Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Form and Structure

A trend I've been noticing in my own work is the use of structuralism. I've been drawn to pulling away information and details from my photographic process until the objects I'm photographing are reduced to nearly just their form. What the objects are is not hidden, it is simply less important than the shapes it creates.
Also, Christmas lights.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


First is Walking Man, a photo I made because hey, I make photos.
The second is Kids Today (no offence anyone, if I meant anything it'd be hypocritical), another in the A Vs. B Saga.

Friday, September 27, 2013


Quick Greek linguistic lesson.
Photos~ Light
Graphie~ Writing or drawing
Photography is etymologically light painting. So here it is up close.

How do I blog again?

These are two images I submitted to a 'zine' a few friends of mine are creating focusing on youth. I don't know if either will be chosen but I submitted them nonetheless. The second I shot specifically for this project.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Bit of This, A Bit of That

Some summer images so far.

A Vs. B

This summer my good friend Bobby and I were finding ourselves a little bored. Both being in Ryerson's photography program we had been working on assignments all year long and found ourselves without much inspiration. So the idea came about to have a competition. It was to be friendly of course, and without winners, just two photographers taking a different word each week and making an image. Then we posted the image and saw what people thought. The themes so far have been: Cage, Nature, Break, B&W, Grief, and Canada. These three are Can't Cage the Beast, Stages of Grief, and Natural Beauty covering the themes of Cage, Grief, and natural, respectively. The easiest format for this is Tumblr (which I put aside my personal distaste for) and that is where our competition is hosted. It can be found by following the tab underneath the title of this blog called A Vs. B. We'll posting every week (ish) for the foreseeable future so feel free to check back.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Much Does a Hipster Weigh?

The answer to that question is an instagram.
If you know me in person you know my dislike for this website. It's lazy, tacky, and annoying, legal issues aside. If you want to make your pictures look like cross-processed, or half-melted or expired film you should probably just use film like a lot of us do and screw it up (I haven't shot a roll of unexpired or "normal" film in a long time). Using a set of filters is pretty simply irritating. That being said, I don't mean to offend anyone, and I know from school this year that a lot of talented photographers to have instagram.
Anyway, rant aside, I have decided to explore the concept of square cropping as I feel that adds a certain feel to photos that can be used for purposes other then instagram.
So here are three of my insta-cropped photos.
And just for fun let's mock instagram again: Link (Language warning)


Now that I'm home for the summer I've got more time for creating. One of my main projects I'm going to be working on this summer is maintaining a semi-regular YouTube channel using the musical tendencies of my family and friends.  The first few have been me and my sister Maggie singing:
And the musical talents of my three year old niece Kendra:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4 x 5 Series: Student

For my final 4x5 project I chose to undertake the concept of portraying challenging or isolating aspects of student life through quasi-still lives. The format I chose to employ is using a 1ft sketching mannequin, portrayed in real-life situations. The purpose of using a sketching mannequin as opposed to a life size mannequin or blow-up doll is to avoid the humorous aspect of the photos and to emphasize the size relation. The objects and places being so much larger than the subject are a metaphor for how challenging or isolating those situations can be for some. Half the photos were made in studio to monopolize on the lighting afforded by studio work, and to generalize the situations. The other half were on location for contextualizing reasons.
If I were to approach the project again I would want to do all of the work on location. I would also ideally approach this subject matter from a digital perspective because the analogue format wasn't really a part of the photos. Conceptually and technically it would have been nearly identical in digital, and much more manageable.
The reason I had for approaching a topic like this was because it is something that I've been dealing with the last year and I know many of my fellow classmates would agree. it is also a topic that isn't really discussed artistically because it can be seen to be too boring or everyday, but by incorporating the mannequin instead of a figure I believe I managed to bring this series out of that pitfall, and artistically address the issue in a way that (while flawed) talked to the problem and brought some light to the situation.
The photo in this series that I am the most proud of is definitely the Essay Writing photo, closely followed by the on location Walking photo. I feel the composition and technical aspects of these photos works better than the others. The photo I feel the least positive about is the photo with the envelope of change. I tried a few times to re-arrange the subject matter, but I still feel as if there is a better way of presenting it out there somewhere.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Tools, New Toys

Howdy. Right now, as school gets busier and busier I find myself shooting ever more often, as a break, and as a creative outlet. I've been playing around with a new lens I just acquired. It's a 50 mm prime which means it doesn't zoom, it is fixed at 50mm, f1.8 (which means that the widest it can open is f1.8 which is pretty wide and makes it very handy in low light situations). I've been enjoying the lens very much and the largest reason is because 50mm is very close to the focal length the human eye sees at, everything looks very real. While comparing photos it might not be obvious at first, but photo after photo you start to notice everything looks real.
I've also invested six dollars in a cool shiny diamond paperweight because, hey, why not? That's picture number one. Number two is highlighting the urban splendour of Toronto, number three was from playing volleyball the other night, and the final image is called Zombie Kenny.

Musical Household

This is my little sister Maggie and I performing my favourite song in the world: Home (originally by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes). This was my first time using some new audio equipment and the I'm very proud of the audio quality.
Enjoy. Share. Hug your family.
Archipelago Photography

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shoot What You Know

 And a lot of what I know is love for my family, including this little princess here. This is Kendra. If you've been to my blog once before, you've seen her. She's probably the single person I photograph the most (aside from myself). And with a face like that, can you blame me? Whether it be digital (like the third photo) or 35mm film (like the first two) she is the most photogenic creature I've ever met. and I love her terribly.

The Abandoned Kodak Factory

There is in Northwest Toronto an old Kodak factory that has been abandoned about ten years ago. The building has been ravaged by the elements and torn apart by squatters and adventurers leaving it a husk of a factory. Without foreknowledge one might think it had been a school with it's large gymnasium, stage, weight room, and what appears to be classrooms.
As an art student the romance of a giant of film being left to be coated in graffiti was undeniable.A few of us Image Arts students went down to the factory a week ago and shot a combined 5 rolls of film and probably 300 digital photos in a few hours in the factory. The details are a bit sketchy, so I'll leave them out, but if you are an analogue enthusiast, with a penchant for adventure, and/or a love of the rich history of photography, it is a must see.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Genesis is the very beginning of something; the starting force. He is mine.
This is my grandfather, some 68 years ago. And he's why I'm where I am. There is no moving around that. I simply wouldn't be in this city, at this school, with a camera in my hand, trying to find the right images, without what he has done for me.
His name was Charles Robert Turnbull, but he went by Bob (or Gee to the family). He passed away a few years ago but he won't ever be absent to me. I've been holding on with all my will to his memory; his life. There are a lot of very important and prestigious things he did in his life, but to me he'll always be the man who gave me my first (second, third, and fourth) camera(s). He taught me all he could and I don't think I'll ever know how deeply he shaped my life. The world legacy comes to mind when I think of him. I'd like to be his legacy, with my actions and images and deeds.
A few years ago I made this little video if you want to know any more.

There Isn't a Thing in the World Like 35mm

I couldn't tell you what it is. Perhaps it's analogue romanticism, or holding a little negative in your hand. But maybe it's the feel of having the camera all that much closer to the subject. Without the hassle of checking all sorts of settings, and especially without the need to check the photo immediately afterwards, the subject is so much closer to you. The photographer can feel one layer closer to being part of their picture.
And those colours. Gosh, those colours.
islands of thought and image, connected with a name

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

10,000 Pageviews!

Congratulations to everyone who reads this, whether this is your first post to read, or your 213th (love you Mom). 10k pageviews is pretty freaking sweet, so I want to say a big thank you. Here's something irrefutably adorable.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Night Life

Sometimes all you need is a quite night of inspiration. The night is where I find most of my ideas.
First is a photo of an alley by my house, where it looks like spring will never see.
The second is much more interesting. This is the longest (digital) exposure I've ever made: 1051 seconds (17.5 minutes). It's a self portrait of me reading comics on my phone with all the lights off. Took an exposure or two to figure it out entirely. The aperture was closed as could be (F22) ISO bottomed out (ISO100) and the time I just guessed for metering. I think I'll call it Cyberpathy. As for the how, it was pretty simple with the right equipment: a tripod, and an old school cable release with a lock. I locked it shut (holding the shutter down) and had the exposure time on BULB, and set a timer on my phone. A very little tweaking in post and ta-da!
Archipelago Photography

Friday, March 1, 2013


You hop just a tiny bit over the border and it's amazing how much the urban landscape can change. We went to the United States for a day-trip on Family Day (or as they call it in the US of A, Presidents day) for some shopping and family camaraderie. The store on the top just killed me with laughter. "Guns. Survival Gear"; in what way are they related? In the centre of North America guns are not for safety or survival. Not to split my audience on gun control, but seriously? In a nationalist, patronizing way, I find the first image pretty amusing.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Typology of Eyes

For another Ryerson project we were to create a Typology and I did mine of eyes. These are the 36 eyes of 18 people that are close to me. The eyes are randomized because it really isn't about the people themselves, but about the nature of an eye

Four by Five

They say that analogue photography is dead. And some places, it is. There are lots of schools out there that don't even teach it anymore. Thankfully, Ryerson is not one of those. These three photos were made with 4inch by 5inch analogue film. "Is that as much of a pain-in-the-ass as it sounds?" you might be thinking and the answer is "yes!".
The camera is huge and unwieldy, the tripod (which is 100% necessary) is obscenely large, the film is easy to screw up and bloody expensive (don't even ask!), and yet, there's something about it.
True, it's never quick or easy, but it's almost always worth it. I have never found myself taking a terrible photo with it, because it requires a lot of thought. By placing these limitations on us, we are learning how to really see and shoot with immense intention. It also teaches us to respect our roots. They were in fact times before the ease of a DSLR or a camera phone.
I have hated it at times, but I think when all is said and done, I will thank that horrible machination that gave me such beautiful negatives.