Photos, thoughts and comments on photography and other subjects. Please see my website at

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter in British Columbia

Go get yourself a cup of coffee or a beverage of your liking, as there are lots of photos here and you may be dehydrated by the time you get to the end. If you do.

Had a great weekend with family in Kamloops, BC and took a couple of opportunities to take photos.
First, this is what greeted us on Friday morning just before we set out west:

Next is my brother-in-laws Stafforshire Terrier - yes a pit bull - but Sugar is the gentlest dog I have come across. Very well trained and just a sweetheart. Didn't know this breed could be that way.

Saturday morning it was out to the eagle nest that I have photographed for two years now. There is a resident pair - Gertrude and Heathcliff - and my luck was with me as they were there. Unfortunately, they took off and I had to bushwack to get closer, but I was never as close as last year. I don't think they have eggs in the nest yet, otherwise they would have hung about the nest and swooped down at me, as they have done before. So these shots are heavy crops. However, I was pleasantly surprised with my Sigma 170-500 lens. I thought they would be crap, but when I brought them into the computer for processing, they didn't take too much work to get them somewhat acceptable.


There was a Yellow Shafted Flicker that didn't like my being there and made a tremendous racket.

 I went down to the river shore to see if anything was interesting there, and was greeted by this muskrat swimming by:

I thought at first it was a beaver, but was told that that would be rare in a flowing river. Anybody good at identifying?

Then a Great Blue Heron cruised in. I couldn't get a shot of him (?) but as I was leaving the area, he rose up out of a small stream and flew off. I managed to get one shot!

All these bird photos were taken with the long lens, quasi hand-held - I had it on a tripod but just used the tripod with the legs together as a monopod.

Before leaving, I took this shot of the South Thompson River for atmosphere.

So after using the long lens, I went close at a garden where my in-laws live.

You may be past the crocus season, but remember where I live. When we left the Calgary area, there was still over a foot of snow on the ground. (It is mostly gone now as it has been hot and sunny, but snow forecast for later this week).

Yesterday, Sunday, we went to a friend's farm where they raise sheep. Lots of little lambs. They were great fun. Not at all shy.

Being fed:

That is my knee:


I liked the back lit ears

 Here too:


Mother and child:

Then home April 1 through the Rockies, stopping at Rogers Pass for a break.

Looking east from the summit of the pass:

Looking west and a detail of some of the peaks:

And finally, looking down the road towards the  Illecillewaet Glacier, with the Maple Leaf proudly surveying the scene.

Thanks for taking the time and looking. I had a great time shooting and fun with family, too! 



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mountains and Theatre

This is the reason I love living where I do. December 11 morning, near Okotoks. The clouds put the prairie in shade and the mountain tops in the sun.  It was beautiful. Cold, but beautiful.

Over the past several years, I have photographed the play put on at Alexander's high school. This is a fun and fairly challenging project, as it takes about 3 days. I go to one full rehearsal  to get an idea of the lighting and staging of the play, then shoot the dress rehearsal, then process the photos and print about 15 for the school promotion.
This year the play was "Grease". As always, I am impressed with the talent and work that the students put into the production. The quality level is way beyond a typical high school production.
Here are some of the  photos:


At the end of the dress rehearsal, I ask the actor who played Danny, the principal male role, if he would pose for a more formal portrait, in character. The players are naturally keen to get going after a five hour rehearsal (!) so I had about 5 minutes to set up my lights and get the shot. It is great to photograph actors as they are not shy in front of a camera and they take direction well. I am quite happy with the result, especially given the short time I had.


Friday, November 9, 2012

July Road Trip

In July Matthew and I went on our annual road trip to Vancouver and Gibsons. These are a lot of fun, good bonding between son and dad and lots of laughs.

 This time we stopped at places on Highway 1 that we have not stopped at before.  First was Wapta Falls in Kicking Horse Pass.

Next was the Giant Cedars in Rogers Pass. this is a coastal rain forest 400 kilometers from the coast! A unique combination of the way the winds blow and the topography.  Very interesting in that these trees are 50 meters tall and it is cool and damp among them. But you can see where this micro climate ends and the normal evergreen forests of the Rockies begin again.

Matthew giving some guide to the size of these trees.

In Vancouver, we did another adventure that I have never done - went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This has been a tourist attraction for about 100 years. Not the original bridge!

It is a true coastal rain forest. Huge cedar trees! The tallest is 76 meters (250 ft) and 1300 years old!! 80 years old at the time of Charlemagne in Europe! Mind boggling.  the tallest tree at 127 meters was cut down in 1895.  Surprising that these trees survived the ravages of man and nature. This is not the tallest, but I liked the view on this and the next.

Then we went over to Gibsons, BC to visit my sister. On the ferry, we heard singing and discovered a Kenyan Girls Choir on their way to visit Gibsons. I couldn't get a shot from the front. Their singing was wonderful.

This is their director, Isaac Kaguri Kavehere, adding some bass to the choir.

Arriving at My sister's house, we were greeted by this deer in the front yard. Completely unafraid of us. After this photo was taken, it happily began to eat again.

Evening in Gibsons harbour.

Chaster Beach at sunset. A bit misty, but it added to the atmosphere and helped filter the sun.

Vegetables for dinner.

On our way home we stopped for a sandwich at this meadow in Kicking Horse Pass. A carpet of flowers.

It was a great trip and we look forward to doing something similar again next yer.