No Time For Photography

No Time For Photography

Okay, maybe I have had some time for photography, but far less than normal, and certainly less than I expected. Since Covid-19 related restrictions started, months ago, I, like pretty much everyone else, have had to make changes and adjustments to many things. While we were lucky enough in my corner of the world to be able to get out locally without too many issues, there were still a lot of disruptions. I had to cancel a couple planned photo trips off Vancouver Island, but managed to fit in a quick visit to Strathcona Provincial Park.

Lower Myra Falls

It’s an area I’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time, and now that I’ve had a chance for a little exploration, I’m eager to get back and see more of the area; however, that will have to wait for some time. Since getting back, I’ve been involved in a new project that has been taking up the majority of my spare time.

A little background first. For the past several years, I’ve been involved in the Sooke Arts Council; a group that promotes local / regional artists and participation in various art forms. As a Director on the SAC board, I assist with planning, organizing and running various initiatives. In late May/early June, an opportunity came up for the SAC to potentially start our own gallery! This could be a physical space to display & sell our art, hold our meetings, have art classes and let other community groups have a space for meetings. We started preparing the gallery space in late June and had hoped to have it up and running quickly, although we knew it would take a lot of effort to get everything in place.

The Future Home of Gallery by Sooke Arts Council
Rough Beginnings

As you can see, the gallery space would take a lot of work to get ready to show anything. All through July and the first part of August, we worked at transforming the space into something resembling an art gallery. This meant untold hours of planning, cleaning, building, moving, etc. On top of all that, we had to get the proper permits and inspections done and make sure we were compliant with all the Covid-19 precautions.

Work in Progress

Once some things were patched, the floors, walls and ceilings were painted, and lightbulbs replaced, we could start to see more of the potential in the space. Another thing we needed was a sign. After a little debating, we settled on a straight forward sign that would go above the main door. At 4’x8′ it almost acted like a sail and practically pulled us into traffic as we temporarily moved it into the gallery on the breezy day we picked it up. A photo of me putting up the sign even made the local paper.

A Fresh Look to the Exterior of our new Gallery

Show Ready

One of the biggest supporters of SAC and the arts in Sooke had been the late Sooke councillor, Brenda Parkinson. Brenda had started painting in her last few years, and her husband, Stewart Parkinson, was kind enough to let us exhibit (and sell) a selection of her works. We also featured some paintings by late SAC member Lili Wilde in the first show.

The (Covid-19 compliant) Grand Opening was this past Saturday, 15 August, 2020, and was a great success. I’ll be volunteering at the Gallery one day most weeks and look forward to meeting everyone coming through the Gallery. Up to this point, I’ve had very little time for photography, but with the gallery up and running now, that should start to change and hopefully I’ll have some interesting photo adventures to share with you soon.

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. 🙂

Now the BIG Announcement

A couple of blog posts ago I mentioned that I would be making an announcement on an exciting new project I was working on, some time before the end of December.  Here it is… I have decided to start my own YouTube channel featuring my photography adventures.  Don’t worry, I will still be adding new blog posts.  I hope you have the chance to watch and follow my channel.  I have a “promotional trailer” out now,  the Drake Dyck Photography Channel Promo, with the first real video coming out on 30 December, 2019.  After that, videos will come out on the first Sunday of every month.  

The videos will follow me on my photography adventures (mostly) around Vancouver Island and surrounding areas, as well as occasional trips a little farther away.  I will continue to follow all the same ethical principals I have been for my still photography (see the About WDP tab for more on these) encourage others to consider their own practices when out in nature.  

I look forward to bringing you entertaining and informative content.  Thanks for continuing to read my blog!

Lac Assal, Djibouti, Africa, lighthouse, saltwater, crater, green, blue, sky, photoshop
Pictured above, Lac Assal, Djibouti, is the lowest point on land in Africa, and third lowest in the world.  Sheringham Point Lighthouse, is actually located in Shirley, BC, Canada, and I digitally added it to this image.  
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.

Whiffen Spit Phogtography

My plans for some early morning landscape photography were derailed by heavy fog near the ocean, so I adjusted them and went to a location where I figured I could use the fog to my advantage and make some interesting photographs; Whiffen Spit.

birds on log on a foggy day at the shore

Two crows perch on driftwood at Whiffen Spit

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The Sooke Music and Art Festival

This is the third year for the Sooke Music Festival, which has been renamed the “Sooke Music and Art Festival” and for the first time included the Sooke Community Arts Council  (as one of their Art in the Park events) and various art displays.

two dogs connected together by a leash wandering on grass

Doggie Tripline – Checking out the Festival

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Appetite for Art Show

This past week I had the opportunity to participate in my first art show, where I had some prints on display. The Appetite for Arts show in Sooke, BC is held annually, and art pieces are paired with food dishes, which have been inspired by the art.

Art on display in the hotel ballroom

a variety of art works by various local artists

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No More Snow

After more snow than we are used to around here (that would be pretty much anything more than a trace that disappears the same day), we are back to ☀️ sun and rain ☔️ showers.  I had the chance for a quick walk around town and saw the birds hanging out together.

A flock of pigeons on power lines

Birds on a Wire

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