People

When it snowed, we went sledding

 

Kian's airtime - © Christopher Martin-9801

When they returned from school in the middle of our strangely early snowstorm, my son and one of his friends headed straight to the shed and grabbed their sledding gear.  There was no disappointment with a suspension of late summer, they were ready to toboggan.  I was happy to join them and we had a great time playing around.

Sledding - © Christopher Martin-9726

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Dismount - © Christopher Martin-9818

The bent and broken trees, power outages, traffic accidents and many other challenges that this storm has unleashed on Southern Alberta has been hard to believe.  I’m glad that we were able to find enjoyment in the snow but our thoughts are with those not near so fortunate.

Kian at the ready - © Christopher Martin-9787

 


Summer in Osoyoos

Running through the vineyard - 2014 © Christopher Martin

We are enjoying some family time at the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort in Osoyoos, British Columbia. The trail down to the water is through the Nk’Mip Winery and their vineyards. When we went down last night for a swim in the lake, it was great to watch the kids running down the pathway.


Covering Shwe Dagon in gold

Gilding Shwe Dagon - © Christopher Martin-2895

The Shwedagon Zedi Daw is a nexus point for Myanmar’s Buddhists.  It’s history goes back more than 2600 years and it is an amazing place of humanity, faith and spirituality.  The main stupa is sheathed in gold foil as are many of the parapets and other buildings on the grounds.  I went there twice when I visited Myanmar in 2010 and think I could return many more times and always find new things catching my eye.  On my second visit, I watched these workers gilding a new, or maybe restored, tower.  It was a hot day and while one gentleman found a ball cap to be sufficient protection, the other preferred a more encompassing head cover.  This was detailed work and they were attentive to the task at hand.  I had to wait a little while until one of them looked up from the tower and glanced out over the crowds walking around Shew Dagon.


De-icing at YYC

De-icing at YYC - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5D Mark III + 500mm f/4 lens: 1/6400 seconds at f/4 on ISO 320

A member of the ground crew at the Calgary International Airport does the critical work of de-icing the airplane during a cold sunrise well below freezing in Alberta, Canada.


My updated gallery of people photography

Following on from the abstract portfolio that I updated a couple of weeks ago, the second portfolio whose refresh is complete, is for my people photography.

Marble carver in Mandalay - 2010 © Christopher Martin

The set includes a cross-section of images from a visit to Myanmar, my coverage of the Tsuu T’ina Nation’s annual Pow Wow and a couple of my children.

If you are interested in looking at these photographs, please click either image, or this link, to open a separate page with the portfolio.

Kezia's recital concentration - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Canada Day at Redwood Meadows

Canada Day Fireworks at Redwood Meadows - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The Canada Day fireworks at Redwood Meadows were great.  This was the first year our children were able to stay awake late enough to see them.  Their big smiles and excited commentary continued throughout the performance.  The fireworks marked the end of the Canada Day celebrations – let me back up and share a little bit of the fun we all had throughout the day.

Ready to ride - 2013 © Christopher Martin

We all joined in bike parade led by the firefighter trucks and rescue vehicles that always starts Canada Day in Redwood.  Kian and Kezia both had a lot of fun making the loop of the town with all of their friends.  It was good that the parade started at 10 am – it was warm then and by noon it was hot and sunny.

Rolling in the bike parade - 2013 © Christopher Martin

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Redwood Meadows Bike Parade - 2013 © Christopher Martin

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Parading through town - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Following the parade, the stage in the middle of the sports field was the centre of attention for the opening ceremony which led into live performances that continued for the afternoon.  Dancers from the Tsuu T’ina Nation opened the performances on the stage.  It is always an honour to watch them and with Hal Eagletail narrating everyone was made welcome and enjoyed their dancing.

Hal Eagletail and Tsuu T'ina dancers - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Hal narrated, joked, drummed and sang – he set a great tone for the rest of the live music, magicians (both were great although Kian gave his vote to the gentleman who used swords!) and speakers.

Tsuu T'ina Dancer - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Around the stage, the community association had set up a bunch of activities for the kids including face painting, street drawing, games and bouncy castles.  For adults, including weary or wilted parents, a beer garden was open.

A rainbow in the making - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Kezia decided on a rainbow connecting a heart with a happy face.

A Canadian boy - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Kian transformed from a Canadian boy to a Canadian ninja.

A Canadian ninja - 2013 © Christopher Martin

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Street art - 2013 © Christopher Martin

There were two themed cakes as well as cupcakes.  Kezia was quite happy to show her support…

Rainbow Kezia and her cupcake - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The heat built up by mid-afternoon and even the kids looked to be feeling a little worn down.  That all changed when the firefighters spread out a large sheet of plastic and hooked up one of their hoses to the fire truck.  The water was turned on, the kids lined up and then chaos was unleashed (very fun chaos).

Sliding along - 2013 © Christopher Martin

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Ninja in the water park - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Bart Frasca is a firefighter and resident in Redwood Meadows.  He was one of the key people involved in saving the town during this year’s flood.  He didn’t need the help running the hose but he let Kezia provide her assistance for a minute or two nonetheless.

Kezia with the assist - 2013 © Christopher Martin

With paint now dripping off their faces and weariness starting to settle into their bones, we took our children home to relax and wait for the fireworks.  When we returned to the field just before 11, the sky still had traces of the day on the western horizon.  We settled onto a blanket and covered up from the mosquitos.  The wait wasn’t long and soon explosions of color spread out above.  It was a great ending to a great day.  Thank you to all of the people who set up, performed, painted, sprayed, played and made it so much fun for all.

Canada Day fireworks - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Happy 146th birthday Canada!

Happy birthday Canada - 2013 © Christopher Martin


The only rain I want to see for a while…

Washing windows - © Christopher Martin-8243

… is from water dripping down while window washers ply their trade high above.

Calgary and surrounding areas are getting back on their feet.  I hope we are all able to enjoy some summer times and put the flooding firmly in our rearview mirrors.


Kian at the Springbank Dancer Recital

Kian's ground moves - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Kian was in the Boys Hip Hop class at Springbank Dancers this year.  During the end of season recital, the boys performed and entertained the audience with their moves and poses as they strutted across the stage.  Below, they started their performance in these “tough” silhouetted positions.

Starting positions - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Teaching a troop of 6 to 8 year-old boys dance requires bundles of energy to match them and an equal measure of patience.  Miss Shana had more than enough of both. She created a place where the boys were supported, encouraged and had a lot of fun.  A great teacher for a bunch of wild guys.

2013 © Christopher Martin

Kian had a great time throughout the year.  It was a lot of fun to watch this performance and see all of their new dance moves and the confidence and fun they were all having on stage.

Strutting around - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Kian’s looking forward to next year’s dance classes.  He will be practicing his helicopter spins, freezes, windmills and top rocks over the summer and we should be treated to a few impromptu concerts before the next session starts.

2013 © Christopher Martin

At the end of the recital all of the dancers assembled on stage.  The boys sat off to the side and waited fairly patiently while the teachers finished a couple of speeches and thank yous.  That gave me one more chance to photograph these young men hanging out.

Who's watching who - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Kezia at the Springbank Dancers Recital

Into the air - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The weekend before the flood, both of my kids had their dance recital performances.  Kian is in the boys hip hop class and Kezia is in a creative class at Springbank Dancers.

Enter stage right - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Miss Devon and her staff are wonderful with all of their dancers.  Both of my kids love their teachers and had a great year dancing.

Kezia's eye to the crowd - 2013 © Christopher Martin

First up was Kezia.  She is only four but she casts a pretty long shadow under the spotlight.  Not that she’s tall, she just has a big presence when she’s performing.  It was plain to see that she was having a great time on stage.

Kezia's recital - 2013 © Christopher Martin

We were all so happy for her to have had such fun and to be able to share this moment.

Flowers after the recital - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Kian’s snowball fight – birthday party mashup

Ready, set, blow - © Christopher Martin-9958

(as always, please click on any image to open a webpage with a higher resolution version) 

The party for my son’s sixth birthday was scheduled for last Sunday but a heavy blizzard blew in the night before and travel on the roads was treacherous.  We postponed the party to save family from driving in the storm which left Kian quite sad for a little bit.  Fortunately his friends who live nearby bundled up, came over and we all headed outside for some tobogganing on the little hill behind our house.  Not much sledding happened as the gang decided a snowball fight was a better use of their energy and time.

The snow fighters - © Christopher Martin-0076

With smile restored and spirits high, Kian had a great time playing and the rest of us followed his lead.  Kezia helped me to return fire after the attack above but then turned her sights my way a few minutes later.

A daughter's attack - © Christopher Martin-0014

Her brother liked Kezia’s idea and joined in the attack too – Traitors!  I was worried about a full mutiny but their attentions soon turned to other targets.

Snow fight - © Christopher Martin-0046

With a small crisis (though rather big to a young boy) averted, we ended up having a great day and Bobbi even arranged to have some cupcakes to finish off the birthday celebrations.  Which Kian enjoyed blowing out a solitary candle on (three times as I had a couple of different images that I wanted to make in mind).


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