February 3, 2015
The Ontario book is mostly behind me now. The photographs have been selected, laid out and prepared. All the text has been written and now I wait for the call to drive to Altona, MB to do the prepress work to make sure that the images print as close as possible to what I have envisioned. Once we receive the proofs and check them over, I will return to Altona to print the book. Press checks are always a little stressful because that is when you see the final product on paper (signatures) before the book is actually assembled. About a week later the book should arrive in Winnipeg at which point the distribution to book stores and boutiques begins. Marketing has already started but will jump into 'high gear' once the book is printed. We will start with book launches in Winnipeg followed by a book tour to various cities throughout Ontario. Producing books is a lot of work; I guess that's partly why a book is called a 'labour of love'!
My publisher Turnstone Press has planned a book launch at McNally Booksellers in Winnipeg for April 9. More info about book launches coming soon.
February 2, 2015
January ended with a blast of cold and surprisingly beautiful sundogs and a halo.
I happened to look out my window early Saturday morning while managing my email messages and noticed that sundogs were accompanying the rising sun. I didn't think much about the weather and within a few minutes, I was driving out of Winnipeg. Within 5 minutes, I made my first stop on the TransCanada Highway east of Winnipeg and soon realized that it was bitterly cold. At -30 degrees Celsius and with a good wind to boot, it was closer to -40 degrees Celsius. One could barely stay out for a few minutes at a time. I must have stayed out there longer than I should have because my daughter noticed 'splotchy skin' on my face, an indication that I had suffered mild frost bite - the price nature photographers often pay for their craft and art!
A sundog (parhelion) is an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either side on the sun, often co-occurring with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo. In the last two images, such a halo surrounds the sun. Sun dogs occur when plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals from very cold weather or from high and cold cirrus clouds refract light. The crystals, which act as prisms, bend the light rays at a minimum of 22°. A halo (complete ring around the sun) occurs if the ice crystals are randomly oriented. However, if the crystals sink through the air and become vertically aligned, the sunlight is refracted horizontally, resulting in sundogs.
I made the following images with a 17-35mm lens set to its widest focal length except for the last image where I used a 24mm PC or tilt/shift lens. Both lens were fitted with a polarizing filter to increase the contrast and saturate the colors. All images, except for the first one, were made near Lorette, Manitoba.