It was a duel between sports and studies, and in the end, academics won.
Third-year photography student Sebastien Dubois-Didcock represented Canada as a fencer at the World Cadet Championships in 2009, but instead of devoting his life to fencing, he decided to pursue academics instead.
“Sport can only take you so far,” Dubois-Didcock said of his decision. He has been fencing for six years and coaching for three. He started when, at age 10, his mom signed him up for a fencing summer camp.
“She told me it was hitting people with swords, and when you’re 10 and you hear that, you don’t refuse it,” Dubois-Didcock said.
The 20-year-old received his first camera from his dad at age 12.
“I’ve mainly been attracted to arts in general, but I never necessarily had a talent for drawing or painting. Photography just kind of came [the] easiest,” he said.
Dubois-Didcock, who’s fluent in French and English, shoots with a Canon 5D Mark II, and prefers to take commercial, crisp images that communicate clearly. In particular, he’s interested in food photography. Both his parents work in the food industry, and he grew up surrounded by it, which he said gives him an edge.
“It’s something I’ve grown up to understand and see differently than most
people,” Dubois-Didcock said.
Over the past year, Dubois-Didcock has been creating cinemagraphs meant to be displayed on iPads. Cinemagraphs are photos with movement incorporated into the compositions — for example, an otherwise still portrait of someone could have the eyes moving. Dubois-Didcock chose iPads to show his cinemagraphs because they’re easy to incorporate into displays. He wants to surprise audiences with his work.
“[They’re] basically those paintings in Harry Potter,” Dubois-Didcock said, and noted that although the fiction series wasn’t the inspiration for the project, he wanted to create the same effect.
Dubois-Didcock didn’t know he was nominated for the Arts Top 10, and was surprised his commercial style got him noticed.
“[My work] isn’t the most conceptual… but I work hard for what I do,” he said.