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November 2011 Newsletter

It seems that the year has disappeared while I wasn't looking.  I have been busier than ever with workshops and photographic assignments, and before I knew it, the nice weather had slipped by.  Here we are in the dark days of November, when the colour is gone from the landscape and a cozy fire seems more appealing than heading out with a camera.  But for you sceptics out there, I'm here to change your mind.  This is a GREAT time of year to take photographs.  The trees have lost their leaves, revealing their true form, creating silhouettes for a late afternoon sunset.  Seed heads and milkweed pods are most interesting right now, just before the next windstorm blows them away.  If you're near open water, try capturing crashing waves on a deserted beach, or head to a resort area and photograph the isolation of the off-season.  Head into a city and try candid street photography - the pre-Christmas season is a busy one and people are on the move.  If you're not convinced by now, and you really prefer not to head outside, there's always one of my workshops.......book one for yourself, or give a gift certificate for a class to a photo friend.  I have  several planned for the winter season.

Upcoming workshops

In the next few weeks I will still be teaching a few workshops, then after a break over the holidays, the schedule resumes with classes in several locations.

Still to come in Orangeville, a new workshop, The RAW File, is scheduled for Mon. Nov. 28, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. And finally, the ever-popular Winter Night Lights workshop runs on Wed. Dec. 7 from 7:00 to 9:00.  We'll head to the main street of Orangeville to capture Christmas lights and explore the challenges of night photography. Contact F-Stop Cameras to register for any of these classes. I will be posting the winter schedule for Orangeville soon - keep an eye on my website for details.

In Elora, I will also be running  Basic Photography once again this winter.  Our last session proved to be incredibly successful, and we decided to add another 4 week class on Wednesday nights, starting on January 11. If you are lucky enough to receive a new camera for Christmas, this is the class for you.  Also look for From Camera to Computer on Monday Feb. 6 - this class will teach you how to upload and organize your photos, as well as how to edit and size your images, for printing or e-mail, or for gallery submissions. Shortly after that, I will be teaching Intermediate Levels of Photography, Monday nights from Feb. 13 to Mar. 5.  Call the Elora Centre for the Arts at 519-846-9698 to register for any of these classes, and check their website at the Elora Centre for the Arts for more details.  They will also issue gift certificates for these or any of the classes held at the Art Centre, including pottery, painting, and more.

At the Arboretum in Guelph, I am teaching Black & White Photography on Sat. Nov.19.  What better time to explore the subtlety and structure of a world without colour. This class includes a field trip component, using the woods and meadows of the Arboretum.  After Christmas, look for Winter Landscapes on Sat. Jan. 28 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. This is a popular class, so register early. Registration info can be found on The Arboretum website.

I am also pleased to announce a new venue for weekend workshops.  Many of you know that this past fall I joined the teaching staff of the Conestoga College photography program.  I have found this to be a wonderful experience, and will be offering some of my single workshops at the Doon Campus in Kitchener this winter.  Scheduled so far are:  Winter Landscapes on Sat. Jan. 21, Travel Photography on Sun. Jan. 29, Camera to Computer on Sat. Feb. 4, and The RAW File on Sat. Feb. 25, with others planned for March & April. Registration will be available through the college, and while we're still working out the details, if you're interested in a class, just send me an e-mail, and I can give you more information later.

Looking ahead, I am planning another full-day Introduction to Photoshop workshop in Orangeville on Sat. Jan 14, from 10:00 until 4:00. It will be held in the Conference Room at Monora Park. This is a great way to get started with the creative aspects of image editing, and will give you confidence with using Photoshop Elements to enhance your photographs.  If possible, you should bring your own laptop, but I do have a few extras which are available for loan that day.  Contact me directly for more details or to register for this one.....the fee is $110 + HST for the day, and includes detailed step-by-step notes which you can use for later projects.  

Finally, look for another Equine Photography workshop in late January or early February.  Many of you have been asking for this one - I will be choosing the exact date soon, but let me know if you're interested and I'll add you to my list.  In this class we look at all types of equine photography, including conformation and head studies, and will spend time outside photographing horses playing in the snow.  The cost is $125 + HST, and includes lunch. This makes a perfect gift for the horse lover in the family - ask me about a gift certificate for a workshop, either this one, or the Advanced class to be held this spring.  

Several of you have mentioned having private lessons to help you get started with your own camera.  This is always an option,  and I can schedule either a single lesson, or a series as needed.  Contact me for more details.

My complete workshop schedule is posted on my website, regardless of location.  Be sure to check this regularly, as I add more classes to the list. 

Featured Photograph

I often drive through rural areas, taking the 'back way" home.  I use these side trips as a means to explore new areas, taking photographs in all kinds of weather, and at different times of day.  This image is one I took on a cold night last winter near Shelburne.  It was one of those inky black nights, with no moon and a steady wind.  The only lights were my headlights.  The welcome glow from an occasional farmhouse reassured me - I was not completely alone in the night. Looming high above the landscape were the wind turbines - with a single red warning light constantly blinking on and off, and a distinct hum that seemed to become louder the longer I stayed. This is one photograph that I find disturbing, no matter how many times I look at it. The night sky of the future?

Art News - give the gift of art this season......

My new website is live and I have added a large number of new images to the galleries. The address for the new site is www.sylviagalbraith.ca.  Most of these photographs are available in limited numbers, either framed or unframed, on various types of fine art paper. Check it out when you have a chance, and contact me for pricing and sizes. November and December are probably the busiest months for galleries, and I have photographs showing in several locations this holiday season....  

At the Whitestone Gallery in Guelph, I am taking part in the Annual Holiday Show & Sale - "Small Works, Great Art" which runs for the month of December.  Join us for the opening party on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. for refreshments  and a first chance to shop. Featured in the show are original works by the 14 members of the gallery.  All pieces are priced at $100 or less - choose from a variety of media; encaustic, painting, glass, sculpture, printmaking, and of course - photography.  The Whitestone Gallery is located at 80 Norfolk St. in Guelph.  Check out the Whitestone website for more details.  

At the Elora Centre for the Arts, the Harris Collective is gearing up for its annual Holiday Show & Sale on Sat. Dec. 3 & Sun. Dec. 4. from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This show features the work of over 35 artists, working in a variety of media.  Be sure to visit if you're in the area. The ECFTA is located at 75 Melville St., Elora.  This show will remain in place for the month of December.

And speaking of the Harris Collective, look for exciting  changes in the show format in the new year.  Every 6 weeks, the Gallery will feature a group show of the work of 7 Collective artists.  There will be an opening reception for each new show.  I am pleased to let you know that I will be taking part in the first show this January, and will have all new photographs on display.  I will send more information once we finalize the details, but you're all invited to the reception...something to look forward to. The Harris Collective artists work in all media, and include photographers, painters, glass artists, jewellers and more. The Gallery is open on weekends, as well as Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 5:00 p.m. 

Request for submissions -"Open Book – An Exploration of Books as Art"

Here's an interesting show coming up at the Whitestone Gallery this spring - called "Open Book – An Exploration of Books as Art".  

We love books! We like reading, holding, storing, annotating, stacking and altering books. As artists we are interested in the book as objects and as ideas. The phrase Open Book can be interpreted in many ways.  For this exhibition the curators will be looking for submissions that expand on this idea and definition of book and will include art works in a variety of mediums.

Types of works we are most interested in receiving include (but are not limited to):

  • work about books, on books, built with books
  • painting – all mediums
  • mixed media and found materials
  • assemblage and three-dimensional
  • sculpture
  • photographs
  • paper
  • print

DEADLINE:  Friday January 13th, 2012 (post-marked by midnight); there is no fee to enter


Rebecca Erickson is a visual artist interested in collaborative work. She is working on a project with books .

Supria Karmakar is a visual artist who uses encaustic mixed media and altered book mediums within her artwork. She will be teaching “The Altered Book” at the 6thAnnual International Encaustic Conference in Mass., USA in June 2012

Open to all artistic media, including photography.  Check out the exact submission guidelines on the Whitestone Gallery's website

Enjoy the Christmas season, and hopefully I'll see some of you at one of my workshops or shows....

Until next time.

Sylvia Galbraith
519-787-7040 or toll-free 1-866-787-7040
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