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.
November 4, 2014
I just returned from attending the 2014 ‘Frame By Frame’ PhotoForum in Regina, Saskatchewan. As I had hoped, it was a weekend of INSPIRATION and, as usual, I learned a few things in the process too. I met new folks, rekindled old acquaintances and connected with ‘old friends’. Great food, good conversation and being immersed in a weekend of photographic events with like-minded folks is always refreshing and ‘gourmet food for the soul’!
Day 1 opened with ‘Wildlife As I See It’ by Dennis Fast. Dennis is an excellent nature photographer with a specialty in wildlife. In my opinion, Dennis creates the finest polar bear images! Being a retired school teacher/principal, it is not surprising that his program was very entertaining, full of interesting anecdotes and simply beautiful to watch. His latest book ‘Touch The Arctic’ should be an excellent seller!
Mufty Mathewson followed Dennis with ‘Rehabilitation Patients At Work’. Mufty, worked for a long time as a physiotherapist before moving on to photography some years later. Her program featured the various departments she was commissioned to photograph at a local hospital she was involved with. I found the content fascinating and enjoyed learning about the various opportunities available for patients with various physical and mental difficulties. Her image conversion from color to black & white was particularly effective. I believe this image conversion to B&W more effectively translated her vision than a color photograph would have done with this particular subject matter.
Dr. Branimir Gjetvaj started the afternoon program with a travelogue called ‘Wonders of Croatia’. As I was not personally very knowledgeable about the country, I found it interesting to learn more about Croatia’s natural heritage.
Susan McGillivray kept us entertained with her program ‘Music With Pictures’, taking us back into the 60s and 70s ‘memory lane’. My favorite part of that program was her ‘purely abstract images’.
'Yours truly' ended Day 1 with a program called ‘Meditations’ in which I shared my personal reflections about the natural world (Natural Reflections). This program is a ‘work in progress’ and a collaboration with my good friend and ‘designer extraordinaire’ Robert Peters. I illustrated concepts such as inspiration, seeing, intimacy, order and change. From the feedback I received afterwards, it appears the program resonated very well with the viewers.
Day 2 began with Freeman Patterson, arguably one of the world’s finest artists. His program ‘Embracing Creation’ was based on his latest book of the same name. In November of 2013, the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick honored Freeman with a ‘retrospective exhibition’ of his life’s work to date. Freeman spoke to us about Creativity and then followed up with an illustrated program about ‘design’. I personally learn so much from listening to him speak on the topic of ‘design’ and I simply love seeing his imagery. Freeman has already inspired a few generations. Don’t miss his latest book ‘Embracing Creation’.
Larry Easton followed with ‘Sacred Places in Rural Saskatchewan & The Art of Architecture’. Working on a similar project, I was quite fascinated in learning about his personal process and seeing his many fine images in his new book called ‘Legacy of Worship’.
The two-day seminar ended with a ‘bubbly program’ by Darlene Young called ‘Introduction to Liquid Art Photography’. I very much enjoyed the strong, graphic nature of her abstract images. Darlene obviously has a lot of fun creating her images!
I would like to sincerely that Bill Inglis, the Event Coordinator, as well as his great team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring together an interesting program for the participants. I believe this was the 12th such event that he and his various teams have organized over the years. As a result of organizing many similar events in the past, I am well aware that it takes a lot of effort and dedication in making these happen as well as be successful. So, on behalf of all the speakers who presented, I wish to sincerely thank Deb Balbar, Shelley Bremner, Lyn Cadence, Shirley Costrom, Ken and Bard Dickson, Frank Dyck, Larry Easton, Phil Frohman, Wayne Gilmer, DeLee Grant, Judy Hamilton, Bill Inglis, Dave Innes, Ken Jones, Lloyd Jones, Heather Loewenhardt, Helen McCaslin, Susan McGillivray, Rose Odling and Len Suchan.
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 14, 2014
The current solar cycle is near its peak but this cycle has been unusually quiet. There was however some northern light activity during the last couple of weeks. I ventured out on three separate occasions following predictions for good northern light activity in Manitoba but witnessed strong activity on only one of those nights. The best northern lights were undeniably during an unscheduled visit to the bathroom around 3 PM in Indian Head, Saskatchewan! It pays to keep our head up!
I am working on a piece about the grain elevators of Saskatchewan and this one image of a lone sentinel caught my eye as a good candidate to experiment with black & white. The dreary, cloudy late afternoon light of a late winter's day robbed the scene of any shadow and color but, combined with a bold composition, provided a simplicity that could not have been achieved otherwise. This image of an abandoned elevator and solitary tree was captured in Horizon, Saskatchewan.