That was 2020… What Photographic Adventures will 2021 bring?

That was 2020… What Photographic Adventures will 2021 bring?

In the past, I’ve written a year end recap and look at things I plan or hope on accomplishing, photographically in the coming year. After a one year absence of that post, I am getting back on track. Somehow missing a post looking forward at what 2020 might hold in store for me seems fitting. Not in my wildest dreams (nightmares???) would I have guessed that almost the entire year, and beyond, would be dramatically affected by a global pandemic. I had been looking forward to a major photography trip in October, which had been planned well over a year in advance. At first I thought things might be getting back on track by then, but as the months wore on, it became apparent that it wouldn’t happen and it would be difficult to say when things might be back to a point when I could even consider an international trip would be. I had big plans, in my mind, for the year, but felt sapped of energy and let many things, like this blog, my YouTube channel, local photography outings, etc, slide. As I write this, the first people have received vaccines and while it will take many months yet, better times are in sight.

Bull Kelp

Despite all the cancelled trips, outings and events, there was much that happened for me, related to my photographic endeavours. I started off the year with a photo trip to Tofino, where I explored the wreckage of an old warplane and even made a short video of it. Shortly after that, things first got hectic in my non-photography work and then Covid set in. Still, I became even more involved in the local arts scene. As a Director on the Sooke Arts Council, I was involved in starting our art gallery, and subsequently became Vice President of the Council. This took up a lot more time than my earlier involvement did, however, it has been very rewarding, and working with artists of various other forms has been a positive influence on my artistic development.

Gallery by Sooke Arts Council

I also became more involved in various social media endeavours. While I have not grown my Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Flickr followings significantly (in fact, I have not kept up on them nearly was much as I wanted), I have made more connections with other photographers and artists through them, which has led to positive artistic growth. As a direct result of my involvement in some of these sites, or reaching out to those on them, I have had the opportunity to appear, or have my photography be featured, on various mediums. Images of mine have been reviewed on episodes of Behind The Shot. I have been a returning guest on Latitude Photography Podcast, and represented the Sooke Arts Council on the All Sooke Days Podcast. I even had my picture in the local paper, hanging the sign for our new Gallery… and there’s still time for a little more exposure before the end of the year!

BC Legislature & Victoria’s Inner Harbour

I did manage a couple quick trips on Vancouver Island, where I scouted areas I hadn’t previously been to. Strathcona Park and the surrounding area have much to offer, and I know I will be doing a lot more exploring there in the future. My short trip to Campbell River included a whale watching trip with Aboriginal Journeys Wildlife & Adventure Tours, and had a fantastic day viewing Humpback whales, seals, sea lions, various birds and other sea life. This is another area that I want to spend much more time in with my camera!

Humpback Whale “waving goodbye”

This all brings me to the point where I look forward to 2021. A lot of things are still uncertain and trying to make any definitive plans will be difficult, but I have some general goals in mind. One of those is quite simple. Get out with my camera more often than in 2020. Along with that, I want to be more regular and consistent with my blog posts and YouTube videos. Hopefully, I will be able to grow followers on both, as well as other social media platforms. In addition, I want to continue to increase my exposure on through appearing on podcasts, blogs, local media and anywhere else I can arrange. With any luck, travel will be back in the cards in the not too distant future. I’ll definitely be exploring more areas on Vancouver Island and if all goes well I’ll be checking out more of British Columbia this year, as well as at least one more distant locale. I’m looking forward to a great year and hope you follow along on my adventures, here and on my other sites.

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.

Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2016

This is the second annual list of my favourite images from the past year.  I started last year after seeing the great images of many other photographers featured on the great blog site of JMG Galleries. While I was not able to make as many images as I had hoped in 2016, I did manage to have some interesting and new experiences. Here they are, in no particular order:

bw fog trees
It’s all about the light

Living on the west coast of Vancouver Island offers so many opportunities to make captivating images of nature. It’s easy to wander along a beach or into the woods and see something different every time. In the photo above, the fog was slowly lifting and the sun lit up the scene in a way I just had to capture. Converting the image to monochrome evoked just the feel I was looking for.

man taking pictures on a beach during sunset
Everyone loves a sunset

Sometimes you travel a little bit farther for something special, like the above image of a man taking a cellphone photo at sunset, on a beach in Tofino, BC (one of my favourite places to get away from it all).

bubbles in the ice on a lake
Frozen Bubbles

Just around the corner from me is tiny little Poirier Lake, which has trails around it and a little dock.  I was lucky enough to visit it on one of those rare days when it had a little ice on it.  Just next to the dock there were little groups of bubbles that had formed and I thought in this particular group of bubbles was particularly intriguing.  It seemed to hint at the shape of an animal paw/foot, and the fine powder on the bubble just left of centre had interesting patterns on it.  It’s one of those things that if I hadn’t stopped to take a close look, I wouldn’t have seen and I doubt anyone else would, either, as the weather warmed up and the lake was ice free before sundown.

pinwheel looking lights of a ferris wheel at night
At the Fair

Some of the images here made the list in part because I was trying out different techniques than I normally use, or just plain trying to be more creative.  One of these is my image of the ferris wheel at the Luxton Fall Fair.  I had tried a variety of different techniques to capture the motion  of the rides and/or add some intentional camera motion and most of those images seemed pretty standard to me.  This one I combined a couple things and loved the final result.

ornate brass door hinge
Details Matter

Sometimes you just have to make images with the camera you have with you, such as the image above.  This is a detail shot of a brass door hinge (rotated 1/4 turn counter clockwise) on the Grand Mosque in Constanta, Romania.  In this case, I was on a work assignment in the area and did not have my DSLR or any of my film cameras with me, but I am very happy with the results I was able to get using my iPhone.

man standing with two hats
A Street Portrait

I am most comfortable making photographs of nature, landscapes, cityscapes, or even abstract subjects, so something like a street portrait was a bit of a stretch for me.  The gentleman here was kind enough to pose for a photo I made using a century old Ensign camera and black and white film.  Using the Ensign sparked the film bug in me and I have since blown the dust off my old Canon AE-1 and acquired a Hasselblad 500 EL/M.  I am by no means abandoning using digital cameras, but going back to film and even getting back into film development has really got me excited and feeling inspired.  I now have a dedicated film scanner and am looking at experimenting even more… keep watching this blog for more updates on these experiment.

young girl standing in the rain
Smiling in the Rain

Having a satisfying experience with street photography, I continued to expand my comfort zone and when the opportunity came to make some family portraits, I was up to the challenge.  The weather on the day did not cooperate, but adjustments were made and I really enjoyed the photo session.  In fact, the rain, lit by the fill flash, even added a distinct look to some of the images and gave them a more ‘authentic’ wet… I mean West Coast look.

a yellow boat floats in front of an apartment building
In the Bay

Every year, for the past several years, I have joined in the local area Kelby Photo Walk and always enjoy mingling with other photographers and strolling along for a few hours of photography fun.  This year the one I participated in was in Oak Bay and I found this cute little yellow boat, gently floating on the water, which had tiny ripples on it, while there was an imposing concrete apartment building and dark foreboding clouds in the background… I loved the contrast.Remembrance Day CanadaRemembrance Day has a very special meaning to me and I wanted to make an image that would be simple & respectful.  I chose use the poppy we wear in Canada for Remembrance Day, against a dark background and tried to light it in a way to make it stand out.  I almost never use text on any of my images; however, this was different and I chose a very special poem.  Written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae while serving in the military as a doctor in Europe during WW I, In Flanders Fields has become synonymous with Remembrance Day ceremonies, and always makes me pause and reflect.

christmas tree shaped light display
The Sooke Traffic Circle Light Tree

The year ended with my creative take on the “Lights of the Season“, which was the winning entry in a contest run by Oopoomoo (one of my favourite photography blog sites).  I had fun putting this list together, but had a hard time getting down to the last ten, but that’s a good problem to have.  I know this year the images covered a wide variety of photography genres and I am sure I will eventually have a more consistent type of image; however, it likely won’t be 2017, as I plan of doing a lot more experimenting and expanding my repertoire.

December . . .

Once again it has been far too long between posts and there have been fewer opportunities to get out and take some photos.  Somehow it always seems like there is less time in December than any other month.  Life gets hectic with shopping, holiday events to go to, family gatherings and there’s always something unexpected coming up.  Even the days are at their shortest… although that can sometimes be to the benefit of the photographer who likes to sleep in.  That is when the sunrise and sunset are at decent hours, making it much more convenient to get out with a camera and just enjoy the world around you.

Sunrise Flock

A December Sunrise.

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