The Workshop – A Creative Journey

Chris Wright Photo Trips

I have just completed a seven day Develop Your Creative Vision photography workshop hosted at the Tallheo Cannery Guest Inn at Bella Coola. It was an intense workshop designed to push ones photographic vision to new places. Consisting of a series of visual challenges, peer review of those, lessons, and discussion, intended to help develop a deeper understanding on composition and creativity.

It was led by Chris Harris and Dennis Ducklow, two photographers with a wide and deep breadth of photographic knowledge, applied skills, and the ability to teach. Chris has been photographing for 50 years and has a unique creative style that he has been moving to over the last three years.

I found the workshop to be transformational in that it gave me a better understanding on seeing tonal changes in a scene and the foundational skills for expressive creativity. It took about two days to really understand the power of the expressive creativity and to interpret it in my own way. Those two days were challenging in that it broke so many of my own conventions and rules I have held near and dear over the last 25 years of photography. Once I was able to get past those self imposed constraints, it was a very powerful creative step in my photography.

Here are the top ten photos that I selected for the final workshop slide show. Don’t worry, I will still be creating expressive documentary photographs but the expressionism photographs offer another creative outlet.

In this photo of a narrow corridor filled with parts bins, I spun the camera around in a 90 degree arc while using a slow 30 second exposure. I did combine two frames in post production (one normal exposure and one dark) to retain the details in the bright window. Otherwise it was created entirely in camera.

This was created using a slow shutter speed while panning the camera downwards along a cable.

Similar to the first photo, this was created by rotating the camera through 360 degrees with a 30 second exposure. I then took a crop of the arc. My green foam knee pad was lying in a sun lit location that created the colour band while the wood shelving and door frame created the brown bands.

This photo was created using multiple exposures with a change in the camera position. It is a window frame laying on a wood floor with a chunk of wood laying on top of the bottom edge.

This is the Sputc Raven pole on the Nuxalk First Nation in Bella Coola. I used three exposures with a small camera movement for each exposure.

Fern created with a slow exposure and a downward pan. The success of the photo depends on the speed of the pan relative to the shutter speed. I utilized the brighter stem area and the dark shadow between the fronds for tonal distinction.

This study in shape and tone was created by using multiple exposures of a wood piling set against the water, while moving the camera latterly. The image was then rotated.

In the cannery building were glass sheets and with careful use of depth of field and the incoming light, it created a striking composition.

This is a multiple exposure photo, with the camera fixed on a tripod and the rope moved during those exposures.

Glass bottle and wood floor, created with a multiple exposure. The darker bottle shape was exposed a few times, while the moved camera position was exposed only once which created the ghosting effect.

Hopefully you enjoyed those expressionism photos, I would like to hear your comments. I will be posting shortly with some expressive documentary photos so that you can see the cannery buildings and the surrounding area.

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Comments 2

  1. “Expressionism” seems a whole new way for you to play with photography & to share your visual appreciation Chris. I am happy for you that you’ve found it & look forward to future products of your play.

    1. Post

      Thanks Lynn, appreciate the review and feedback. I’m just at the starting point with it, so I look forward to learning and refining the technique further. The workshop also provided compositional skills for expresive documentary photography.

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