Module 1: Collaborative Inquiry Core Concepts

Prompt: To get started, please create a digital artifact that you feel represents you as a collaborator.

When I was thinking about collaboration for this discussion post and how I like best to work with others, I kept coming back to my work as a professional photographer.

While we sometimes think of a photograph as being the sole creation of the photographer himself or herself, it is not always this way; indeed, beautiful or compelling images are often the result of many people working in concert to help craft an image.

By way of example, the image you see above was taken at the end of a wedding I was shot at Berkeley Church in Toronto. See a fuller selection of images here, for context. To create this particular image, I collaborated for close to 40 minutes with my assistant to get this shot. The final image was a 4-second exposure of the front of the Berkeley Church as a TTC streetcar rolled by. The image took all that time to produce as we kept trying and trying to get the shot: while I stood on one side of the road with camera, tripod and shutter release cable, my assistant was on the other side of the street with a portable studio flash head, repeatedly flashing the front of the church. Note that the front of the church is actually all dark, and is only lit up in this image as it has been 'painted' with light, and at just the right time as the streetcar rolled by to create the light trails.

We had to collaborate in the true sense of the word to create something neither of us could create on our own. With constant communication, problem-solving, reiterating, and trying again, we were able to overcome some logistical challenges (cars, shooting in the city at night), technical challenges (striking a balance of exposure, shutter speed, aperture, and light painting), and physical challenges (doing all of this after midnight after a long day of shooting). Indeed, the fact that we had each other to spur the challenge on was the only reason it came to fruition, reminding us of the power of working together to achieve better.

Looking at Collaborative Inquiry Core Concepts in Module 1. Please see my Padlet summarizing my key takeaways from the different research sources: