Monday September 01, 2014

Doupe focuses on the face of portaiture

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Kenton Doupe always liked art, but he found his truest love might be photography thanks to a class at the Yorkton Regional High School.

"Through high school there was a really, really good photography program at the Regional," said Doupe, who is now enrolled in class at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

Previous to high school Doupe, 19, whose portraiture work now hangs in the Godfrey Dean Gallery II until mid February, didn't really use a camera much.

"My Dad took pictures, but he wasn't avid," he said in an interview with Yorkton This Week at an artist reception at the Gallery Saturday. "There was really no previous photography going on in my life."

Doupe said he ended up taking the Grade 10 course for two reasons.

"I was always interested in art doing painting and drawing," he said, adding he reasoned photography was another artistic avenue.

And then with a knowing smile, Doupe added he also thought the class might be an easy credit.

But Doupe quickly fell in love with the artistic possibilities of photography, although it took some experimenting to find what he liked to capture on film.

"I started out with landscapes, but it bored me," he said.

Doupe said he appreciates many artists revel in the Saskatchewan landscape for him photographing old barns and old tractors quickly ran its course.

Faces though intrigued Doupe immediately, and they still do.

"Every single person is different," he said.

It is the uniqueness of faces Doupe tries to capture, and then enhance in his photography.

Initially, Doupe said he takes a picture "at face value," noting that the cliché was intended. He said he wants the face to be accurate, to a point.

Most of his works have geometric elements added through computer enhancement.

It is in this process Doupe is seeking to create a truly unique portrait.

To achieve that Doupe said he peruses several social media sites searching portraits for ideas, and to make sure his efforts are not simply copies of other works.

"It's telling me what people haven't done," he said, adding he believes it is harder today for someone painting, or drawing to be completely unique than it is for a photographer. "It's a lot easier for me to be original with photography."

With the enhancements the finished works are not "the picture I get out of the the camera," said Doupe, but that is a big part of the art aspect of what he creates.

 - “It (black and white photography) is coming back. I just like it. Whenever I take a picture I think it looks better black and white.”
— Kenton Doupe -

“It (black and white photography) is coming back. I just like it. Whenever I take a picture I think it looks better black and white.” — Kenton Doupe

The art in the Godfrey Dean show are all black and white. Doupe said he actually shoots in colour, and occasionally he likes what results in full colour. But that is rare, and most photographs are turned to black and white on the computer, with the artist working from there.

"It (black and white photography) is coming back," he said, adding "I just like it. Whenever I take a picture I think it looks better black and white."

In black and white Doupe can work with shadows, sharpen hues, and create elements within the finished photograph to attract the viewer's gaze.

"Black and white brings out the features so much more," he said.

While taking a full range of art in university; drawing, painting, sculpture, Doupe said he believes art through the camera lens will always be something he pursues. He said he hopes to end up professionally doing digital art, as in computer games, "photography as a side business" is also in his current life plan.

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