Monday, May 6, 2013

Blog Review: Shooting It

Photo by Brendan Montgomery (Copyright)

Last week I published several posts that looked at some excellent photographers from the National Capital Region.  Today I want to conclude this series by showcasing the work of Brendan Montgomery.  Note: My original aim was to publish a few more photo-related posts this week, but due to work and travel commitments I will have to postpone these stories to a future date.

Brendan Montgomery is a freelance photojournalist from Ottawa, whose work covers, among other things, political demonstrations, intimate profile shots and landscapes. His extensive work can be seen in his photo-blog, which includes links to his Flickr photographs, Facebook page, professional web site and Twitter account. This review, however, will only focus on his tumblr account called Shooting It.

"I suppose I'm a documentary photographer as my stuff consists of three flavours of documentary photography," Montgomery tells me in an email. "There's my photojournalist work covering mostly political protests along with other newsworthy events."

Photo by Brendan Montgomery (copyright)
The intriguing images of political protests is what first attracted me to Montgomery's  work. For example, the shot on the the left of a sax-holding, bandana-wearing protester laughing with police is wonderful.  One can imagine an interesting dialogue taking place that goes beyond the classic state-vs.-protest photo.

Then there are brilliant shots like the one at the top of this post with the two chess players, which was taken during the recent 4/20 pro-marijuana rally on Parliament Hill.  The shot is fantastic for so many reasons.  It captures two men playing chess (the ultimate game of intellect) during a protest for drug legalization (which is often stereotyped as being less than intelligent).  The sight of two thinking chess players questioning the war on drugs in the middle of a protest is awesome.  Like the photograph of the police and sax-holding protester, the clash of emotions forces the viewer to reevaluate classic debates in new ways.

Montgomery, however, does not limit himself to political protests.

Photo by Brendan Montgomery (copyright)
"I also do some street photography, although some purists may argue with my definition of it," he says.  "To me, street photography is a photo of anything I see while walking around when my only pretext for being there is to take photos of an undefined spontaneous event or place.  I am however pretty lax with my own rules and break them regularly."

An example of his street photography can be found just above (see original here). Like the best urban photos, this image  and others like it make the viewer feel like they are becoming better acquainted with their own city.  It's as if these photos were converting urban background noise into a beautiful song.

Photo by Brendan Montgomery
The final aspect of Montgomery's work comes from his own life, as well as landscape shots and other interesting images, such as the photo on the left (see original here).

"Lastly comes my personal photography," he explains in his email. "These are photos from my life.  They differ from my street photos as I’m not out there with the intention to take photos, I'm just living my life and have a camera with me.  These are usually a little more intimate then my street photos.  I also throw in the odd landscape and that pretty much sums up the bulk of my work."

No comments:

Post a Comment