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Hot Off the Press

May 30, 2012
Kista Peak and Clouds, David Thompson Country

Kista Peak and Clouds, David Thompson Country

Things have been hopping busy here at Vivid Aspect, for the past several weeks. And it’s not slowing down any time soon. This has been great for doing the work of photography, but not so hot for blogging and social networking about it. Tough… it’s a fine problem to have. 🙂

First off, I want to thank the group who came out for the 2012 Spring Photo Tour at Aurum Lodge. Valentina, Sonia, Mike and Mo were a great bunch, and Alan and I had a lot of fun guiding the group through a series of locations designed to stretch their impressions and photography in the Canadian Rockies. Often the Rockies are perceived as “merely” the iconic snow-capped peaks reflecting over crystalline lakes, or perhaps alpine meadows full of wildflowers and wildlife. Well, okay, I admit we did some work with beautiful mountains, reflections, flowers and wildlife, all of which are photo-worthy subjects in spring. And weather was great — we got blown away a bit by the wind, warmed by the sun, and enjoyed stillness that left large parts of Abraham Lake flat as a plate of glass.

Cline River & Canyon, David Thompson Country

Cline River & Canyon, David Thompson Country

But we did some less conventional things as well. We walked up into a couple of local canyons where centuries of river flow have laid open the details of rock walls, cutting through the forested flanks of mountains. We worked through an interpretive trail describing the effects of a forest fire and observed how the forest is beginning to renew itself. We took a break on the silty dunes alongside the North Saskatchewan River, looking out over the twisted path of the water through a broad flood plain. And we spent nearly a full day pulling compositions, both literal and abstract, from the abandoned Brazeau Collieries mine site in the small town of Nordegg. The group rolled with everything we came up with, whether it was expected & familiar subject matter or not. 🙂 We talked about how to polish our personal expression in photography, by concentrating on the elements of subject, composition and light. And when the long spring days took their toll, we did some classroom work a couple of evenings, reviewing images brought by the group and going through a quick example of my HDR workflow.

All in all it was a blast, and I believe everyone came away confident that it was time well spent. Some more sample images from the group will be coming over the next few weeks.

The Nordegg connection leads to my second update. While I was out in the area, I took the opportunity to have a good discussion with Cindy Bourn, who runs the Miner’s Cafe and Coliseum Gift Shop. Located in the old Nordegg school house which also houses the Nordegg Heritage Centre with its museum of the mine site, this is definitely a place to stop in if you visit the town between May and September. (The centre is closed during the off-season months.) Cindy is as friendly as can be, and the smells (and taste!) of the great food served at the Cafe just adds to the positive ambience of the place.

First batch of prints delivered to Coliseum Gift Shop, Nordegg

First batch of prints delivered to Coliseum Gift Shop, Nordegg

Cindy has featured the work of various local artists in the Gift Shop since it opened, and I’m very pleased to say that my photo prints are now part of the collection offered. Just yesterday, I delivered the first set of prints to Cindy and we got several of them arranged in the shop. The initial work shown concentrates mainly on my growing series of impressions from the Brazeau Collieries site, which I find to be a fantastically addictive photography location.

Prints are available in several sizes & prices, all created by me to the highest quality standard I can achieve. I also included some specialty examples such as 16×20 ready-to-hang prints on metal plate, and a framed gallery-quality 16×20 special edition print produced for me by Costas Costoulas of Resolve Photo and Hannah White of Framed on Fifth. I really like this series of prints, and the special editions in particular represent the compositions very well. I’ll have more to say about printing approaches in future blogs. Meantime, if you’re passing by Nordegg this summer, be sure to stop in town and check out the Heritage Centre. Take a tour of the mine, if you have time… you won’t regret it.

Time presses, so on to my final update. Things may be more silent in my online world because I’m embarking on some back-to-back photo shoots running up through mid-July:

  • In about 2 hours, I’m heading for the airport to join a group of friends (new & old) on a 2+ week photo excursion around the incredible country of Iceland. I’ve never been there before so have little to say or show about it — yet. But I expect to love it there, and I hope to come back with some incredible experiences. And perhaps a few photographs as well. This is going to be intense, with some 22 hours of daylight each day at this time of year, but it should be a ton of fun as well.
  • Right after Iceland, I’m heading down to Phoenix. Along with Sherwood Parkian Peter Carroll who’s a highly talented photographer, I’ll be joining two other talented photogs from Arizona — Colleen Miniuk-Sperry and Ken Ross. The 4 of us will be doing a joint photography project this year for the international exchange group Through Each Others Eyes. Based around a project with the working title “New West Visions”, we will photograph locations around Phoenix and then around Calgary, designed to show comparisons & contrasts of these western-themed places, peoples and cultures. This is another new branch of work for me, and I’m incredibly excited to be involved with TEOE and this group of project photographers. There will be much more to say about this in the future.

It’s been an exciting year so far, and will continue to be even more so! But for now, that will have to do it. I’m off to get a few final things done and then jump on a plane ultimately bound for Iceland. More to come…

TEOE Arizona / Alberta exchange project

TEOE Arizona / Alberta exchange project team

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