Author: Paul Saturley

Less is More

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Photography is known mostly for its ability to depict fine detail. Detail is the most exploited property of the medium (think photos from space and ever-increasing digital resolutions). However, it isn’t the only reason for the medium’s existence. Some early photographers valued the aesthetic experience of blurred or manipulated images. Of course, there are no absolutes in how things are depicted. Blurred images can explore interesting territories, such as memory and Jungian symbols. Freed from […]

Old Flowers

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Artwork / still life / Uncategorized / vancouver island

In another life, these flowers scented the dining room. Now they are transformed by the passing of mere days. I planned these as specimens and photographed them over two days using a single bounced Elinchrom light to flatten them. Isolated on paper and by the white framing, and devoid of significant colour, they possess a certain beauty — a statement, perhaps, on the nature of time and transformation.  

Down by the River

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All good stories begin with a river. The river is life and also death. It is motion and passage as it flows by us. It can feed and it can poison. Sometimes in the story, there is a body in the water or close to it. I’m pretty sure this image, a combination of photography and drawing, has such a story within it. It just needs to be revealed.

Turbulence

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Rolling waters create a sublime instance of the emerging shadow of the subconscious. Does the light struggle out of the darkness or is it being consumed by it? It is impossible to tell, which is only right because this turbulence is a dance that spans most of our lives. Much of photography wrestles with the idea of symbols that emerge from the subconscious and require our attention.  

The Other in Landscape Photography

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Landscape Photography / vancouver island / Western Canada

My main motivation in writing this blog is to explain photography to myself and, hopefully, to others of a similar persuasion. Much of contemporary landscape photography concerns itself with grand vistas and spectacular locations, but I prefer the landscape of small things — that is, the landscape of whatever is close at hand, often within walking distance of where I live. Granted, I live on Vancouver Island where there is no shortage of subject matter […]

The Tyranny of Heaven

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It’s an odd name for an odd piece. While the geography may be fictitious, the constructs of heaven and hell provide both a framework and an interpretation for existence inside the bookend events of life and death. Heaven may not be all it is cracked up to be. It is not exactly the Magic Kingdom. It is more concerned with order and surveillance than eternal tranquillity. The creatures in the upper left corner stare back. […]

Ghosts on a Beach

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Pinhole / Uncategorized

Human shapes move like ghosts through the sands at Willows Beach in Victoria’s Oak Bay. The day is overcast, grey, cold but the sea is quiet. I modified my Nikon with a homemade pinhole attachment that is much less accurate, and therefore much more appealing than the commercial attachment. Pinhole photography values mood and suggestion much higher than detail. It is an equally valid role for photography.