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Photographers celebrating their success at Develop Your Creative Vision workshop.

We had a feeling something special was happening from the very first day. At the end of the second day, our students were saying things like, “I’ve already learned so much! How can we keep up this pace?”.

Develop Your Creative Vision, the first workshop offered by myself and Chris Harris, came to a celebratory end last week. We marked the end of seven days of learning, sharing and pushing our boundaries in a supportive environment with a salmon feast, a showing of everyone’s top ten images, and a slide show featuring a few highlights. And some wine!

Ten photographers came together with the goal of slowing ourselves down, thinking deeply about our photographic journey and creating images that more profoundly express our vision. We all worked hard, broke through barriers and came away with a sense of accomplishment. A few comments from our students say it best:

  • I can’t thank Dennis, Chris and everyone enough for the workshop. It was a life changer for me. (Dave)
  • First off, thank you so much for the unforgettable photography workshop!  I can’t thank you enough for coming up with the idea initially and then putting it on.  I learnt so much and very much enjoyed the environment, my fellow participants.  As the leaders and coordinators, I / we couldn’t have asked for more! You were always there guiding, explaining, coaching motivating, inspiring, etc. I am so appreciative. (Terry)

Tallheo Cannery Guest Lodge was the perfect venue for our workshop. Just a five minute boat ride from the Bella Coola harbour, we were isolated from the distractions of the world. The setting provided an infinite array of subject material.  Our hosts were beyond gracious and the food was exceptional. All the conditions needed to develop our creative expression were set.

Here’s the video we made to celebrate our week together. And below that, a few of my favourite images.

A Bella Coola High, video
Reflection of a fish boat in an old lamp at Develop Your Creative Vision workshop.
A retired fish boat is reflected in an old ship’s lamp.
A woman reflects on her childhood at Tallheo Cannery. DoubleExposure Photography
Bonnie was a child, playing while her grandmother repaired nets at the cannery in the 1960s. She visited the cannery for her first time since then and demonstrated for us the skills passed down from her grandmother.
Reflections of the cannery in an old window at Develop Your Creative Vision.
The cannery windows are mostly glazed with old style glass that is wavy, allowing for impressionistic reflections.
A night view of the Tallheo Cannery , Double Exposure Photography.
From the net loft at night, the ghosts of old cannery buildings rise up, with the Coast Mountains and town of Bella Coola in the background.
Multiple exposure of a propellor at Develop Your Creative Vision workshop.
The cannery machine shop and store are filled with relics from the past, including this boat propellor. A multiple exposure was used to create a sense of its motion.
A wedding bouquet, dried and preserved. Dennis Ducklow Photography.
After her wedding at the Cannery last year, a bride left her bouquet behind.
A rusted can waits patiently. Dennis Ducklow Photography
As the tides come and go, this abandoned fuel can slowly slides back into its basic elements, reminding us that nature always outlasts the things we make.
an abstract view of a fish net, Dennis Ducklow Photography
Even though the cannery has been closed to the fish operation for decades, nets still hang in the loft. This abstract view reveals its beauty in a different way.
A river flows endlessly into the harbour at Tallheo Cannery. www.doubleexposure.ca
A river beside the cannery flows endlessly into the Bella Coola harbour. A long exposure was used to show the movement in the clouds and water. In the fall, we expect to see salmon fighting their way through the rapids.
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