Quinton Gordon

Tonight I got to hear an excellent talk with a professional photographer, Quinton Gordon. As with Mike's talk last month, Ocean River was packed with excited folks just waiting to absorb the presentation. Quinton had put together a slick little presentation that started with an introduction and proceeded into the meat and potatoes of some excellent photography samples that he had taken on assignment.

This man has some fine credentials under his belt and his shop talk every now and then tells me he's been doing this a while. He's also a professed gadget-o-phile - not many presenters have the gall to torture their audience with yet another stupid mac commercial, but he went there - I didn't know whether to laugh or cry actually, but you can tell marketing works (in a P.T. Barnum kind of way). At least Quinton spared us the prussian grid and spiral discourse when he got into "what makes a good picture" instead talking about holistic approaches to photo taking and framing - he's forgiven.

Introductions aside, Quinton jumped right into a story line that worked its way across Canada and then out to Greenland. The pictures were incredible throughout the presentation, showing off all kinds of tricks with lighting and point of view that didn't seem too outrageous but really made the photograph sparkle. A great thing I've noticed about most photo seminars I've been to is that the photographs are usually just the icing on the cake when you hear the stories from the photographer. This talk was no different. He told us a story of being out in ranch country BC, and getting understandably puzzled looks from the locals when he was carting around a 20 pound, 12 foot tall tripod and leaving at 5 in the morning. You have to have a certain level of dedication to be always searching for that golden hour of light.

The story continues as he made his way out to Greenland. Clearly not much needed to be said about the kayaking around these parts. One of the Greenland photos was a detail of a beautifully crafted skin on frame nestled against a rock on a rugged coastline. Next was an image of kayaking near an iceberg that was in mid rotation. According to the lore, the precariously tilted iceberg completely flipped a short time after they passed.

The night came to a focus on two unique problems: photographing a polar bear and a penguin. To get the image of the the polar bear that he wanted, required him to turn around a large vessel he was aboard and look for a white bear on a white ice floe. After a little coercion, they turned around the ship to follow his whims. Eventually they found the bear again and got the shot. The second scenario involved penguins being shot from an angle down onto the beach where they leave for the day as opposed to waiting behind a bird blind and sneaking pictures of their cute little visage. He managed to get the photo in another manner - the 4 penguins lined up to form a southern cross. It ended up being more of a design than just a snapshot of a super sharp penguin eye. Again, he's a photographer with a well-trained instinct for holistic approaches to a scene. I feel humbled, but on the other hand it makes me want to go out and make some photos this very minute. Thanks to Quinton and Ocean River for another night of interesting discussion.

Quinton Gordon's Portfolio is here »