Never overlook the grime

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If you’ve been a student of photography, and certainly if you’ve been a student of documentary or photojournalism you are probably familiar with the name Eugene Smith. While the American photographer is probably best known for his “Country Doctor” photo essay, he did an equally interesting one – at least to me – of Pittsburg Steel Workers. The grittiness, the grime, the workplaces were so well captured you could imagine the heat. And he was shooting with black and white film. Locomotives have always fascinated me. Whether it is because of their size, their sounds, or the just the sheer power they produce, they are also in my mind a work of art. All of these parts moving together, there is something pretty fascinating about it, and its design. I am in by no means likening my image here to Smith’s work. Other than to say when I was shooting this, his gritty images of Pittsburg were front and centre in my mind. You can see more images like this here on my stock archive.

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Take the Road Less Traveled

Rural Prince Edward Island

I took a road trip with my Airstream out to Canada’s east coast in 2017. I have been out there before, this was my third trip to the region, and each time I always find something I haven’t seen before. One morning while in Prince Edward Island I woke early and decided to drive to the northeast tip of the island. I had never been up to that part before and it was calling me. As I drove along one main roads, I started to come across little side dirt roads. The temptation was just too much not to turn. As I drove down the road I began to see the water and eventually a row of these little cottages. This one was the last in the line and with the fishing boat out on the water, it made for a great little picture.

Don’t ignore close to home.

 

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Travel and photography go hand in hand – that’s a no brainer. And there is nothing more appealing, at least for me, to travel to far off places full of unique landscapes and cultures. And as fantastic as that is, don’t ignore the many great pictures you can capture close to home. Newspaper photographers know this all to well. Each day they are tasked to get out into the community they service and find pictures that capture daily life. This image was shot in Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada. It is about a 20 minute drive from my house, and is one of my favourite pictures from 2017. I just returned home from a two week trip out to Canada’s east coast. It was September and summer was showing no signs of leaving. This day was a hot one and I knew there would – as there always is – a lot of people at the beach for sunset. What I hadn’t planned for was this couple in the lifeguard platform. Like me, they were there enjoying the sunset and take a few pictures of their own. For me, the made for the perfect element in making this picture. You can see more pictures from this shoot on my Stock Archive  You can also see some of my other work there as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effort often yields results…

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…just wish it wasn’t so damn early in the morning!

Daybreak is perhaps my favourite part of the day. The light is amazing, the air is often crisp and fresh and it can be ever so quiet, except for the birds.

It is, even more so than sunset my favourite time of the day to be out shooting. Even if it is 5:20am which was when this picture was shot.

This is the pier in Port Burwell and I love how the sun is hitting the clouds and everything else. I shot this with my Fujifilm X100t, and continue to be impressed with the quality of images coming off of its sensor.

You can see more images like this here on my stock archive site – Wide Open Studios.

Cheers.

A New Chapter

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In May of 2016 along with my partner Corrie we were able to realize a dream we both shared and purchased an 1987 Airstream Sovereign. We had been looking for a while, more than a year actually, when she saw the ad for this one. And unlike many of the others we have come across this one was only 20 minutes away. Having missed out on three others we knew we had to get out and see it right away. We were able to arrange a viewing between the end of her work day and just before I had to leave for an assignment. One walk through and we bought it right there, right then.

During the past year we have been renovating the inside. Corrie came up with a great colour scheme and design ideas for the interior and we ran with it. We put the finishing touches on it earlier this month. The picture above is from the first test run to make sure all the systems are working as they should and thankfully they are.

Our plans for Amelia – yes, we named it – are two fold. It will be a home away from home on my stock shooting trips and we will of course use it for family time. As mentioned I have had it out once and will be taking it out again very soon, and often.

You can see more pictures of her here and if you wish you can follow my travels in her on my second Instagram account @TinCanPhotog

And if you happen to see us somewhere, stop by and say Hi, its always great to meet new people.

Cheers.

Lessons Learned.

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“…and every now and then, remember to look behind you.”

That tid-bit of gold was given to me more than 25 years ago by a photographer I met while shooting an assignment. To this day I remember the conviction in his voice and sincerity in his eyes has he said it. I also remember thinking at the time, this was one of those unwritten pearls of wisdom that come after years of experience.

The picture here happened as a result of that advice. I was in Goderich Ontario on a booking for a corporate client. It was unseasonably warm and I, along with many others headed down to the lakeshore to enjoy another Lake Huron sunset.

I was shooting into the sun and after making a few pictures, turned around to take a look behind me. At first I saw this couple sitting on this natural pier. I made a couple of pictures with just them sitting in the frame. Then, a large flock of Canadian Geese who were floating in the bay began to squak and within a few seconds began to take flight.

I was a little further away than I would have liked, however using my 400mm lens I was able to fill the frame with this image just as this break away group of geese flew overhead.

Photography is a lot of putting yourself in the right place at the right time. It is also a little bit about luck, but most importantly it is about remembering lessons from the past.

Thanks Bill.

 

You can see more of my work by clicking on the “Galleries” tab here Mark Spowart Photography

 

 

The Gales of November.

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Like many others, I was blown away (excuse the pun) in 2015 by NHL Photographer Dave Sandford and the work he shot of Lake Erie during what is commonly known as the Gales of November. Growing up in Southwestern Ontario I have seen these windswept waves and surf for years, but it wasn’t until seeing Sandford’s work did I discover the beauty, and savagery, that can be found in them. I’ve waited for a year to get out and shoot and it started the last weekend of October. It is quite impressive to see these waves crash into each other, sometimes creating vertical columns that look like a whale breaching the water. This is one from my first day out, you can see more work from that day here TheGalesOfNovember

I hope you like them, and if you have time check out Dave Sandford’s work, his work is quite impressive.

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