JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography: Blog en-us (C) Jean-Michel Komarnicki All Rights Reserved jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:44:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:44:00 GMT JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography: Blog 120 90 Grand Canyon Grand CanyonGrand CanyonGrand Canyon (winter 2014)

Grand Canyon (winter 2014). After landing in Phoenix, we drove straight to Tusayan, Grand Canyon. City, then suburb, then desert with mountains in the distance. And 'weather' to the left and to the right.  Short-lived snow squalls awaiting us. Two minutes, five minutes. No snow tires on our rented car, somewhat surprised; after all, we came to Arizona for sun and warmth to escape winter. Now I was driving through squalls followed by sun in blue sky, until we arrived at our hotel at sunset. The canyon would have to wait until the morning.

And how glad we were that it waited for us with fresh snow!  32 degrees Fahrenheit in glorious sun under which the snow glistened. Perfect.  

jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Sat, 27 Dec 2014 04:27:58 GMT
Dis-carded in WhiteOut @ Nuit Blanche 2014 When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.  - Robert Frank in LIFE (26 November 1951), p. 21

We appreciated the more than 100 visitors who stopped by at the WhiteOut show during Nuit Blanche.  Here, two women view our piece, "Dis-carded":  images and poem.  A number of viewers asked whether the images were taken in London, Thailand, Prague???  Nope... 


jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Blanche Dis-carded Iris Las Las Vegas Nuit Nuit Blanche Vegas WhiteOut card card-hawker commodification of women's bodies image portrait youmeus project Sat, 27 Dec 2014 04:03:09 GMT
"Dis-carded" in WhiteOut group exhibition @ Nuit Blanche, Toronto Man hosing street, Las Vegas (WhiteOut)Man hosing street, Las Vegas (WhiteOut) Dis-carded 1Dis-carded 1

Here we come, Nuit Blanche!  We're looking forward to showing our youmeus project, "Dis-carded", in a group exhibition titled WhiteOut, part of a group exhibition with The Iris Group women's arts collective, which explores cover up of all kinds:  What is concealed?  What is revealed?  What remains? 

"Dis-carded", asks viewers to consider the complexities of the commodification of women's bodies.  While in Las Vegas earlier this year, we were struck by the masses of card-hawkers [no stereotypical street-walkers] aggressively pushing cards that promoted sexual services to passersby.  Many people just tossed the cards, which piled up on the streets through the day, and into the night, to then be hosed down in the early morning hours, inspiring our photographic response and the following poem:
My body is much too beautiful
to be devoured by hungry eyes
(Angèle Arsenault)
Every day, every night
penny-earning card peddlers swarm
the hunting grounds of the city
where everything stays
after the tourists have left
Lexy, Mya, Piper, and Trish cards
roughly slapped into tourists' hands
hundreds and thousands -
How many called?
How many used?
So many
In the morning, men with hoses
flush them away
but the peddlers soon
out again
pimping carded women
Lyssa, Candice, Chloe, Felice
hundreds and thousands
cards in hands
calls made
someone used


WhiteOut will be showing at the Toronto Arts Council Gallery, 568 Richmond Street West, Toronto from October 4th-30th.  An opening reception will take place on Saturday, October 4 @ 7pm - Nuit Blanche.
jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Dis-carded Iris Las Vegas Nuit Blanche WhiteOut card card-hawker commodification of women's bodies image portrait youmeus project Fri, 19 Sep 2014 03:24:17 GMT
Oshawa Space Invaders!


Our youmeus project installation, "Not... A Sociological Phenomenon", is ready for Oshawa Space Invaders - a free family event - opening night Friday, September 19 and running to Saturday, September 27, in downtown Oshawa (Celina & King Streets).  We're located at the old Alger Building at 35 King Street East.

We ask viewers of “Not… A Sociological Phenomenon” to consider the complexities of missing and murdered Aboriginal Canadian girls and women.  What is seen / unseen?  What is said / unsaid?  What is done / not done?

Join us for the 2nd annual art crawl through 18 pop-up galleries, an opening night music festival with street entertainment and Tapas restaurant tour. 

The weeklong Oshawa Space Invaders runs Saturdays 12-6 and Wednesday to Friday 10-6pm. Teachers can book a class tour during these days. Space is limited.

jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Not a sociological phenomenon missing Aboriginal women space invaders Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:45:37 GMT
"NOT... A SOCIOLOGICAL PHENOMENON" "Not... A Socioliogical Phenomenon""Not... A Socioliogical Phenomenon"Not... A Sociological Phenomenon (2014)

Join us, along with 200 artists from every one of Durham Region's seven municipalities, for the 2nd annual Oshawa Space Invaders (2014) where we'll be exhibiting our "youmeus project" installation, "NOT... A SOCIOLOGICAL PHENOMENON"

This FREE week-long family event opens Friday, September 19 @ 7pm with live music filtering through the invaded spaces, and ends Saturday, September 27.


For more information, click:  Oshawa Space Invaders


jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Not A Sociological Phenomenon Space Invaders bulletin board Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:43:06 GMT
Travellers “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams

TravellersTravellersComing home to Clarington     

"Travellers" (Helen, 2009)

The summer night drive home after a photo walkabout in Port Hope was a quiet journey along the highway.  I was a content passenger, reflecting on a happy day.

As we neared home in Clarington, I picked up my camera and started to play with it, taking photographs through the front windshield, playing with the settings, wondering what I might capture.

This image captured so much of my feelings from the day. 

At first, I could make out lines from an electrocardiogram (ekg) and thought about my happy heart. 

Then, I saw a musical score and thought about music that would describe the day, the moment of the image:  Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" or Loreena McKennitt's "The Old Ways" - " ... calling me home ...". 

Finally, I saw figures moving across to some destination - their destiny? - and thought of my sons well on their journey through life. 

The image became "Travellers":  a portrait of those with whom we travel through life; a portrait depicting the journey home.

We framed a large print of the image and hung it in the entrance-way of our home.  The first time my eldest son saw it, he commented how much he liked it.  It now hangs in his home. 

In 2013 our Mayor, Adrian Foster, held his first gala to celebrate the arts in our community (Clarington) and to raise funds to support local arts centres.  "Travellers" was one of the images published in "For the Love of Clarington" which is a collection of works by Clarington artists:  "... a pictorial tribute to the works as well as the artists that created them."  I selected "Travellers" because it reminds me of good feelings experienced when returning home.

And Jean-Michel's homage to Canadian composer Norma Beecroft was also published in "For the Love of Clarington"

Port La Tour HarbourPort La Tour HarbourView from across the harbour at Buck House

Port La Tour Harbour, Nova Scotia (Jean-Michel, August 2013)

Earlier in the day, our friends Shirley and Alan drafted us as ad-hoc members of the Shelburne Longboat Society.  We crewed, together with two fine fife players, a longboat in the Shelburne street parade. 

While I am strictly a landlubber, I gladly stood up in the longboat to greet scores of fair maidens (of all ages), removing my tricorne (three-cornered) hat and bowing deeply - and reverently - to them. A fine experience!

Later, when we returned to our friends’ home in Port la Tour I made my way to their backyard overlooking the port and the Atlantic. The lights on the wharf and a single boat coming into port played against the sky.

Having earlier bravely stood in a rocking boat – striking fear in the parade marshals – I was confident in my steadfastness and knew that I certainly did not need a tripod in order to photograph the scene in front of me, so I handheld my camera for a full four seconds.

It appears that while I never moved, the world did. The lights danced, in perfect unison. 



jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) For the Love of Clarington Port La Tour, Nova Scotia home light play portrait travellers Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:15:18 GMT
Spartan at Thermopylae (Jean-Michel_2011) Spartan at Thermopylae
The tourists get off the bus then line up, one-by-one, to have their photo taken with the Spartan ready to battle, looming over and behind them.

Meanwhile, Jean-Michel walks around the site considering his subject from many angles, waiting until everyone has done the holiday snap.  He takes his time ...

This rear view - no pun intended - captures the grandeur of the landscape.  The mountains overlook the flat narrow plain at Thermopylae where the infamous battle between the Greeks and the Persians took place in 480BC, and which has been fictionalized in the movie retelling, "300".  - Helen

jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) 300 Greece Spartan Thermopylae Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:40:16 GMT
Nursey (Jean-Michel_2013) NurseyNursey in the Garden Here, in the spotlight, is Nursey!

Nursey is a magnetic paper cut-out 'doll' that I found stuck to the inside of a classroom door a couple of years ago.  Some of the students I teach are nursing students who take their education very seriously; they can also be a funny bunch with their sometimes bawdy[body] humour!  

I was in a hurry to get to a meeting, so tucked Nursey into a file folder, then forgot about her until some weeks later when she fell out of the folder.  I brought her home, and decided to amuse myself by sticking her somewhere and waiting for Jean-Michel to "discover" the nurse, posing seductively with a triple burger. 

I didn't hear anything from him for days, until one day Nursey showed up as a print in my lunch box.  He photographed her in situ and ever since we have been playing the game:  I find a location/pose for Nursey; Jean-Michel hunts for her, then photographs her. 

Once, neither of us could find her for some time; my eldest son found her a [temporary] home, then teased us with cryptic messages containing clues about her whereabouts.

Oh, the places she has been!

- Helen

jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Nursey Chronicles Nursey in Flower Bed and black nurse nursey white Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:01:13 GMT
Going Somewhere (Helen_2010) Going SomewhereGoing SomewhereTaken by Helen Bajorek-MacDonald in Nancy, France, 2010

There she was, standing on a street sidewalk in Nancy, France, watching intently for the traffic light to give her the green 'go'.  While she held on to her scooter, her body seemed tense with anticipation ... or was it determination?

She reminded me of a sprinter straining in her starting blocks; ready, set, ...

But, which direction would she take?  Left?  Right?

I took a chance that she'd turn left and hurried to find the best backdrop for a photograph, focused my camera on the black bollard across the street, and waited and watched with my hopeful eyes looking both through the lens and out the peripheral edge to the girl with the scooter.

As soon as the traffic light gave her the green 'go!' I saw her sprint across the street, drop the scooter; ready, set, ... CLICK!

Later, when I saw the photo on my screen, I was thrilled to see that I had captured the moment of her joy and movement:  her expression, the flow of her dress, her foot following through the push from the ground ...

And right away I knew I would title the image "Going Somewhere".

This image was shortlisted in the Toronto Star Photography Competition (June 2014).  I was glad that I am not alone in celebrating the joy of the girl on the scooter!

- Helen

jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Toronto Star Photography Competition (2014) anticipation determination girl people portrait scooter Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:31:54 GMT
Eidolon (Paris, 2010) Eidolon, ParisEidolon, Paris

On a walkabout near Les Halles, Paris, we both saw a light shadow created by the shimmering leaves of a large tree, reflecting off a wall in an alcove, and each took a couple of photographs to later compare and discuss.  My inclination was to take a horizontal view.  Jean-Michel, I later learned, took the vertical view. 

Eidolon Paris (on the vertical)Eidolon Paris (on the vertical)By Jean-Michel Komarnicki (2010)
We never discuss our photographs until the end of a walkabout when we spend some time reviewing our images, discussing possibilities, if any.  It's always illuminating to discover the different ways one can view a subject (or object). 

These conversations can carry forward for months and into another year, depending on whether we later use an image and how we decide to use the image.

What attracted me to the shimmering light shadow - it's not really a shadow, but rather light play - was what appeared to be a hovering female spirit.  Had we stayed long enough to watch it, we could probably declare that the apparition floated across the wall, from the dark into the light!

Later, I decided to title my photograph "Eidolon", from the Greek for an apparition or an idealized figure.  

- Helen


jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) apparition eidolon idealized figure image phantom photo Tue, 05 Aug 2014 02:28:58 GMT
More and more beautiful things . . . an afternoon at Giverny (Jean-Michel_2010) In his early days as a painter, Claude Monet wrote of his art:  "Every day I discover more and more beautiful things.  It’s enough to drive one mad.  I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it."

And so we discovered one afternoon at Giverny more and more beautiful things that, over 40 years, Claude Monet carefully nurtured and painted, once lamenting that "colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."

Our senses were overwhelmed with colour, texture, light and shadow, earth and water, trees, shrubs and flowers, scents, and the twitters of birds and the croakings of frogs.  The visual music dancing in our eyes woke the quiet in our hearts to a sensual joy!

We had drizzle for most of the afternoon which kept the numbers of visitors low so that we could take many photographs with little human interruption.  The gardens glistened with lushness.  Colours were vibrant.  The spring air was comfortably cool. 

We have a couple of names for this image:  "Petals of Love" and "Bridal Bouquet" because of the overhanging shrub with white flowers.  We create our own cards for special occasions and have used this image to congratulate newlyweds.

Bridal Bouquet Monet's garden at Giverny, France (2010)

jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Giverny Monet gardens image jardin lily painting photograph water Tue, 05 Aug 2014 02:07:46 GMT
Ready to travel Welcome to our photography blog!

Here we share some of our images and the stories behind them whether from our local photo walks, our travels, or projects we are working on, including for exhibition or publication.  We will also include links to the work of other photographers, writers, and visual artists, as well as to exhibitions, articles, and whatever inspires us to wonder, reflect, debate.

Who are we?  ---The youmeus project!

Helen is an educator, writer and visual/textual artist, and has also produced two videos, one of which, Our Grandmothers, Ourselves, has been shown in university and arts spaces.   

Jean-Michel, a graduate of the Photographic Arts Department at Ryerson, is a photographer and instructor of photography, as well as owner of JMK Image-ination where he specializes in the concept, design, and production of books and photography.  


Like many things, chance played a role in the instigation of a collaborative process that has resulted in the establishment of The youmeus project.  First, a poem.  Then, a poetic response.  Very quickly, text and image became a means of communicating the emotive and the observed.  What one felt or saw was recorded and shared either in writing or through image.  And the other responds. 

Thus, we have found a creative means by which to regularly communicate ideas as well as to explore our artistic visions. 

View finding in Valley of Fire State Park (Nevada, 2014)View finding in Valley of Fire State Park (Nevada, 2014)Taken by Carol Rubow

Like most travelers, it's difficult to get a photo of "us" together. Happily, when we were in the Valley of Fire State Park (Nevada) earlier this year, a fellow traveller snapped this photo. 

We were at a hilltop, overlooking a desert valley in one direction and the striking red /yellow /purple sandstone mountainous formations in the other.  Another time, we would go there either very early in the day or around sunset to better capture the drama of colour across the landscape which, in the mid-day sun, was somewhat like faded pastel chalk.

After spending a few minutes taking snaps, I turned to see Jean-Michel pointing his camera at me, and instantly responded with my own point-and-shoot CLICK!

Thanks to Carol Rubow who captured the spontaneous "us" moment!  When she sent us the image, Carol wrote in her email:  "It was fun watching the two of you work/play together with your photography and I hoped you did not mind that I took the picture- you were having so much [fun] together...."

We are absolutely delighted that she took the photo!  I especially like that Carol's photo captured our photo play -- click! click!  and ... click!

Helen, by Jean-MichelValley of Fire (Nevada)

Jean-Michel, by HelenValley of Fire (Nevada)









- Helen and Jean-Michel (2014)

jean-mich[email protected] (JMK Image-ination Fine Art Photography) Nevada Valley of Fire collaborate communicate design educate exhibit image photography publish travel write Mon, 04 Aug 2014 23:36:48 GMT