Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Pearson Postcards (4): Graffiti

Plane ColourI love graffiti. I love it enough to spend a whole day in Amsterdam shooting over 300 photographs of some of the best graffiti I've seen anywhere, and I will eventually figure out how to turn it all into some sort of photo exhibit.

Or rather, I love some graffiti. There is a lot of graffiti that is just pure vandalism. I find that is usually the case when the "artist" is trying to make a political statement instead of an artistic statement. So you can imagine my dismay when I went for a walk one night at Pearson College and saw "manifesto" graffiti written everywhere!


David Hawley, the current College Director, was looking at some fresh work scrawled across the side of Gary's House, which of course now goes by the name McLaughlin House.

"David," says I, "what are you doing?"

"Scott," says he, "we have a terrible problem with graffiti and we don't have the budget to pay someone to police the buildings, so I am myself trying to catch whomever is doing this. I think it is someone from your reunion! Fortunately, we do not have the expense of cleaning it up, as it has been done with a flashlight and will vanish at sunrise".

"Well," says I, " I think I can help. Since I am such a talented photographer, my eye is attuned to messages scribed in light. I think I can use my camera to catch whomever is perpetrating this heinous act. If nothing else, I can piece together their political message, which will give us a clue as to who is responsible".

So I set up my camera and began my detective work. My first photograph revealed the message "YR 4" brazenly etched into the side of Sadru's House. Oops, I mean Victoria House.

PC Reunion_GRAF_1


My next shot caught the message "YR5" written on the side of Harambee, err, East House. This was getting interesting!

PC Reunion_GRAF_2

Then out front of East House on the pavement was "YR 6". When I looked closely, I saw I caught the culprit in action! Bonus! Now we know we need to track down a guy (those look like a man's legs) wearing thick blue running socks, New Balance running shoes, and who is obviously a "morning person". I think this person might even be a runner!

PC Reunion_GRAF_3

This graffiti artist was getting bolder, for when I walked further down the path towards the Physics Building (I have no idea what it is called now) I saw a great big "30" scribed on the main path.

PC Reunion_GRAF_4

The ultimate audacity was venturing into a high traffic area and writing "reunion" on the path by the LLT, as if daring someone to catch him.

PC Reunion_GRAF_5

Aha! I am getting somewhere now. The message is clearly "Year 4, 5, and 6 - 30th Reunion". So David was correct! It is one of us!

The message that David was looking at when I chanced upon him was PC RULEZ

PC Reunion_GRAF_6

I have it straight from the "artist" that he didn't get to complete the final message, which was to have been "AC DROOLZ"



Pearson Postcards (7) is here.
Pearson Postcards (6) is here
Pearson Postcards (5) is here.
Pearson Postcards (4) is here.
Pearson Postcards (3) is here.
Pearson Postcards (2) is here.
Pearson Postcards (1) is here.


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Monday, 30 August 2010

Pearson Postcards (3): Beach Bums

PC Reunions_0181(2)One of the activities at the reunion was a day at the beach in East Sooke Park. There is a little "pocket" beach the other side of an old abandoned farm that is just a great place to spend some time chatting, eating, and getting reacquainted. It's even a great place for taking a few pictures!


I took the rental car to get to the beach, but the combination of twisty roads and some very bad advice from the GPS lady meant I managed to end up at the wrong side of the park. In the end I did manage to find the place with some help not from the GPS Lady, but the from cool ladies who hitched a ride with me to the beach. Others took a boat around Rocky Point and across Becher Bay to land on the beach directly. Hans and Jens were a little more adventurous and took a kayak and paddled over! Jens told me it took them about two hours to paddle around the point. That is a 4 hour upper body work-out in one day!

PC Reunions_0190

While at the beach, the adults sang songs or chatted

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while the kids played on the logs scattered on the beach.

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I was talking to Lene about using a flash as a portable lighting tool to take portraits, which lead to this shot of me

PC Reunions_0217

which lead to this shot of her

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which lead to a run-and-gun beach shoot! A small slide show of all photos is below:




A larger slide show is over at Flickr here.



Pearson Postcards (7) is here.
Pearson Postcards (6) is here
Pearson Postcards (5) is here.
Pearson Postcards (4) is here.
Pearson Postcards (3) is here.
Pearson Postcards (2) is here.
Pearson Postcards (1) is here.


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Saturday, 28 August 2010

Pearson Postcards (2): Greetings!

Reunion Photobooth_0078I had hoped to take everyone's photograph while I was at the reunion, just as I had when I shot for the Log 30 years ago. It was not to be. I spent way too much time talking and way too little time shooting. Instead, I turned to something I do at weddings.


At many weddings there is a very boring lull when the bridal party go off with the primary photographer and shoot their formal wedding pictures. I like to fill in this gap by setting up a "photo booth" for the guests where they can take their own photographs. I then compile all the photos into a visual "guestbook" for the bride and the groom.

I thought a photo booth at the reunion would be a neat way out of my time crunch and also make for a more personalized message from those of us able to make the reunion to those who were not. In keeping with the "Pearson Reflux" slide show, I went all retro and made these black and white shots.

Several Year 6 folks who couldn't make the reunion sent along their own "greetings" from home by e-mail and I have included them in this slide show. If any one else who couldn't make the reunion has any photos they would like to share, upload to Flickr and use the tag "pearsonreunion30yr456greetings". Using this tag will allow your photos to magically appear in the slide show.

The small slide show is below:


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

A larger slide show on Flickr is here.


I will upload the black and white shots to the Facebook Reunion page shortly. Tag away!



Pearson Postcards (7) is here.
Pearson Postcards (6) is here
Pearson Postcards (5) is here.
Pearson Postcards (4) is here.
Pearson Postcards (3) is here.
Pearson Postcards (2) is here.
Pearson Postcards (1) is here.


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Friday, 27 August 2010

Pearson Postcards (1)

Bonds of Friendship, Links of the FutureI just got back from my 30-year reunion at the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (also known as Pearson College or PC for short). I have been truly fortunate to have met so many great people while attending PC and to have experienced so many mind expanding moments.

I took the photo of a rain downspout and the shadow it created on the wall of the Max Bell Hall while I was at PC. I called it Bonds of Friendship, Links of the Future in a whimsical hope that our time together would reflect into lasting relationships. I'm happy to report that it appears this has been true for many alumni.

Like anyone attending a reunion, I wondered where the time went so quickly. Was it really 30 years ago that a gawky, geeky kid from "around the bay" Newfoundland showed up with his used Pentax Spotmatic at an incredibly gorgeous campus and embarked on an experience of a lifetime? Yep.

I had already been passionate about photography for about 4 years before going to PC, so when I was immersed in the incredibly stimulating environment and given free reign to go take photographs, I was one very happy boy!

I was also able to spend some time at the Vancouver Sun. The big leagues! The pros! Just what every teenage shooter back then dreamed of doing. That is me, below, at the Sun washing a print. The darkroom served so many photographers, most of whom were on a tight time-line, that the sink is outside the darkroom (see the light tight door on the right?) and finished prints are dropped through the ducting on the wall over the sink.

Reunion Reflux Redux0143

We had access to all of the equipment and rode shotgun with the staffers. You would think this was "heaven", but I was shocked to discover a difference between photography as a passion and photography as a business. It was enough to frighten me into engineering as a career.

When I made that choice in 1981, I resolved to continue taking photographs, but my purpose would be to document my journey through life: I would take "postcards" to share my major life moments and those of others. Hence the name of this blog: "Postcards of a Life Well Traveled"

For the reunion, I wanted to look back and share some of the "postcard" moments we had when we were students. I took over 2,000 photographs while at PC and I began scanning them when I "went digital" a few years as ago. To my dismay, most of the negatives I have are in terrible shape. Many have mold or mildew on them. Many are scratched beyond recognition. I spent 400 hours trying to save as many as I could, although in the end only about 250 were usable. My apologies to everyone who's photograph I no longer have.

I packaged up the survivors into a slide show and added in shots from Jan Brown, Marc Patry, James Stringham, Shah Shariff, Sissel Gorrissen, and Allison Mackenzie. Todd Van Vliet called it the Pearson Reflux slide show and we showed them at the Non-Talent Show at the reunion. I have since added in more shots, including some from Al Sande and renamed the package Pearson Reflux Redux. There are now almost 600 photographs in this slide show, so grab a coffee and sit down and have a look:


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

A link to the slide show directly in Flickr is here, which is useful for seeing the photos in a larger format. If you would like to see a particular photograph or to post a comment or two, go to the link here. If anyone has more photos to add, send them to me and I will upload them to the slide show. If you are on Flickr already, upload them to your account and add the tag "pearsonrefluxredux".

It was very humbling to go back at look at my work with a more experienced, more critical eye. I could see I had made many, many mistakes back then and was a bit nervous about tossing my old work up on the screen for all to see. However, the point of a reunion slide show is not to critique, but to recall all of the wonderful shared experiences. Hopefully the slide show succeeded at that.

I still have a number of photographs from the reunion to publish, plus I have many "photo greetings" to share, so there are more Pearson Postcards to come...


Endnote: some of my classmates were looking for my 2010 Winter Olympics "postcards". A link to that post is here.


Pearson Postcards (7) is here.
Pearson Postcards (6) is here
Pearson Postcards (5) is here.
Pearson Postcards (4) is here.
Pearson Postcards (3) is here.
Pearson Postcards (2) is here.
Pearson Postcards (1) is here.


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