March 25, 2015

Light Painting Talk on April 11th (Halifax, NS)

I'm giving at talk on light painting at the Photo East Workshop, here's the profile I wrote for them:

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I didn't fill the questionnaire like I was asked. I did at first, but my answers were not insightful at all. I don't have a favourite lens. I don't care what brands my computers and cameras are—neither should you. And then I got way too philosophical trying to answer when I'd known I was “meant to be a photographer”. So I figured I'd just tell you a bit about myself.

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My name is Adrien Veczan. I got this weird name because my dad was born somewhere far away where people used to get killed a lot, and they got out of there. I was born in Montreal, grew up, then moved to Toronto. Nobody was trying to kill me; I just wanted to learn photography. Why not?

In college they taught us about design, we studied art history, they talked about business, Ms. Kanurkas said my English sucked, we had a creativity class, and so on. One teacher showed us how to light and photograph a Rubik's Cube. (That damn unsolvable, Hungarian cube...)

Later, he said what we did with the Rubik's Cube we could do with just about anything else too. Made sense.

Another teacher told me what photojournalism was and what a photojournalist did, and I figured I'd go and do that. Early on I worked for small newspapers, then bigger ones. During my last year in school I did an internship in Australia. I missed a whole semester. To make up, all I had to do was write a report about how much fun I had travelling. They even gave me a grant. What a racket, eh?

Over there, on assignment at the Sydney Opera House, I photographed Air Supply—famous in the '80s for hits such as “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”. You don't hear that everyday.

And if you think that's bad music: back in Canada, I photographed Justin Bieber. I also shot a Manchester United game, got pepper-sprayed while covering a riot, and photographed the Queen (the lady on the money—how cool is that!), all within two weeks.

My job has since taken me to shady spots and amazing places. I've seen people do great things, I've seen people do stupid things. In a nutshell: I'm a professional witness. That's what I do to make money, which I use to buy happiness. Not a bad racket either.

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Outside work, I use photography to make art. The best way to describe my genre is “light-painting”, but it shouldn't be confused with the sort of flashlight graffiti currently in vogue. That was innovative and original back when Dali and Picasso and Curie did it. (Now that I think of it, I'm not sure that's why Marie Curie was glowing.)

We'll do a bit of that during my presentation and I'll show you a few tricks. Waving flashlights and sparklers around is a fun technique, but it should be used parsimoniously. (How do you like that six-syllable word, Ms. Kanurkas?) We'll actually go a lot deeper. I'll talk about the many ways we can use various light sources—including some unexpected ones—to bring out textures, to shape highlights, to create moods... We will... see the light!

Not in a dying way of course. Actually, I should emphasize that: nobody will die. Hopefully.

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If you want to see my images go to, you can also follow me on Twitter @veczan. See you at Photo East on April 11th.

And if you want to know more about Air Supply, they're still touring. On April 11th, they'll be in French Lick, Indiana. So you've got options.