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Dried grass with green fringe

Dried grass seed heads glow in the warming evening light of early spring.

Tall dried grass

I’m try­ing to print a wide range of pho­tos as I start up on my Daily Print project to give myself a feel for what kinds of prints I’m fairly good at mak­ing already, and which areas I could use more practice.

I’m also try­ing to use a range of tools and tech­niques that I haven’t used before, to try to add them to my reg­u­lar work­flow to be used as required. This image showed just a hint of “green fring­ing” chro­matic abber­a­tion, so I tried out Light­room 4.1’s new “Defringe” con­trols. I don’t know if the slight fring­ing would have been notice­able in a print orig­i­nally, but it sure wasn’t after a lit­tle bit of extra tweak­ing. Cool.

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

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: $

Raptor migration through Edmonton river valley

Coopers Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Today, after a cou­ple days of bad weather, I went for a walk at the Strath­cona Sci­ence Park, a provin­cial park on the east­ern edge of Edmon­ton (fol­low 17th street north from base­line road (101 ave)). The early autumn colours were start­ing to come out, but most strik­ing was the num­ber of rap­tors mov­ing through the river val­ley. Dur­ing my rel­a­tively short walk, I saw a pair of Swainson’s Hawks, sev­eral Red-tailed Hawks, a Bald Eagle perched in a snag, and a Cooper’s Hawk hunt­ing Yellow-rumped War­blers in the shrubs along the river bank.

I didn’t get any pho­tographs of the birds I saw today, so I thought I’d share this one — a Cooper’s Hawk that I caught while work­ing as a bird ban­der at the Beaver­hill Bird Obser­va­tory in Tofield. As you may judge from the photo, he was none too happy about the sit­u­a­tion, but I really enjoyed get­ting a close-up look at one of these ter­rific birds.

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: $

A selection of my favourite landscape photographs from 2009

Sev­eral of my favourite Alberta land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers have been post­ing small gal­leries of their past year’s best land­scape pho­tographs, so I decided to do the same. It was fun to look back through a year’s worth of pho­tos, and impos­si­ble to decide which were my “favourite”. I decided to pick one favourite photo from each of the loca­tions in Alberta that I reg­u­larly make pho­tographs includ­ing: Jasper National Park, Water­ton National Park, and the Ice­fields Park­way in the Rocky Moun­tains; and Min­is­tik Lake Game Bird Sanc­tu­ary, White­mud Ravine, Gold Bar Park, and the Strath­cona Sci­ence Park closer to my home in Edmonton.

I’ve posted all of the pho­tos below as a group (in chrono­log­i­cal order) but I will also cre­ate a sep­a­rate entry for each photo to pro­vide extra details about the image like I usu­ally do — just click on the link below each photo to go to it’s detail page. (It will take me a lit­tle while to get them all up)

I hope you enjoy this small col­lec­tion, and I do always appre­ci­ate it if you leave a com­ment with your thoughts or reac­tion. Happy New Year, and I wish you many fine pho­tographs in 2010!

Sun, shadow, fresh snow, and thin cloud on Mount Geraldine along the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada

Moun­tain Geral­dine ridge

Along the Ice­fields Park­way [Click for more details]

A darkening sky on a cold winter day through the bare branches of aspen and poplar trees

Pale win­ter sky through poplar canopy

Min­is­tik Lake (in the winter)

Delicate white flowers bloom in front of a background of fern

Chick­weed blooms and fern

Water­ton National Park

Low clouds loom at dusk over a glassy calm boreal lake

Brood­ing cloud over Min­is­tik Lake

Min­is­tik Lake (in the sum­mer) (I know that’s cheat­ing a little)

The evening sky is reflected in multiple channels of the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park

Athabasca River island at dusk

Jasper National Park

Several birch trees stand bare in front of subtle fall colour in the North Saskatchewan River valley

Birch stems and early autumn colour

Gold­bar Park (North Saskatchewan River Valley)

Frost-covered willow thicket at dawn in the Whitemud Ravine in Edmonton, Alberta

Late autumn wil­low thicket

White­mud Ravine [Click for more details]

Heavy frost coats young alders saplings during an extreme cold snap in Edmonton, Alberta

Ice fog frozen on alder saplings

Strath­cona Sci­ence Park [Click for more details]

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

Wintery Porcupine

Here’s another short video clip of this por­cu­pine I came across while out pho­tograph­ing along the North Saskatchewan River in the Strath­cona Sci­ence Park. He (or she) was pretty small, maybe about the size of a beach ball, and was not going any­where – if I moved too sud­denly he’d pause from his eat­ing, but he never left his spot. It’s hard to imag­ine how a por­cu­pine can get enough nutri­tion out of the dried grass and seeds that he’s eat­ing here to be able to sur­vive the kind of cold that we’ve been get­ting lately, but I guess they do.

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.

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.