Black and White Photography by Photographer Bret Culp

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Roger Ebert Didn't Fear Death


Roger Ebert passed away recently and although I'm saddened for our collective loss I was reminded of an insightful quote of his which I filed into my impermanence notes a few years ago.

"I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting. My lifetime's memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris."

 -Roger Ebert, 2010

"In addition to being sharp, funny, insightful, interesting, opinionated, informed and complex in his writings he was also fair." -Pete Hammond

Roger Joseph Ebert (June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013 was an American journalist, film critic and screenwriter. The Chicago Sun-Times said he "was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic," and Forbes described him as "the most powerful pundit in America". He was both the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, and the first to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

10 Irish Proverbs for St. Patrick’s Day

In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day I’ve compiled a list of 10 Irish proverbs from the thousands of quotations, poetry, prose, toasts, sayings, blessings and other expressions that originate from the literary prodigious Land of Saints and Scholars - Ireland.  I've matched up black and white Irish photographs from my Between Heaven and Earth gallery for your visual indulgence.

Nuair a fhásann a craobhóg deacair go bhfuil sé deacair a twist é. Bíonn gach tosú lag.
When a twig grows hard it is difficult to twist it.  Every beginning is weak.

Dá fhaid é an lá tiocfaidh an tráthnóna.
No matter how long the day, the evening will come.

Meileann muilte Dé go mall ach meileann siad go mín.
The mills of God grind slowly but they grind finely.

An rud is annamh is íontach.
What is seldom is wonderful.

Is maith an scéalaí an aimsir.
Time is a great storyteller.

Na daoine teacht agus dul, ach na cnoic fós.
The people come and go, but the hills remain.

Bíonn súil le muir ach ní bhíonn súil le tír.
There's hope from the ocean but none from the grave.

Uaireanta lá amháin athruithe gach rud; uaireanta rud ar bith athrú bliana.
Sometimes one day changes everything; sometimes years change nothing.

An rud a líonas an tsúil líonann sé an croí.
What fills the eye fills the heart.

Folaíonn grá gráin.
Love is blind.

Bonus Irish blessing:

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you. 

Click here to see my full Ireland black and white photography gallery.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

RMG Exposed Auction 2012 - Part 2

I'm pleased that my photograph, Dunluce Castle, was selected as one of ten pieces in the live auction portion of the RMG Exposed fundraiser event that took place on Saturday November 10. Is was exciting to watch the fast and furious bidding on it.  Additionally, there were 32 outstanding photos in the silent auction. There was standing room only.

Dunluce Castle is the second to the screen right of Waddingtons's auctioneer Stephen Ranger.

Thanks to Juror's Dorette Carter, Erin Elliot and Gary Greenwood for choosing such a strong selection of work.

RMG Exposed is The Robert McLaughlin Gallery's annual fundraiser. Over the past two years, they have raised funds that support their education and programming initiatives, benefitting students, at risk youth, families, teens and other community members. In addition, this event raises awareness of contemporary photography.

Musical entertainment was provided by The John Lennard Quartet. Sponsors include RBC, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Pikto, Robert Aldsworth's Photo World, Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects, The Framing Guys, The Albis Group, Harex and Durham Region.

72 Queen Street, Civic Centre
Oshawa, ON L1H 3Z3

Thursday, November 8, 2012

RMG Exposed 2012

My black and white photograph, Dunluce Castle, has been selected to be part of the The Robert McLaughlin Gallery RMG Exposed Auction Event on Saturday November 10th, 2012.

Dunluce Castle, Antrim, Northern Ireland, 2012
archival pigment on photo rag

RMG Exposed is our annual fundraiser. Over the past two years, we have raised funds that support our education and programming initiatives, benefitting students, at risk youth, families, teens and other community members. In addition, this event raises awareness of contemporary photography.Tickets are now available for purchase online! Please visit to purchase and learn more.

About the RMG

The largest public gallery in Durham Region, the RMG occupies an inspired 36,000 square foot building designed by world-renowned architect Arthur Erickson. Featuring a Permanent Collection of over 4000 works of art, four galleries of diverse & changing exhibitions, vibrant programs, Arthur’s on the 4th event space, gallery shop, library, and two art & education studios, the RMG is located in downtown Oshawa beside the main library and City Hall.

RMG Statement of Purpose:

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is dedicated to sharing, exploring and engaging with our communities through the continuing story of modern and contemporary Canadian art.

Learn more about the RMG:

72 Queen Street, Civic Centre
Oshawa, ON L1H 3Z3

Sunday, August 12, 2012 – Bret Culp Discovers Beauty In Impermanence, the Canadian Photographers Network, has published an article about my book, The Beauty Of Impermanence. is a great source of Canadian focused photographic information and inspiration.  Photographers can benefit from networking, mentoring and resources that the site offers.  If you know of anybody who would be interested, please tell them about the site. If you have any news, videos, information, images from exciting new projects, etc, that you think should be featured click here.

Absorbed In Stillness, Cheltenham Badlands, Caledon, Ontario, Canada, 2006
archival pigment on photo rag

The concept of impermanence can represent many things to many people. To some, the acknowledgement that nothing lasts forever may induce feelings of futility, for others a fear of change, but for Bret Culp there is beauty in impermanence.

Culp is a Toronto photographer who seeks out scenes of the ephemeral nature of the world and through his iconic black and white photographs he conveys the beauty that exists in the impermanent.

Click here for the full article.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm in LensWork!

I'm thrilled that my Irish work, Between Heaven and Earth, is included in the current issue #101 of the print and digital versions of LensWork magazine. For several years I've anticipated submitting once I developed a good sized portfolio of Irish work. However, during my solo exhibition last year I was pleasantly surprised to be asked if I'd be interested in submitting to the magazine by Editor Maureen Gallagher. This kick in the pants lead to many months of work putting it all together, followed by acceptance happiness. I'm truly honoured to be joining the company of so many fine LensWork Photography Alumni.

The LensWork publications (the Print edition, the Extended edition with photographer interviews and lots of additional material, Editor Brooks Jensen's podcasts, blogs and books) have been the greatest source of creative inspiration I've had since discovering them eight short years ago. I'd like to give a big thanks to Maureen and Brooks.

LensWork Print is a 96-page, award-winning, bimonthly, anthology-style periodical that focuses on photography and the creative process. Each issue includes several portfolios, usually an interview with one of the photographers, often an article by a guest contributor, and an Editor's Comments.

LensWork Extended is an expanded, PDF-based, bimonthly, multimedia publication containing lots of additional content that simply won't fit in the 96 pages of LensWork. Each issue typically includes 7-8 media monographs — including expanded presentations of the portfolios in the print version.

LensWork Portable is formatted specifically for the iPad, Android and similar portable devices.

LensWork Online is a content-rich site for photography and the creative process. You will be amazed at the extent and depth of content in this website!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Canadian Photography Q&A

Canadian Photography Online, Canada's definitive photography magazine, recently published a Q&A about my photographic work. I'm very pleased with the depth and insight of the questions they asked.

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

June 15, 2012 · by · in Photographer

Q~ Bret, simply put, your landscapes are stunning. They speak to an erosion of structure and the demise of what once was. A former glory, seemingly lost, but you have somehow brought it back to life. What is it about this subject matter that speaks to you?

A~I believe that art is a means of working through the often complicated and important issues of life, both for the creator and the viewer. From a young age I have struggled with the idea that life ends, which I know has been a significant influence in my choice of subject matter. Investigating themes of time, mortality and spirituality through photography has informed my thoughts and feelings helping me to work through it all...

Click here for the full article.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Desecration Of The Dark Hedges (Seize The Day)

I've just completed another photograph for my Between Heaven and Earth Irish portfolio.  Like other recent pieces, The Dark Hedges 3 is comprised of several individual captures stitched together allowing for the resulting high-resolution image to be printed very large with impeccable fidelity.

I made two photography trips to the enchanting Northern Ireland location, July 2010 and March 2011.  However, I was recently dismayed to learn that the 300 year old beech trees have lost some of their charm due to the construction of a four foot barb wired fence, see the bottom image from a local paper.

The Dark Hedges 3, Antrim, Northern Ireland, 2012
archival pigment on photo rag

This has reminded me of one of the first rules of photography – don't put off photographing something today because it might not be there tomorrow.  And if it is, for better or for worse, you can be sure that it won't be the same as it is now.  In the grand scheme of things, it's another reminder to seize the day.

From the Wednesday September 21, 2011 Ballymoney Times
ONE of north Antrim’s most famous landmarks, The Dark Hedges, has been fenced off - quite literally.

Described by some locals as a huge ‘desecration’, the world-renowned trees in Stranocum now sit beside a four foot barb wired fence.

See the full article here: