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Confederation Bridge, - © Isabelle Levesque

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Featured Photographer: Debbie Brady

Debbie Brady of Oyster Art
Introducing one of our newer members, Debbie Brady of OysterArt.ca. Debbie has achieved her first Accreditation in Fine Art/Photo Decor, and scored Accepted with her first entry into our regional image competition this year. (Headshot photo credit: Lisa Enman Photography).

A macro image of a small section of oyster shell by Debbie Brady of Oyster Art.
Disruption - (St Chrysostome, PE) 
"An obscure unseen disturbance has disrupted this miniature fragile equilibrium." (This is a composite of 30 stacked images.)

"I live on an apple farm in rural Prince Edward Island where, for over 20 years, I’ve been enjoying my career as a graphic designer. Throughout my life, I’ve dabbled in a variety of creative outlets—but only until I unraveled the mystery they initially afforded. No other artistic endeavour has engaged me so thoroughly as photography. I’m repeatedly drawn to using macro & close-up photography to creatively tell stories with my camera. I seek out things easily overlooked to see what they're hiding from casual view. In 2016 I was using my macro lens to check out some beach treasures I'd collected which included an oyster shell. They had this beautiful texture. I was totally impressed seeing something extraordinarily new in something so familiar! It took me three years of collecting, cataloging, photographing, and assessing the idea before I developed a plan to launch an “Oyster Art” collection in a way that would garner the attention nature's creation deserve. The photographer Ansel Adams said it for me “I work to transform curiosity into art.” 

An extreme close up of an oyster shell looks like an abstract landscape, by Debbie Brady of Oyster Art.
Enchanted - (Sandhills, PE) Pearl Edition
"An enticing, otherworldly dimension is revealed where one can imagine wishes coming true and fairies gathering to collect stories of magic and childhood wonders." (This is a composite of 12 stacked images.) 
This small world was discovered in an oyster shell from PEI’s Sandhills, one of the least disturbed and most ecologically significant coastal dune complexes in eastern Canada.

Each works magnifies a tiny portion of the shell until it is unrecognizable as a mollusk. Instead, it often looks like a galaxy or a satellite view of the earth. The smallest of things and the largest of things come full circle in an oyster shell. I love the challenge of exploring and photographing “near space” then creating art that shares and celebrates it.

A close up image of an oyster shell, displayed large on a wall as an abstract art piece. By photographer Debbie Brady of Oyster Art.
Exuberant - (Malpeque, PE)
"Vitality abounds as this assembly of colours moves with uninhibited enthusiasm." This was a single photo taken while visiting an aqua farmer. With no focus stacking the perimeter is soft but the beautiful colours draw one's eye to the center."
I portray them as they speak to me and have the final piece fulfill my vision. When people look at Oyster Art and learn the story behind each piece they react as if they’ve been let in on a secret. When this happens I can hardly wait to get out my gear to discover the next one. A visitor to my gallery wrote "It's humbling to get a glimpse of an unseen world that was always in plain view." 
"Mesmerizing" A close up image of a small section of oyster shell, by PEI photographer, Debbie Brady.
Mesmerizing - (Greenwich, PE)  
"The experience of floating midst gently lapping waves is incapable of being
anything less than mesmerizing." (This is a composite of 59 stacked images.)

Photography energizes me with its infinite number of subjects and technical challenges. I don’t foresee an end to the exciting stories I can capture in all their glorious detail! Photography makes me lose all track of time! If that means time stands still when I have a camera in my hands I hope it translates into a long life yet to live!
Photographer Debbie Brady of Oyster Art, holding an oyster and oyster tongs on a boat.
The more I studied oysters visually, the more curious I grew about these creatures, and visited aqua farmers for what one called my “oysters 101 lesson.” I even went out on a fishing boat “tonging”: harvesting wild oysters with tools that look like long-handled rakes. (Photo credit: Caley Joy photography).

At high levels of magnification, only a fraction of each image is in focus, which can require as many as 72 individual images, taken 0.3 millimetres apart, digitally assembled into one, to create an in-focus composite of that one tiny portion of the shell.
Oyster Art, by photographer Debbie Brady.
Metamorphosis - (St Chrysostome, PE) 
"On life's journey to maturity there are many catalysts for that metamorphosis."
Each piece of Oyster Art receives a name along with a small description. Purchase work is accompanied by a photo of the inspiration shell, information about where it was sourced, and a highlight marking the section that was photographed.
Oyster Art is available in three mediums (acrylic, canvas, & archival paper) in three editions (Pearl, Limited, & Open). 
A focus stacked macro image of an oyster shell makes an abstract fine art piece by Debbie Brady of Oyster Art.
Tumult - (Brackley, PE) Limited Edition
"One can only imagine the journey this oyster shell has taken to arrive in its current weathered and battered state. The swirls of colour and texture take your eyes on a visual exploration of the tumultuous patterns they created."



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