Art in the Park at the Sooke Car Show

Art in the Park at the Sooke Car Show

I’ve been with the local Arts Council for the past couple years and have slowly been getting more involved. I’ve had a couple showings through them this year and just finished participating in one of our “Art in the Park” events. This one was held at the Sooke Car Show.

Some of my prints at one a SAC booth

This was the first time I’ve set up a table at one of these events and it was definitely a learning experience. In the future I should have a much better setup and now know what to expect. It was a beautiful day for the event, but the one thing that made life a little difficult was the wind, although I didn’t have any serious issues with it. The worst that happened to me is a couple art cards blew off the table. Others had paintings and prints blown down and one person had a large glass pane from a framed print smash when it blew over.

At the end of the month I have a print at the largest juried art show on Vancouver Island, then in early August I have another Art in the Park event, which should be much bigger. It looks like a busy summer! I’ll leave you with some photos from today at the car show.

Hiking, Photography and Creating on YouTube

Hiking, Photography and Creating on YouTube

As I recently mentioned, I have started to create videos on YouTube, following along on when I go out photographing on my hikes around (mostly) local areas. With all the time I have spent on creating videos, I have had less to spend on the blog, so I thought I’d give a little recap of some of the recent hikes I’ve been on. Each of the locations mentioned has a hyperlink to the video, and it would be great if you could view some (or all) of them, like those you enjoy, and leave a comment or two on YouTube to let me know that you thought.

My new hiking / photography companion, Cosmo

In my first video, I visited Sheringham Point Lighthouse, at Shirley, BC and I brought my new hiking buddy, Cosmo. He’s since made appearances in several other videos.

lighthouse at Shirley BC with blue sky
A beautiful day at Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Next, I took a quick, exploratory trip up to Mount Washington, to see some snow. My other frequent travelling companion, Henrietta (who you’ve met before) was introduced in this video. I had never been there before and I know I will be returning at some point in the future.

Fresh snowfall on Mount Washington

I then went to Mary Vine Falls, which is in Sooke Potholes Regional Park, and an easy hike from the trailhead. As of this time, it is the most watched and liked video I have published.

January brings lots of volume to Mary Vine Falls

A trip up to Tofino and Uclulet followed, and I visited Amphitrite Lighthouse.

The light shines brightly at the Amphitrite Lighthouse

On the same trip, I stayed at my favourite resort on the beach just outside the town of Tofino. I hiked around the trails at Cox Bay at that time.

Storm watching is always enjoyable at Cox Bay

For my most recent video, I travelled just past Port Renfrew, and visited Fairy Lake, where there is a unique little tree growing from a mostly submerged stump in the middle of the lake.

The Fairy Lake tree is probably the most photographed tree in the region

Most of my excursions are local and not planned long ahead, however I do have two more significant photography trips planned for later this year. One just a little further than I’ve been before on Vancouver Island, and another outside British Columbia, so keep an eye out for my upcoming posts and videos.

As far as my YouTube channel goes, before I started it, I thought I’d start slow, and do one video a month. As soon as I began, I realized that would be too infrequent and I wanted to get some content out there before slowing the pace a bit, so I have been publishing a new video every Sunday morning. Very soon, I will be settling in to two videos a month, coming out on the First and Third Sunday’s of each month. This should allow enough time to get new, interesting content and process it, but hopefully not too infrequent to grow my followers. Thanks for checking out this post, and I hope you were able to watch some videos as well. 🙂

Looking to the Future and at the Past

Janus, the ancient Roman god of, among other things, beginnings, transitions, time and endings, is, according to Wikipedia, “usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past”. I look at this post as my 2018/2019 Janus edition, in that I will briefly review my past year’s goals and accomplishments, then look forward to plans for the coming year.

Small tree covered in snow

At the end of 2017, I wrote a post about what my hopes were for my photography in 2018. Some of these goals were met, while others were not. Here is a review of some of those goals:

My hopes to photograph significantly more wildlife didn’t happen and while it is not the top of my list of hopes for 2019, I’m still hopping to do better in this area.

I expected Nature photography to be the focus of my efforts, which it was, and it will continue to be. This is a broad area, so to narrow it down just a little, I expect to be doing a lot of seascape, landscape and woodland photography. I know, that doesn’t narrow it down too much!

Photographing in new locations was another priority for me in 2018 and I made progress in this area. I was able to travel to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state and had a great time exploring the sea stacks on the coast as well as the rainforest. I also made a trip to the northern end of Vancouver Island, where I visited more sea stacks in San Josef Bay, in Cape Scott Provincial Park. Since the southern end of Vancouver Island sees very little snow, I made a trip late in the year to Mount Washington in the central island area, so I could make some winter images. There will definitely be more varied trips around the island and the province, as well as at least one to another destination further south.

I had hoped to do more ongoing projects, but only recently have started one, which would fit in with another goal, video. Right at the end of the year I started a YouTube channel, producing a minute long trailer, and about a ten minute vlog.

Another area I wanted to become more involved with was teaching photography in some way. So far this hasn’t panned out, but it will remain a longer term goal. I did manage to lead a photowalk and regularly contribute advice at my local photo club, however, I would like to move to more structured teaching opportunities in the future.

I have been able to have photos in several public exhibitions this year, and have sold prints as a result, so I am very happy with this area and want to get into even more events in the coming year.

In addition to the goals I mentioned above there a few more things I’d like to do this year:

I did a little astrophotography in 2018 and have decided that I would like to do more in the coming year. Generally I don’t like to use gear as an excuse, because it really isn’t, but I’ll probably invest in a proper wide angle, reasonably fast lens, so that I can do more in this area.

I was also slowed up a little in the first half of 2018 by an old injury that chose to flair up and limited the difficulty & frequency of my hikes, but things have improved. I am planning on being a little more adventurous on my photo-hikes this year, including at least one multi-day hike which will take me a little beyond the furthest point I’ve travelled to on Vancouver Island.

One last thing I will be doing in 2019 (and beyond) is getting additional education and acquiring new skills. While I’ve done a lot of online learning related to photography, I have to go back several decades to the last time I did any in person training, when I took a B&W darkroom course! This time, in addition to online learning and informal opportunities, I will be attending a multi-day photography workshop, where I will get the opportunity to try new methods and genres that I haven’t had much exposure to.

I hope everyone enjoys following my blog in the new year as well as checks out my adventures on my YouTube channel. Happy 2019 to everyone!

Photography on Display

Photography on Display

Lately I have been more active in the local art & photography community. It’s something I enjoy and is definitely beneficial to my photography, as I feel encouraged to get out with my camera more often and enjoy the ability to show some of my work. One of the things I am involved in is as a member of the board of directors at the Sooke Arts Council. It is through SAC that I had the opportunity to hang six of my prints in the lobby of the Richard Blanshard Building, which houses BC Ministry of Health offices.

A trio of photos hanging on display

A group of three of my prints on display

Along with four other artists work (painters and photographers) my prints will be hanging there for December 2018 and likely January 2019 as well.

Waves crash on the rocks at Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew

Fresh off the press

I had a number of mid-size prints around that I used, as well as having the one, shown above, printed just days before the hanging. Normally, I have my images printed on some variety of fine art paper, then frame them, but for this image, I chose to have it printed on canvas by a new, local printer, VI Spectrum. I’m very pleased with the results. At 24″x36″ it’s also the largest print I have on display. Images smaller than 13″x19″ I generally print myself, as was the case with the two 8″x11″ prints I hung. A fantastic photographer I know (check out his wonderful images here) spoke highly of the Hahnemühle Matte Fine Art paper I used for these prints, and since trying it earlier this year it has become one of my favourite papers to print on.

B&W image of a rocky shoreline

One of the images I self printed

I encourage everyone local or who is visiting Victoria to stop by the lobby of the building, at 1515 Blanshard Street, to check out my work and that of others from December, 2018 through January 2019. Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it!

Night Photography in Sooke

Night Photography in Sooke

I have done very little night time photography, but hope to do more in the future.  It will be fun to explore astrophotography and light painting and then post about it here for you to enjoy.  

starlight illuminates the Sooke boardwalk
Night at the Sooke Marine Boardwalk

The Sooke Marine Boardwalk is a great place for a walk at any time.  It stretches between the Rotary Pier, near the bottom of a long staircase from the south end of Murray Road, to the long winding pathway & up to Ed Macgreggor Park.  During the day there are lots of people wandering about it and you’ll often see people crab fishing off the pier and boardwalk.  

blurred people walk along the Sooke waterfront at night
Ghostly Walkers on the Marine Boardwalk

There are always a few boats anchored in the harbour.  Some of them seem to remain in place almost all the time, while others come and go.

a meteorite can be seen streaking above a sailboat in the Sooke harbour
A Sailboat in the Sooke Harbour

A clear night at this time of year made for almost ideal conditions to watch the sky for meteors and other celestial events.

twin meteorites streak across the Milky Way
Stars and Forest

The year has been going by quickly and soon it will be time to reflect upon the past and look toward the future.  With that in mind, it won’t be long before I start work on my top ten image list of 2018 (which, as usual, will be published in January) as well as and exciting new project I will announce before the end of December.

Exploring San Josef Bay

There are many areas of Vancouver Island that I’ve explored, but far more that I haven’t, yet.  Most of my exploration has been near the southern end of the island, but my trip to San Josef Bay, in Cape Scott Provincial Park, took me to the far northern end and was quite an adventure.

menacing dark grey clouds and misty rain over the treed slopes of Cape Scott Provincial Park

Angry clouds hang over San Josef Bay beach

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Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2017

Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2017

Once again another year has drawn to a close and it’s time for my now annual review of my favourite ten images of the year.  I started posting my Top Ten Favourites three years ago after seeing Jim Goldstein’s Blog Project: Your Best Photos From (year) and I now look forward to participating in it and seeing the best Jim and others have to offer.

There never seems to be enough time to get out with a camera as much as I’d like and this year was definitely a hectic one.  Perhaps in 2018 I will be able to stick a little closer to my intended photographic path.  

In no particular order, here are my favourites of 2017:

Bubbles in Ice.jpgAt the beginning of 2017 it stayed just below freezing for long enough for a thin layer of ice to form on a small local lake.  Looking at the tiny bubbles in the ice somehow reminded me of outer space, so I made sure the background was as dark as possible.  If you look at the bubbles on the lower portion of this image, you can see my reflection.

the sun shines thru a crack in a giant old growth tree in Avatar Grove forest
Sunburst through a Tree

I always enjoy going for a hike in the forest, especially places like Avatar Grove, on Vancouver Island, where there is still some very impressive old growth, including this tree which has seen better days, but still survives.

beautiful backlight green leaf
Nature’s Pathways

The way the sun was lighting up the patterns on this leaf in a garden a Hatley Park caught my eye and I couldn’t walk past.

abstract reflection of a boardwalk
Rippled Reflections

I love reflections and this abstract image is of the boardwalk near Ed McGreggor park in Sooke, BC.

Shades of Grey Turned Upside Down
Shades of Gray Turned Upside Down

Take a closer look at this black and white image and you will see that it is actually upside down.  I made this photo while peeking through a gap in the low hanging trees and ground, on walk around a partially ice covered local lake.

details revealed in driftwood
Here’s Looking at You, Woody

I love walking along the many local beaches and looking for interesting driftwood.  Often the patterns of the wood can have hidden surprises, like this one, seeming to me to reveal some sort bizarre of animal face.

rocks potholes clouds and waves at the beach
Nature’s Playground

Botanical Bay, at Port Renfrew, is an amazing place to visit at low tide, when the many pothole looking tide pools are revealed.

butterfly on poppy
Time to Pollinate

The (mostly) black and white butterfly presents a stark contrast to the bright orange and green background and gives me a warm feeling.

a BC Ferry crossing the Salish sea in front of a dormant volcano
Come Sail Away

While travelling on another ferry I saw one of the newest ones in BC Ferries fleet (the Salish Eagle) and was able to time it so that Mount Baker, in Washington state, was in the background.

BC Legislature Parliament building and fountain at twilight
Light up with colourful lights for the winter holiday season

Every December the British Columbia Legislature lights up the Parliament building with colourful lights.  I prefer having some colour in the sky so I only waited about twenty minutes after sunset to make this image.

If you enjoyed my favourites consider following my blog so you can see more of my photography!  I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy 2018.