Every piece of art has an interesting history or sentiment behind it. Another art truism, specifically about photography, is that everything of this world that could be shot has been shot. Photography now is not about discovery. It’s about rediscovery.
Back in 2011 I briefly met Paul Elia, artist and member of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association, at the clothesline art sale that was headed up by the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. He was interested in this piece and told me about a quite similar image made by photographer Jeff Tessier. Producing original work is extremely important to me, and I must admit that my paranoia had me fearing that perhaps Paul thought that I was pedaling Jeff’s shot as my own.
Honestly, I had never heard of Jeff or seen his image before (I shot mine in July of 2009). So I looked up his shot, panicked over the similarities and contacted him hoping to smooth things over. Great guy; he put my mind at ease. Although he was only acquainted with Paul, he assured me that he didn’t believe that Paul suspected me of copying anything. It was just an observation of an uncanny coincidence. He said:
“Well, photography is a funny thing. There’s only so much to photograph and it’s no surprise that if one photog with a good eye sees something in a certain way, then the next photog will likely come along and see it in a similar light. It looks like that’s what happened with you and me. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I need to say that my image of Gore Park at night was inspired by some work I’ve seen from another Hamilton photographer, Peter Michael Wilson, who has some stunning nighttime photos of the city, including Gore Park. I used to use Peter’s images when I was the Photo Editor at H Magazine and for one of my recent projects I decided to go out for a few nights in the middle of the night, inspired by the images and emotions I saw in his work. That’s where the ‘Gore Park Fountain at Night’ image came from. So if anyone’s copying, it’s me!”
So, despite the hundreds of photos already taken of this fountain over decades, I hoped that I had succeeded in creating a picture that is unique. Although I see that I have failed in that endeavor, I am quite satisfied with my results. There are enough differences for that. I am also intrigued to know that there is another Hamiltonian who shoots with the same enthusiasm and approach as me.
For a little history on the fountain, click HERE.
I like this latest challenge by WordPress. It’s right up my alley.
Click HERE for the story. Fair warning, it’s a fairly long photo essay.
Here’s a name for you; Tammy “Tamara” Mitchell. I really don’t know her. I’m a complete stranger to her, and she’s a complete stranger to me. I happen to be merely acquainted with someone she knows quite well, who has told me a little about her and a considerable challenge that she has to face.
Tamara is a Certified Personal Support Worker (PSW) for First Class Home Care. For anyone not familiar with what a PSW does, it is one of those unglamorous, stressful but fulfilling jobs that people of a certain character in our communities volunteer for. They take care of people who have difficulty taking care of themselves. Many of those people in need are the elderly; our beloved parents and grandparents.
PSW’s are professional strangers who help our own loved ones when it even becomes tremendously difficult for us to help them ourselves. PSW’s accept a responsibility to ensure that a high standard or care is always given so that someone can live . . . or die, with as much dignity as possible. For this, PSW’s can become like our own family members.
So who is there for the PSW’s when they need help? You see, it turns out that quite recently Tamara – a single mother of three (Andrew, Mikenzi and Taiyah); two of which are young children, whom she has to take care of when she’s not taking care of others, was diagnosed with stage III multiple myeloma. This is a type of cancer of the blood. I’m tempted to call it a form of leukemia because of its blood connection but I guess that the finer medical research details of how the ailment occurs, what it does and how it may be treated defines that it is a whole other beast. I’ve only just started reading up on it online, so I won’t try to go into those details. I just want to briefly spread the word that now it is Tamara who needs the help from her community of family, friends and of course strangers.
TAMARA MITCHELL CANCER BENEFIT
First Class Home Care will be hosting a fundraiser on Tamara’s behalf, and it will include a silent auction, games, raffle prizes, door prizes, entertainment, drinks, food and wine.
Raffle packages will be available for $30.00 at the door.
Please support this cause, and wish Tamara well from wherever you are. If you are in or near Hamilton, Ontario and you have anything to donate towards the effort or would like to purchase a ticket to the event, please call Donna Hearty at (905) 818-8827, Terry-Lynne Rade at (905) 875-6950 or Russell Price at (647) 269-1897. You can also e-mail Russell through the contact form below.
Monetary donations to the TAMARA MITCHELL CANCER BENEFIT can be deposited at any TD Canada Trust.
I will contribute fine art toward to auction.
Help Tamara live with dignity.
It’s about time I posted on here again!
Click HERE for the story.
This window shot recently took on slightly new meaning for me. Click HERE for the story.
Firstly, I have to begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to all of you who have gone over to take a look at Hammer Home, and even began following. Your interest helps to breath new life into this reinvented street photography project.
Secondly, sure, individual blog posts are expected to have different titles. Throughout Hammer Home, however, there are a number of recurring titles. That’s because each relates to a specific theme, and there are several project themes.
Yes, I’ve written about flâneurist thematic street photography before.
As the overall subject of Hammer Home is obviously about modern life in the city of Hamilton, the underlying themes are:
Through my wanderings about the city, I’ve found that the people, places, events and other state of affairs naturally lend themselves to these themes. So the organizing of photography under them isn’t quite artistically planned. It’s a fairly spontaneous and quite fascinating phenomenon; a lot like a cycle, rhythm or pulse.
I wonder how the themes of Yackandandah, Buffalo, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Prague and other communities around the world compare to those of “The Hammer”. How are they different or the same? Just what are their themes?
If curious, type the name of an aforementioned theme into the search engine of the Hammer Home blog, or click a tag bearing a theme and see which images are associated. Discover the themes of the city, and what can be learned from them.
It’s time for those questions again. How did MOF do in sticking to last year’s resolutions, and how does that affect the objectives for 2014? Well, here we go . . .
• Illustration; same as in 2012. Despite my efforts to end the famine I’ve produce very little. No paintings, ink or digital work was completed, only a few graphite drawings and nothing really serious. Again, it was because photography still rules the world. The “revisioning” of my fictional world Rädën has also been stalled due to the NASA’s Kepler research team being unable to locate an adequate Earth analogue (although Kepler 62e and especially Kepler 62f appear to be the best candidates so far; even for potentially using both as settings for worlds on which to illustrate adventures), so I have yet to produce any new Sci-Fi and fantasy art based on Rädën.
• Photography; was a blast in 2013, in fairly high demand, especially with regards to street photography. My work in SP resulted in being invited to the Hamilton Camera Club (HCC) to give an introductory presentation on the genre. That subsequently led to my hosting street photography walks with some of their members. There was more wedding work done, more family portraiture and more fine art landscape. Why mess with a good thing? These productions will continue in 2014, and I’ve already begun working towards exhibitions. I especially want to start pushing the Hammer Home Street Photography Project in the direction of gallery exhibitions.
• Revising and refining the main website; this didn’t get done, and the groundwork I did achieve in 2012 was also a bust for 2013 once I faced a major technological deficiency I have. A target for 2014 is to acquire a new computer, software, a whole lot of electronic storage – quite vital, and support that will enable me to make greater and necessary artistic and marketing achievements.
• Blogging; in my attempts to keep all of the other personal and professional aspects of my life in balance (click here for WordPress’ assessment of how this blog did in 2013) I did make less posts on the main MOF blog last year in comparison to 2012. That will likely stay the same but I have begun the groundwork of taking some of the standard background pages that receive moderate attention, and repost them as ongoing blog series. Being that Hammer Home is meant to be mainly an interactive photography blog project, I certainly stepped up my blogging there by committing to making a post each weekday. That will continue indefinitely.
• Launch an Artist Run Initiative; the moderately successful Flying Low of 2012 didn’t fly at all in 2013. As my wife and I had relocated early in the year (a major adjustment that took almost the rest of 2013 to fully come to terms with), it was essential that we made sure that our new neighbours would not be uneasy with the attention that the area may get from non-area residents coming around during the summer months. You know how we crazy artists can get. It appears that we have made a most favourable impression and some have expressed interest in the events, including others who didn’t participate in the previous year. So, reinitiating the initiative is likely a go for 2014. The biggest concern I do foresee is that I still need to network much more with other local artists in order to be able to generate more attention to Flying Low. In addition; likely far more of a consideration for future years instead of 2014, is contending with restrictions imposed by the City of Hamilton SEAT (Special Event Advisory Team).
Any event that takes place outdoors on City property (i.e. parks, roadway or on the City Hall Forecourt) that includes any of the following elements OR any event that takes place on private property that has significant impact on City services MUST fill in a City of Hamilton SEAT application, and submit it at least 120 days before the event to allow city staff enough time to review the application to ensure that ALL City of Hamilton requirements are in place or going to be met.
Event planners must purchase insurance of between $2 million and $5 million depending on what type of activities are being scheduled to take place, and they need to name the city as Additional Insurer:
– Food being given or sold to the GENERAL PUBLIC (not a picnic, BBQ or family reunion where food is being given to invited guests);
– Electrical requirements (you need to plug into an outlet for power);
– Sound amplification;
– Tents larger than 10 feet x 10 feet;
– Amusement Rides and / or inflatables (i.e. bouncers / bouncy castles / jumping gyms);
– Projected attendance of over 1,000 people.
Most of these elements are not a part of Flying Low, and probably never will be but the one or two elements that could be applicable still make the SEAT a faction to watch out for in years beyond 2014 should Flying Low grow considerably. It would be a shame if the city’s good intentioned standards actually grounded any initiative like Flying Low and prevented its growth.
Understandably, the SEAT ensures that events are planned with the public’s health and safety in mind. When you submit your application, your event information is shared with departments across the City to ensure that applicable permits and insurance are secured.
• Competition; this was a bust for 2013. I didn’t succeed in any of the challenges I entered, and I was again careful to steer clear of the scam competitions. Never say “die”, nevertheless. Some years you win, some you loose. That’s how it is. We’ll see what I can try my luck . . . er talent, with in 2014.
So, 2013 saw an achievement of 2 out of the 6 objectives. Only 33% of my resolutions but I won’t sing the blues. Whoever said that freelance commercial art is an easy gig? I have to concentrate very hard on increasing gains by 60% in 2014, and as usual I wish success for all other artists everywhere.
At this time, I’d like to say thanks to all those who became the top 5 commentators on this blog in 2013:
These are ALL extremely talented visual artists worth checking out, and I always appreciate theirs and everybody’s likes and feedback; here and in Hammer Home.
I wish a content, joyous and creative 2014 to everyone!
2D visual artist specializing in illustration, photography and graphic design.