Author Archive

Night fox in Whitehorse

We found this red fox near our B&B when we were there in August last summer.  The foxes in Whitehorse are not too hard to find but at 10:30pm, we weren’t expecting to see one in the gloom.  But this one stood out against the bright green lawn of a home that edged on to the forest.


A lounge leopard

… not a real leopard but this one behind the behind the bar at the Calcutta Cricket Club on 17th Avenue in Calgary is stunning. I hope to see one in the wild – perhaps with my friends in India – sooner than later.


A Christmas owl

I found this great horned owl on December 20th.  She was perched a couple of meters off the ground in a stand of trees along the edge of a farm east of Langdon on Alberta’s prairie.  It was just before noon and the day was cool but not frigid.  The warm sun was lovely as I walked from the range road to a position with a better view of the owl.  I was excited to photograph the bird – especially once I had the sunlight at my back and I could catch the glow of the golden eyes.

She watched the ground intently at times and tracked any ravens that flew overhead.  I settled in on a mound and waited for the bird to launch. Despite a couple of shakes and repositions early on, the bird didn’t fly then and soon the eyes were shutting for increasingly long intervals.

For four hours I waited before the owl jumped into the air.  I was in a great position but was chagrined when she flew away from me.  Hope returned when she alighted on a branch 20 meters away and turned back towards me.  A few minutes along and the excitement returned.  This time the flight path was towards me and she flew beside me on her way to another line of trees towering over a snow-covered field.  This time afforded me a great angle on the owl.


Happy New Year’s Day

January 1st has been a good, and wonderfully relaxed, start to 2020 for us.  The fireworks at the Redwood Meadows community sports field last night did a great job of ushering in the new year.  All the best to you and yours in this new year.

The fireworks were great.  Thank you to the people involved in the evening’s light show.

 


Dalemead dawn

West of the hamlet, Desirée and I watched the sunrise over the frozen prairie.  Despite the slightly wicked cold, the beauty of the snowy fields, black tree silhouettes and the deep hues in the sky was overwhelming.  The lens was in my trunk so when I put it on, it frosted up.  That was partially by design and partially due to a lack of planning earlier in the morning.  I loved the haze around the frame that resulted and had a lot of fun shooting with that for a bit.


Holiday greetings!

 

I hope you are enjoying time with those you love these holidays.  Warmest wishes to you and yours.

 

 

 

 


Image

A magpie’s winter dream


Image

Winter forest abstract


A pair on the prairie

 

I enjoy the backroads on the prairies.  This afternoon I found a pair of ravens perched on the peak of this weathered homestead east of Dalemead.  When they flew I tried to compose their flight against the field and the house.


Photography in silhouette

A photographer's silhouette - © Christopher Martin-8554

I spend a lot of time photographing on the edges of the day.  On this morning, as the winter sun cleared the horizon, I found my shadow watching me from the side of a hay bale.


A Water Valley trio

Water Valley horse trio - © Christopher Martin-6829.jpg

These horses were walking slowly alongside one of Water Valley’s backroads.  We pulled over and I took a few minutes to compose them and a couple of cows in a few different ways.  This was my favorite.  The animals were languid on a nice afternoon in the Foothills.  This field was beautiful to my eye with green and pale gold sharing space across the uneven ground.  I used a small aperture of f/22 to keep the three horses each in sharp focus while separating them from the forest in the background.  Beautiful country there.  I’ve enjoyed wonderful encounters with great gray owls there.  It was nice to enjoy another aspect.

Water Valley horse trio - © Christopher Martin-6829-3

I liked it in black and white too!

 


Autumn in the trees

It has come too soon but I am enjoying the beautiful colors that fall has brought.  Snow is falling this weekend so autumn may be cut short this year – we’ll see.

I’ve had fun playing with longer shutter speeds and moving through the focal length during some of those.  Some of the images have an abstract, painterly quality which I love.  I still like photographing the changing landscape in more straightforward ways too.  Most scenes I end up shooting in a few different ways to see which works in that moment. Here are a few from the past couple of weeks in and around Bragg Creek.

On a side note, it has been a long time since my last post.  I have kept shooting but haven’t made time to publish anything for a little over two months.  A lot went on through the summer.  The biggest change has been falling in love with a wonderful woman.  Aside from my children and how they continually amaze me, that has been the highlight of a summer that has absolutely flown by.


Summer with the great grays

It was a great spring to spend lot of time with these majestic owls.  For many years there have been several pairs of great gray owls that I’ve been able to photograph hunting and resting on perches in and around forests near my home.  I’ve never taken it for granted.  Happily the great spring has continued into summer.  Here are a few of my favorites from July so far.

 

 

 


Avocets at Frank Lake in May

I went to Frank Lake in early May.  A short drive east of High River, this is a wetland controlled by Ducks Unlimited Canada and is designated as an Important Bird Area.  The migratory and summer populations both have a large variety of bird species.  I enjoy photographing there – it’s a beautiful location on the prairies, has abundant wildlife and offers a wide area across three basins to explore.

American avocets are one of my favorite shorebirds.  On my last visit, I had great opportunities to photograph them from mid-afternoon through dusk.  These are a few of those images.  Thank you for having a look.


Great gray owl flying into the forest

‘This great gray owl was sheltering in the branch of a leafy tree when I first found him east of Kananaskis.  The rain was pouring and he was smart to avoid the brunt of it.  I was less so and got soaked.  Eventually the sun came out and the forest brightened.  The owl began hunting and grabbed two field mice over a half an hour.  In this image he had alighted from a fencepost and was heading back into the forest.

 


Evening night morning in the Valley of the Ten Peaks

A good friend and I went up to Moraine Lake at the beginning of June.  We photographed from dusk into dark, crashed out for a couple of hours and then shot the sunrise.  These are a few of the photographs as the time rolled by.

Into the night…

Rising with the sun…

 

 

 


A walk along Second Beach

When I visited Washington state’s Olympic National Park in April, I visited Second Beach on one of the afternoons.  This was one of the first photographs after I exited the trail onto the beach.  Shooting into the sun silhouetted most of the elements which helped to isolate these two people as they walked near the water.


Happy Father’s Day!

I’m enjoying day with my kids.  I hope all the fathers who love, support and try their best to understand theirs are enjoying the same today.

 


D-Day

The last World War turned on this day 75 years ago.  If that is history you aren’t familiar with, you owe it to yourself and those who sacrificed on our collective behalf before to learn more.  I offer a humble thank you.  Thank you to those who have served.  Thank you to those who lived on and to those who we wish had.

 

Photo credit unknown. Unfortunately the photographer cannot be credited as this is a photograph in our family which did not have that information on the back.

 

I thank my grandfather, Percy – he’s sitting in this photo taken during WWII, for his service and the life he led afterwards despite the horrors he endured and the friends he lost.


Sea spray and the setting sun

 

I visited Second Beach on the Olympic Peninsula in April.  It was my first visit to this picturesque stretch of the Pacific Northwest.  Heavy waves rolled in with sunset and I had a great time framing them amid the sea stacks, along the beach and against the rocks.  When the sun was sinking into the water, one wave exploded inside the keyhole.  The silhouette of the spray had me imagining figures and forms.  It was a cool moment to recall a great evening on the ocean.

 


Image

A red fox backlit in Bragg Creek


Forest panoramas in a storm

(Please click on any image to open a separate window to see these panoramas in a larger version)

I have been enjoying creating panoramas by merging a number of shots into one wide image.  The workshop that I went to on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington recently brought that approach back in to my plans.  It’s been a while since I shot them with any regularity.  The rainforests there are well into spring and were amazing to photograph for panoramic concepts.  Forests have incredible depth, details and patterns and that was a focus while I was in the Pacific Northwest.

When I returned home, a cold weather pattern was knocking around Alberta.  When a snowstorm blew in, I headed out to photograph the forest and see if any pano opportunities jumped out.  The storm grew into a blizzard.  It was cool to have the increasing density of snow as a variable to the images.  We’ve had a few really good days in the week afterwards.  Before the next one comes in this weekend.

 

 


Happy Mother’s Day

2013 © Christopher Martin

I had a great day with the mothers in my life.  I hope you have enjoyed the same, great memories or are the recipient of a lot of heartfelt thank you.  You have the privilege to have such influence over your (and personally, on my) children.  It is lucky for them it is so very well placed. Happy Mother’s Day.

2013 © Christopher Martin


Port Angeles – the ocean in motion

 

When I was on the west coast a couple of weeks ago, I spent one morning photographing along the Port Angeles shoreline.  It had been a little while since I have been on the ocean and I was hypnotized by the ebb and flow of the waves along the beach.  I always am.