Michelle Bruce

Michelle Bruce. Musician. Taken October 20, 2010.

Michelle Bruce. Musician. Taken October 20, 2010.

Michelle Bruce. Musician. Taken October 20, 2010.

On the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, where I live, there is a strong fiddle culture. Part of the reason for this is Michelle Bruce's love of music and equally strong love of teaching. She has inspired an entire generation who are now musicians and teachers themselves. Her influence can be still be felt in community halls and summer music festivals all over BC.

Some thoughts on framing.

One of my inspirations for this series is Richard Avedon's work "In the American West." For that project Avedon worked with an 8 x 10 view camera which gave him a large negative with a characteristic border. In his books the frame may or may not be included, depending on the aspect ratio of the book and the editor's preference, but in exhibits, it is always there. The frame provides a ground to balance and enclose the featureless white background and keep the composition intact.

I'm working with a digital camera and so there is no frame. And there is no negative. The camera yields an image in an 8 x 12 format which creates a problem when you want to make an 8 x 10 print. Unsatisfied with the rather drastic changes in composition when the image is cropped down, I created a "digital" frame for the subject to exist within. It is a variation on a view camera border with some playful additions. I particularly like the idea of a digital "safety image" - now digital photographers no longer need worry about their archive of data spontaneously bursting into flames the way the old nitrate negatives did.

The faux border is clearly a fake - but is it a fake in a good way? Opinions are welcome in the comments section.

Here is an index of portraits.

Tim McLaughlin

Photographer and writer based in Vancouver, Canada