Top Ten Prologue Photos

Posted by Iain Russell on

This all started cause I was trying to impress a girl. Real talk like 2008 I remember it so clearly. It didn't work out. It never does really… But yet i'm still here. Still searching for the love within me and for love externally. I wanted to look back over some of the shots from the prologue to provide some context and insight into where my head is at. Thank you and enjoy. 

Standing in fields. So the idea I had originally was going to be setting up the photo roll down outside. Well, turns out that when you live on an island it’s umm always windy. And ya 6 feet of paper just kind of turns into a sail under any conditions. So ya that idea isn't the most thought out i've ever had. But hey thanks to some friend (Mitch and Alejandro) was able to somehow make it happen.

The tag on this shirt says Chemical Engineering - Keep Exploring which is a take on both the brands name C E aka Cav Empt but is also speaking towards how our brains are just chemical reactions and we must keep exploring to continue these reactions. 

Fun fact this photo was taken on the Victoria Harbour Authorities property who basically control the inter inner harbour in downtown Victoria. And the night before this they blocked me on twitter cause I used the phrase “what the fuck is going on with the harbour authority” in relation to how they have been running their quasi public group. So don't forget to watch your fucking language kids!

This would be as good as a time as ever to acknowledge that I am residing on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən People. I would like to thank them for their stewardship of these lands from time immemorial. I as a person, a citizen, and an artist, do not recognize the Douglas Treaties and would like to see historical wrongs rewritten. I am lucky to call these lands my home. And I want to thank those who came before me and will remain long after me.  

 Thanks to my friend Jordan I was able to get a tour of an almost finished project in downtown Victoria. This building “The Powerhouse” was the old coal fired power station. It was also where the old streetcars were stored. I'll be honest I was in a bit of a weird headspace this day and was just kind of working through the process of working with a camera. I was also shooting a roll of black and white 35mm film that I still need to get developed so I was a little distracted.

This is one of my favourite images of the prologue. The jacket is made by the brand And Wander. Their focus is hiking clothing made in Japan. To me it is the perfection of outdoor apparel. I love the texture of the image. I love how the colours come across under the overcast skies. And Wander includes a haiku on their tag. So I will leave you with my own haiku. 

a man a camera

another day to dream away 

another dream away

 Fashion is a beautiful art as it interacts with both the built and natural worlds. I have always loved how architects love to think they are the big dogs in the world of creation. But really it is the people who make spaces. Fashion lives, it fills our spaces with colours and it changes the dynamic of our daily lives. Like the flowers that come with spring fashion is fleeting. It is dust to dust. Every wear adds a story and is part of a cycle of growth, change, and destruction. Think where do your clothes come from, who made them, and most of all did you need them. Think about your purchases, think about why, how, and where, and also don’t forget to wear. 

It's at this point I will bring up the kind of strange fact that all clothing worn to this point involved a Japanese designer. I don’t know what draws me to the designs and brands from another island in the Pacific ocean. Is it the relationship between viewing products of America from afar and interpreting it. Or is it the care and consideration put towards a product and how it will impact the users life. I always like to joke that my wardrobe is that of a retired fashion designer. It's particular, it's strange, its focus is on ideas and concepts around design, manufacturing, and collaborations. 

Growing up on an island the water is never that far away. The rocky coastline is dominant on the southern coast of the island. When I am feeling unsure I find myself drawn to the unpredictable waters of the Salish Seas. When you are searching for purpose there is no better place to look than where you know it won’t be found.  

The hard edge of reality. I use photography to express what I can't write. What I love about the process of daily photography is you can't be on everyday. And when you are on you feel that sense of agency that can only come from expression. This photograph says more to me than it will to anyone else. The location holds significance for me. The soft focus speaks to the fleeting moments and how everything outside the present is generally a blur. The single drop of rain on my glasses speaks to what's to come. The AirPods provide context of time allowing this image to do what images do best. Capture a moment in time and place. The viewer goes ohh nice photo. As the creator I feel the emotions that are held in this moment. It contrasts the last image and the next. It speaks to this moment in time and is the only true self portrait I selected for this list. This is the hard edge of reality - still lucky - a beautiful location - attempting to remain calm. 

This photo was an accident. I knew where I wanted to take these photos. It's minutes from my current apartment. I spend enough time in the park to know how the light interacts within the urban forest. I had taken the photos I needed. Some days are more process than art (and it shows I know). As I was folding up the tripod for another day I was standing in a ray of light and I knew the work wasn't over. I had taken the 15~ or so photos I needed but they were part of a process - part of a contract I made with myself to complete an action. What happened after was the expression or art I am searching for. My old business partner Dave used to describe it as “the juice” . It's the high of creativity - when you know the outcome before the image is created. As a technical set up its strange like iso at 200 aperture at like 11-16 shutter speed at 1/50. The focus locked in with a manual lens. It is in moments like this that the chore becomes worth the effort.

 Real talk. I was tired. This all started with me searching for something. I was on vacation. I had no plans but a lot of feelings. This was the last day before I went back to work. Really I was looking for a reason. Something to push me into change and back into the unknown. So I went forward by taking a step back. What do I love to do. And I was reminded of what has come more easily to me than anything else. Taking photos. I realized how much I missed having a home studio. How much I missed just putting content into the world. When I was younger I felt I had something to prove - now I just want to do this for myself. 

Thanks for reading! More to come 😏

-iain