If a picture is worth a thousand words, get ready for an incredible story.

12x12 poster

Dust off those 35mm cameras because the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon is back with a fourth edition on Saturday, August 18. This time, the organizers are turning back the pages to a forgotten chapter in photographic history. Set in the heart and birth place of the city where it all began, this year’s participants will gather in Gastown where they will explore the art of storytelling by capturing their images in black and white film.

With a 35mm camera as the only requirement to take part, recreational and professional photographers will each be given a marked roll of film containing only 12 exposures. Beginning at 10 am and at the top of every hour for the next 12 hours, a theme will be randomly drawn and released. I was very happy to have participated in the 2010 12X12 and hope to be part of it again this year.

2011 participants
[2011 12X12 participants]

Participants must interpret and capture each theme in one single exposure of film in the exact sequence that they are revealed. Once the clock strikes 10 pm, only the completed rolls that have been returned will move on to the next stage of the challenge. Negatives will be developed and judged after the marathon, the results of which will be showcased at a free public exhibit where over 700 photos will be on display with the winning entries announced and celebrated.

With the highly anticipated vibrancy that summer brings, it’s no wonder that the city’s explosion of colour becomes the source of inspiration for many photographers. The brilliant blues of a child’s eyes create the perfect focal point in a still. The fiery red of a runaway balloon seizes attention. Now imagine the curtain falling on this play of colours, leaving nothing but infinite shades of gray. How do you then communicate your story?

Suddenly, composition and lighting take centre stage. Perspective gets the limelight. Context now plays a role. In essence, a whole new world is brought forth. “Since photography emerged in monochrome format,” says 12×12 creator Morten Rand-Hendriksen, “what better way to play tribute to the classic medium of film than by revitalizing this art form.”

Morten Rand‐Hendriksen of Pink & Yellow Media imported the idea of a photo marathon from Scandinavia and created the 12×12 to offer photographers a fun and creative challenge using the classic medium of film. Each year, photo marathons are organized worldwide.

2012 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon: B&W Edition
Date: Saturday, August 18; Registration 9 am; Marathon 10 am to 10 pm
Venue: Coffeebar, 10 Water Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $36 (one ticket per person; limited to 60 participants). Tickets CAN ONLY be purchased in advance online.

The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon is the first not-for-profit annual film-based photo marathon in British Columbia and is open to anyone with a 35mm film camera. Last year’s marathon sold out within 10 minutes, so mark your calendars if you don’t want to miss out! Visit the Vancouver Photo Marathon website for updates.

The exhibit showcasing all the photographs taken during the marathon will be held in September, approximately a month after the marathon. Further details to come.

The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon is a not‐for‐profit initiative. The ticket price helps cover the many expenses incurred by putting on the marathon and its subsequent exhibit. The resulting funds help pay for things such as event insurance for two major events, venue and equipment rentals, printing costs, prizes, the site domain, and the Flickr Pro account to name a few. The goal each year is always to break even, and that is only possible through the generosity of sponsors, whether individual or organization-based. If you are interested in supporting the 12×12, contact the organizers.

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