Circular Horizon Line

Circular Horizon Lines are both a ten year journey back and a new way forward for me.

At the beginning of what I’ll call my Toronto productivity, I exhibited a series of horizon shots taken on the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Those were shot on an analog 35 mm and all were printed in a way that utilized the traditional negative ratio of 2:3.

I printed each photographs twice, the printer flipped the negative for one of each pair of images. The end result was two very similar images that were then framed side-by-side. The finished piece gave a mirror-like effect.

I liked that work, but I exhausted it quickly. The process felt a bit like manipulation for the sake of manipulation, or trickery to create something aesthetically pleasing.

Since that time I’ve changed. I’m now firmly invested in the 1:1 frame ratio. I’ve cropped square for about five years now and I’m still exploring the endless possibility of this restraint. I’m also fully digital now.

IMG_4453circular These current shots are all of Lake Huron just north of Goderich. I’ve been coming here and shooting the horizon in all types of weather for ten to fifteen years. The cottage that we use is 16 years old. It was built by my brother in the year I was married. The place is familiar. It takes a long time to get to know a place for me.IMG_4461circular I’m fascinated by circles. To me they’re a complicated extension of the square. I know that’s not really what a circle is in math terms. The circle is a logical development after a familiarity I’ve achieved with the square. It’s another restraint. The round format feels comfortable. Here, it also helps to make the images less familiar than a regular rectangular frame ratio would. It’s one of the steps I’ve taken to make these less about the image and more about the objects I hope to create.IMG_5853circular The angling of the prints is also another development. I’ve always been interested in the way we see. I’m always thinking about how we actually see things upside down and the brain turns them over so we comprehend things like they are. In a way it’s like the brain and the camera are related. In the simple pinhole or view camera the lens inverts the image as well. The angle is also simply rotation. It makes me think of a clock. I’ve toyed with the idea of making these pieces about the specific time I shoot them. I may try that in future.

Rotating these images plays with how these are seen and—like the circular crop—serves to remove a bit more of the original context of the image. It helps to emphasize the object over the image.
IMG_5875circular I plan to frame these in white traditional square frames at first. If they work well, I’d really like to explore getting custom round frames created, or even finding round frames. This series is me thinking about the paper “Specific Objects” by Donald Judd.IMG_4450circular I’m also very interested in how I process the work of a few artists that I really like. I sometimes feel like I came upon this Circular Horizon process all from my own head, but the truth is more likely that work that I appreciate and that resonates has influenced this process along the way. In specific I can see aspects of work by Rodney Graham, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Barnett Newman, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Andrew Wright to name a few. I’m sure there are others. IMG_4448circular

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August 2, 2015

August 2, 2015 The many faces of Lake Huron as July turns to August.

Every year we go to Huron for a week and every year it’s different weather. last year it was cold, windy and rainy. We ended up making it a much shorter visit opting to get back to the city where shitty weather isn’t really a big deal. This year it was sunny and warm every day.

I’ve been shooting the horizon for about ten years. I even have some framed prints in the basement of Huron in winter about ten years ago that were analog shot and darkroom printed. It seems so long ago.

Now I think it’s time to print some of these. In particular I’m very fond of the diptych at the end of this post. These two images with the distinct blue or white horizon lines are my favourites. I could see producing a series of ten of these all taken in the same spot but just a different times of day on different types of days. Showing the series in a line where the horizon just flows from one photograph to the next in what could appear like a perpetual line.

The cool thing about horizons are that they will still exist long after we’ve fucked up the planet beyond repair and destroyed ourselves. It’s not pessimism, just the simple truth. People are two worried about what kind of car they drive. How can they worry about destroying the world?Horizon

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Untitled-1IMG_5852_2Also there was ship in Goderich that I liked. I’m interested in how real life can look like a painting sometimes. Here are three mooring lines against the side of a large but seemingly rather old, tanker.IMG_5865We’ve been back to Huron a few times in August. Below are a few images taken from those more recent visits. I’m getting interested in a few other things. The water itself and how amazingly complex it is, and similarly the sky. Not surprisingly at dawn and dusk. I plan to keep taking these images until I have a collection of things I might print.

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Horizontal is the one picture I like from several outings over my vacation week. Not very productive, but I hope to improve on my record this final vacation weekend. This image was taken on the shore of Lake Huron about a half an hour from Godrich at my wonderful brother and sister’s place. They were nice enough to offer and let Jill, Stella and I use it for part of our vacation. The horizon line between water and sky on Huron is spectacular.

This is a particularly strange picture to me. I’m so accustom to the water being fairly rough and very green here. At this point in the day the sky was so intensely blue that the water lost that greenish tinge for a bit and viola. I’ve never actually seen this colour of blue in a sky before.

This is the same place at night, just after the sun has disappeared on the horizon line one evening last week. I think sunset is around 9:00 at this time of year. Yes, I took a sunset picture. I haven’t really done that for a very long time. This one looks airbrushed. I don’t really like this image, but it does illustrate why Huron is often ranked in the top ten of the world for sunsets. The colour is pretty crazy.

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