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  • Writer's pictureJohn Carlow

In these idle times........

I check sometimes on Facebook to see what I was shooting , say ten years ago, or 5 or whatever gets offered with the " memories " feature. Its great when you've forgotten something that was once a treasured moment in time. On this particular platform looking back is pretty much all that's happening , until live music regains its important place in our society.

My scheduling book is quite full of pending portrait sessions, record art collaborations , band shoots and and ideas of things I want to test drive. In the absence of live music and ambitious festival scheduling , you're left to work away at the fragments that you can put your hands on , so to speak. Its what you have been left.

I have been absorbing works of some fascinating photographers lately. I've looked at all genres and eras, with favourites of course. I have been observing technique, and have studied light a little more , because you are never finished learning when it comes to lighting. I make sketches and look for samples to help flesh out ideas for all kinds of pending shoots. You can always keep people excited by a project that's on the horizon. Communicating with all involved to keep an idea warm over a prolonged period is challenging , but it can be done.

A few recent projects have kept me busy. With careful planning and observation of protocols Ive been able to still work with some wonderful people. A local band that Ive shot on a number of occasions, is taking part in the upcoming virtual Woodstove Festival. Tremblers of Sevens and other local talent needed to video short performances for the festival . I was invited to capture the TOS taping. The Victoria Event Centre was the staging, . Even with someone you are familiar with, I think a challenge should always be present to capture them in some new way. More work is being planned with this very talented duo.

I had been working for some time towards a collaboration with Nanaimo musician Carolyn (Calixxa) I first shot Carolyn on Gabriola a few years back at The Gabriola Music Festival . We had talked a long while about doing some portrait work and finally brought it all together. Through online chats and a very valuable advance in person meeting , we weren't strangers come shoot day. ( so important ) It was a fun, productive shoot and more is in the planning stage already.

Its a different world for sure. Not editing shoots for days every week, or planning travel for multiple festivals , while scheduling portraits and booking gigs , can leave a deep hole in how you spend your creative days. There is so much you miss out on.

I cant help but have faith that things will return to some kind of normal. The day will come and the flood of opportunity will rise quickly. We must mourn what couldn't survive , then look ahead.

Observe, then capture . Most importantly , enjoy life.



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