway on previous trips and was wondering what else I could produce. I spent some time looking at the material before deciding to capture the area where the wall and ceiling material meet. It showed me that even in a small space where I have produced images before, there are still possibilities waiting to be captured.
Basketball court at Byrne Creek Secondary school. In the evening or on weekends, I will often walk around my neighbourhood for a leg stretch and of course photography! I have recently acquired a very wide angle lens and while walking through the outdoor court, I thought I could use that to play with the expected scale. I exaggerated the centre circle and diminished the wall presenting an almost abstract study in geometry.
Columbia Square, New Westminster. I have photographed many times in this area and in fact walked by this wall numerous times without much thought to it. Recently I had a short time available so I decided to head into this local area wondering though what I would find. I was stunned to see this incredible shadow shape which I had never seen before. It reminded me of a ship and I thought I would play on that idea by using the adjacent stop sign lettering.
Here is another example of a scene I have walked by numerous times, without photographing it. This time I realized how each feature seemed like a jumble of objects stacked on top of each other. I also realized how the light and shadow interacted with those.
The Shipyards Commons, mirrored composite. While I have photographed this side of the Shipyard Commons building before, I hadn’t really noticed how the light and shadow worked so well together on a tight crop of the end portion only (left side of this image). After converting to black and white, I decided to try a mirrored composite by flipping a second copy and placing on the right side. This really created something unique with the gradient of tones on the glass wall.

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The Walk That Became an Obsession with Puddles

BC Hydro’s South Campus buildings reflected in a puddle

I wanted to share with you photos taken on a neighbourhood walk where in looking for inspiration on a blah overcast day, I found it in puddles. Now you might wonder why, but I find puddles full of inspiration with their reflection and distortion of nearby objects. So on a cold overcast day with the rain about to return, it seemed like a great place to start. I was really pleased with the variety of images I created over a one hour span. All of these were created in camera with only minimal post processing.

The circular effect emphasizes the patterns in the tree while the blurred stones in the centre draws your eye inward
This reminded me of a Group of Seven painting
Between the sidewalk and the paving stones is another reality
The low angle sun breaking through the clouds reflected in the puddle produced a lovely shade of yellow-orange
With the rain starting again, I worked to capture this scene that is divided into 4 different patterns and tones

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Comments 14

  1. You are so talented Chris! Your commercial work is as interesting as your abstract shots. I’ve forgotten what camera you use. Would you mind sharing that?

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      Thanks Kaye for the kind comments. As to your question, I photograph with the Nikon D810 and the Nikon Z6. My lenses include the 12-30mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, and a 105mm macro (plus other lenses for special use cases). I will email you the response as well.

  2. All so interesting and excellent….love the “Between the sidewalk and paving stones” perfect example of finding beauty where one would least expect to !!! Of course our “own” Noon’s Creek is always a treat.

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      Thanks Dennis, I appreciate the comments and nice to hear on the videos. I thought I would share something a bit different.

  3. the Granville Island parkade reminds me of the opening of the James Bond movie’s. Great collection and variety of photos, those puddle reflections sure show how using what you have avaiable is a very valuable skill to have .

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      Thanks Terry, I hadn’t considered that connection with the parkade circle and James Bond, but yes I can see that now. Good point on the puddle photos.

  4. Excellent, interesting visioning, Chris. Thanks for the opportunity to pause & consider the extraordinary in ordinary.

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  5. I love the variety of ideas you generate and the different approaches you take in your photography. Noon’s Creek looks like it’s worth a visit. Thanks for sharing your work, Chris.

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  6. Fascinating as always Chris. Your use of light and shade, color and texture, water, including capturing beautiful reflections in puddles, is so insightful. Just being able to find photo ops in mundane objects is such a talent. Happy your passion has brought you to professional photography. Well done.

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      Hi Julia, thank you for the kind words and the detailed comments. I always appreciate hearing that people are enjoying the photos!

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