Archive for the ‘Square Pictures’ Category

Opening Reception

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

The opening reception went really well, and lots of great folks came by.

A big thank you to all who attended my first solo show, particularly those who came from as far as:

  • Ottawa
  • Victoria
  • Halfmoon Bay
  • Vedder Crossing (Chilliwack)
  • The United States
  • Other far-flung locales

There was a good crowd at the opening, enjoying the photographs along with tasty snacks and good conversation. The fabulous Emily Parsons was very kind to take photos of the event pro bono mea.

All photos: Emily Parsons unless otherwise noted

David Parsons
Yours Truly in front of the work just before the opening begins.

Jacob’s Well
The calm before the storm. Bob reads the ‘Artist’s Statement.’ Photo: dp


Opening Reception
Family Viewing

Opening Reception
Early in the evening

Opening Reception
Sarah and Joshua

Gilbert and Rosemary
Gilbert and Rosemary

Opening Reception
Bob and Marie


Yours Truly in conversation
Y. T. with Jerry

Opening Reception
Mid-way through the opening

Kathy and Marie
Kathy and Marie wash dishes

Thanks Mom and Dad.
The exhibition team : ) Photo: Tristan Shouldice

Oaxaca; Vancouver.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Spent the day in the dark again today.

Presentation is key with photographs. Even the nicest 4×6 can still look like you just got it back from Mal-Wart simply because we are so accustomed to seeing prints at that size. (That said: matte paper (instead of glossy) with black rebate or white borders can go a long way to improve the presentation of a one hour lab-print)

8×10 inch prints and almost anything full bleed (without borders) can even become monotonous when they are all presented the same. For this reason, I try not to print much in standard presentations, though I still use standard sized paper (especially 8×10).

I’ve been on a kick for the past few years where everything I’ve printed was smaller than 5×7 inches. I even made an entire portfolio of tiny images on 11×14 inch paper. Then I thought maybe I should try something else. So for the AVENUES exhibition I was part of in April I went big. (Really big.)

Setting up the Big Prints (L to R Ryan Macdonald, David Parsons, Doug Hoyle)
Setting up for AVENUES. Photo: Joel Dufresne

Yours Truly (David Parsons)
Me and my prints. Photo: Joel Dufresne

But I couldn’t resist going small, so I still went small. (But many.)
Setting up the little ones. Photo: Joel Dufresne

In the photo above, there are 222 little ones –or possibly 223; I can’t tell if I’m obscuring one– and I wasn’t quite done yet.

So today I was printing big again, not 30″x72″ as I did before, but still big: 16″x20″.

One of my favourite photos from Oaxaca is this one:
PFP Oaxaca

…and I had printed but a small work print, so I figured I ought to reprint it. (And big.)

By contrast: here is one of my work prints from the Vancouver Series. (4″x4″)
East Van Print

I think that both large and small have something to say, and that while the relationship between size and quality or between size and significance isn’t linear, print size does play an important role in presentation.

Here’s one last comparison, Oaxaca to Vancouver:
Size comparison.


Eddie Adams Workshop

Monday, May 14th, 2007


I just finished my application for the Eddie Adams Workshop. A.k.a. Barnstorm.

To quote from their site:

The Eddie Adams Workshop is an intense four-day gathering of the top professionals in photojournalism, along with 100 carefully selected students. The Workshop’s purpose is to create a forum in which an exchange of ideas, techniques, and philosophies can be shared between both established members and newcomers of the profession of picture journalism. The Workshop is tuition-free, and the 100 students are chosen based on the merit of their portfolios.

I spent the last few hours scanning and resizing my images from silver prints, so I have a few more from the East Side to show off.

I submitted a portfolio of 14 images, 5 from Vancouver, 5 from Oaxaca, 4 from Palestine. It was going to be 6,5,4, but at the last minute I cut this one:

Eastside Portraits #3

A mistake? I don’t know, it was a quick decision. Applications were a five-step process and were due today by 11:59PM EST. I stress Eastern Standard Time, because my friend Ryan was good enough to remind me that I could easily forget the time change and submit at 02:57 EST thinking it’s minutes to midnight.

So I started working and scanning; I had layed it all out, decided on my images, and my order.
East Vancouver Portraits
East Vancouver Portraits
East Vancouver Portraits
East Vancouver Portraits
And for #5 I would use one that I’ve already posted:
Downtown Eastside Portrait #1

At 7:50PM local time, I began to stress, hurriedly typing captions and titles for my photographs, dragging and re-ordering to get what I had planned. At 7:57PM I crossed my fingers, looked around, and clicked the submit button. All clear.

I hoped I was ready.

Being a little worried, I considered that perhaps the clock I was referencing was fast. I decided to go to a timekeeping website and check the “official” Eastern Standard Time. It was probably 90 seconds before I accessed the site, and when I got there, whew!, it was counting down the seconds to 22:59:00.


Quick math test:
12 - 3 =

12 - 3 = 9

Not 8, as I had somehow thought.

I’m thankful that Ryan warned me, but I still managed to get it all wrong. But I’m not complaining. It’s better than the alternative.

If I hurry I can submit this post before midnight EST

First Post (and my first blog)

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Well, this is my first foray into the world of blogging. I am more than slightly apprehensive — due in large part to the current MyFace and SpaceBook crazes and what seems (to an outsider) to be an inexplicable obsession therewith.
With any luck this will not become a new obsession, but will be a chance to share some of my work, new and old, and an opportunity for the internet at large to see what I’m up to without MyFacing me to death.

So as a start, here are two images from my current portrait project on the East Side of downtown Vancouver:
Downtown Eastside Portrait #1

I spent a few solid hours in the darkroom on Thursday afternoon busily printing contact sheets; and on Friday I made double prints of at least one image of each person I photographed (many people asked that I bring them prints, and I intend to deliver).

These are two of the 50 or so prints (not including doubles) I made on Friday. More to come soon.

Downtown Eastside Portrait #2