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.
October 25, 2012
The prairies are full of surprises!
August 29, 2012
The image of a Franklin's Gull landing on water in Nicolle Flats ( Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, Saskatchewan) was modified with the FX Photo Studio Pro app using the Ancient Canvas preset.
September 4, 2011
We had spent a long, arduous day hiking in the Killdeer Badlands, in the East Block of Grasslands National Park in Southwestern Saskatchewan. I, along with three of my colleagues - Dave Reede, Peter Blahut and Brad Smith - had enjoyed a pleasant day making images of this seldom visited park which is quite off the beaten path. It was a very hot, sunny day with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. Nearing sunset (and as the clouds rolled in), we dragged ourselves up the coulee after a grueling 15 to 20 kilometer hike.
November 4, 2010
I arrived at the Great Saskatchewan Sand Hills in mid afternoon. I walked about a couple of the dunes making images here and there. I returned to the van after a couple of hours to rest waiting for the evening light. Shortly after, clouds rolled in and it looked like it would not clear that evening. Still, I walked about an hour before sunset, waiting, hoping. Just before the sun would sink below the horizon, the clouds broke just enough to allow strong dramatic light to bathe the landscape