Thursday, April 20, 2017

“I hope I win. Oh my God don’t write that!”

By Elizabeth Hunt
Paul Sorensen explains his thoughts about a second 
year image during the Lambton College Image 
Challenge on April 19, 2017 
(Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)
We are wrapping up the school year once again with the Lambton College Digital Photography Image Challenge. Each year, the program hosts a competition for both first and second year students. Judges are brought in from outside of the program to give their expert opinions. The scores are not only used to determine a winner for each category as well as an overall winner, but they also serve as a grade for the assignment. After weeks of planning, shooting, and printing, our students came into class this morning to see if their hard work paid off. The studio was buzzing with excitement as they awaited the arrival of the judges.

This year the judging panel included Craig Glover, Niki Patel and Paul Sorensen. Craig Glover is a graduate and former faculty member of the Fanshawe College photography program, his experience is mostly in photojournalism and corporate photography. Niki Patel is also a graduate from Fanshawe College, as well as a wedding photographer with HRM Photography. Paul Sorensen is a photographer with over three decades of experience. Paul owns Market Visuals in downtown Sarnia and creates printed art for other industry professionals, he also runs workshops and has his work on display at galleries across Cuba. It was safe to say that our student’s prints were in good hands.

As the judges took their seats, the class went silent; the suspense of what was to come next was almost unbearable! The first year images were judged in the morning starting with the nature category. As each image was critiqued, classmates knowingly made eye contact from across the room. Subtle congratulations were given through smiles and pats on the back while the students listened intently at the judges’ comments, trying to absorb as much information as possible.

Craig Glover critiques a second year image 
during the Lambton College Image Challenge 
on April 19, 2017 (Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)
Once the first year competition was over, the first year students were able to breathe a sigh of relief. Scott Orchard confessed that he was “glad the stress is over, but I definitely have a good idea of where I need to go”. Shawna Lavoie was happy to comment on how “the judges’ critiques were really helpful because of their different backgrounds”. The first year students were free, but the second year students were eager to receive feedback on their prints.
Nervousness set in during lunch as the second year’s awaited judging. Christina Watts admitted that she was “rethinking the images I submitted”. Emily Nutson explained how “it was more of a challenge this year” since the second years were to submit more images into less categories. Although some of our second year students were feeling a little anxious, many of them, like Gina Robertson were “looking forward to the constructive feedback”.

As the judging came to an end, students were able to relax knowing that they had all done a good job. Craig Glover said that he was “blown away with the quality of the work”. Niki Patel agreed that “the work was very impressive”. Overall our students can confirm that the image challenge was a great way to enrich the program. Shawna Lavoie commented that “It was a good learning experience”, while Lisa Marshall-Cattran expressed how she “really appreciated the feedback”.

Winners of each category, and Overall First and Second year Winners will be presented next week at a year-end awards dinner in Sarnia. 

A HUGE THANK-YOU to our guest judges Paul Sorensen / Niki Patel / Craig Glover for spending a very long day judging our Image Challenge.  Without them there would be no contest. 
We very much appreciate your time, professionalism and the feed back offered to the students in attendance.

Judges Paul Sorensen, Nikki Patel, and Craig Glover (pictured left to right) critique an image during the first year portion of the Lambton College Image Challenge on April 20th, 2017 (Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)

Former Student, Nikoo Shahabi Sirjani, makes an appearance in a second year image during the Lambton College Image Challenge on April 19, 2017 (Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)
Teresa Perry and Dave Chidley give the judges a quick overview of the images in the first year “people” category before they are judged individually (Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)
Franky MacDonald-Thomas watches as his image is critiqued during the Lambton College Image Challenge on April 19, 2017 (Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)
Bryce Ottewell listens to the judges’ comments as they critique his image during the Lambton College Image Challenge on April 19, 2017 (Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)
Teresa Perry removes an image after it is critiqued during the Lambton College Image Challenge on April 19, 2017 (Elizabeth Hunt/ Lambton College)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Photo Trekker Adventure

By Marymichelle Hollanda

Sitting in class while all your fellow students chatter about the trip to New York they’re taking next October that you can’t go on is no big deal. I’m not jealous at all. I’ll have my fresh twin babies to take care of, and I won’t even miss the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, or sight seeing tours, or any of the museums packed full with art that I’ve been studying from afar for years…. OK perhaps I’m a little jealous I can’t attend. There’s a second opportunity, happening during our spring break, from February 24-26. Lo and behold, of the dozen or more that threw their names in the umbrella, my little note is chosen for the incredible, opportunity to travel on a bus to Parc Omega, Montebello, Quebec, courtesy of Photo Tour Trekkers!
Very quickly, my instructor Dave Chidley introduced me to James Cowie of Photo Tour Trekkers. Not near soon enough, I’m on the bus, sitting in the back row making new photography friends.  We made our way to Chateau Montebello, and how incredible is that place?? It’s the largest log cabin in Canada. The next morning, we wake up and make our way to Parc Omega. The first creatures we encounter are deer. It took a minute or two for me to get used to the lens I had borrowed from a classmate (who was generous enough to trust me with her fancy pants Canon EF 100mm-400mm), but I figure it out because I don’t want to miss these pictures! As we move deeper into the park, we meet many more deer and wild boars, a sweet little Arctic Fox, big Black Wolves, wild turkeys, and some bison.

I see some from my group on a trail so I follow them. That led to a very large wood structure with a big staircase. At the top, it turns out to be a lookout into a Grey Wolf enclosure. Jackpot! There are plenty wolfies hanging out, chasing each other around, being lazy, and being curious at the one fella in our group who keeps howling to get their attention (a risk I was not willing to take! Haha!). I click away, succeeding in getting some nice photos of the main attractions. We come back later as a larger group, but I am glad to have been there before because now it’s raining pretty hard. 

Underneath my garbage bag umbrella, I watch through the lens as a woman explains in English and French everything they do to take care of the wolves, and the dynamics of their pack. We all guess who the alpha, omega, and female alpha are. I like to follow around the 9 month old (with my lens, not literally!), because he didn’t seem to care who the alpha was, he’d bite their ears just the same. We clicked away as they are given food chunks, and as they fight for the attention of the food-giver.
It was an amazing experience, and I’m so grateful to have been there, despite rain, snow, sleet, and hail. I’ve learned so much in such a short time, and met so many fantastic photographers, it’s impossible to not be excited for the next opportunity to join something like this again. 

Lambton College 50th Anniversary Legacy

By Dana Sorensen 

Students in the digital photography program photographed Lambton College’s 50th anniversary on April 5, 2017. Over the course of the week prior to the anniversary, the students worked tirelessly preparing for the ceremony, especially Christina Watts who organized the events’ photographers for the most part. The day went flawlessly with everyone participating in the school’s event. We also welcomed our program graduates and asked all of them to help photograph the day’s festivities.

During the day we all worked to get images taken of the volunteers hard at work. I was based at Canatara park, where students helped clean up the animal farm by spreading sand across the pens, shucking hay, planting, spreading mulch and various other tasks. Wilber the pig decided to help out while the photographers were there. One of the care takers decided they wanted an image with the students working and Wilber. However, Wilber didn’t want any part of it, even when they threw apples towards the students to coax him over there.

Lambton’s 50th anniversary is known as the “Legacy Project”: students went all across Lambton county and helped plant trees for the community. The college planted 50 trees at the main location in Sarnia, Ontario by the water front. The College also placed a statue at the water front with the trees surrounding it. The photographers for this event worked extremely hard to prepare for the event by planning out who would go where, and what they would shoot. The 50th anniversary is very important because Lambton college is the second oldest college in Ontario after Centennial College, this was also because Lambton College wanted to say thank you to the community that has supported the college for so long.

The college also placed ten trees at ten different locations including: Sarnia, Brooke-Alvinston, Dawn Euphemia, Enniskillen, Lambton Shores, Oil Springs, Petrolia, Point Edward, Plympton-Wyoming, St. Clair, Warwick, Humane Society, Canatara (Animal farm and Carriage House), Community Living, Vision Nursing Home, Hub, Holy Trinity and Lansdowne School, and Fire School.


The photography students all played a part in different locations Athena, 

Katie, Franky, Jesse, David (Sarnia Location), Bryce, Kazuki (Brook-Alvinston), Nikki, Theresa (Dawn Euphemia), Adam, Kirsten (Ennkiskillen), John, Shawna (Lambton Shores), Mike, Mary (Oil Springs), Tanis, Olivia (Petrolia), Sarah, Lisa (Point Edward), Elizabeth, Scott (Plympton-Wyoming), Autumn, Maggie (St. Clair), Christina (Warwick), Erin, Hailey, Devon (Humane Society), Dana, Richard, Jeff (Canatara/Animal Farm/ Carriage House), Jessica, Lorraine (Community Living), Nicole, Josh, Els (Vision Nursing Home), Andrea, Bisi (Hub), Teresa (Holy Trinity and Lansdowne School), and Gina (Fire School). 

With everyone who participated the day flew by with ease. After the shoots were done we went to the school studio and edited the images for the history books. The day was wonderful with many entertaining events such as music and games. Followed by a bbq and fun events. The day was a success and the students all learnt so much from the experience. Happy 50th Lambton College!



Characters Galore

By Erin Percival

On March 27, 1961, the International Theatre Institute instated World Theatre Day. On March 27, 2017, I am submitting a blog post detailing my volunteer experience with our own local theatre organization.

Theatre Sarnia has been a fixture in Sarnia since 1927, making it one of the oldest continuously operating theatre groups in Canada. It has undergone a few name changes and venue changes over the course of a near-century, and now is one of the few Canadian theatre groups to own its own theatre. This year marks my own tenth anniversary with our local theatre community, which I have volunteered for in various capacities over the last decade. Most recently, I helped to conceptualize and shoot promo materials, cast and crew headshots, and even an opening credits sequence for the upcoming production of The 39 Steps.

Presented with a cast of only four actors collectively portraying over 20 men, women, children, and objects, I was tasked with creating promotional materials that would showcase the diversity of the characters. Initially, I was presented with a sketch for a concept that was somewhat akin to the old Brady Bunch intro sequence, but I felt inspired by last year’s Digital Darkroom “Multiplicity” assignment. I knew we could create something truly special.

Because the director and I had opted to shoot all photo and video in one night and all on-location at the rehearsal space, I was forced to take a more minimalist approach with my gear and put my skills to the test. One strobe with a large softbox, a reflector, and a 4’ wide gray backdrop was all I could fit into the limited space.

Working with a simple, even lighting setup that would look natural once the individual images were combined into one group shot, we got to work. As I had limited familiarity with the show, the director, Ian Alexander, stood by to help his cast come up with dynamic poses that would represent each character and translate well to a composite. Several chaotic hours later, it was up to me to cull 108 images down to 17 and merge them into one. I’ll spare our readers the tale of my thrilling night with the Select and Mask tool; just know that with the help of many extra-large coffees, I got there in the end.

From this…The resulting images, ready to be sorted and narrowed down. Photos By Erin Percival
To this…The final choices, roughly positioned in one document.
Photos By Erin Percival
 To the final product...To the final product.
Photos By Erin Percival

The 39 Steps runs from March 31st to April 8th at the Imperial Theatre.

Printing, Printing, Printing

By Jessica Datema
With the end of the semester quickly approaching this means a number of assignments are expected to be completed; as second years the expectation is greater, as graduation is now upon us.

For our final semester many of the assignments this term allowed us to test our knowledge by applying these skills to working on our biggest projects; one of the skills we learned from our instructor Richard Beland was printing, throughout our first year we were able to learn the fundamentals of how to print by being assigned a printing mentor.
Printing isn’t hard but it’s a process, with three printers provided to us from the school this has been beneficial being able to print in the studio and having the ability to print during work periods and after school time, printing requires as much time as we are willing to put into it; this can mean many different things,
-Resizing, (this can be done manually with our macs,
we’ve been taught a method called stair stepping this
means resizing the image by going up 110 percent each
time until size is achieved)
-Utilizing 4x6 test prints, this allows us to save the
bigger sized printing paper for the final print,
depending on the situation sometimes using as many
test prints can help determine every detail of an image
for the overall look.
-Resizing not only the image size but the resolution
with the printers is 360, this can happen by resizing by
-And finally printing! Using a good eye is key to
determining whether a print is usable or not.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have been provided these tips during our first year with our assigned printing partners, they were required to work with us on printing for their own assignments as well.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Student Gallery Shows

To cap off their photographic education here at Lambton College, our second year students are involved in preparing various kinds of Portfolios to showcase their work.

They have traditional Print Portfolios; Websites with Online Galleries; Photo books to name a few.  In addition, one of their most challenging projects is to present their own Gallery Shows.

Most of the gallery shows open Friday, April 7th, for Sarnia's First Friday event.

The Bayside Mall Gallery shows are only open for viewing on the evening of Apr. 7th, the remaining shows are hanging for multiple days.  See each invite below for details.

Please consider an evening of Art and Entertainment in downtown Sarnia and view the amazing visual creations produced by the Lambton College Digital Photographey students.

Monday, April 3, 2017

How to take advantage of the location? (Studio anywhere)

By Raspal Singh
Photographing someone on location? Having trouble for ideas what to do with the location you are stuck with? Here is the quick trick to make the location interesting.

Anywhere you go, you can take advantage of the location by matching your vision with the location. Follow these two helpful practices and as our professor David Chidley says learn by doing.

1 - Prior to the shoot, reaching out to the location and taking similar shots without your model in it, is the best old fashioned way to plan for the look you want to convey. Besides that, keep looking for interesting angles, compositions color schemes and texture.

I took these photos from my mobile (Samsung A7) while walking the street before the photoshoot I did with Sophie.

2 - Plan the dress code, color scheme and posing for the photo shoot. It will not only help you to be ready when you model will arrive on the location; hence you will also be able to tweak the concept if it's not working because you are already prepared.

Bonus tip - Use mood boards like Pinterest and Gomoodboard to accumulate your idea or reference and share them easily with your team or model.  
The Final Images of Sophie from my photo shoot.

Sophie poses during our "on location" photo shoot.  Photo by Raspal Singh
Sophie poses during our "on location" photo shoot.  Photo by Raspal Singh

Sophie poses during our "on location" photo shoot.  Photo by Raspal Singh
Sophie poses during our "on location" photo shoot.  Photo by Raspal Singh
Sophie poses during our "on location" photo shoot.  Photo by Raspal Singh

Sophie poses during our "on location" photo shoot.  Photo by Raspal Singh