Written by Heather Kuchma, IACC Program Chair
Over time, as a member of the Club, I have learned to recognize and associate a type or style of photography with certain members. To date, I am not aware of anyone, with the exception of Calvin Binnema, that actually has a style name after them. For most of the experienced Club members when you say that is a “Calvin” shot or comment I was trying to emulate a “Calvin” shot, they will fully understand what it is you are getting at.
For anyone who does not know or understand what a “Calvin” shot is, below is a brief description that Calvin wrote as a follow-up to a question asked after his presentation regarding perspectives on how to take a "Calvin" shot.
"A paradox around this question for me is that if you have in mind a particular end result ("Calvin" shot), that end-oriented method will be your downfall. When you go out on a shoot (choose any destination), stop seeing a tree, or a fence, or sky, or City Hall; instead see colour, see shape, see texture. When something grabs your attention, don't analyze or interpret it; otherwise you might dismiss it as silly or irrelevant. To release any expectations of what you'll see, a technique that is suggested by Miksang is to close your eyes, spin yourself around a couple of times until you are unsure of your orientation so you do not know what is in front of you. When you open your eyes, is there a 'Wow' moment? Before your brain interprets it and your rules of composition kick in, focus on what caused the Wow. Suspend your judgment and shoot it. Knowledge of your gear and how to get the exposure and focus, you want is assumed. If the result makes you smile, that is success, even if it doesn't look like something I might have shot. Emulation vs. imitation.”
© Calvin Binnema (all images below)
To complement Calvin’s presentation, members were also treated to a wonderful and well curated collection of his printed works. Within that, Calvin shared his rationale for choosing images blocks as his preferred way to display his work: “Image blocks allow prints to exist free of accessories other than mounting — not restricted by matting and framing or obscured with glass. By surrounding it with framing paraphernalia, one gets the feeling of the image being in there, out there, or through there. With image blocks they stand out ‘right here.’”
Calvin also displayed a number of experimental prints along the general theme of exploring the spatial and temporal relationship between an image and the real world subject of the image. This part of the exhibition arose out of his recent interaction with the art and writing of the surrealist