Happy Canada Day Everyone! Although summer officially arrived just over a week ago, for many people Canada Day, July 1st, marks the start of summer. So to celebrate Canada Day and the summer season we have changed our website’s header photograph to mark the occasion. The photo, a grainery in a canola field, was taken a couple of years in southern Saskatchewan. Have a great summer everyone!
Currently Cirque du Soleil is in Edmonton presenting Amaluna under the Big Top at Northlands Park. Unfortunately we aren’t going to have the opportunity to take in the show, so when I heard that some of the Amaluna performers were going to be at Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton over lunch hour a week ago Wednesday I thought that it might be neat to go down there and check it out. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, but I figured that since it was a beautiful day that I had nothing to lose by going there. So I grabbed my new Nikon D7100 camera (a chance to try it out a little more) and a couple of lenses and headed down to Churchill Square. For those people who know me, most would be surprised that I was heading out to photograph people since that is something that I rarely do. When I got there just after 12 noon the costumed performers were already there, about eight or nine in total, wandering around interacting with the people who had gathered in the square. I was a little disappointed at first, as they really weren’t doing much performing; they were more mingling with the crowd and posing for pictures with people. But it still was quite interesting and allowed for a lot of photographic opportunities. I was a little tentative at first but quickly got into it and was snapping pictures like crazy. I had lots of fun and it was great to do some photography that was outside of my normal photographic comfort zone. Mark
As we mentioned in an earlier “Walkin’ the dog ” post, while walking K’san in Bowen Park we stumbled upon something that we needed to return to and photograph in more detail. How could we pass up the opportunity to photograph a number of beautiful totem poles that were lying on the ground?
The coastal first nations people of the Pacific Northwest carved spiritual figures on totem poles and these totem poles had significant cultural importance for them. Totem poles are typically carved using Cedar trees, which will decay over time, albeit very slowly. As a result the lifespan of a totem pole is typically less than 100 years. When enough rot has set in that the totem poles become unstable, they are laid down during a spiritual reconnection to the earth ceremony. The totem poles that we stumbled upon in Bowen Park originally stood in front of the duck pond for several decades. As they aged, and in keeping with tradition, the totems were laid down amongst the trees near the duck pond so they could continue to slowly make their return back to the earth. This is where we found them and these are some of the images that we captured of them. We plan to continue to visit these totems and document their slow return back into the earth.
If you are ever in Nanaimo, B.C. on Vancouver Island and are looking for a great park to go for a walk you should check out Bowen Park. It is a good-size park, around 36 hectares with lots of trails and pathways to explore. The park also offers a variety of activities such as tennis, lawn bowling, swimming and disk golf to name a few. Most of the trails take you through forests of cedar, fir, hemlock and maple. In the summer months when the days are hot it can be very pleasant to walk in the shade of the forest.
One of the trails we enjoy walking K’san on winds along the Millstone River. When the water level is normal, the Millstone meanders through the park and there is a set of falls and some cascades. It is a wonderful spot to photograph, here are a few photos that we took while walking K’san in Bowen Park.
One of the great things about walking K’san in different areas is that it allows us to explore and find neat photographic locations and subjects. Such was the case one-day while we were walking K’san in Bowen Park. We were following the Millstone River trail, when we decided to take one of the trails that diverted away from the river and explore it. It was then that we came upon something that we knew we had to come back to and explore in more detail with our more serious camera gear. So in our next post, we will show you some images we took of what we stumbled across. – Leslie and Mark
In Part One of this two part post on our winter journey into Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park, Alberta we featured a couple of our photos of the canyon itself, but there is a lot to see and photograph while hiking in the canyon. The ice itself both over the river and on the canyon walls provides some stunning photographic opportunities; so don’t forget to take your macro lens with you.
These two images were taken in the lower, more accessible, part of the Maligne Canyon and show some of the subtle beauty that one can find in the ice itself. Mark & Leslie
It was around this time in February a couple of years ago that we had the opportunity to go to a location that is only accessible in the winter, so we felt that it was only fitting that it was featured in this and the next installment of One Subject, Two Views.
Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park, Alberta is a very popular year-round attraction, however, most people only get to see it from above – looking down into the canyon. But come the cold temperatures in winter, the ice on the surface of the Maligne River freezes allowing people access into the canyon. Although you might think that the winter weather will keep people away, don’t expect that you will be alone in the canyon. On the contrary once the ice is solid enough to walk on there are guided tours, climbers, and other enthusiast (including photographers) walking in the canyon.
One piece of equipment that is extremely useful, if not required, is a set of crampons or trail crampons. The ice is very slippery and there are places where it is on a slope so without some form of ice grippers on your feet you will have difficulties maneuvering in the canyon and falls can happen very easily.
The easiest and safest way into Maligne Canyon is to walk up from the Fifth Bridge and enter the canyon from the bottom. Most year’s people can easily get up to just above the Fourth Bridge, being stopped by the ice falls. To get above the ice falls, you need to have ice climbing gear.
When you step out onto the ice surface in the canyon it is at first a little exhilarating because you can hear the sounds of the water rushing and bubbling under the ice below your feet. However, it doesn’t take long till you get used to it, start focusing on your surroundings and begin exploring the canyon. A note of caution, the river is still flowing below the ice and there are holes and weak spots so be very careful when you are walking in the canyon; follow the paths and tracks of people who have gone there before you.
In Part One, we have included a photograph that we each took in the upper part of the canyon above the Third Bridge. We were taken into the upper canyon by our friend Ross Pugh who owns Jasper Camera and Gifts on “Main Street” (412 Connaught Drive) in the town of Jasper. It was a magical place, but a challenge to photograph due to tight confines of the canyon. – Leslie & Mark
In the past people have commented that since we both photograph together most of the time that we must have a lot of the same photographs and how do we tell who’s images are who’s. Leslie’s response to that comment is that it is easy to tell hers from Mark’s, because hers are all the really great ones. However, the real answer is that we each have our own ways of seeing and photographic styles so that we usually end up with unique images of the same subject or scene. So to illustrate this we have come up with this regular feature – One Subject – Two Views. No it is not just the same subject from a low angle or perspective (Leslie who is shorter at barely 5’2”) and from a higher view (Mark who is taller at 6’).
For our first One Subject – Two Views feature we take you to Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park in Central Alberta where we spent some time photographing some hoodoos and their surroundings.