Watch: 10 videos that will change the way you look at photography

Some of the many stories that took CBC Arts behind the lens, from a transgressive take on Barbie to a B.C. duo conquering the road.

Some of the many stories that took CBC Arts behind the lens

For many, photography has become a practice limited to a click on their phone and a share on social media. But for these Canadians profiled by CBC Arts, innovation and inventiveness are pushed to the limited to explore the art in its many forms.

From twisting fairlytales to ascending into the sky, here are 10 stories that could very well inspire you to up your own photography game.

Jeff Bierk: Taking portraits of his friends and printing them — on blankets

Bierk created "10 Blankets" in collaboration with his friends "Jimmy" James Evans and Carl Lance Bonnici. The works are portraits of Evans and Bonnici printed on fleece blankets, resulting in images that ripple and move with the softness of the fabric. After he re-photographed Evans and Bonnici with the blankets, Bierk gave the blankets to his collaborators — and they've ended up in some unexpected places.

Photographer documents friends' lives on blankets

7 years ago
Duration 4:28
Photographer Jeff Bierk speaks about his collaborative series of portraits printed on blankets for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Dina Goldstein: Showing that adulthood is not always made of dreams...even for princesses

Dina Goldstein has been photographing princesses and icons for a while now, but there's always something twisted in her fairytales. Barbie finds her life with Ken isn't what it was supposed to be; Snow White is not quite the woman you remember from the story. These might be images that will unsettle daydreams of perfect lives, but they also tell tales of survival and fortitude. Snow White prevails, and Barbie will get on with her life.

Dina Goldstein's using her photography to start a provocative conversation

7 years ago
Duration 3:37
Vancouver-based photographer Dina Goldstein knows her photographs might disturb some people, but they'll also get them talking

Morgan Kolish: Combining passions in the Saskatchewan desert

Morgan ​Kolish — a fashion business grad — says it was tough to break into fashion design, so she picked up some work managing local Moose Jaw band Johnny 2 Fingers & the Deformities. When bandleader John Dale needed promotional photos, he asked Kolish. Since then, she's been chasing her dreams and in this video she combines her two passions: fashion design and photography. This video feature was shot on the sand dunes of Saskatchewan, but the locale could just as easily double for a scene from Lawrence of Arabia or Mad Max.

A scene from Mad Max? No, it's a fashion shoot in Moose Jaw, Sask.

6 years ago
Duration 3:19
Photographer Morgan Kolish has made the leap from fashion to photography... and right into a Saskatchewan desert.

Zun Lee: Collecting over 3,500 photos to show how black love matters

Zun Lee started collecting Polaroids of African American families after he found an abandoned box of one family's photographs on the sidewalk of an American city in 2012. When his attempts to find the family who had lost the photographs failed, Lee decided to keep them as an archive of African American life — and to keep looking for more. At the time of this feature, he had collected over 3,500.

Photographer Zun Lee collected over 3,500 Polaroids of African American Families

7 years ago
Duration 3:56
Toronto-based photographer Zun Lee’s latest exhibition features more than 1,000 found Polaroid photographs of African American families that he’s collected over the past four years.

Stefan Litster: Capturing the Prairies in pictures with a massive camera

The clunky, large, manual camera that Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Stefan Litster uses serves as a reminder that technology didn't always make point and shoot so easy. Even the film is huge: it's an 8 x 10 inch sheet that's developed in a darkroom, making every frame precious — without the "review" and "delete" options that most of us rely on. The result is jaw-dropping imagery of breathtaking Canadian landscapes.

Canadian Air Force pilot captures breath-taking Prairies with a camera more than 50 years old

7 years ago
Duration 5:16
Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Stefan Litster creates stunning photos of the Prairies using an old large-format camera.

Peter Andrew Lusztyk: Taking stunning aerial photographs that will change the way you look at our infastructure

Photographing from a moving helicopter is not for the faint of heart. First, you find a helicopter pilot you really trust. They strap you into the back passenger seat, which has already had the door removed to give you a clear view of the world below. And then you ascend into the sky. With your seatbelt tight against your chest and the wind ripping through the aircraft, the pilot tilts the helicopter on an angle for you to photograph straight down. Which can feel pretty scary — or thrilling, if you're photographer Peter Andrew Lusztyk.

Get to the chopper: This photography is taking his work to the skies

6 years ago
Duration 1:58
Peter Lusztyk has an artistic obsession with the feats of engineering that we drive on everyday: highway interchanges

Marc Montplaisir: Convincing David Suzuki to take off his shirt for one of his most iconic images

Marc Montplaisir was worried when David Suzuki walked into his Montreal studio. The photographer had next to no time with the scientist, environmental activist and Nature of Things host, who turned 80 this past year. Somehow, Montplaisir convinced a reluctant Suzuki to partially undress. What the photographer captured through an archaic process called Ambrotype is one of the most memorable images ever of Suzuki.

Meet the man who shot one of the most iconic photos of David Suzuki

7 years ago
Duration 3:15
Photographer Marc Montplaisir had one chance to take the perfect image of David Suzuki. In this short documentary he explained what happened that day in his Montreal studio.

Our Wild Abandon: Giving up a home address to document their lives on Instagram

Kyla Trethewey and Jillian Mann are intrepid. They have to be, because they're constantly travelling to new places, living out of their mobile camper. Over three years ago, the two women left their homes in British Columbia, getting rid of most of their possessions and packing the rest into tight quarters. Now, they call themselves Our Wild Abandon, and the photographs of their daily travels, the people they meet along the way and the magnificent landscapes they traverse have drawn over 133,000 followers on Instagram.

These two BC photographers gave up a home address to document their lives on Instagram

6 years ago
Duration 4:41
Find out why for over three years, Jillian Mann and Kyla Trethewey have given up a home address for the highway.

Jeff Topham: Capturing the beauty of Antarctic through breathtaking images

Canadian photographer Jeff Topham has found beauty with his camera in some of the most chaotic and poverty stricken countries in the world. But it wasn't until a recent trip to Antarctica as the photographer-in-residence aboard Canadian ship Akademik Ioffe with One Ocean Expeditions where the isolation and peaceful setting gave him time to reflect on the stories he's told over the years.

Stunning images from a Canadian photographer in Antarctica

7 years ago
Duration 3:36
As a photographer in residence on a Canadian ship destined for Antarctica, Jeff Topham captures the natural beauty of the continent so few of us will ever step foot on.

Paul Zizka: Seeking out the spectacular from the Alberta winter

Paul Zizka's art comes from some very hard-to-reach places. A professional mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, Alta., Zizka is happy to venture deep into the wilderness to find his best photos — even in the dead of winter. From the Northern Lights to the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, this video takes you to the extremes of his extraordinary work.

Photographer Paul Zizka seeks out the extraordinary from the Alberta winter

7 years ago
Duration 4:36
A professional mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, Alberta, Paul Zizka's stunning work comes from some very hard-to-reach places. He took CBC Arts along for one of his missions, explaining that how he longs for the winter to "bring back the silence."

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?