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.
December 21, 2014
For the better part of a week, I struggled over which images would be included in my ONTARIO book. In the end, I selected about 10% of the original 2,300 images I had preselected. Part of the difficulty was choosing images that would work well opposite each other on a page spread. I was mindful of the geography, the seasons, colors, format and big landscape vs intimate views vs closeups, which proved to be a difficult task indeed. However, I achieved what I set out to do. Selecting the images and laying them out is the most difficult part of producing any book but it is also the most enjoyable, with the exception of producing the images and the actual experience itself. I meet with my publisher in a couple of days to finalize the layout. The next tasks include writing a preface, the captions and the stories behind the photographs. Plenty of work left to do!
Above are a few additional images that will appear in the book.
December 13, 2014
Now that the 'Alberta' book is mostly behind me, I am immersed in the production of my 'Ontario' book! I have been thinking about doing this book since 2005 just after I released my 'Canada' book. I seriously began photographing for this book in 2008 after publishing two other books: 'Georgian Bay' (2008) and 'Muskoka' (2010). When Key Porter Books went into receivership in 2011, those plans fell through. Luckily for me, I had retained the rights to all of my books and Turnstone Press of Winnipeg (publisher of my 'Prairie and Beyond' book) agreed to take on the Ontario project.
While the 'Canadian Prairies' has become my adopted home, I was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario. That's where all my childhood memories are. While attending university and up until I left Ontario for Alberta in late 1978, I managed to experience much of the Central region of the province (what the politicians call Northern Ontario!). In the late 1990s, I traveled through many parts of southern Ontario to produce a number of business/tourism books for cities like London, Hamilton, Kitchener & Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. I even collaborated on 'Healing The Landscape' book (2001) about the reclamation of the Sudbury Region. When I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1985, I then began to explore Northwestern Ontario. Through the various trips back and forth from Edmonton / Winnipeg to Sudbury to visit family and friends, as well as all those business trips, I accumulated a significant amount of imagery of the province.
This week I rummaged through a filing cabinet of Ontario slides and short-listed 400 slides. I then searched for high res files on my hard drives, found 560 and copied them to a folder for further consideration. Then came the task of going through 8 hard drives of RAW unprocessed images to select another 1300 images. My first round of editing resulted in a first selection of 2,260 images. In the next couple of days, I will edit the 2,260 photographs down to about 250 images, thus rejecting 90% of that initial selection. It's not an easy task to be sure, especially when many of these are my favorites. But there is only room for so many images in a book and one must be ruthless during the editing process. Images will be chosen for various reasons including: geographic representation, variety of subject matter, landscapes vs intimate views, wildlife and plants, seasons, time of day, color, horizontal vs vertical, etc. I will then spend a great deal of time matching or pairing images on a 'page spread' so that the images complement each other creating continuity, visual flow and harmony. I thought you might enjoy some insight into what goes on in producing a book. I hope to produce the best Ontario book yet!
Attached is a small sampler of some of the images from different regions that will probably be included in the book. Wish me luck !
December 9, 2014
If you are looking for a nice 2015 calendar for yourself, a family member or a friend, you may be interested in this selection of beautiful calendars that feature my photography. Some of these calendars are offered in different sizes like 'large wall', 'mini' and 'desktop'. The Winnipeg title is a brand new calendar for this year! These calendars should be available in many book stores across Canada like Chapters / Indigo / Coles as well as many of the independents like McNally Robinson Bookstores here in Winnipeg. Of course, some regional titles may not be offered in some regions but they can still be available from the publisher. If you can't find a particular title, let me know and I will send you to the publisher's web page. Thank you in advance for supporting my work! Enjoy!
October 16, 2014
On Tuesday night, my friend Peter and I witnessed an awesome display of northern lights on the shore of Klotz Lake in northern Ontario. We left Sudbury in a light rain around 10 AM and drove north to Kapuskasing. It rained most of the day, at times very heavy. We finally drove out of the rain near Hearst and proceeded westward, driving through a beautiful sunset, passing by tree after tree with absolutely no opportunity to make a nice photograph. Disappointed, we eventually reached Klotz Lake, about a half hour east of Longlac where we made a few images of the last light around 7 PM.
We decided to camp out at Klotz Lake and be ready for a potentially nice sunrise the following day. As night fell, we noticed the milky way and made a few compositions. At the same time I received a text alert from Soft Serve News that northern lights might appear around 9 PM. We had received an earlier text alert stating that northern lights were at 'storm level' around 6 PM but, unfortunately, it was still daylight so we could not see them then. As 9 PM approached, we began to notice a green color tinge in the background of images so we suspected that we just might see auroras tonight. As predicted, the northern lights did appear and danced brilliantly for about 5 minutes, returning a few more times in the next couple of hours but much less brilliant. I made a few compositions with a wide angle lens and then shifted to a 16mm fisheye lens to capture the auroras reflecting in Klotz Lake. What a show! It had been a while since we witnessed such an amazing display!