From the golden ratio to mixing gun cotton with silver nitrate, Metchosin-based tintypist and photographic artist Ken Miner wowed more than two dozen photography-lovers earlier this month with a fascinating presentation, “Understanding the Complexities of Photography”—the first Sooke Fine Art Society’s Member Services event of the 2014-2015 season.
Attendees were treated to dinner and dessert, followed by mixing and mingling over tea and coffee before Miner began his presentation.
“These Member Services outings and socials are intended to unite art-lovers together throughout the year, not just during the annual show and sale,” said Catherine Keogan, Executive Director of the Sooke Fine Art Society. “It’s a way to connect, share in meaningful discussion, and bring new understanding to how you see next year’s show.”
Miner discussed the basics of equipment—everything from 35mm film to his affinity for large format, antique cameras—differences between lenses, the wet plate process involved in creating a tintype (using a host of highly flammable ingredients, cellulous nitrate or “gun cotton” and alcohol, among them) and skills to successfully lead someone’s eye across an image. Things like patterns, S-curves, leading lines and the golden mean can help with this.
The golden ratio is just one photographic technique, he explained, scrolling through his own commercial and travel images, from pastoral Idaho to grinning Chinese fishmongers, then overlaying each with a large nautilus spiral showing how he “keeps the subject in the crosshairs”.
The evening’s most valuable attendee award—as well as the raffle prize, coincidentally—went to woodworker Murray Tomkins, who knew the golden ratio (1.618…) off the top of his head. Kudos and bragging rights are yours, Mr Tomkins!
The next SFAS Member Services event is a full-day gallery and lunch tour through Parksville/Coombs, February 17.
Annual $10 memberships can be purchased at the Sooke Fine Art Society’s Kick-off Meeting after the New Year (date TBA).
Society members enjoy discounts for events, as well as 10 percent off in the Gallery Gift Shop at the 2015 Sooke Fine Arts Show. For more information on member services or becoming a SFAS member, contact Executive Director Catherine Keogan at 250-642-7256 or by email email@example.com
For more about Ken Miner and his work, including commissions, visit zuludog.ca