6 January

Best of the 2017 Daily Themes – #selectivefocussaturday

For the last few months of 2017 we challenged our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group with submitting works to a daily theme. For Saturday the theme was #selectivefocussaturday. Below are some of our favourites from the Saturday submissions. Congratulations to all for inspiring work!

Be sure to click on each image to see them larger for full effect. And if you want to participate in our daily challenges be sure to sign up for our oopoomoo newsletter and get our Born Creative eBook for free!

©Avi Cohen

©Brian Hayward

©Darlene Willment

©Diane E Weiler

©Gerry Hiebert

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Katherine Keates

©Keith Walker

©Lloyd Dykstra

©Mrinal Das

©Pam Jenks

©Riana Vermaak

©Riana Vermaak

©Shaun Conarroe

©Tom Nevesely

©Veronica Reist

5 January

Best of the 2017 Daily Themes – #fineartfriday

For the last few months of 2017 we challenged our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group with submitting works to a daily theme. For Friday the theme was #fineartfriday. Below are some of our favourites from the Friday submissions. Congratulations to all for inspiring work!

Be sure to click on each image to see them larger for full effect. And if you want to participate in our daily challenges be sure to sign up for our oopoomoo newsletter and get our Born Creative eBook for free!

©Avi Cohen

©Chris Manderson

©Diane E Weiler

©Diane E Weiler

©Dominic Byrne

©Don Wotton

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Jean Paul Gaboury

©Katherine Keates

©Katherine Keates

©Keith Walker

©Keith Walker

©Keith Walker

©Kristin Duff

©Kristin Duff

©Lloyd Dykstra

©Quincey Deters

©Quincey Deters

©Ralph A Croning

©Robert Skoye

©Royce Howland

©Sean AJ Simmons

©Sheila Wiwchar

©Simon Barker

©Sue Olmstead

©Thomas Gibson

©Vicki Brown

©Wendy Stevenson

©Wendy Stevenson

4 January

Best of the 2017 Daily Themes – #threesonthursday

For the last few months of 2017 we challenged our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group with submitting works to a daily theme. For Thursday the theme was #threesonthursday. Below are some of our favourites from the Thursday submissions. Congratulations to all for inspiring work!

Be sure to click on each image to see them larger for full effect. And if you want to participate in our daily challenges be sure to sign up for our oopoomoo newsletter and get our Born Creative eBook for free!

©Avi Cohen

©Avi Cohen

©Carol James

©Chris Baird

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Christian Van Schepen

©Christian Van Schepen

©Claude Hamel

©Darlene Perkin

©Diane E Weiler

©Drake Dyck

©Gail Burstyn

©Gary Galger

©Jeremy Calow

©Katherine Keates

©Keith Walker

©Keith Walker

©Kristin Duff

©Kristin Duff

©Lawrence Sauter

©Len Langevin

©Lloyd Dykstra

©Lloyd Dykstra

©Mike Kapiczowski

©Pam Jenks

©Pam Jenks

©Quincey Deters

©Sheila Wiwchar

©Sue Olmstead

©Tom Nevesely

©Tom Nevesely

©Wendy Stevenson

©Wendy Stevenson

3 January

Best of the 2017 Daily Themes – #weedywednesday

For the last few months of 2017 we challenged our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group with submitting works to a daily theme. For Wednesday the theme was #weedywednesday. Below are some of our favourites from the Wednesday submissions. Congratulations to all for inspiring work!

Be sure to click on each image to see them larger for full effect. And if you want to participate in our daily challenges be sure to sign up for our oopoomoo newsletter and get our Born Creative eBook for free!

©Avi Cohen

©Carol Iles

©Chris Baird

©Chris Bone

©Diane E Weiler

©Diane E Weiler

©Diane E Weiler

©Gail Burstyn

©Gail Burstyn

©Gail Burstyn

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Katherine Keates

©Katherine Keates

©Katherine Keates

©Kristin Duff

©Lawrence Sauter

©Lloyd Dykstra

©Lloyd Dykstra

©Michael John Perkins

©Pam Jenks

©Phyllis Fitzsimons

©Quincey Deters

©Quincey Deters

©Sheila Wiwchar

©Simon Barker

©Simon Barker

©Simon Barker

©Tom Gibson

©Trever Miller

2 January

Best of the 2017 Daily Themes – #terrifictreestuesday

For the last few months of 2017 we challenged our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group with submitting works to a daily theme. For Tuesday the theme was #terrifictreestuesday. Below are some of our favourites from the Tuesday submissions – this was one of our most popular themes!

Congratulations to all for inspiring work. Be sure to click on each image to see them larger for full effect. And if you want to participate in our daily challenges be sure to sign up for our oopoomoo newsletter and get our Born Creative eBook for free.

©Ann Nickerson

©April Henrikson Daly

©Bernice MacDonald

©Chris Baird

©Chris Bone

©Darlene Perkin

©Derek Chambers

©Don Wotton

©Doug Blunt

©Gail Burstyn

©Gail Burstyn

©Gerry Hiebert

©Katherine Keates

©Keith Walker

©Lloyd Dykstra

©Mike Kapiczowski

©Pam Jenks

©Phyllis Fitzsimons

©Sean A. J. Simmons

©Sheila Wiwchar

©Tom Nevesely

©Wayne Simpson

1 January

Best of the 2017 Daily Themes – #morningbluesmonday

For the last few months of 2017 we challenged our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group with submitting works to a daily theme. For Monday the theme was #morningbluesmonday. Below are some of our favourites from the Monday submissions. Congratulations to all for inspiring work!

Be sure to click on each image to see them larger for full effect. And if you want to participate in our daily challenges be sure to sign up for our oopoomoo newsletter and get our Born Creative eBook for free!

©Avi Cohen

©Christophe Potworowski

©Diane E Weiler

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Keith Walker

©Keith Walker

©Linda Mellstrom

©Mike Kapiczowski

©Royce Howland

©Royce Howland

©Tom Nevesely

©Wayne Simpson

29 November

Getting Published and the Power of Print

We’re excited to see more and more photographers are considering printing their work or are still keen on submitting to print publications. As a business with educational offerings in both digital and tangible worlds, we appreciate both; online and in-person experiences each have their strengths. But as recent publishers of League magazine, our boutique print showcase of artful (and ethically captured) photography, we have a soft spot for the way print can bring images to life.

©Samantha Chrysanthou

Perhaps this is because a fine print – or fine printing – has its own way of interacting with light. Choice of paper, process and inks all combine in this magical alchemy to interact with ambient light to create a thing that almost seems to have a presence… view a piece of actual art on a wall and compare that experience to flipping through a catalogue of reproductions and you will know what I mean. With photography, a print is that art on the wall. Print is the photographer’s expression made real in a controlled, deliberately physical sense. That careful selection of materials, like paper and ink, influence the outcome in a way no digital monitor can.

Not all magazines geek out on paper and ink like we do with League. This is understandable since the cost of materials has an impact on subscription price. Yet variety is the spice of life, which is probably why limited edition publishing of niche magazines is enjoying a little resurgence right now.

Regardless of what magazine you submit to, there are some common steps in the process that can help you advance your work before the editors. Based on our experience publishing the first issue of League, we’ve created a free mini guide, How to Be Published, for those photographers seeking to have their work showcased in print. This little booklet (digital, by the way) is helpful for submissions to any magazine. We hope to see your submissions, either to League, or in some of our other favourite print magazines, down the road.

26 September

Would You Photograph if You Couldn’t Share?

The following article appeared in summer/fall 2016 issue (#38) of Outdoor Photography Canada (OPC) magazine. Subscribe to get this great magazine delivered to your mailbox. The latest issue (#43) is one of the best yet!

©Darwin Wiggett

I recently found myself pondering a rather strange question…would I still photograph if I could never share the resulting images with another soul? This thought got me thinking about why people photograph in the first place. Most of us do share our memories, stories, travels, and life events with others. Without an audience to view our pictures what’s the point of making photos? Indeed, among art circles there is the contention that for art to exist there has to be a ‘connection’. You can’t have connection without an audience. By this logic art can only exist if there is someone beyond the artist to view it.

©Darwin Wiggett

The point here is not to debate whether art needs an audience to be art but rather to get to the fundamental question of why we photograph, or why we create in the first place. Beyond recording memories and experiences, I suspect we photograph for many different reasons just like people write or paint or compose music for many different reasons. And, as with other art forms, I think we photograph because of internal and external motivations at heart.

©Darwin Wiggett

Henry Darger was a custodian by day and a painter and writer by night. He spent most of his adult life creating fantastical paintings and writings in his spare time, and no one around him knew anything about his creative life. It was not until after his death when his landlord came to clean out his room that his art was discovered. Henry did not create his pieces with an audience in mind; he kept his art to himself and made his art for his own pleasure or more likely for his own therapy to work through his difficult childhood as an institutionalized orphan. Darger’s motivations and reasons for creating art were internal.

I wonder if there are few Darger’s out there in today’s era of social sharing. I can think of plenty of artists, probably the majority, who produce work for external reasons. They feel they have something to share with the outside world whether that’s simply to share the joy and beauty of nature as they see it or to make social statements about the world around them. They make art showcasing how they see the world but knowing at the time of creation that they will present their work to the world.

©Darwin Wiggett

There are dangers to both approaches. For those who do it purely for internal reasons there is a danger that what you create will be too personal for anyone else to understand should it ever be seen. On the other hand, because the work was not created for an outside audience it will be pure of intent. When producing work to share with others the results are often more accessible but there is the likely possibility that the responses of your audience will inform the content of your art. I see this latter point a lot in photography where social media responses to a photographer’s work colour what and how they photograph. Personal work that does not get a lot of ‘likes’ is abandoned for a style of photo that generates many positive responses. There is the real danger of creating homogenous and predictable or fashionable and trendy work.

©Darwin Wiggett

In the end, I think we all need to look at why we photograph and what camp of artists we generally fall into. Are you a navel gazer or a social sharer? Once you know your true motivations you can then try and avoid the pitfalls that lie in wait with either approach. In my own photography I started out making images purely for my own purposes without expectation or need to share. Later on my photography became all about sharing what I saw with others. It soon began to feel like I was creating for an audience and not for me. I am now returning full circle to creating for internal reasons and I feel a new spark of inspiration. Will I ever share this new work? It’s hard to say but for now I am creating a new body of work just for me and it feels great. So would I photograph if I couldn’t share the results with anyone else? The answer for me is a resounding yes! What about you?

©Samantha Chrysanthou

13 June

Best of the League Award – Freeman Patterson

As many of you know, Samantha and I started League magazine and the League of Landscape Photographers as an outlet for photographic creativity with a conscience. League members photograph the world around them in accordance with high ethical standards and they make imagery with purpose, meaning and integrity. League photographs engage, question and challenge the viewer. League and the League of Landscape Photographers seek to raise landscape photography to a personal expressive art that comments on the world around us.

Samantha and I always acknowledge and reward those in the photographic community who are doing exceptional work and who inspire and teach others to do the same. We can think of no other photographer in Canada (or the world, for that matter) who has done so much to raise landscape and nature photography to an art form and to encourage photographers to express their creative vision than Freeman Patterson. Many of you will know Freeman and will have been influenced, inspired and moved by his work. Freeman’s influence weaves through both Sam and my work and our teachings. Indeed, we think that subconsciously Freeman’s influence germinated the seed which became League. So who better to honour with the inaugural Best of the League Award than Freeman Patterson?

For those photographers not familiar with Freeman’s work, we highly recommend you head to your nearest library or book store and pick up at least one of his many books on photography, creativity and seeing. Our three personal favorites and a must read for all expressive photographers are Photography and the Art of Seeing, Photographing the World Around You – A Visual Design Workshop and Embracing Creation. We also highly recommend any of his life-altering (no exaggeration) workshops – anyone who has been on a Freeman workshop will talk and talk and talk your ear off about how amazing it was!

Talking creative expression is all the rage in photography right now especially in the wake of all the fascination with the gear of digital capture. But Freeman laid the foundation long ago by teaching photographers to embrace their creative self. So much of what is in vogue today by those teaching ‘creative vision’ is based directly or indirectly on Freeman’s early teachings. Thanks to Freeman we can all finally move away from gear and technique into what truly matters, create self-awareness and develop personal expression.

For all of Freeman’s influence, his respect for people and the environment, his tireless sharing and mentoring of photographers, and for his lifetime body of artful, thoughtful images, we are honoured to award Freeman the Best of the League Award! We are thrilled that Freeman shared with us a moving story and portfolio of images that will be published in League this September. Subscriptions to League end June 30 so if you want this collectible magazine on your book shelf subscribe now!

 

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17 May

Spring and Summer Mentorships for Creative Photography

Here at oopoomoo HQ we enjoy helping people become better photographers (e.g. hone their craft) but what truly gets us excited and what we LOVE to do is help photographers become artists. We are all creatures born to create, and in photography the image is the conduit for personal expression. Channeling your vision through that conduit is easy if you know how to use your tools (the technical part of photography) AND if you are in touch with yourself, honour who you are and know what you have to say (the visionary part of photography). To help with both these aspects of photography, we are offering small group mentorships this summer designed to immerse you in the technical craft and artful expression of photography. Where will your personal vision take you?

Mastering the Creative Potential of the Tilt Shift Lens – June 18, 2017

For us, no other other tool in the camera bag offers as many technical and creative advantages as the tilt-shift lens. With a tilt-shift lens you can correct keystoning in-camera, make seamless horizontal and vertical panoramas, create giant, megapixel monster images, alter the plane of focus for incredible apparent sharpness independent of aperture, and manufacture dreamy, blurred and miniaturized-looking images.  And, best of all, every one of these techniques is created in-camera with nary a pixel altered by less capable software substitutes! The possibilities are almost endless. In the hands of an artist, a tilt-shift lens is a superhero paintbrush! To create art you still must master the brush, but once you do, your creativity will be unleashed and your photography will never be the usual ho-hum. This three-hour hands-on workshop will have you the master of the Tilt Shift lens so that you can use its potential to express your creative vision!

7/365 – The Mentored Photo Project

The Mentored Photo Project is a week of intense self-discovery through photography. With the guidance of us, your mentors, Sam and Darwin, you will conceive of, plan and execute a small photography project. A mentored photo project engages many different creative skills and is a rewarding way to transform your ideas into a guided, published reality. Several of our past mentored students have gone on to expand their projects in a way that has positively influenced their development as creative artists. Limited dates available! Register before May 31 and save 40%!

The Power of Composition and Light – May 27, 2017

This full day seminar in Medicine Hat, Alberta covers The Language of Light in Landscape Photography, Harnessing the Power of Tone for Compelling Images, Working Advanced Compositional Patterns in the Landscape, and Putting it all Together: Creative Landscape Imagery. We have a special announcement regarding this seminar…we’ve opened up a special offering of our popular online course,  Resolve: Discover your Creative Self for seminar attendees! We’re also pricing this informative and insightful course at $95 (regular price $150) to encourage everyone to participate in this unique course! See you at the seminar!

 

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