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Photography show at 'The Works' 2011 festival

A forest of transmission towers and poles holding up a tangle of high voltage power lines near the Strathcona Refineries in Edmonton, Alberta are shrouded by the dense smoke from forest fires in BC in the late summer of 2010.

Strath­cona Refiner­ies #307, August 2010

I am very excited to let you all know that I will have a solo show of my pho­tog­ra­phy at this year’s The Works Art & Design Fes­ti­val here in Edmon­ton. If you’re not from Edmon­ton, The Works is a large fes­ti­val that runs for a cou­ple of weeks in the sum­mer, with artists from all over the world dis­play­ing their work in var­i­ous down­town venues. My show will be dis­played at City Hall from the start of the fes­ti­val on June 23 through to July 5 and there will be a recep­tion for my show from 2-3pm on Sat­ur­day the 2nd of July.

As for the work itself, it is much dif­fer­ent in con­tent than my usual land­scape and nature pho­tog­ra­phy, but I think that my per­sonal pho­to­graphic style still shows through quite a bit. The exhi­bi­tion will be twenty large prints of images I made last August when smoke from large for­est fires in BC shrouded the refiner­ies just east of Edmon­ton (and every­thing else in cen­tral Alberta) in a dense, orange haze. I wrote an entry about it at the time (click here), but haven’t shared any of these images since then. I am busy set­ting up a new web­site for this col­lec­tion (it just doesn’t fit on this site), and I’ll post here once it’s up.

*UPDATE* The new web­site is now live! I invite you to have a look at www.strathcona-refineries.com.

*UPDATE* The exhi­bi­tion is now up! Thanks to the whole Works crew that did such a great job — it looks ter­rific. While The Works Fes­ti­val isn’t “on” yet, if you’re down­town you can drop by City Hall and have a look at the prints on dis­play. I would really appre­ci­ate hear­ing your reac­tions and com­ments — either here (by leav­ing a reply below), by con­tact­ing me per­son­ally, or in per­son at the show recep­tion on July 2nd.

*UPDATE* You can read a short inter­view that I did with Steve Wald­ner of The Works Fes­ti­val about the show at http://theworksfest.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/strathcona-refineries-august-2010/

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Warm light on winter day

Angled sunlight creates warm colours on a mild winter day at Whitemud Ravine in Edmonton, Alberta

Warm win­ter colours

I took this pho­to­graph dur­ing a beau­ti­ful lunch-time walk through the White­mud Ravine. Although it was mid-day, because of the sea­son the light was angled low and fil­tered through a very light haze, giv­ing it a warm tone. It’s unusual to see warm-toned colours much dur­ing the win­ter, but if you catch it just right they can add an inter­est­ing mood to an image.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Magpie tracks in fresh snow

The imprint of a magpies wing and tail are left behind in fresh snow

Mag­pie wingprint

After a cou­ple cen­time­ters of fresh, pow­dery snow, I went for a walk at the Strath­cona Sci­ence Park along the North Saskatchewan River. In one area there were nearly a dozen spots where a mag­pie had dropped into the snow, leav­ing these beau­ti­ful impres­sions of its wing tips and long tail — thrown into beau­ti­ful detail by the low angle of the sun these days. I couldn’t tell what it was after under the snow, and I didn’t see any other mag­pie tracks out­side of this one small area. If you have ever seen some­thing sim­i­lar, I’d love to hear you think this bird might have been up to.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Merry Christmas

Red berries are backlit by the sun on a bright winter morning in Whitemud Ravine, Edmonton

Moun­tain Ash berries on bright morning

A good friend of mine recently asked if I had a photo of a moun­tain ash tree, and this one sprang to mine. I took this photo in Jan­u­ary 2004, hav­ing just traded in my film cam­era for my first dig­i­tal SLR cam­era. I still remem­ber the walk — it was a clas­sic sparkly, crisp, bright Edmon­ton win­ter morn­ing. This is one of my best-selling christ­mas card images, so I thought I’d share it, and wish you all the best for the hol­i­days and in the new year.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Goldeneye flock flying over river

This past year I upgraded my cam­era to the Canon 5DmkII, it’s a ter­rific cam­era that I’m very happy with, and one of the neat tricks it does is shoot high def­i­n­i­tion video. I don’t shoot too much video — I’m a stills pho­tog­ra­pher at heart, regard­less of what the cam­era can do — but it is fun to try once in a while.

I took this short video this past week dur­ing the cold snap — it shows a small flock of Com­mon Gold­en­eye (Bucephala clan­gula) ducks swim­ming in the river then tak­ing off and fly­ing, land­ing again a ways upriver. The ducks dive briefly under the water sur­face a cou­ple of times before fly­ing — my best guess is that they’re “de-icing” their wings (it was about –35° C that morning).

You can push the fullscreen but­ton (four out­ward arrows at the bottom-right of the video) to view it larger, or fol­low the link to watch a high-definition ver­sion at vimeo.com.

It's Cold

Frozen birch leaf

Frozen birch leaf

That’s “cold” with a cap­i­tal “C”. An arc­tic air front descended on the prairies, send­ing the tem­per­a­ture to extreme lows and send­ing all rea­son­able peo­ple safely indoors — the land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers how­ever, grab their cam­eras and head out. I find that when it gets below –30° C you can actu­ally see how cold it is. The light is excep­tion­ally clear, the frost on the grasses and shrubs accu­mu­lates and holds on tight, and the air seems to lit­er­ally freeze — there is often an ice fog lying low to the ground, pro­vid­ing pho­tog­ra­phers a pale frosty blue/white back­ground. If you’re well dressed, care­ful, and have a spare bat­tery for your cam­era in your warm pocket (for when the first one freezes), it’s a beau­ti­ful time to be out cap­tur­ing the land­scape in a state that not many peo­ple get to experience.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Spectacular sunset over Edmonton

Fiery altostratus sunset

Fiery alto­stra­tus sunset

This after­noon I went out for a walk at the Cook­ing Lake-Blackfoot Provin­cial Recre­ation Area. I spent sev­eral hours hap­pily walk­ing the Lost Lake/Islet Lake trails in unsea­son­ably warm weather, but with a flat, grey layer of drab alto­stra­tus cloud over­head. That is to say, there weren’t many good pho­to­graphic oppor­tu­ni­ties. As I was dri­ving home, how­ever, the sun snuck through a gap in the cloud just above the hori­zon – with stun­ning effect. I had to pull over to watch the – all too brief – colours spread across nearly the whole sky, and of course, take some pho­tographs. I find this type of sky can be very hard to get a good expo­sure, where it’s not too dark but the high­lights (espe­cially the yel­lows) aren’t blown out or over-saturated, leav­ing detail-less areas within the wispy strands of cloud. I think this one turned out quite well, and I really like how the pat­tern of the cloud could be eas­ily mis­taken for fire, which is just what the sky looked like for a few min­utes – aflame. I hope you enjoy it too.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $