Rain creates interesting possibilities if you can get out of your comfort zone. I was travelling in northern Manitoba late last summer and came across this scene west of The Pas, not far from the Saskatchewan border. It had rained much of the day but I kept exploring anyway. This series of shelterbelt trees at the edge of a canola field that had just bloomed caught my eye. The air was laden with moisture, creating a monochromatic scene of white sky with little color but the soft greens of the trees and canola field. The light rain was refreshing although I did have to keep wiping the lens free of rain drops from time to time. I previsualized three seperate, consecutive photographs to create a wide, panorama. This image will print well either as a panorama or as a triptych of the three images mounted in a matted frame.
Contrary to popular belief, I have always been attracted to 'subtle images'. In fact, in the early 80's, I had an exhibition in Edmonton, Alberta called 'Subtle Images'. This image would have fit well in the series.
I am delighted to announce a new photography workshop that will take place in Riding Mountain National Park this coming June. It's an honour and privilege to have an opportunity to collaborate with 'Photoshop Guru' Ken Frazer. Ken and I will co-lead this workshop in one of Manitoba's finest photographic locations. If you have never been to Riding Mountain National Park in west central Manitoba, have a look at a gallery of images we posted on our Riding Mountain Workshop website. One of those images is the photo featured above of storm clouds at sunset reflecting in Whirpool Lake. I made the image last summer alongside Ken while we were talking about what we might offer at the workshop. Peronsally, I have visited and photographed in this park on too many occasions to remember!
Ken and his wife Eileen operate a portrait studio out of their cottage in the townsite of Wasagaming, at the south end of the park. Many of you will also know that Ken is a true expert in Photoshop, having taught Photoshop classes and digital photography to thousands of photographers across this country and into the USA. In fact, I had the priviledge of attending one of these very instructional seminars when I first started shooting digitally around 2004. Around the same time, I, along with 3 other colleagues, also attended a 'custom photoshop class' offered in Ken's Brandon studio. This intensive, instructional and powerful workshop gave me the foundation I needed to start me on my very own journey into the digital world! And I have never looked back!
We have set up an interesting and diverse program we beleive will benefit you well in your search for creating better images, set in a stunning natural wilderness environment and comfortable accommodations at the renowned Elkhorn Resort, Spa and Conference Centre. For more information about the workshop, I invite you to browse the Riding Mountain Workshop website. We hope some of you will join us at this inaugural workshop.
After photographing the sun halo featured in the previous post, I envisioned the possibility of capturing the same halo above Pisew Falls, another 15 minutes or so ahead. But as the sky was fairly clouded over, I had my doubts whether in fact it could happen but I decided to give it a try anyay. I had been here the day before and spent a wonderful few hours in the late afternoon making images of the falls and the snow laden trees.
Lo and behold, the clouds did clear somewhat as I approached the falls. I mounted my 17-35mm lens, set at its widest, to capture as much of the scene as possible. I waited for the fog rising above the falls to thin out while at the same time waiting for the clouds to lighten up so the sun halo would stand out against the background sky. This was one of my favorite images of the morning. How many wonderful hours of peace, quiet and solitude I have spent here ....
The forecast was for sunny skies but .... you know how that usually turns out! Driving along the highway south of Thompson on a very cold morning of my last day of the trip, I kept an eye on this 'sun halo' that appeared at first very faint but eventually intensified. I finally stopped at a location with a promising foreground. After ensuring that it was safe to exit the vehicle, I mounted my wide angle PC (perspective control) lens onto the camera in order to keep the trees 'straight' and not 'leaning back' as I aimed the lens high to capture mostly sky. It appears somewhat as if spokes are coming through the 'circle of light'.
Clouds had rolled in earlier in the afternoon and I was now driving along the shoreline of Clearwater Lake on my way to vsit friends. The sun would set momentarily and I could see a line of pink color hovering an otherwise darkish blue sky. I'm often attracted to minimalist landscapes like this one so I took the first road leading down to the lake. I quickly jumped out of the van, grabbed the tripod-mounted camera, made a quick compsition and captured the scene above. I felt good about this image from the point of view of the warm and cool color contrast as much as about the minimalist palette. Eventhough it was bitterly cold and windy, I felt rather hopeful after making this image.
As I turned around and started heading up the hill, I noticed a memorial with a handful of flowers laying in the snow. I suddenly realized where I was - at the Pump House where Helen Betty Osborne, a 19 year-old Cree Aboriginal woman from Norway House, was brutally murdered on November 13, 1971 after being kidnapped, sexually assaulted, severely beaten and stabbed. She had come to The Pas to further her education in the hopes of becoming a teacher. It wasn't until some 16 years later that 4 local men were finally implicated in her death but only one man was ever convited of this horrible crime. The town of Norway House honoured her by naming the local school 'The Helen Betty Osborne Ininew Education Resource Centre'. I remember how this singular incident had really bothered me when I first learned about it shortly after moving to Winnipeg in 1985. I have come to this location on a number of occasions to photograph the lake as it is one of only a handful of access points to the lake. How many more people have suffered a similar fate and how many more have yet to suffer the same...