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  • Posted On:
    March 23, 2014
    World Water Day 2014 was observed On March 22nd. This year's theme as expressed by the United Nations is "energy and water". This is a good opportunity for each one of us to think about how we can best use this important resource, including how we can conserve more of it.
  • Posted On:
    March 20, 2014
    Winter sprang into Spring today but ever so slowly! After I dropped off my grandson at pre-school this morning, I headed straight to Grande Pointe to photograph a huge cottonwood tree I discovered last fall. With the milder temperatures and snow covered landscape, the humidity hovered at 92% resulting in a heavy fog that blanketed the entire countryside. I brought the rather monochromatic image into 'onOne Software's 'Perfect Enhance' preset and added a slight warm vintage effect. While some of the trees in this area were quite heavily laden with hoarfrost, the sun never did break through the fog until past noon after which the hoarfrost disappeared quite quickly. On the bright side, birds are beginning to return and I even heard the sound of a pileated woodpecker nearby. 'Knock on wood' that spring is just around the corner!

    Speaking of pileated woodpeckers, 'Knock on Wood - Winter Piece' is one of my favorite compositions from Ian Tamblyn's 'Over My Head' CD (1986). I have spent countless hours driving around the countryside listening to this superb CD of instrumental music blended with bird songs. The CD came about when Ian received a commission from the Canadian Museum of Nature to present a concert celebrating a forthcoming bird exposition. Since then, whenever I hear a pileated woodpecker, I think of my good friend Ian. Personally, I think Ian is one of our fine musical heroes who has celebrated a lifetime of writing and singing about love and the environment. Ian was the recipient of the 2010 'English Songwriter of the Year' Award from the Canadian Folk Music Awards held in Winnipeg as well as a 1976 'Juno Award Winner' for his self-titled album 'Ian Tamblyn'. And ...speaking of Juno Awards, they are coming back to Winnipeg next week, bringing us back full circle! Ah yes, CIRCLE ! I am very excited about starting another major project with Circle / Tétro and Plaines to be announced shortly. The thought of Spring can make you go in circles ...
  • Posted On:
    March 16, 2014
    It's the middle of March and Winnipeg is again under blizzard conditions! I figured then that it was appropriate to post another ... well ... winter image!

    While researching images for a recent calendar submission, I came across this image of a magnificent sun halo accompanied by prominent sundogs. I hadn't seen this image for a few years and decided to 'bring it back'! While all the details were fully captured in the original transparency, the image was rather light in tone and the contrast was fairly low. I scanned the slide and reduced the exposure to bring out the details in the original image.

    According to Tim Herd, expert Meteorologist and Naturalist, "halos are created in illuminated ice crystal clouds or a sky filled with falling ice crystals". This 22 degree halo around the sun is one of the most commonly observed. On either side of the sun - sitting on the halo - are the sundogs, also known as parhelia. At the top of the halo, I do beleive we are seeing a circumzenithal arc!

    Tim Herd's wonderful book 'Kaleidoscope Sky' (ISBN-10: 081099397X) contains a wealth of information about all kinds of celestical phenomena. 'Kaleidoscope Sky' is my 'go-to Bible' for everything about the sky.

    This is one of my favorite images of the Royal Canadian Mint!
  • Posted On:
    March 13, 2014
    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.
  • Posted On:
    March 1, 2014
    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 ....
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