December 10, 2014
I am currently working on a few book projects, one of which is a book about Alberta. I moved to Edmonton in the late 70s and lived there for about seven years. It was the beginning of a 'travel bug' I caught while working with Forestry Canada. Part of my job involved extensive traveling across the Canadian Prairies, as well as the Northwest Territories and the Rocky Mountain parks in British Columbia. My time in Alberta also coincided with my burgeoning interest in photography. While I moved to Winnipeg in the mid 80s, I would return to Alberta to photograph on numerous occasions, sometimes to photograph for other books such as 'The Canadian Rockies' while at other times simply to visit family, friends or photograph for other projects. Always, I would have a camera with me! Here are a few images I hope the editors will include in this new book scheduled to be published this coming spring.
December 5, 2014
'La Cathédrale de Saint-Boniface' is the second book published in Manitoba CountryScapes series (Série Lieux et Paysages du Manitoba) by Vidacom. It is an honor to have collaborated with internationally renowned architect 'extraordinaire' Etienne Gaboury as well as with Joanne Therrien of 'Les Editions des Plaines'. Etienne Gaboury is also the architect behind such famous local landmarks as The Royal Canadian Mint, The Esplanade Riel bridges and Eglise Precieux-Sang to name just a few of his lifetime accomplishments. This book is offered in a hard cover and a soft cover edition as well as in both French and English editions! 'Tetro Design' was responsible for the layout and design while I was the principle photographer for this book.
November 9, 2014
'La Cathédrale de Saint-Boniface' and 'Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes' are the first two books to be published in a new book series called 'Lieux et paysages du Manitoba' (loosely translated, it means 'Places and Landscapes of Manitoba'). Over the course of the next few years, many new titles will be added, including 'Le Manitoba' (Manitoba), 'Churchill et les ours polaires' (Churchill and polar bears) and 'Saint-Léon' in the coming year. This series is published by Les Editions des Plaines and Vidacom of Winnipeg, designed by Tetro Design and printed by Friesens in Altona making this a truly 'Manitoba Made' Project. The books are available in both French and English editions.
It is exciting to be collaborating with renowned architect Etienne Gaboury and 'Plaines' president Joanne Therrien in 'La Cathédrale de Saint-Boniface'. The book features fascinating historical facts, archival photos and recent photographs from your truly. 'Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes' is the first of a series of books to honour the many 'French speaking villages in the Province of Manitoba.
October 29, 2014
'Frame by Frame' Photography Conference, hosted by the Regina Shutterbugs, happens in Regina, SK this coming weekend, November 1 and 2, 2014. On Saturday, I will be presenting 'Meditations' , my reflections on the natural world. I will be in the company of some great photographers and friends. I am particularly looking forward to seeing Freeman Patterson's presentation on 'Embracing Creation', based on his new book and retrospective exhibition of the same name that came out last fall. Freeman is arguably Canada's finest photographic artist. Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the launch of 'Embracing Creation' because of prior commitments so I will be savoring the images on Sunday. I purchased a copy of the book the first day it was released as I just couldn't wait. I am also looking forward to seeing the works of Dennis Fast, Mufty Mathewson, Larry Easton and more!
One of the images I will be presenting is 'Milky Way', created at Klotz Lake in northern Ontario a few weeks ago. My friend and colleague, Peter Blahut, had stopped on the shores of this lake just after the sun had sunk below the horizon. We decided to make a few images of the Milky Way that was beginning to emerge through the darkening sky. As time wore on, we began to notice a tinge of northern light activity until it became quite pronounced and is seen here as a 'green glow' throughout much of the image. I made three relatively quick exposures of the Milky Way, taking care to include some overlap so that I could stitch a panorama as the final image. The night sky is just so inspiring, mysterious and too often overlooked.
September 22, 2014
A colleague and friend, Dion Manastyrski, is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to fund the printing of his first book 'Prairie Sunset: A Story Of Change'. The book will be printed at Friesens in Altona, Manitoba - a place I know very well as I have published all of my books with this great printer. Indiegogo is a crowd-sourcing mechanism for people all over the world to join forces to make ideas happen. Dion has been working hard on his idea to produce a quality book about the vanishing prairies for some 10 years now.
I had the privilege to meet Dion this past summer as he traveled to Manitoba to gather information from The Manitoba Archives and to create a few more images for the project. We also spent a day together photographing in the Pembina Valley. 'Prairie Sunset: A Story of Change' is a book of beautiful photographs of the Canadian Prairies to be sure but it's also a book about how the prairies have changed. Based on more than 70 interviewers that Dion has conducted himself with 'prairie settlers', this book will be one to cherish for years to come.
“In my search for understanding, as I roamed the homesteads of a vanishing era, I photographed the abandoned structures, and talked to the people of the prairies. I listened to their memories of the past and their feelings about the changes, and gathered some of their thoughts and anecdotes. In these writings and photographs, the story of the homesteaders emerged. Collectively, they have a remarkable story to tell, and I would like to share this with you in an upcoming book” says Dion.
Following is a quote from an interview that Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine published recently in my 'Prairie Giants' piece for 'Discovering Canada' (Issue #30):
“In 1938, my dad drove a horse and sled to the nearest phone, 4 miles away, and phoned the doctor. The doctor came by snowplane, which is an enclosed cabin on skis, powered by a gas engine with a large propellor at the back. I remember being afraid of the noise when the snowplane approached the house, and I thought the noise and blown snow might break the windows” remembers Helen Manastyrski of Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan.
If you're interested in the prairies, consider supporting Dion's venture by pre-ordering a book or making a donation.
You can see more of Dion's images as well as read more about the project at: www.prairiesunset.ca