I'm Taking the Northern Voice Challenge!Posted by Richard on Wednesday, 27 February 2008
The Sessions I Attended At Northern Voice
In point form, as is the style of the time, here is how I spent my Saturday.
- missed the keynote speech. I'll catch the audio later on.
- instead of slacking with Stephanie, Victoria, Kim and others as long as intended, I visited Nancy White's presentation advocating we take some time away from the textual world of blogging and look at the imagery. And even create our own. I'll save the story for how I came up with bubble ice cream for another day.
- attended Dave Olson's Fuck Stats, Make art presentation (Northern Voice wiki page with notes and links), which showed his personal journey to hone his craft and demonstrated how others can take their own journey.
- after giving Arjun Singh's presentation a try, I snuck into Alan Levine's presentation on storytelling, but only to get a good seat for the next presentation...
- ...titled The Other Side of Two Dimensions with Vancouver fashion photographer Kris Krug and Vancouver commercial and fine art photographer Alex Waterhouse-Hayward, the latter talking about photography we can feel.
- after skipping the penultimate session, I attended Stephanie Vacher's talk on design in the new media world.
What I Learned From Northern Voice
During MooseCamp, specifically PhotoCamp, I learned that cloudy days are the best to get colour from the objects and people I'm documenting. Also, for portraits, bring the studio to them and tips on where to take portraits from (e.g. shoot down to make them look better) stuck out for me. The rest of the conference I closed the door of knowledge and opened the window of inspiration.
Who Challenged Me At Northern Voice
Whether they knew it or not, intended it or not, the following people challenged me to think a little harder about creativity and craft. People close to me wonder why I don't identify as being creative. The following Northern Voice speakers have me wondering too.
Dave Olson challenged me to step it up a notch, and to consider another media form if I'm struggling at the one I think I'm good at (writing). Podcasting, maybe? I don't like the sound of my own voice, so that strikes video out as well. Photography is the medium I sunk the most into already, so I will try to bring the SLR to more places, make the same mistakes everybody makes when they start out, and document the process better. I'd like to learn how to draw. And sing. Outside of the conference, he remarked that he likes to find a third place, away from work and away from home to be creative. This has me thinking of the ideal place to work somewhere (and on something) not domestic and not commercial, but somewhere in between.
(I know that my desire to learn how to sing directly conflicts with the angst about hearing my voice, so don't bother pointing that out.)
Nancy White challenged me to look at the beauty of the visual web, not just the written web. I do prefer visiting an individual article directly, especially articles intended for web browsers (and not printers). Nancy, by challenging me to think visually, to give drawing or other graphic form of expression and honest try, challenged me to rediscover my sense of wonder, a nice little nudge to remind me I wanted to do that anyway.
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward challenged my thinking on Flickr and the social photographic web, disagreeing with Kris on whether it should be rejected. Through the tension between them we learned about two styles of photography, both of which contribute to our understanding of the subject. He also challenged me to think about lighting and the third dimension, making the physical photograph part of the photograph.
Stephanie, nervous as she was during her first time public speaking, challenged me to think about the process of my "designing". If I understood her correctly, she challenged everybody in the audience to investigate what it means to design and to, if they can get themselves in the mindset, think of themselves as designers.
Dave, Nancy, Alex, and Stephanie: I accept your challenges.
Photo credits, from top to bottom: myself; Cyprien Lomas; Randy Stewart; and Phillip Jeffrey.