September 20, 2014
As those of you who have spent time looking at my imagery, moving and not, have likely picked up on an attention to detail and elements of precision. This is something I hold most true, that no video cut is ever 1 frame off (1/24th of a second), and nothing extra is an image. Along this path, the music I choose to marry my images when assembled in slideshow or video form, is also precise. The combination of two senses receiving the same emotional information yields a response in the active viewer/listener that is what really in art I think we are all trying to achieve. An amplification of the emotions, the connections, the understanding of things in our vision and our minds, a synthesis of senses.
Here are a few slideshows and videos of the recent past exploring various elements of what drives my work and vision and that of our film production company, Dendrite Studios. We recently launched a new site and look for Dendrite Studios, bringing in the spirit of the raven and the creativity they derive into our brand of making kickass videos.
Electric Blue – a photographic look at Antarctica from Dendrite Studios on Vimeo.
Scale Independence – a look at the creativity of the natural world from Dendrite Studios on Vimeo.
Deep Winter 2014 slideshow by Nicolas Teichrob from Dendrite Studios on Vimeo.
Nicolas Teichrob 2013 Deep Summer Slideshow from Dendrite Studios on Vimeo.
STAND film Trailer – a surf and SUP documentary about a threatened coast from Dendrite Studios on Vimeo.
Coast Mountain Culture – Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine Promo from Dendrite Studios on Vimeo.
The Electric Blue World of Antarctica
April 7, 2014
In November of 2013 I was fortunate to head to Antarctica on a One Ocean expedition. This trip was through a generous prize donated by One Oceans, given to STAND for winning Best Film at the 2013 Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films. Anthony and I both went on the trip and it was really an experience that is barely describable. I communicate emotions, thoughts, feelings through my art, and using the camera as a tool, I focused on the rich colours of the frozen continent. Although other colours occasional presented themselves (for a future post on oranges and reds), blue and every imaginable and unimaginable tone and vibrance of blue is in existence in Antarctica.
I present The Electric Blue World
Projection imagery – taking my photographs into a new dimension
February 20, 2013
Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to pen and photograph a feature for the current issue of Mountain Life magazine. Mountain Life is a west coast culture magazine, which I have worked with for many many years. The first feature I ever penned was with them (on a surf exploration – camp trip), and I continue to enjoy working with their team. The current issue is ‘the Photography Issue’, so it is ideally the best issue to ink a feature in as a photographer. I think the editor (Feet Banks) and I went back and forth a good five plus times to get this piece how we wanted it, but in the end it flows with two narratives, both helping explain the mindful thought behind these pictures. Here is the piece:
Table of Contents - Raph Bruhwiler, Vancouver Island, BC - Ikelite/Stand Film
Photography is magic. Certainly there is a science behind it, and a history – photographic experiments with pinhole cameras date back to the fourth and fifth centuries – but the way a photo freezes time forever, all the ideas and premeditation of the photographer coming to fruition with the pressing of a shutter button… to me, that’s magic. And the great thing about magic, just when you begin to understand how it works, there’s always a new trick waiting in the shadows.
* * *
A creek flows through my backyard, it inspires me at unexpected times and has been the subject of more than a few off-season photo experiments. The creek helps me slow down and think. This past autumn as the forest filled in with rich colours and my workload conveniently dried up to a trickle I revisited an idea I had been rattling around for a while. The only reason I hadn’t tried it yet was simply that I hadn’t tried it yet, and that’s a pretty bad reason. I grabbed a digital projector and a headlamp and headed for the creek.
* * *
As photographers we twist dials and turn knobs to capture light, colour, shape –things we can never grasp with our bare hands alone. By changing the composition and framing, focal length and exposure the photograph, and resultantly what is portrayed, will also change. No two images will ever be the same yet each is able to provoke ideas in a viewer that may not have otherwise existed.
Whether it is slide film chemically recording actual particles of light or a modern digital CCD (charge-coupled device) converting those incoming photons to electron charges, one concept of photography has remained constant: to represent and share the three-dimensional world in two dimensions. But viewing a 2D representation of the 3D world has never felt fully satisfying to me and I’ve been trying to find that lost dimension for a while now. I think I found it in the woods down by the creek in my own backyard.
* * *
It took four electrical cords linked to cover the 50 metres across my yard, down the bush, over a calm section of the creek and into my first projection site. There are few scenes darker than a moonless November night in BC but I managed to stumble-haul my loose kit of a projector, laptop, tripods, and camera through the forest – and only once slipped on the old 20cm–wide “bridge.” Even with power cables plugged in and devices connected, I wasn’t overly optimistic about the idea of re-shooting my own photos projected onto logs, leaves, trees and rocks. A lot of things can easily go wrong. Is this a waste of time? Is it stupid? If this was cool wouldn’t someone have already done it? Should I just go back inside and avoid the bear that is probably lingering nearby? The creek answered me by continuing to gurgle along as it always did, blanketing all other thoughts in blissful white noise.
I got back to work.
* * *
For me, conventional photography consists of three major steps: premeditation of the image to be captured, the actual image capture, and post-production/editing. The end result of an image is limited solely by the imagination of the photographer. With the photos in this series I wanted to divert the process partway through and re-combine my raw images with the beautiful environments that surround and inspire my work. Each photograph starts as an original digital image I’ve previously shot. These images are then projected onto carefully selected surfaces that complement or enhance some element of the original photograph.
There are no computer tricks at work here; it’s pure photography. The goal of this work is to expand our collective concept of photographic representation, and to engage audiences to stare and interpret, guess and question, to be confused and understand, to look again and to think beyond what they initially see. By deleting preconceived notions and allowing thoughts to flow freely through the mind, we open the door to pure creativity. This is how the first images began 1600 years ago and how new ideas will continue to develop and broaden the photographic horizons.
* * *
I almost knocked everything into the water at least twice, stumbling around the dark edges of the brush trying to shine a light on the third dimension. But from those first images projected onto a pocket of ferns I realized I’d found something at least, a seam to be further explored. Many images didn’t work, time flowed past without notice, but then a photo would land on the ferns and just pop out at me and reinvigorate the process. This began as a “why not?” idea but as things began to click I found new purpose with every projection and every shot. One of my favourite things about shooting photographs is when I surprise myself. That happened, then it happened again, and again.
* * *
I’ve been down to the creek a half dozen times since that night, even set up a tarp to be able to shoot in the relentless winter rain. I think about images differently now. No matter what I shoot I find myself looking for those elements of depth and ways I can lift the third dimension to the surface.
Photography is science: chemicals on a metal plate or digital pixels on a screen. But that science is an arena for creativity, one pushing the other until both evolve into something unique. Art, creativity, photography, magic…
These days, it’s all going off at the creek down in the woods in my backyard but I imagine you can find it almost anywhere if you aren’t afraid to look.
I am very excited by this adventure into a new avenue of visual representation and look forward to future endevours that will lead me and my photography in ways I cannot currently imagine. There will be some really cool work being done along these realms right here in Roberts Creek, with a collective of individual wizards I’ve come to known…stayed tuned for more details in Spring.
.an evening in kyrgyzstan.TRIP 2
February 28, 2012
After 7 days of ski touring from our yurt in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan, we skied on the funnier 20 minutes of my life. We deciding to ski all of our gear out from the yurt (some of which horses brought up), which yielding some hilarious moments of crashing on log and horse skidded snow roads, creeks, and horse shit. The evening light made it extra rad. After our ski back to the home-stay, Schumacher and his barely-alive-do-everything vehicle arrived and we drove home in clear skies and awesome light. What followed is what follows in pictures. Explanations not needed.
Evening play by play:
I keep on finding myself describing Kyrgyzstan as many trips within a trip. There were so many individually unique experiences throughout the trip. As a result, I am going to share these experiences in blog posts like this one and the workshop piece.
Kyrgyzstan workshop.TRIP 1
February 22, 2012
After 26 hours in airplanes, I finally touched down to Canadian soil a couple of days ago. Kyrgyzstan was fantastic, but it feels good to be home after being on the road for a while. One of my favourite parts of traveling is the unexpected. Upon our arrival in Karakol at Yak Tours guesthouse, I stumbled across the owner’s workshop. Entering this workshop was one of those unexpected moments aforementioned. A workshop that filled the senses with more than one could take in. Here is my morning representation of this incredible time capsule of Soviet past and Kyrgyz present.
Kyrgyzstan, why was I there? Where is that? Between Russia and China lies Krygyzstan, a country filled with great people and some big mountains. I was there capturing skiing with 40 Tribes Backcountry, along with Mike Hopkins, Izzy Lynch, Leah Evans, and filmer Anthony Bonello. Ptor Spricenicks – Zeus, and Roddy kept was entertained and safe in the backcountry Stay tuned, as this trip filled with many little treasures will surely be creeping up on my site for a while.
Thanks to The North Face for supporting this project and to G3, Arc’teryx, Dakine, and Smith Optics for helping me kick it in our mountainous adventures.
This is TRIP 1 of a series I am sharing as there were so many trips within the one Kyrgyzstan overall trip. Many individual moments, like this time in the workshop, will be popping up on my blog.
Approaching winter, bike films and random adventures
November 1, 2011
Fall is one of my favorite seasons. There is still enough daylight to get a lot of activities crammed into a day. Mountain bike trail conditions reach the apex of primeness, surf begins to pick up with regularity to the pulsing swells, and the air smells rich with anticipation as winter approaches fast. This is a time of year that rather than put the bike away, I get a chance to bring it out more and ride for fun. At the same time I get a chance to explore surfing to a greater depth and catch up on everything that got pushed to the back burner at the end of summer. Winter is coming and I am very stoked to ski this year and expand my horizons in the skiing world. Fall is diversity…or maybe diversity is an old old wooden ship used during the civil war era….or maybe Ron Burgandy’s definition wasn’t quite correct.
To start off the results of the diversity that Fall presented, here is a short video produced as Dendrite Studios from a heli trip to TLH heliskiing with Epic Planks. I finally got a chance to finish up the edit in time to release this piece and get everyone jonesing for pow! My first heli-ski trip, this adventure was all time, skiing pow and eating like Kings.
After the TLH edit, it was back to the mountain biking world to help finish up ‘From the Inside Out‘ by Secondbase Films (The Coastal Crew + Anthill Films). My role on this film began as a photographer, and I’d shoot the odd video here and there. As it was time to nail down The Coastal Crew’s segment, Curtis took a very bad crash and put himself out of production. Then a couple of weeks later, Norbs crashed and broke his foot. This left Dylan as the only person who could get into the zones to film, but also the only person left to ride. As a result, I happily hopped into a much larger role as cinematographer, and Logan was a big help firing the remotes for the photos. The production timeline for Inside Out was insane, way too tight, but we managed to get it all done without too many sleepless nights.
As a result of all of our travels and bike shooting, I have a number of new magazine publications to share. Kyle Norbraten’s train gap nailed Photo of the Month in The Red Bulletin, as well as two spreads in Freeride Germany magazine Gallery (Oregon shot below plus the train gap); Darcy Turenne‘s Dakine ad came out with a bunch of shots from a recent trip to Bolivia, and Kenny Smith’s Fox train gap jumping ad can be seen online, in Decline, and Bike magazines. As well there are gallery images and spreads in the current MBUK, The Ski Journal, and Spoke Magazine.
Darcy Turenne Dakine Ad, Bike Mag, Oct 2011
The Red Bulletin - Kyle Norbraten train gap, Oct 2011
Kyle Norbraten in Freeride Magazin (Germany)