It's clear that the days of the grain elevator are numbered! As I traveled across the Canadian prairies over the last 35 years, I have always kept an eye out for photo possibilities. As I drive closer and closer to the elevators, I begin to consider how I might capture this particular one, from which direction should I photograph it from, from which vantage point, what should I include as part of my composition, etc. Often, the lighting would be dictacted by the time I happened to drive through but, at other times, I would make an effort to explore the elevator at different times of the day. This included photographing elevators at night with stars trailing and northern lights dancing, some times also accompanied by the howling of coyotes. I have captured many of the sentinels on film and as digital captures. While my collection is far from a complete document of their existence, my photographs represent some of my favorite experiences with grain elevators.
"As 'Prairies North, the magazine of Saskatchewan' marks its fifteenth year, we tip our hat to the wooden elevator, its concrete replacement, and the farming life behind it all" states editor Lionel Hughes. 'Prairies North' is a very fine and important magazine. In last year's Summer 2012 issue, 'Prairies North' also featured images from my latest book 'Mike Grandmaison's Prairie and Beyond' (published by Turnstone Press). View the Summer 2013 issue of 'Prairies North' for more of my favorite photographs of these vanishing 'prairie giants'. And if you happen to be traveling through a Manitoba town this next year, keep an eye out for my print exhibition 'Prairie and Beyond' which also features one of these prairie giants.
I was just on my way to bed when I received a call from my good friend Rob Peters. He was enjoying a spectacular show of majestic northern lights while sitting around a campfire in Winnipeg Beach and well ... he just had to tell me about it! So I went out for a drive around Dugald to have a look with my daughter. They were indeed very nice but sporadic as usual. The difficult thing about photographing northern lights is always trying to find interesting foreground. Not being in my usual 'favorite location', I had not pre-scouted the area so I had to work with whatever I could find in the dark of the night! It was also interesting to note that the fireflies were also busy emitting their own 'light'!
I made a few images and then drove back home after a lull in auroral activity. On my return, I noticed that the northern lights were even stronger in my own bakcyard in the City of Winnipeg so I made a few more images! Thanks Rob!
Browse through all the images in the Gallery by cliking on the image. Enjoy!