Photography at the National Gallery

The  Cana­dian Pho­tog­ra­phy In­sti­tute at the National Gallery of Canada has several photo exhibitions this year. From the CPI website:

Joseph Sudek

Continuing until February 26

Known as the “poet of Prague,” Josef Sudek created some of the 20th century’s most evocative images of nature, monuments, objects and streets.

A true “flâneur,” he enjoyed meandering through the streets of the Czech capital, recording intimate and beautiful details of the city he loved. Over many decades, he took thousands of photographs of its architecture and inhabitants.

Organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada, The Intimate World of Josef Sudek features a thoughtful selection of 163 works by the photographer and his artistic circle.

Spanning his career, the exhibition explores how Sudek’s photography reflected his deeply personal relationship with the city of Prague during its artistic heyday and reveals his sensitive understanding of light — and its absence.

On display are works of Sudek’s photographic experiments carried out within the privacy of his studio, images of the garden seen from his window and pictures taken during his walks through the city.

PhotoLab 1

Continuing until 02 APRIL

Windows have fascinated artists for centuries. In photography, the transparency and reflectivity of glass as both a subject and symbol have made windows a particularly popular theme. Since the invention of the medium, photographers have been attracted to the subject, whether as an exploration of still life, portraiture, popular culture or even abstraction. With their ability to both reveal and obscure, to challenge ideas about the viewer and the viewed, or to dissolve the boundaries of inside and outside space, windows have been used as a metaphor for the act of looking itself.


Photography in Canada: 1960–2000

  07 April – 17 September

Experience the diversity of Canadian photographic practice and production from 1960 to 2000. Bringing together more than 100 works by 71 artists — including Raymonde April, Edward Burtynsky, Lynne Cohen, Angela Grauerholz, Michael Snow, Jeff Wall and Jin-me Yoon — it explores how the medium articulated the role of art and the artist in an ever-changing world, along with differing ideas of identity, sexuality and community. Formulated around themes such as conceptual, documentary, urban landscape and portrait, this exhibition celebrates the enormous growth of the practice, collection and display of photography over more than four decades.

Pho­toLab 2: Women Speak­ing Art

07 April – ?

Cel­e­brates con­tem­po­rary art pho­tog­ra­phy by women that features text, in­clud­ing posters, prints and videos.

A Shot of Summer

img_20170119_145303aWe’re somewhere in the middle of winter. If you are ready for a little shot of summer, you might want to visit the Tropical Greenhouse at the Experimental Farm. This map shows its location on Maple Drive. Here are a few images taken on a recent visit.

The Greenhouse is open Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Saturday.

Edward Burtynsky

A friend recently pointed out a great article on the photographer Edward Burtynsky published in The New Yorker. It describes his process, features several of his images and includes some biograhical details. One highlight was this great quote:

“Somebody way back when said it takes two people to use Photoshop: one to work, the other to say when to stop,”

For more Edward Burtynsky images visit his web site or look at this google image search.

Gift of Lights

Camera Club member Kathy Brown pointed out Gift of Lights  as good chance to get some interesting Christmas light pictures.

Quoting from their website:

Gift of Lights is a family-friendly 2 kilometre drive-thru holiday light display featuring a 100+ foot light tunnel at the exit, and over 30 full light static & animated displays!

It’s on from Friday, November 25th, 2016 to Sunday, January 1st, 2017 7 days a week: from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM at Wesley Clover Parks Campground, 411 Corkstown Road.

If you go and take pictures,  please share them with the club.

Thanks for sharing this with us Kathy.

[Added later]

Kathy did some checking with the organizers and it’s not possible to get out of your car to take pictures so this might not be a great opportunity.

Mario Cerroni

At the latest camera club executive meeting, Sue Carey told us about Carp photographer Mario Cerroni and how he combines photography and poetry.

You can see lots of his excellent images on both his web site and his Facebook page.

If you want to meet Mario and discuss his work, he’ll be at Studio 4 during the Red Trillium Studio tour November 26th and 27th.

Hopefully we’ll be able to persuade him to present at a future meeting.

Dan Jones – How To Evaluate a Photograph


Thanks again to Dan Jones for his really excellent presentation at our November 4th meeting where he explained the criteria used to judge a “good” photograph and showed us many of his own images illustrating these criteria.Thanks too for the excellent feedback he gave members on their submitted photos from the Autumn assignment.

To see more of Dan’s images take a look at his flickr account.

Here are Dan’s notes:


Four Criteria to Use

  1. Technical Excellence.
    Sharpness, exposure, use of depth of field, contrast, use of light.
  2. Composition.
    Use of graphic elements ( colour, line, pattern, texture, shape & form) and many other factors to be reviewed later.
  3. Creativity & Originality.
    Use of “ in camera” and “post processing” techniques to create a unique & original image.
  4. Impact ( the WOW factor).
    This factor gives an image a powerful grip on the viewer’s attention. It can involve the use of special lighting, unusual angle of view, a rare & difficult subject matter to capture, perfect timing of an event, an extreme close up of the subject, high level of technical proficiency etc.

Photography, like other art forms, is very subjective, so judges often evaluate images differently based on their own knowledge, experiences and personal preferences. Hence, as photographers, we need to develop our own style and make images that satisfy our own personal preferences and interests.

Two Major Components of Photo graphy.

As its name suggests, Photography is all about the use of “light” and the “graphic elements” that create a composition.
To evaluate a photo, is to consider how these components interrelate with each other and affect the eye of the viewer.

Light, the Magic Ingredient

The quality of light is determined by its intensity (harsh & direct vs. soft & diffused), direction (frontal, side, & back lighting), colour (temperatures degrees k that vary with time of day & weather for natural light & the source of artificial light).

Different types of light favour particular subject matter.

Factors that Create Strong Compositions

  1. Use of 6 graphic Elements.
  2. Simplicity, “less is more”.
  3. Centre of Interest.
  4. Use of recommended rules of photography.
  5. The Emotional Factor.
  6. Use of juxtaposition.
  7. Use of available elements to frame the subject matter.
  8. Use of strong geometric shapes.
  9. Use of odd numbers, especially #3.
  10. Use off leading lines.
  11. Treatment of backgrounds.
  12. Use of elements to create mood & atmosphere.
  13. Use of known objects to give a sense of scale where needed.
  14. Keeping horizons straight when necessary.
  15. Pleasing arrangement of elements in the frame.
  16. Giving the image a sense of balance.
  17. Leaving enough space around the main subject so it doesn’t feel too constrained.
  18. Avoid “mergence” where unwanted elements enter around the frame of the image.
  19. Create a sense of depth and perspective, so the normally two dimensional image looks three dimensional.
  20. For moving subjects, try to capture the action at the best time.

Hopefully, these tips will help you make better photos and improve your ability to evaluate them afterward.