Painting With a Camera

André Gallant proves that you don’t need a brush to be a painter.

His expressive photography creates the impression of a painting for the viewer through a series of techniques he has been perfecting over the last decade.

“I had been working as a photographer for about 15 years, focusing on travel photography because it let me work on capturing a range of images – landscapes, people and cityscapes. But it began to feel a bit stale,” he says.

“When I started to work using more expressive techniques such as panning, blurring and montages, it felt more like painting with my camera and I found the work touched me more. It was inspiring.”

The native of Saint John, New Brunswick has worked as a freelance photographer for 25 years. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Photo Life, Canadian Geographic and Outdoor Photographer, and has garnered him two national magazine awards.

Gallant has also authored a number of books, including Destinations: A Photographer’s Journey, Dreamscapes: Exploring Photo Montages, Photography for the Joy of It (with Freeman Patterson) and his latest work, Expressionism: Digital Dreamscapes and Other Techniques.

Gallant is hoping to inspire Yukoners over the weekend of September 23-25 in Whitehorse. He will be appearing as a guest of the Whitehorse Photography Club to present a series of workshops at Yukon College.

On Friday at 7 pm Gallant will present what he describes as a “show and tell” non-technical presentation that will introduce Whitehorse audiences to his work.

“Hopefully the audiovisual presentation will take the viewers around the world with me and help them better understand where I’m coming from,” he says.

On Saturday, he will dig into the meat of the teaching program. Dividing the day into four parts, he will explain to participants how he achieves his images.

Sessions on travel photography and photographing people will break up the other sessions, focusing on expressive photography techniques.

Gallant stresses that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to join the workshops.

“In my experience everyone who comes to the workshops finds something in the material that touches and inspires them, regardless of their skill level with a camera,” he says.

“In past workshops I have had artists who never work with cameras join the program to expand their knowledge about visual design and colour.

“As my friend and fellow photographer Freeman Patterson puts it ‘You don’t need to be a dancer to enjoy a dance performance, so why should you need to be a photographer to enjoy taking pictures?'”

On Sunday, the final of workshops, 30 lucky participants will get the opportunity for some hands-on experience.

“Traditionally, I limit my hands-on sessions to 10 participants so that I can pay enough attention to each person,” Gallant says.

“Because this workshop is so ‘remote’ in terms of its typical access to programs like this, I made an exception to my rule and have opened the Sunday workshop up to 30 participants who will be working together in three groups.”

Participants will head out for the morning to capture photographs, which they will work on processing in the afternoon. They will then select two photos to share for feedback and critique.

“I’m excited to work with members of the Yukon community,” says Gallant. “I really hope they will find something in the program that grabs them and inspires them so that they can take their new knowledge forward with them in the future.”

Gallant admits that he is equally excited about getting to visit the territory.

“I have only been to Yukon once before, to Dawson City, and that was a long time ago,” he explains. “I’m really looking forward to getting the opportunity to do some photography in Whitehorse this time around.”

More information about Gallant’s workshops can be found on his website, or by contacting the Whitehorse Photography Club at [email protected] or 667-7715.

Amber Church is a painter, writer and sports enthusiast. You can reach her at [email protected].

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