Ernest was born in 1949 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and currently resides near Canning, Nova Scotia with his wife, Margo, where they have lived since the spring of 2002.
Photography for Ernest is a powerful tool for appreciating not only the essence of the world around him but also the transitory nature of it. Mostly, his images are calm and precise and have a poetic feel to them. “I make photos with my eye not my head so I appreciate when I’m told “You have a good eye.” But, while it may be true that I have a better eye than some, the truth is the Practice of seeing takes Practise.”
A cellphone camera is perfect for practising. It’s quick, portable and unobtrusive, has a wide angle lens and optical imperfections. Also, very importantly, cellphones have many apps that can be used to quickly edit images – visual tools in and of themselves. All of these things influence what I see when I have a cellphone in hand.
My work has been influenced by the passing comments of two photographers I followed years ago: Russian photographer and philosophy professor, Alexey Tikhonov once wrote to me: “there are many ways of seeing” and American photographer and intellectual, Leslie Hancock once referred to photos as “raw material”. Both guys kicked me in new directions.
My practice of seeing usually begins the moment I move out of the house whether by foot or by car. My core work of rural landscape is channeled through my DSLR eye. The subjects of this show – “Walk the Dog”, “Around Wolfville”, “Out and About”, “Close to Home”, “Doing Hali … Fredericton … Australia … China”, etc., are channeled through my cellphone eye. The Gemini in me often likes to do both at the same time!
Perhaps the most important series in this show is “Around Wolfville”. Shooting primarily on Main Street between Elm Ave. and Harbourside Dr., my objective has been to “see” and photograph three to five images every time I walk down that route, almost daily. This is mostly an exercise in being present and in honing my eye versus looking for images that will slot into my portfolio (although that happens too). After nearly three years and more than a thousand images produced, it surprises me that I can still find my daily quota.
All of the images in this show are taken with, and processed on, my cellphone – these days an iPhone 6 Plus. Each, a single copy not to be produced in any other size or format – the work presented here are primarily 5×5 to emulate the intimacy of online viewing for which they were originally produced.