September 26, 2016
This coming Wednesday I travel to Friesens in Altona, Manitoba to print my latest book 'Manitoba: Land of the Unexpected'. It’s always a pleasure to spend time at Friesens. I particularly enjoy browsing through the recently published books in their library. Between the many visits to the pressroom, I peruse as many books from my hand-picked selection as I can, often at the expense of catching up on my sleep!
This latest book by ‘Les Editions des Plaines’ is the first in a series about Canadian provinces. Last year, ‘Les Editions des Plaines’ reprinted my ‘Canada’ book and, the year before that, they published our book about the ‘Saint-Boniface Cathedral’ as part of yet another series on special places and icons of Manitoba. More books to come in the future!
Creating any book always involves a lot of hard work as well as a great deal of time. The many steps involved include coming up with a concept followed by the photography, the processing of images, the writing, the layout, the editing, the proofing, the prepress work, more proofing, and more proofing still and, finally, the printing. A book launch has been scheduled for McNally Robinson in Winnipeg on November 3rd but more on that later!
September 26, 2016
2016 was a busy summer, photographically speaking. It started with me traveling to Grasslands National Park in extreme southern Saskatchewan, first waiting out some rainy weather and then having fun experimenting with my new B&W infrared camera. Then I crossed the USA border to attend the 2016 'Outdoor Writers Association of America's Annual Conference' in Billings, Montana from July 16-18. At the request of Friesens Corporation, I sat on a panel about book publishing alongside Don Gorman (Publisher at Rocky Mountain Books), Riley Blott (Sales Manager at Friesens Press) and David Frank (Western Sporting). Doug Symington (Friesens Corporation) moderated a well-attended session that dealt with evaluating different options offered through traditional publishing, self-publishing and specialty publishing. I met some great folks and had lots of fun chatting about books.
After the conference I headed west to gather some news images of British Columbia for upcoming projects. I focused mostly on locations that I had not seen yet or had spent little time in so far. Locations included The Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park, the endangered antelope-brush ecosystem in Osoyoos, Manning Provincial Park, the hoodoos in Fairmont, the dry areas around Kamloops, Cache Creek and the Fraser Canyon, island hopping on Salt Spring, Mayne and Saturna islands (part of the Gulf Islands), Port Renfrew, the Sea to Sky Highway, totem poles carved by First Nations people in the villages of Kispiox, Kitwanga and Kitwancool (some of which have been painted by Emily Carr) and finally headed to Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) to explore this remote area. I had an opportunity to visit friends and family and, as usual, there was not enough time to see everyone or discover all the wonderful places that are still left undiscovered.
The above image was created near Cache Creek in the British Columbia Interior as sunlight broke through the stormy sky just before sunset. I will post new images soon.
I do work for a living! But it's great when your work is also fun! I almost always shoot for myself and then I think of markets for the images ... or the markets find me! It had been a while since I worked with this client. I illustrated their telephone directories for a few years when directories were in vogue - I believe I worked with Palmer Jarvis Advertising Agency (Winnipeg) and Cossette Communications (Vancouver) on those projects back at the turn of the century! My images were also used on some of their first sets of phone cards!
Today I re-launched my website Grandmaison Photography at www.grandmaison.mb.ca I have always liked the ‘look and feel’ of this site but it was ten years old. Because good design transcends time, I kept the ‘look and feel’ of the site but modernized it to accommodate slightly larger images as well as to be mobile friendly. Thank you Scott Parfitt at Smallbox for modernizing the site and to Rob Peters and Adrian Shum (formerly of Circle Design) for the original design.
Some of my images of Leo Mol's exquisite sculptures were recently published in a Russian Art Magazine called Золотая палитра. If you are like me, you may not speak much Russian so I asked the author, Maria Lakman, to translate the title of the magazine; it is 'Golden Palette Art Magazine'.
There is a short series of events leading to my involvement with the above article which I would like to mention. Maria first introduced herself in December of 2012 following a telephone conversation I had with one of the daughters of the famous painter Nicholas de Grandmaison. After years of trying to connect, finally I was able to chat about this painter of 'indian portraits' who also carried the same name as me. I mentioned to his daughter that Nicholas has written a letter in 1954 to one of my relatives asking him whether he was related to our family. The letter was printed in a book called 'Sur les traces de nos ancetres - Jean-Baptiste Grand'Maison , ses descendants et le Drame acadien' (2003) by Dr. Reginald Grand'Maison. It is essentially a book about my Grandmaison family from the time my first Canadian descendant (Guy-Jean-Baptiste Guillot) landed in the Province of Quebec (likely in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre) from France in the period between 1700-1712. Maria Lakman contacted me and asked whether she could read the letter as she was currently involved in writing a book in Russian about Nicholas de Grandmaison. I eventually received a copy of the book (2013) but, unfortunately, I can only 'look at the pictures'!
Maria contacted me again in 2014 and asked if she could meet me at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Winnipeg as she was now writing an article about the sculptor. I had a very pleasant walkabout through the gardens with Maria and her husband and later I submitted a selection of images of the sculptures that I had created over the years. The above images were those selected for the article, along with other photos from other sources. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in reading a translation of the article, you can do so by clicking here. Should you like a challenge and wish to read the article in Russian, please contact me and I will forward you a pdf of the article. Interesting how one event can lead to another!