I’ve spent a lot of time this winter driving the township and range roads which divide the prairie up into a grid work of crisscrossing dirt roads. The primary goal has been to photograph Snowy owls during their winter stay here but I’m always happy to see bald eagles when I happen across them. These were two separate encounters. Above, the eagle was flying low over the fields west of Calgary and I parked at a driveway in time to photograph the bird flying past. In the photograph below, the eagle was perched in this tall tree near Gleichen east of Calgary for ten minutes while I watched before it launched and headed out over the fields.
A short collection of some images from around Bragg Creek over the last couple of weeks of fall.
I had a request from a client for a large volume of landscape photographs of Western Canada so I pulled together my favourite images from this area. I published a webpage with these images in a gallery. If you are interested, please click this link.
I grew up in a small valley in southwestern British Columbia. Our house faced a large meadow bounded by a creek on one side and the treed flanks of a mountain on the other three sides. The meadow had once been a field with several orchards and the behind the house were the remnants of a farm with barns, corrals and sheds. The buildings were worn down, leaning at odd angles but all held their own treasure of rusted tools, missing floorboards, broken machinery and weathered vehicles. It was a paradise for a kid and I loved that place. We lived there for about eight years and I know there were a few places I still didn’t fully explore. Living on the prairies now, I get to revisit the same objects as they dot the landscape – abandoned farmhouses, vehicles both hidden and exposed as well as many other iconic farm “things”. I’m working on a project tying the photographs to the people behind these farms – let’s just say that is a LONG term project. However, it’s a lot of fun making the photographs in and around the farms – a good escape to the boy I still am.
I will post more on the buildings, tools, etc. from around the farm but for this one, I’ll restrict the images to vehicles. These images are from places across Alberta and in eastern Saskatchewan, linger over the picture for the particular location. As always, click on any of the pictures to jump to a full page version.
Alas, this last vehicle, a combine harvester, is not forgotten but I like it so please allow the exception.
It’s funny the difference a few days can make. That’s true year round in this part of the world but I thought these pictures highlight how quickly things can change.
These winter photographs were made this afternoon in Springbank on the first day in over a week where it wasn’t frigidly cold (still -20 celsius).
And this fall harvest shot below was from just before Remembrance Day near Cochrane. These two farms are about 20 kilometers apart. I think this farmer is pretty glad he got his crop pulled up when he did.
When the Prairies get wet it is usually due to some pretty impressive storms. The first couple of weeks of July have been heavy with rain which seems to be about a month later than the last couple of years. The weather may not lend itself to days on the beach, it makes for some great photographic possibilities. With the wet comes saturated colors and, using a polarizer to cut the glare, you can create images that almost glow. The dark skies reveal the texture within the clouds and make beautiful backgrounds to landscape photographs.
I felt a bit bad watching these cows inside my car as the window and their backs took the brunt of the wind and rain.
So, I ventured out to get a couple of portraits and was rewarded with stern glares from the models and raindrops on the lens.
I liked this fellow’s optimism with the shorts. Prudence must have taken hold as he walked out the door with the toque and the long sleeve shirt.
A view of the Trans-Canada Highway looking westward as it disappears into the storm. Photograph made from the Springbank overpass just outside of Calgary.