ME . . . relaxing just before sunset on the south shore of Lake Superior . . .on the “U.P.” This was the first night of a cross-continent adventure.
I need to get something off my chest. In recent days (April 2023), there’s been an explosion of new AI (artifical intelligence) imaging technologies hitting the marketplace whether they are knowingly or unknowingly embedded in smartphone apps, or purposefully inserted into image editing software. No-one can stop the march of technology and most people will use these technologies because they can. Obviously, I use technology to capture, edit, and print my photo. However, what I have available to me is not what I use for my fine are photography.
Similar to the craftsman who creates furniture with a minimum of power tools and opts to use mallets and chisels instead, I choose not to use presets, AI, or automatic camera functions to capture, edit, and print my photography. I want to have as much control over my art as possible. After all, my work is an expression of me and not a machine’s.
While Campbellford is now my home, I’m originally from St. Catharines (in the Niagara Region). Along the way, I made stops at various points in Northwestern Ontario, Labrador, and then back to Niagara for a few years. From 1988 to the present, I’ve lived alongside the Trent Severn Waterway.
My grandfather was my first inspiration in photography. He would go out and take pictures “just because”. Grandpa spent time in darkrooms, owned many different cameras, had hundreds and hundreds of slides and prints. He showed me what a contact sheet was and talked about darkrooms (he had a tiny one in his basement). Unfortunately, just as I got started with one of his older cameras, he passed away. But at least he gave me an important introduction.
Throughout the years, I shot photos with various film and digital gear. When I was a bush pilot flying de Havilland Otters and Beavers in northern Canada, I always travelled with two things; a fishing rod and my manual Mamiya SLR. After I left flying and entered university, my photography was put on pause other than for recording family and life events.
Nowadays, I shoot with a Sony mirrorless with various prime and zoom lenses spanning 12mm to 350mm. This gives me tremendous flexibility in how and where I can shoot. I also have speed lights which I use off-camera. While my imagery interests are fairly wide, if I had to more accurately define my photographic interests, I’d have to say that it would involve some form of “scape”.