ian DAVIS – photographer
When I craft an image, I’m guided by feelings such as beauty, amazement, wonder, and peacefulness. The final image needs to elicit these. Shocking, disturbing, depressing, anger, alarm . . . these are thoughts and feelings I avoid in my work. I really hope the viewer can chill and just enjoy the image. No thoughts, just peace.
As a night hawk and somewhat of a loner, I explore the visual space often when the day becomes night and in places that provide solitude. I selectively use two languages to visually describe scenes; colour and black & white. Most often (but not always), the “language” I use is predetermined whether for nightscapes, waterscapes, landscapes, trees and flowers, or the built environment. And within each language, I’m not usually subtle; I have a bias towards contrast and strong colours.
For most people, digital photography isn’t a tactile experience. For me, however, it is. Yes, posting images on social media can give me a rush but the big—no huge—kick is printing and framing the image. I have a very high quality printer, I use wonderful archival quality inks and papers, scratch build many of the large frames, and mat the image myself. In all, this is a very tactile experience for me, something I feel compelled to share.
While Campbellford is now my home, I’m originally from St. Catharines (in the Niagara Region). Along the way, I made stops at various points in Northwestern Ontario, Labrador, and then back to Niagara for a few years. Since the late ’80s, I’ve lived alongside the Trent Severn Waterway.
My grandfather was my first inspiration in photography. He would go out and take pictures “just because”. Grandpa spent time in darkrooms, owned many different cameras, had hundreds and hundreds of slides and prints. He showed me what a contact sheet was and talked about darkrooms (he had a tiny one in his basement). Unfortunately, just as I got started with one of his older cameras, he passed away. But at least he gave me an important introduction.
Throughout the years, I shot photos with various film and digital gear. When I was a bush pilot flying de Havilland Otters and Beavers in northern Canada, I always travelled with two things; a fishing rod and my manual Mamiya SLR. After I left flying and entered university, my photography was put on pause other than for recording family and life events.
Nowadays, I shoot with a Sony mirrorless with various prime and zoom lenses spanning 12mm to 350mm. This gives me tremendous flexibility in how and where I can shoot. I also have speed lights which I use off-camera. While my imagery interests are fairly wide, if I had to more accurately define my photographic interests, I’d have to say that it would involve some form of “scape”.
Shows & Associations
Member, Northumberland Hills Arts Association (Spirit of the Hills – SOTH)
- Cobourg Waterfront Festival
- SOTH Juried Show – Parrott Gallery
- SPARK Photo Festival – Peterborough
- SOTH Juried Show – Art Emporium by the River
- Capers Tap House and Grill – Solo show
Current and a selection of past photos can be viewed at www.iandavis.photography