Sunday, March 13, 2011

AT 27: Before My Time

Cabbage Leaf (1931) by  Edward Weston

Homage to Weston's 'Cabbage Leaf' by Tara Craigon
For this assignment, there were many other amazing black and white photographs taken 'before my time' that I really liked, however, some of them were just not possible to recreate! I knew my choice of Edward Weston's 'Cabbage Leaf' from 1931, was going to be no easy feat, but it was actually more challenging to recreate than I thought!

This cabbage leaf is typical of Weston's vision, and typically beautiful. Isolated against a black background, it is the universal principle of ceaseless flux in nature in which Weston believed. I love the way he transformed this seemingly humble object. I feel this image is strong beacause at first glance, the viewer is not exactly sure of what they are looking at. Could it be flowing lava, the undulating grain of a desiccated cypress tree, seaweed writhing in the surf, the hair of his lover and muse or an aerial view of a landscape? The beautiful range of tones and richness and depth of texture is incredible.

Originally, this image was shot with black and white film and produced as a silver gelatin print. The richness and texture was difficult to emulate using the digital format. I perhaps purchased a different type of cabbage than he originally used as well. However, I do like the composition and increased amount of lines, shapes and texture in my version. The quality and direction of light is close but not exact. I often prefer to get even closer to a subject to abstract and transform so I have also attached three other images from the series.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Freeman Patterson - A Glimpse Through His Lens

For a recent school assignment, I was asked to compile a research project on a Photographer who has had a significant influence on their genre. I chose Freeman Patterson for many reasons. About 16 years ago when I purchased my first SLR and took my first photography course, Freeman Patterson was one of the nature photography masters that we were introduced to. Through this course at Photo Central, I met Glen who would soon become one of my best friends. We became photography 'buddies' and really enjoyed taking nature photographs together. We were greatly influenced by the work of Patterson and aspired to create images like his. We studied his books and attended one of his seminars when he visited Winnipeg around 1996 or 97. We were both very impressed – not only by his photographic presentation but by him as an individual, artist and teacher.

Since then, I have continued to develop my photographic skills in nature photography as well as other areas of the industry. I really enjoyed learning more about Freeman through this research project and have gained an even greater love and respect for his work and contributions to the world.

If you are interested in reading my essay, please click on the link below. You will need a password to open it, so please email me a request.

Freeman Patterson Research Essay

To see more of his images, please visit his website at