Pho­tog­ra­phers have be­come vis­ual artists

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COM­MU­NITY -

pro­duce prints that are rich in colour, de­tail, depth and emo­tion.

And through the process, these pho­tog­ra­phers have be­come vis­ual artists; trans­form­ing dis­ap­point­ing pho­to­graphs into beau­ti­ful works of art.

“When many images were taken pho­to­graph­i­cally, I had a vi­sion of what they might be some day. And even though I was dis­ap­pointed with (some of them) I wanted a chance to make them beau­ti­ful. That’s why I’m call­ing it ‘A New Vi­sion’,” says Bar­rett of the new print ex­hi­bi­tion run­ning July 8-31 at Ellen’s Creek Gallery, 525 North River Rd., Char­lot­te­town.

Take “Bring­ing Home the Cows,” for ex­am­ple.

When Bar­rett took the ini­tial pho­to­graph he wanted to cap­ture the essence of the P.E.I. coun­try­side – com­plete with farm­ers’ fields, tufts of grass sprout­ing up from the mid­dle of the red dirt road and a young boy herd­ing his slow­mov­ing cat­tle home.

“But that pho­to­graph just didn’t have it. I wasn’t able to bring it up to a larger size be­cause the qual­ity was so poor.”

So the only thing he held onto was the feel­ing he wanted to cre­ate.

“Now tak­ing that old pho­to­graph and turn­ing it into some­thing spe­cial, that’s where the new vi­sion comes from.”

MacKay, who has al­ways been drawn to the vis­ual arts and has an eye for cap­tur­ing and re­pro­duc­ing just the right qual­ity of light, colour in­ten­sity and depth of shadow, agrees.

“The way we ex­pressed our­selves cre­atively be­fore was lim­ited by the tech­nol­ogy of the time. You’d be some­where and you would have all your senses in­volved whereas a pho­to­graph is lim­ited to the grain-struc­ture, the length of the lens you’re us­ing and the qual­ity of the images. So, to go back and look at them again and say, ‘this could be new again’ is ex­cit­ing,” she says.

“Bring­ing Home the Cows” is one of 25 prints in the ex­hi­bi­tion. There are lupins grow­ing wild along the ditches in “Pleas­ant Val­ley”, rushes of red in “Poppy Field, Flat, River” and seabirds frol­ick­ing in the early morn­ing sun­shine in “Wil­lets in the Surf”, as well as seascapes and nau­ti­cal themes in­clud­ing tra­di­tional wooden boats.

“We had fun cre­at­ing them,” says MacKay.

“We’ve al­ready had some pos­i­tive re­sponses.”

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