Nadine Track was born in Lebanon at the height of a long civil war. Working as a first-aid worker, she picked up her camera to capture moments of this experience as a way to make sense of what was happening around her.
A decade ago, Track packed up and moved to Quebec. Six years later she enrolled at Collège Marsan to learn digital photography, having already eared a degree in Communication Arts from Saint Joseph University in Beirut. Three years ago, she started her career as a professional photographer shooting portraits, commercial advertising and fashion.
Track started thinking about a new project focussing on First Nations people in Canada. She had heard of a Cree community in Saskatchewan that was willing to let her shoot her photo study. Before starting her project she spent two weeks in the community to learn more about the residents, their culture and their spiritual values.
When asked why she was so interested in the Cree, Track said, “When I lived in Lebanon, we learned about the Native people of North America, and I became interested in their culture, spirituality and honest way of living. I formed a romanticized and mystical illusion about who these Native people were. But when I arrived in Canada, I found a different reality.”
Asked why she photographed the Cree in Saskatchewan and not Quebec, Track confessed, “I didn’t know there were Cree people in Quebec.” She added that her experience as an immigrant to Canada made it easier and more comfortable to relate to the people of Waterhen Lake.
Track’s latest exhibit, “Limited Edition Of Cree Tribe Portraits on Metal
with Special Lighting Effects”, a series of portraits of the Waterhen Lake First Nation Cree, was mounted in Montreal September 26.
This collection of seven large-format photographs (1.8 m x 1.3 m x 2 mm) are printed on Dibond Silver based professional-grade large-format aluminum sheets. This technique of printing is the same as sign printing. For a better look at the extra dimension the metal gives these photographs, check out vimeo.com/106241688
Track’s photoshopped images are enhanced by multiple layers of each exposure. This technique gives each photo a textured, painting-like quality. The use of the aluminium to print the photographs gives them a deeper dimension, if the right lighting is used. Is this technique practical? Maybe not, but if you had the right lights in your home, office or lobby, they come alive. The other advantage about developing photographs in this way is that the prints resist being damaged.
Taking the time to understand the person, their culture and who they are, Track brings out who the person in her portraits. There is rawness and a spiritual feeling, when looking at each of these photos. At times you can move inside the image, and lose yourself. Everything was well thought out when doing these portraits – the mood, the lighting, the costumes, the location and thee technique.
Track thanks Montreal businessman Dmitri Boudovitch for helping put the exhibit together. Her photographs will be touring several the upcoming First Nation events.