Through the Looking Glass of 12×12

Posted by on August 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm.

What goes through a participants mind, as they peer through their camera, lining up for the perfect shot, a single shot, a vital shot, a shot permanently captured on film? Seemingly a hundred different ideas flash by, as the minutes tick down on 12×12’s hourly theme. “Do I go literal? Do I think abstract? Do I venture to find the exact setting for my ideal idea? Or do I wander and observe and let the shot come to me?”

This is what I see, as I tag along with three of this year’s 12×12 Photo Marathon participants. If you’ve ever wondered what the process has been for participants in this rather epic photo competition, well I’m here to give you the down low and dirty of it all.

It’s noon, 2 hours into the marathon on a perfect sunny day in Gastown as Shannon Leonard takes to the streets to brainstorm ideas for the hourly theme, Nude. It’s a simple one it seems, but rather difficult to interpret at the same time given 12×12’s rule of no explicit nudity.

At first thought, Shannon admits she’s thinking literal. She mentions costuming but quickly moves to thoughts of bare faces, baring it all, to be emotionally bare. Given our proximity to Pidgeon Park, her ideas wander towards those around the area, the many homeless perhaps and the bareness of their lives, stripped from the world, an emotional nudity. She decides this may be worth pursuing, so we head towards the park.

Shannon at 12x12 Vancouver Photo Marathon 2012I ask her what she thinks of the black and white theme this year. “I love colour”, she says, but black and white poses an interesting challenge for her. She particularly likes portraits in black and white where the structure and features of a person are exposed and emotion is captured more honestly. We stop and chat, all the while her eyes wander behind me. An idea has come into view. She points to a discarded tan couch in the alleyway. I can see the theme unravelling at the sight of this sad yellow couch. She is compelled to take a closer look.

The couch is definitely exposed, she explains, weathered and “nude”, forgotten and discarded. I ask her whether this is it, and I see knowing in her eyes. She sets up the shot, crouching low to get the best angle that captures the reflection in the puddle, the gritty pavement, graffiti’d walls and the narrow lane of dumpsters. A quick click of her camera and the photo is taken. She turns to me with a grin and tells me she’s captured a gem. Someone had surprisingly poked their head out of the doorway with their tongue sticking out, and she captured it all on film! Fantastic, I agree.

If there ever was a place more laid bare, this alleyway would probably be it. A fine find, and one she wasn’t necessarily looking for, but that seemingly found her instead. It appears there are many ways to find the perfect shot, but sometimes it’s the ones you’re not looking for that turn out to be the most compelling.

Bob and Ayoe at 12x12 Vancouver Photo MarathonReturning to the 12×12 headquarters at The Coffee Bar, I meet up with Bob and Ayoe, participants #2. Somewhat behind in their photos, they had two themes to capture in the next hour, but the duo appeared confident and focused. I found myself in front of Gastown’s famous Gassy Jack statue. There, the couple set up for their second thematic shot, “Looking Through the Looking Glass”. Unlike Shannon, Bob and Ayoe appeared to take a more literal approach to the theme, taking a photo literally through another camera lense aimed at Gassy Jack.

Bob and Ayoe come well prepared with a digital camera in one hand and their film camera in another. Taking multiple test shots with their digital camera before committing to film, the couple are meticulous with their shot. Are they metering correctly? Wait, Jack’s head is not in view! “Get his head into the picture!” says Ayoe. Several focused minutes later and the film camera comes out. Ayoe holds her breath to steady the lens in her hand. This is it, shoot and commit!

Asked what they thought about black and white film, Bob tells me that film is different. Unlike colour photos, one needs to consider how colour translates into black and white. Red and green, for example, appears the same in black and white. Focus must be placed more on contrast, structure, patterns, texture, shade and light. But I can tell, this duo is not intimidated by this year’s challenge. They’ve been practicing at home, they tell me, so that their digital tests will translate well on film. Clearly, 12×12 participants mean business and this duo have their process down.

Bob and Ayoe at 12x12 Vancouver Photo MarathonEvery year there are 60 stories to be told, one for each participant. Each have a different approach, a different point of view, and a different story that speaks as much about the 12 themes as the photographer’s own philosophy, narrative, and voice. Looking over the shoulders of these participants, I have come to realize that this event is more than a competition. It’s an opportunity to create a story in a medium that has to many been forgotten. And perhaps the use of black and white film is more apt than any this time around, as it strips away the noise of colour, leaving us with the core of the photo and the heart of the photographer.

Blogged by Vanessa Chu.

Aaron MacFarlane Takes 12×12 to Spain!

Posted by on September 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm.

8806km didn’t deter 2-time 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathoner Aaron MacFarlane from taking part in the 2011 cycle! Though not an ‘official’ participant, he nonetheless shot his photo set in real time from Ibiza, Spain. We held the marathon from 10am – 10pm so your math is correct, Aaron was running around with his 35mm from 7pm – 7am! Here are the results, re-posted with permission from our amazing overseas photographer.

Click here for the original post.

by Aaron MacFarlane

So, since 2009 there has been this annual fun film-shooting event going on in Vancouver. It’s called the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon.

I’ve been partaking in it because I have been shooting film for a long time and the marathon is a full-on workout. 12 non-stop hours of getting a theme, using your creative juices to take a photo of that theme, then working on the next theme. 12 themes in 12 hours.

This year it turned out that the Marathon was taking place not on September 12 but on August 6. Right when we were to be on vacation in Europe.

So…here are the 12 shots. There was a mix-up as the timing was wonky (instead of 10am to 10pm Vancouver time, I was on 7pm to 7am Ibiza time!). This led to issues because we had a flight to catch at 7am from Ibiza to Paris! It wasn’t so much the flight that was the problem…it was the connectivity to the internet and the security at the Ibiza airport that had me put my camera away before being able to officially follow along with the rest of the people in Vancouver.

Let me just say that doing something like this is much much more difficult if you are in a place that you’ve never been to before. Why? Because you have no help regarding placement. Landmarks, expectations of human behaviour in certain places, they all play an important role in the composition of a photo for each theme.

So, I ultimately am not happy with my photos. Especially with the calibre of the photographers that were in Vancouver doing their thang. 🙂

Equipment used: 1 camera (Leica M6), 1 lens (35mm Summicron), and a roll of colour film.

Theme 01: My Entry Number (59) + Different Angle

Theme 01: My Entry Number (59) by Aaron MacFarlane

The angle was a tough addition. Instead of shooting straight on, I went up above.

I seriously thought of laying on the ground but I was wearing white and this was a very busy area so hundreds of people were walking about shopping and finding places to eat.

The shot was taken here.

Theme 02: The Usual Suspects

Theme 02: The Usual Suspects by Aaron MacFarlane

Scouting about for almost an hour…I was hoping to find a group of young boys being boys or something out of the ordinary. I couldn’t find anything. So I went to the strip where I knew I would find a group of old ‘usual suspects.’

The shot was taken here.

Theme 03: Human Nature

Theme 03: Human Nature by Aaron MacFarlane

I figured I knew right away where I would find some human nature. Down by the water! There will be people there doing what they do. Nope, there were no people there. Just people selling cheap sunglasses and tanktops. Kinda boring, so I looked up and thought ‘Oh look, there’s human nature for ya…we exploit beautiful things for our own good.’

The shot was taken here.

Theme 04: Reliable

Theme 04: Reliable by Aaron MacFarlane

I knew right away what I could find for this photo, seeing as how the sun had already gone down I thought of indoor shots. What’s more reliable than these?

The shot was taken here.

Theme 05: My Greatest Wish

Theme 05: My Greatest Wish by Aaron MacFarlane

Enjoying Life with someone you Love.

Theme 06: Odour

Theme 06: Odour by Aaron MacFarlane

At this point I had been able to get WIFI before heading off to the airport to catch a very early flight to Paris, France. After arriving at the airport there was no WIFI and, after taking this photo, a security guard gave stern warning which prevented me from taking any more photos in the airport. So the 12×12 day ended for me here. 🙁

The shot was taken here.

Theme 07: Echo

Theme 07: Echo by Aaron MacFarlane

Arriving in Paris in the morning made it easy to find the next theme although I was frustrated because I knew the rest of the pack had already finished the Marathon back in Vancouver. So I started up the timer clock again after receiving the rest of the themes via 12×12’s twitter messages.

Theme 08: Trapped

Theme 08: Trapped by Aaron MacFarlane

Well, it was mid-morning and there wasn’t anything jumping out at me so while walking past a little café I saw on the board something that I could eat and photograph for the next theme.

Theme 09: Take it to the Grave

Theme 09: Take it to the Grave by Aaron MacFarlane

Finding the cemetery took a bit of work because I had heard about it being an AMAZING place but was taken aback once inside walking about the huge stones and memorials. I could spend all day here. I could be buried here…with the material object I love the most.

The shot was taken here.

Theme 10: Second Chance

Theme 10: Second Chance by Aaron MacFarlane

I figured there would be some opportunity to walk down Champs-Élysées and find something related to second chance. Usually I don’t photograph people who are suffering or in need, but I figure the young woman would like a second chance at living in a society without having to beg all day to the tourists and locals.

The shot was taken here.

Theme 11: Not For Sale

Theme 11: Not for Sale by Aaron MacFarlane

The Notre Dame is obviously… 🙂

The shot was taken here.

Theme 12: Expectation

Theme 12: Expectation by Aaron MacFarlane

Sitting at the train station planning out the next venture (Brussels), we were having a late lunch and in a matter of seconds after sitting down we were visited by a group of feathered friends with looks in their eyes while watching us munch on our baguettes. They certainly were full of expectation. Very cute indeed.

The shot was taken here.

Thank you Aaron, for taking time out of your European vacation to share such a unique 12×12 experience with us. We hope to see you in the 2012 cycle!

Aaron MacFarlane was the Best Series winner for the 2009 cycle of 12×12, and for 2010, the audience pick for Best Photo Runner-Up and Best Theme 02 interpretation, both for his capture of “The High Road.”

Aaron’s Links: 

If you’re curious to see what this year’s participants shot for their 12 exposures, don’t miss:
Raw Talent 2011: The 3rd Annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit
THIS Sunday September 25th, 2011 – Doors: 6PM (FREE)
PhotoHaus Gallery at the Vancouver Photo Workshops
14 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver

1, 2, “I Do?”…12×12’s First Wedding!

Posted by on September 19, 2011 at 11:29 am.

You’d think that a wedding shoot would keep you from taking part in the 12×12. You’d probably also never consider lugging around yet another camera when the three or seven in your bag are already breaking your back. If that’s what you think, then you obviously don’t know Lisa King. Here’s the story (told by Lisa herself) on how 12×12 became her +1.

1, 2, “I Do?”…
by Lisa King

I am a professional photographer and have been freelancing in a variety of venues for the past six years. I would consider myself a photojournalist as many of my clients are media based but I also shoot weddings and corporate events on the weekends. I shoot primarily with my digital camera but continue to keep film alive when shooting portraits and weddings.

Last year I participated in the 12×12 for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. It was bitterly cold and at times rainy but the excitement of shooting film in a contest kept me warm and excited to shoot. To my surprise I won in the last category of the day, “Unfunny.”

2010 Winner for Theme 12: Unfunny by Lisa King

The positive energy and pure joy of this event had me looking forward to the 2011 12×12 event but was deeply saddened to hear that it was taking place smack dab in the middle of my wedding season. Even though I couldn’t participate as an official member, I was determined to still be there in spirit. With the help of Angela Chih, the 12×12 Producer, I took the challenge to Victoria and shot the categories in real time during the wedding. I was able to tie in the category “series” with ease, which in the previous year found very difficult to do. It definitely brought a unique excitement and a different challenge to shoot during the wedding. Every hour I pulled out my Pentax K1000 (my first and favorite camera) and shot each theme, jumping up and down every time I came up with something fun and silly.

I hold 12×12 close to my heart. It allows me to open up and feel like I can explore new levels of creativity in new and obscure ways. The category prompts can be challenging but that is what is so exciting and I am glad that I was able to take part in spirit. You will definitely see me competing next year so stay tuned.

Equipment used: 1 camera (Pentax K1000), 1 Lens (50 mm f1.4) and a roll of colour film.


Theme 01: My Entry Number (08) + Different Angle

Theme 01: My Entry Number (#08) by Lisa King

My entry number was 8. At this point in the wedding we had just arrived for an amazing homemade pancake breakfast at the bride’s girlfriend’s house. I had never seen so much amazing food at a breakfast before. There were pancakes made to order, two types of bacon, fruit salad, homemade sauces, mimosas…you name it, they had it. Eight people were eating oddly enough, but there was not enough room (with my fixed 50 mm lens) to fit them all in especially at a different physical angle. I twisted the literal number into “ate” and well, you can see how we felt after breakfast.

Theme 02: The Usual Suspects

Theme 02: The Usual Suspects by Lisa King

Ahhhh, getting ready. A lot of brides follow the tradition of: something old, something new, something borrowed something blue. This tradition is said to have derived in England during the Victorian era, where blue symbolizes love, fidelity and purity.


Theme 03: Human Nature

Theme 03: Human Nature by Lisa King

This one was quite difficult to come up with because of the timing. The wedding was about to get underway so I used the best possible literal translation as I could. Human with Nature.


Theme 04: Reliable

Theme 04: Reliable by Lisa King

Again, another time pressing moment. As seen, the bride is fixing her shoe and leaning on her husband for support.

Theme 05: My Greatest Wish

Theme 05: My Greatest Wish by Lisa King

I think many people would agree that eradicating cancer would be a dream come true. In lieu of party favors, a donation was given to the Canadian Cancer Society in memory of the groom’s father whom recently died of Lymphoma.

Theme 06: Odour

Theme 06: Odour by Lisa King

Do you have a pooey diaper?

Theme 07: Echo

Theme 07: Echo by Lisa King

Adorable flower girl twins. Sisters, especially twins like to repeat or imitate each other.


Theme 08: Trapped

Theme 08: Trapped by Lisa King

“A happy life, is a happy wife.” The rings have now “trapped” the man into a long marriage of “yes dear.”

Theme 09: Take it to the Grave

Theme 09: Take it to the Grave by Lisa King

“I Do.” Definition: “The social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.” This is supposed to be a forever thing but according to the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada “In 2002, the average age at divorce was 43.1 for men and 40.5 for women.”


Theme 10: Second Chance

Theme 10: Second Chance by Lisa King

Bocce (or sometimes spelled Boci or boccie) derived in ancient form from the Roman Empire but modernized by the Italians, allows a player to hit the ball again after going through a wicket. This game becomes increasingly difficult once inebriated, especially if you’ve had a photographer set up your course. Up hills and around corners, there will always be an opportunity for a “second chance.”

Theme 11: Not for Sale

Theme 11: Not for Sale by Lisa King

Duh! Well maybe…how much are you offering?

Theme 12: Expectation

Theme 12: Expectation by Lisa King

OPEN BAR! Enough said.

Thank you Lisa, for taking us along for the ride. We hope to see you in the 2012 cycle!

Lisa’s Links:

If you’re curious to see what this year’s participants shot for their 12 exposures, don’t miss:
Raw Talent 2011: The 3rd Annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit
THIS Sunday September 25th, 2011 – Doors: 6PM (FREE)
PhotoHaus Gallery at the Vancouver Photo Workshops
14 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver

Shadowing Ryan & Ruwan: The Perfect Frame

Posted by on September 17, 2011 at 12:22 am.

You fascinate me. Yes, YOU. The one whose eyes are following this line of text across the computer screen.

I wasn’t always so curious. It was only later in life that I realized how intriguing each and every person I came across could be. No matter how much you’ve done or how much you’ve yet to do, you carry with you a world of mystery. That fascinates me.

Photos are much the same. Take Matthew Sinclair’s 2010 winning image for Best Photo Runner-Up. The theme was “Secret World.”

Theme 09: Secret World by Matthew Sinclair

What was your first impression? Do you think that’s what Matthew intended to convey? Was your reflex to imagine something warm and positive or did your mind wander into more eerie thoughts? Now you wanna know what was really on his mind, right? That’s the wonderful magic of photography. Like any other art form, it’s just there for each individual’s own unique interpretation. But the curiosity persists. If only you could tap into the artist’s psyche for just a wee peek…

Well, now you can! One of our 2010 marathoners took it upon himself (with our blessing of course) to document the 2011 cycle by tagging along with two of this year’s participants, both new to 12×12: Ryan Mah (#56) and Ruwan Fernando (#32). Thanks to Martin Chung’s shooting savvy, we now have for the first time a very rare behind-the-scenes look at the taking of those perfect frames. We hope you enjoy this series as much as we do!

If you want to see Ryan and Ruwan’s photographic results, check out Raw Talent 2011: The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit happening on Sunday September 25th, 2011 at PhotoHaus Gallery.

Click here to see the original blog post by Martin Chung.

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 1

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 2

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 3

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 4

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 5

A professional Vancouver photographer, Martin Chung took part in the 2010 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon as participant #52 and won an award for his interpretation of Theme 09: Vague.
Twitter: @martin_chung

2011 12×12 Recap

Posted by on August 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm.

We thought about whipping up a post-12×12 account of the day’s events but then we began to receive some amazing blog posts from our marathoners and realized featuring them would be so much better! Thanks you guys, for making our job easier 😉

Simply click on the corresponding image or marathoner name to jump to the full blog post.

For more stories (past and present), check out the “A Marathoner’s Perspective” page. If you publish any posts yourself, make sure to let us know so we can add you to the list. We’re also linking any Flickr sets that you may have so send those links as well.


“Oh, hello camera— have we met before? I apparently have no idea how you operate. I silently vow to teach myself better photography skills, and hope that my roll of film mysteriously goes missing during the developing process.”

Chrissy Davey #07

“Maybe it was the fatigue setting in, but the last few themes felt more and more challenging (I say ‘challenging’ but the words floating in my head were ‘ridiculous’ and ‘are you serious?!?’).”

Zachary Wong #52

“My highlights…3) Deciding to drink a pint (although…I am doubtful they were actual pints…) of beer every hour after noon to fuel the creativity. I like to think it helped. We’ll see how well it helped the camera shake later on in the night.”

Cara Grimshaw #16

“Last year we won the Audience’s Choice Best Series. So this year the pressure is on! Ayoe and I actually practiced our ‘secret technique’ on couple rolls of film just to make sure we can pull the technique off.”

Bob Lai #01

“…1 year later = 1 year wiser; You learn from your mistakes, you prepare. A few things I seemed to anticipate (like the ubiquitous first theme), and with the help of other fellow participants, some shots I couldn’t achieve (without)…”

Christian Bucad #02





“As a runner, the use of the word “marathon” in the event name seems fitting, and that was my mindset throughout the day. The mental aspect of finding an appropriate photo is compounded with the physical in terms of all the walking I did…”

Eric Bucad #11

“…how my marathoning unfolded.”

Michael Burns #57

Walking in Marathoners’ Shoes

Posted by on July 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm.

I’ve always known that no matter how many 12×12 marathoners I spoke to, I’d never truly understand what it was like to walk a mile (or two or three!) in their shoes. That was why a week after last year’s cycle, I decided to tackle the challenge myself. My good friend & Zufaller Valerie McTavish had just recently gifted me her pristine Pentax K1000 and I couldn’t wait to snap my first shot. I announced my little adventure on Twitter, invited everyone to send me themes, and I had the most amazing fun with Morten in tow.

After a grueling day on the streets of downtown Vancouver, I had what I thought were 12 beautifully captured interpretations of the first 12 themes that were sent to me that morning. Beaming with pride, I pranced over to the London Drugs PhotoLab at Granville & Georgia with an excited anticipation I had not experienced in quite some time. But I fell off my cloud with a painful thud when I started winding back the film and felt no tension whatsoever. I could feel the blood drain from my face when I came to the realization that something had gone horribly wrong. I still clutched at a nugget of hope as I handed my roll of film to Shirley behind the counter but lost my grip when we soon found out that the roll had never even advanced to its first frame. I blinked. In that second I saw my entire day fast-backward as if it had never happened. It didn’t matter that my brain had turned to mush from brainstorming or that my feet had grown two sizes from pounding the pavement all day because I had nothing to show for it. Someone had brutally punched ‘Delete’ and everything was gone. I blinked again.

Now nearly a year later I can still feel the invisible scar left by that deterring first experience. No one will ever accuse me of not knowing what it’s like because those memories are seared into my brain. The thrilling highs and the horrible lows. Oh yes, I was seasoned and if you lent me your ear you’d probably never get it back.

The Canon A-1 in use circa 1981

I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to commit myself to another full-day challenge. But then a couple of weeks ago I got an email from Christine Rondeau who had a gorgeous Canon A-1 kit to donate to 12×12 and I felt the pilot light ignite again. Look at this camera! Who could say no to this?! Its original owner (and Christine’s father) was kind enough to share a photo of himself at Belgium’s La Citadelle de Dinant circa 1981 with this historical gem, which has travelled all over Europe, South America, Australia, and on many, many camping trips. I was smitten.

On Canada Day, I loaded up all the gear and with great determination made my way back downtown for Round 2. Was I setting myself up for another KO? I put another call-out on Twitter, booted all my apprehensions to the curb and waited for another set of 12 themes. I hope you find some enjoyment in the results below!

Disclaimer: I am not by any means a photographer. Even in the old film days I just pointed and shot. You could aperture me and shutter speed me to death and my eyes would still be glazed over. I welcome any feedback or tips that you may have so feel free to start a discussion in the comments section!

If you want to experience the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon yourself, make sure you are in front of a computer by 8pm THIS Wednesday July 6th. ONLY 60 tickets will be released and you’ll need fast fingers if you want to secure your spot in this year’s marathon.

I look forward to meeting everyone on Saturday August 6th, 2011!

Theme 01: Snarky assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 02: Monkeys assigned by @penguinstorm via Twitter

Theme 03: Racy assigned by @jonah_lewis via Twitter

Theme 04: Patriotic assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 05: Ouch assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 06: Red, White & Purple assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 07: Something Old assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 08: White Taxi Driver assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 09: Oh Hai assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 10: Urban Jungle assigned by @jrphotographybc via Twitter

Theme 11: Soft assigned by @365photos2011 via Twitter

Theme 12: Irreversible assigned by @AnnyChih via Twitter

Captured with the bonus frame on my 12EXP roll of film: Self Portrait

A Collector of Ghosts

Posted by on October 15, 2010 at 8:48 am.

Guest post by Robert Fougere, 2010 Marathoner #02. Visit Raw Talent 2010: The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit THIS Saturday October 16th from 6 – 10pm  and check out his work!

I had been shooting my own photos and making my own black and white prints for a year or two when I started to look through the bins of found photos at flea markets as sources of inspiration. Let me tell you, I have spent many happy useful hours! But, a whole new world opened up to me when a friend that runs a second-hand shop on Main St gifted me a box of old negatives! Since then, I’ve been scouring junk shops, garage sales and even e-bay for interesting and wonderful vintage photo negatives. Not only that, but I’ve been putting them to good use making prints, sometimes real big ones from the best of ’em.

My collection has grown to include such fantastic negatives including: a snapshot of a young Queen Elizabeth, a portrait of Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, some amazing photos from the archives of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, and even a photo of the premier supermodel, “Twiggy.” Not only that, but my collection also includes photos of unknown models/housewives as shot by famous photographers Serge Jaques and Elmer Batters.

I never considered myself a history buff, but to hold in ones hand such magnificent and beautiful and interesting pieces of history, shot as it happens, has on more than one occasion sent me packing to the library to see what other information I can discover regarding a certain piece of photographic history.

Shoot film my friends, even if for no other reason than your photos will last a lot longer than a digital file!

A group exhibit that includes a few of my found photos opens tonight:

An Exhibition of Appropriated, Altered, and Re-Photographed Found Images
Opening night: Friday October 15th, 2010 at 8:00 PM
Lion’s Den
79 East Pender St, Vancouver
$5 at the door

[nggallery id=6]

For more information about Robert, visit his site at or Facebook page at

Thank you Robert, for sharing your experience with us. For you readers out there, if you’ve got a story to share about your adventures in photography (and film in particular), drop us a line!

Clark on 12x12yvr

Posted by on October 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm.

So I come home from an interview with Urban Rush and what do I find in my Twitter feed but a link to this awesome video featuring Clark Lundeen – participant #50 from this year’s event by Steve Tan. It’s a great little sit-down with one of our participants and it gives a nice glimpse into what it’s like to be a marathoner. Check it out for yourself:

And remember to head on over to Steve’s website to check out his other stories.

A Journey with Photography

Posted by on October 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm.

Guest post by Adrian Eden of

I have always been a fan of photography, though recently I bought a Canon Rebel T2i and have been taking my hobby more seriously. Upgrading from using my iPhone camera and a Sony Cyber-Shot. My ancestors were all Scottish Architects so I guess I have it in my blood to look at the world around me in a unique fashion, spotting symmetry and perspective (and the best deal on products lol).

A friend of mine by the name of Ben Lewis (we met on Twitter) has a photography Blog that I was reading one day and enjoyed. So I reached out to him to see if he would be interested in teaching me some basics. Of course being the good guy that he is he said yes.

We went down to the waterfront on the South East corner of Stanley Park by the rowing club. I started snapping pictures of railings and boats and then looked back to notice that Ben was zooming in on water droplets on a railing. I thought that was weird, but at the time I didn’t understand how powerful the lens was. I bent down to see what he was doing and did the same thing and came up with this cool shot, which instantly made me fall in love with macro photography.

Cable Drips by Adrian Eden

There is inspiration everywhere. I’m slowly learning that from Ben. He told me to not be so concerned with exposure and lighting in the early stages of learning photography but rather focus on the rule of thirds and framing the pictures well. Take responsibility for what you are shooting is what he said. I took that to heart and moved along quickly into asking him about exposure and shutter speed. He taught me some good ways to take day shots when it is cloudy: Keeping your shutter speed a little slower than usual and opening up your aperture slightly; testing each step to make sure you are getting the desired effect. I really find the buttons on the handle of the Canon Rebel T2i to be handy, switching aperture and shutter speed quickly instead of going into the menu every time you want to change what you are looking at.

I took this photo of my girlfriend Lindsey while thinking about exposure and perspective (in the background). It is also one of my first monochrome pictures.

Lindsey by Adrian Eden

I was instantly hooked to this style as well. I must be addicted to photography already in fact, as after this first lesson I went straight up to Future Shop and bought a 55-250mm IS Canon lens and tripod. In the first 2 days of getting my camera and all of the accessories I have spent a few thousand dollars, but every penny worth it. For I now have a hobby that I can take pride in and capture the moments of my life and things that inspire me. I have a Flickr set that I update regularly when traveling around the world, though my early pictures are mostly Tweeted images and shot from my old Sony camera so they lack in quality. But I do have a few new pictures up there that I take pride in.

Tonight we are going to North Vancouver to get some pictures of the Lions Gate Bridge from underneath, hoping to do something similar to this photo.

I also want to learn about stop motion photography and use content from a winter storm over top of downtown Vancouver shooting it from the top of Grouse Mountain. I will put this content on a dramatic electronic music mix and post about it on my personal Blog. A nice balance of photography and Blogging is going to keep me very happy as I get older. These hobbies I can also share with my girlfriend Lindsey and the children that we are planning to have. It is definitely something the whole family can enjoy. When I was a kid I learned about film photography in grade school, I remember spending time in the dark room with a red light bulb and it smelled like vinegar. Hanging our pictures to dry on the line. The anticipation for what was to come always kept me coming back to class early. I would like to try this type of photography more, possibly using Ben’s old Pentax camera. A nice balance of traditional and modern skills will make me a well rounded photographer.

I hope to meet all of you at Raw Talent 2010: The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit on October 16th and I look forward to getting to know more of the local photography community and continuing on my journey.

Adrian’s Specs:
EFS 18-55mm Canon Lens
Shutter speed at maximum on the Canon Rebel T2i
Aperture 1000
Monochrome Setting on Lindsey picture

Thank you Adrian, for sharing your experience with us. For you readers out there, if you’ve got a story to share about your adventures in photography (and film in particular), drop us a line!

The View from Behind the Camera

Posted by on September 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm.

In the aftermath of the 2010 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon, several of the participants posted articles and photos from the event on their websites and on Flickr. You can see a full and growing list of posts and photos on our dedicated Marathoner’s Perspective page, but here is a small taste.

Photo by Cherry Vega

By the way… the piece of equipment I am so glad I dragged with me on Sunday? My reflector. I only used it for one shot… the very first but without it that shot would have been impossible to expose correctly. It’s always been my favourite investment, over any other lighting equipment it has saved my bacon numerous times.

Cherry Vega

Photo by Carol Browne

If there’s one thing I can do well, it’s vague photos with the toy camera.

Carol Browne

Photo by Marlis Funk

It started at 7:30am with a roll of film – it’s been a few years now since I last shot a roll! – and ended at 8:30pm with a Guinness. In between I interpreted 12 themes (1 theme was released every hour on the hour) and only 1 shot for each theme. I think I’ve got a few good ones, and a few that got caught in the rush of the day.

Marlis Funk

Photo by John Roberts

My body aches, I am tired as hell, my jacket is still drying, I think I chipped a nail, and I can’t find my Lens Cap for my Contax G1… Did I have fun?!? HECK YES!

John Roberts

Now that we’ve enticed you, check out the rest of the posts from the participants. And if you have an article or photos from the event you have posted that you want us to feature, drop us a line or leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list.