In 1995 after years working in marketing and advertising, and all the while a photography hobbyist with the intent to go pro, I took a leap of faith and opened my first professional studio and dark room. I started with shooting actors headshots, referred to me from many top talent agencies in the city, from there I branched out photographing dance companies, family portraits, graduation portraits and executives. I have gone on to photograph portraits of many top leaders in business and leaders in the arts.
I always pursued artistic expression as much as possible through my commercial work and actively and directly through my fine art photography. I have an ongoing series which involves photographing “Photography Equipment”. I’ve coined the term “Macro-Pan” to describe the technique I use. The process incorporates still life photography and lighting techniques with macro photography and in post-production the merging of multiple photographs in Photoshop to create panoramas. The final image is a large-scale photograph of a relatively small object, lit exquisitely and teaming with detail.
In 2019 I began, in earnest, to document Toronto buildings, which appeal to me because of their brick and stone construction. From that series another series emerged titled “Ever Changing City” that documents the destruction and construction of Toronto cityscapes.
May 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of Ontario Place. In January 2021 I began a series titled “Ontario Place is The Place To Be”, exhibited at the Elaine Fleck Gallery in May 2021. As a young boy, I have great memories of visiting Ontario Place with my family in the early 70s. It was all brand new and I was excited by the futuristic architecture and the adventurous infrastructure permitting you to walk over man-made lagoons or along the shore line of Lake Ontario. With friendly paths to stroll you felt nature and urban life were in perfect balance. Into my teens and twenties, I visited often, I saw one of the first IMAX films made “North of Superior” at the Cineshphere and caught world class musical acts in its cozy open-air venue, the Forum. All this on a tiny Island with both the impressive Toronto skyline and the great expanse of Lake Ontario in view gave me a feeling that Ontario Place is the Place to Be.Ontario Place opened on May 22, 1971, and operated as a theme park centered around Ontario themes and family attractions. The Park closed in 2011, though parts of the site, including the Cinesphere, Budweiser Stage, and Echo Beach performance venues are still in use. In 2012 the Government of Ontario announced that it would close for redevelopment. It has since reopened as a park without admission but without several of the old attractions. The gift of Ontario Place today is its great walking and biking trails right on the shoreline of Lake Ontario amongst its still futuristic looking yet deteriorating architecture.
Since 2005 I’ve been teaching weekly classes at my studio on many aspects of creative photography. My students include serious hobbyists, college and university students and photography professionals. I’ve also written and conducted classes for the premier photography equipment retailer in Canada, Vistek Toronto, and for the staff of the Toronto District School Board responsible for documenting the boards assets, and have accepted requests to be a guest speaker at various photography clubs.
I’ve recently published a booklet and have produced a series of videos on applying Ansel Adam’s Zone System for analog photography to digital photography for fine art photographers. Teaching is vital to my practice as an art professional. It allows me to clarify and articulate the knowledge I have gained through my own work and fulfills my need to pass on my knowledge to others.
I’m also currently and for the past eighteen years have been the Director of the Elaine Fleck Gallery, a very dynamic Toronto contemporary art gallery.
YELP 10 BEST PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES IN TORONTO
CONDITIONING FOR IMAGERY FOR DANCERS Interior Photography by Gary Ray Rush